Reading Rarities: Joan Of Arc In Her Own Words

No one is ever quite indifferent to Joan of Arc once they've found out about her. She's been called a witch, she's been called crazy, she's been called a mystic. Some people think her Voices were actual Saints and others don't. Either way, we all know Joan's a towering figure to many, and because of … Continue reading Reading Rarities: Joan Of Arc In Her Own Words

Reading Rarities: Morale-Building Activities In Foreign Armies

Dear friends, unless you've been in the military, I'm guessing your thoughts look something like this right now: "Yikes." "Wow." "This looks boring." Also highly likely: "What is it?" That was my question when I spied Morale-Building Activities In Foreign Armies while poking around Winston Smith Books several years ago. I asked the cashier about … Continue reading Reading Rarities: Morale-Building Activities In Foreign Armies

Reading Rarities: A Sloth’s Guide To Taking It Easy

It goes without saying that we're all spending extra time at home right now. A lot of extra time. It also goes without saying that it can be hard and weird because, among other things, it's a real slowing-down process. We don't know how long we're going to have to live this way and a … Continue reading Reading Rarities: A Sloth’s Guide To Taking It Easy

Reading Rarities: John Lennon In His Own Write

If he were alive today, John Lennon would be turning eighty this year. It's also the fortieth anniversary of his death. Kind of amazing, isn't it? Gee whiz, time flies. Once the Beatles had a number one song in America, lives that were already on fast-forward went into hyperspace. In 1964 alone, the group toured … Continue reading Reading Rarities: John Lennon In His Own Write

Reading Rarities: The Diary of A Victorian Lady

OK, I'm kind of excited about this Rarity. Well, I get excited about most of the stuff I review, but this book is a little different. The Victorian era and Victorian women in particular are such enigmas. Sure, we have novels and other works from Victorian women, and we have a pretty good idea of … Continue reading Reading Rarities: The Diary of A Victorian Lady

Reading Rarities: The Zombie Survival Guide

Well, here we are, starting off a new year and a new decade by talking about that most menacing of threats, the Zombie Apocalypse. Dun dun dun... I'll be honest, while I'm not much of a horror fan, I'm even less enamored with zombies. They're undead like vampires, although they're not nearly as elegant, and … Continue reading Reading Rarities: The Zombie Survival Guide

Reading Rarities: 1909 Sears Catalogue

Remember Sears' Wish Book? Us kids used to look forward to that thing all year long and when the Christmas season came around we would pore over it meticulously, looking with big eyes at the pages and pages of toys. There might have been some linens, or clothes, or electronics. or other grownup stuff in … Continue reading Reading Rarities: 1909 Sears Catalogue

Reading Rarities: Eating For Victory

OK, if you're thinking we've been here before, you'd sort of be right. It's World War Two-themed and it centers around food and family. Heck, I even did a review of a Marguerite Patten cookbook three years ago that had this exact title, sans the "Reading Rarity" part. Still, there are a few differences here, … Continue reading Reading Rarities: Eating For Victory

Reading Rarities: Retro Breakfast

Breakfast. The most important meal of the day. According to Linda Everett and Richard Perry's cookbook, Retro Breakfast: Memorable Meals Morning, Noon or Night, breakfast isn't what it used to be. Instead of being a wake-up feast of comfort food and love on a plate (or in a bowl), it's now cold, impersonal, and manufactured by … Continue reading Reading Rarities: Retro Breakfast

Reading Rarities: Lunch Box

Carrying one's lunch to school or work is, of course, as old as the proverbial hills, and what we know today as lunch boxes became ubiquitous in the last century. Some of its history has been chronicled by Scott Bruce, author of the 1988 book, Lunch Box: The Fifties and Sixties. I can't remember how I … Continue reading Reading Rarities: Lunch Box

Reading Rarities: Atomic Kitchen

August seems to be "Atomic" Month here on Taking Up Room, only this year we're not talking about the atomic bomb. Oh no. In the nineteen-fifties, the term "atomic" could be applied to anything, from cereal to drinks to cars to TVs. Today, however, we're only interested in that haven of culinary concoction and homely … Continue reading Reading Rarities: Atomic Kitchen

Reading Rarities: Make Do and Mend

During the Second World War, rationing was a thing in most parts of the world, and Britain had some of the most stringent rules of any free nation. Then, as now, they relied heavily on imported goods and raw materials, and when shipping became a problem, conservation was the order of the day. Not only … Continue reading Reading Rarities: Make Do and Mend

Reading Rarities: The Art of Overeating

Plenty of Americans have contentious relationships with food in that we have to be moderate about something we have more than an abundance of. We want to overindulge, but we know we shouldn't, so life can be made up of mental games and conditioning in order to maintain a proper relationship with what we put … Continue reading Reading Rarities: The Art of Overeating