A Review of Death by Petticoat by Mary Miley Theobald

Death by Petticoat is a collection of myths that people have been led to believe over the years about our colonial ancestors. These myths, though one time thought true, have since been proven wrong. This book was put together with the help of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Its not categorized in subject matter or chapter, but rather, numbered by myth. There are 62 different ones. Some of them I remember learning, while some I thought were fairly obscure and may have only been known by history buffs. This book even goes so far as to explain where these myths may have originated.

I really enjoyed reading Death by Petticoat. It was a fairly quick read, only taking about an hour. It had some great photography to accompany each myth. I give this a 5 out of 5. Its a great little trivia book that you can use to impress your history loving friends. I definitely recommend it.

A Review of The Simpson’s Family History by Matt Groening

I am a huge Simpsons freak. This book came out last year some time and I had been eyeballing it at Barnes and Noble every since. But it was $35 and I just couldn’t justify spending that much at the time. Low and behold, I went browsing in the Barnes and Noble bargain section a few days ago and what should happen to be sitting their glowing as if calling me to buy it? You guessed it! It was now only $9.99 and I had to get it.

This is a visual history of 25 years of The Simpsons. With some explanatory text and the occasional bit of trivia, it is mostly screenshots pulled from the show. What I like about it, is that they’ve put it together in chronological order using the flashbacks from the series and current plots. It starts from Grandpa Abe simpson as a child moving to America and goes through how Homer and Marge meet, their early life together, how Homer got on at the Nuclear Power Plant, all the way to the birth of Maggie.

This is a must have for any true Simpsons fan. Going through the history and seeing the screen shots had me reliving some of my favorite episodes. It made me want to go back and start watching the series all over again. Good thing I have every season that is currently on DVD. I give this book an easy 5 out of 5. It isn’t any kind of profound reading but it will scratch that Simpsons itch in a very satisfactory way.

A Review of Disgusting History: The Smelliest, Dirtiest Eras of the Past 10,000 Years by Kathy Allen

The title pretty much says it all about this book. I picked this one up off the bargain shelf at Barnes and Noble because the cover is vibrant and I’m into gross and strange history. This book covers ancient Egypt, the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages, the age of the Vikings, Colonial America, the American Frontier, and the Civil War. You’ll find everything from toilet humor facts, to hygiene, disease, and death. There’s something for everyone.

I loved this book. It is a fairly quick read. Each page has minimal text. It has lots of pictures and little blurbs and facts on almost every page. It’s broken up into sections based on era and the beginning of every chapter gives you a mini timeline of what is being covered. I happen to enjoy the potty humor/trivia quite a bit.

My only criticism is that it is too short. I think the target audience may be younger people. Possibly late middle school or early high school. There’s no foul language or sexual content.

I gave this book a 5 out of 5. I thoroughly enjoy fascinating facts about the things most historians don’t cover because of the gross or graphic nature of them. The fact is, this is all part of history. I would recommend this book to any fan of the history and bizarre facts.

A Review of The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

Carrie Fisher is an icon to me. I have wanted to read her books for some time but never managed to actually put out the money for one. That changed recently for two reasons. One reason is that she recently passed away. As a long time fan of Star Wars and her iconic role as Princess Leia, this hit me hard. Second, I have a subscription to audible and she and her daughter, Billie Lourde, narrate this book. I was sold.

This book is mainly her confession to having an affair with Harrison Ford during her time filming the first Star Wars film. She has spent her whole life denying this relationship because at the time of their fling Mr. Ford was married to someone else, albeit an unhappy marriage. This is her account of that time period and the early stages of fame. She found her diaries for that time period and decided to publish some of the contents in this book. This part of the book is read by Billie while the rest is read by Carrie.

I enjoyed most of this book quite a bit. It was interesting to find out how being the daughter of famous parents affected her. She also talks about auditioning for Star Wars and her first impressions of George lucas. The real interesting stuff starts when she meets Harrison and their affair begins. Hearing it told from her perspective, it was basically a sexual relationship on his part and she gradually fell head over heels in love with him. She was only 19 and had a single relationship prior to Harrison. He confided in her about a marriage in ruins and a wife who didn’t understand him, all the while giving Carrie the idea that he was going to leave his wife for her.

She goes on for many chapters about how much she cares about him and is trying to fight it. It even seems like she’s trying to convince herself to be aloof about it. Her diaries entries are just verbal diarrhea about loving yet not being loved, some interesting poetry on the subject, and how horrible she feels being the other woman, yet not doing anything about it. This is all her side of the story and I have no idea how much of it is actually true.

