I wrote several posts last week that featured found snapshots (an avid interest of mine), so was fascinated to read an L.A. Times review of Talking Pictures by Ransom Riggs — a book made up entirely of found snapshots and their captions.

Here’s the book’s description from

Ransom Riggs‘s Talking Pictures is a haunting collection of antique found photographs—with evocative inscriptions that bring these lost personal moments to life—from the author of the New York Times bestselling illustrated novel Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Each image in Talking Pictures reveals a singular, frozen moment in a person’s life, be it joyful, quiet, or steeped in sorrow. Yet the book’s unique depth comes from the writing accompanying each photo: as with the caption revealing how one seemingly random snapshot of a dancing couple captured the first dance of their 40-year marriage, each successive inscription shines like a flashbulb illuminating a photograph’s particular context and lighting up our connection to the past.


I tried to get Talking Pictures from the L.A. Library, but the cash-strapped institution has not yet ordered a copy. Instead, I reserved Ransom Riggs’ previous book — which also features found photographs (though I just learned this today) — Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

Riggs has been collecting found snapshots since age 13, when he started to accompany his grandmother to flea markets in Florida. As he describes in the introduction to Talking Pictures (which I accessed via Amazon’s Look Inside feature): “What fascinated me about them — even more than the images themselves, at first — was that they were available for sale at all. I wondered how people could give away pictures of their families, even those of distant relatives they might not know or remember. Why would they give these photographs up — why, for that matter, would complete strangers want them?”

I am really, really looking forward to reading this book! Congratulations to Ransom Riggs on a beautiful execution of a great idea!