dameOf the top five most enjoyable evenings I have ever spent in a theater (and I have spent many evenings in theaters) four of them were performances by Dame Enda Everage. Seriously, there is no other character that makes me laugh more than Dame Edna, the creation of the Australian comedy genius Barry Humphries.

Dame Edna may be an acquired taste, and certainly a performer that excels in the live stage format, but I have to say she can sure write an entertaining book. Exhibit A, this week’s Read: Ednapedia: A History of Australia in a Hundred Objects – a comic romp through Australia with the musings of Dame Edna, the “world-famous housewife, talk show host, investigative journalist, social anthropologist, chanteuse, satirist, spin doctor—and author.”

As funny as Ednapedia is, it is also a great way to learn more about Australian culture – popular and otherwise, and it is a total delight from cover to cover.

About Ednapedia: A History of Australia in a Hundred Objects by Dame Edna Everage: “It’s very rare that we see the emergence of a completely original idea in the world of books. Dame Edna Everage’s masterly history of Australian civilization is one such idea, and, possums, you will never think of historical writing in the same way again. ‘From our dainty gum nuts and towering Uluru to our world-class sharks and Opera House, marauding possums and poets, taking in game-changing inventions such as the dual-flush toilet and zinc cream, you will be amazed at what our sunburnt country has contributed to modern civilization.’ Barbies. Bex powders. Bogans. Feral Koalas. The immortal pink Lamington, Australia’s contribution to world patisserie. Plastic banknotes. Thongs, Uggs and utes. Not to speak of the Great Barrier Reef, goon and Nellie Melba. One of the world’s most distinguished thinkers and cultural personalities, Dame Edna Everage has inspired generations of Australian artists and icons, from Germaine Greer and Peter Carey to Kylie Minogue and Shane Warne.”

As someone who grew up always wanting to visit Australia (I have not made it yet) I always love learning more about the island continent and now I have a few more nuggets about things I would have never been exposed to were it not for the great Dame.

Ednapedia: A History of Australia in a Hundred Objects by Dame Edna Everage is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.