I gave this one a 4 out of 5. I was entertained and I loved hearing Carrie reading this to me. I would have rather her read her diary entries as well. Billie Lourde’s voice is a bit monotone and scratchy for me. I can see how they were trying to capture a young Carrie Fisher with the transition but for me it didn’t work. I recommend listening to this on audio if you like audio books. It didn’t feel like it was very long at all and all the Star Wars facts and anecdotes from fans was very entertaining.

A Review of Coreyography by Corey Feldman

Coreyography is the autobiography of actor, singer, and dancer, Corey Feldman. I really like autobiography because it allows the subject to tell their story in their own words. I find that a lot of biographies can be skewed and may even have agendas based on the person writing the book.

I was born in the early 1980’s so Corey Feldman was a staple of my childhood and inevitably my first crush. The tome was an eye opening look at his childhood. I knew that he had a drug problem but I never knew he started so early or that his childhood was as horrible as it was. It included beatings, verbal abuse, and some of his first introductions to drugs came from his own parents. He had a father who was in and out of his life and a mother who had to have been suffering from bipolar disorder though it’s never diagnosed in the book.

The “Two Corey’s”, Corey Feldman and Corey Haim, were something else I was very familiar with. Feldman took liberties telling Haim’s story as well. Haim has since passed and he had childhood traumas worse than Feldman’s, such as rape. Both Corey’s dealt with molestation by men in the industry who promised them fame and drugs and told them it was normal and that that is just how Hollywood works. Feldman spoke of some of these men now being in prison for things like child pornography and lewd acts with a minor.

The last part of the book really resonated with me because he talks about his ex-wife’s labor and the birth of their son. He was born at 32 weeks by emergency cesarean section because he had stopped moving. He touched on his time in the NICU and seeing him so tiny and hooked up to machines. My own son was born at 30 and a half weeks by emergency cesarean section so it really spoke to me ad I relived my own trauma and NICU experience.

I would recommend this book to anybody born in the 1970’s and early 1980’s because they would have lived to see his rise and fall in the movie industry. It has a lot of 80’s pop culture references and name dropping. It talks about other celebrities, like River Phoenix and his subsequent death by overdose, and the Hollywood actresses Feldman was linked to. It’s a book for the connoisseurs of celebrity gossip. It kept me interested all the way through and that’s why I would give it a 5 out f 5 stars.

A Review of I’ve Got Sand in All the Wrong Places by Lisa Scottoline

I’ve Got Sand In All the Wrong Places is a collection of essays written by a mother and daughter team about their observations on life and their relationship, both the good and bad. Their anecdotes cover everything from their love lives, loss, grief, pets, and everything in between.

Lisa and Francesca are very candid about the events in their lives, sometimes even crossing into the “too much information” zone as they delve into aging and bodily functions.

This is a mostly fun, light, and easy read but it should come with a trigger warning as Francesca describes a time where she was very brutally assaulted and the aftermath of the attack. They also discuss the life and the grief that grips you, including the aging and loss of beloved pets, which hit very close to home since the one-year anniversary of my dog’s death was yesterday.

Another thing I really like about this book is that Lisa injects a lot of funny little quips and these are what kept me hanging on, especially when it comes to Motherhood. I could relate to so much of what she talked about and the fact that we as moms are only human. We fail as parents but we keep going and try to be better every day.

This is definitely check with. It briefly touches on feminism but what feminism really means, which is women having equal rights as men, not with Eminence has become, to elevate women above men. I would recommend this as a light summer read to all women and give it a solid four stars.

A Review of We the People: The Modern-Day Figures Who Have Reshaped and Affirmed the Founding Fathers’ Vision of America by Juan Williams

I won this ARC through The Reading Room in exchange for a fair review.

Our founding fathers are the men we are most familiar with historically. Men such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln. These are the men that have shaped our nation through events securing our status as a union separate from the British crown and our rights as citizens to pursue personal freedoms.

In the last 100 years our society has changed in many ways. This new society would shock our founding fathers, but these men would also come to realize that the constitution is something that is a basis for our freedoms but also needs to adapt to our ever evolving social construct. Juan Williams has suggested, in this book, a new group of men and women, to be a modern day founding fathers. The group of people he has nominated are the men and women who have brought about great change for the civil liberties of citizens of these United States and have given a voice to those groups who had no voice.

This book talks clearly and, for the most part, concisely about the historical events of the last 100 years. Beginning with immigration reform and ending with gun control, Williams touches on all the social issues that are hot button topics even today and gives a brief history on the individuals who propelled them forward.

What I love about this work, is Williams is able to give facts without being overly political and throwing his own views in. It is nice to be able to read about these accounts and make my own decision on how I feel and what my opinion is on the different issues. Juan Williams is highly educated and is very familiar with his subject material. He includes an extensive bibliography that I found to be a great source for further reading.

The only criticism I would give this book is that the chapter on gun control was a bit long and became dry rather quickly. All the other chapters kept me entertained and even had me interested in learning more.