bicentennial almanac front cover

200 years of fun

The Bicentennial Almanac
200 Years of America
Linton, ed.
1975

Another book from Mary’s Swedish Death Cleaning Project.

This title really had me scratching my head. I was a cynical and naive kid back in the 1970s. I was a history fan, so I can only surmise that someone gave this to me as a gift. I doubt it was ever opened. If you were around back then, the whole country had bicentennial fever. Every product out there seemed to make a “Bicentennial” version of whatever was around.

Many events, especially the more shameful, are downplayed or are omitted. Almanacs are not to be considered comprehensive, but this book has very little meat. It would be useless to a student of American history. I think this book was probably cobbled together from other materials and sanitized for our protection.

I doubt this would be purchased for any library even at the time of publication. Mostly because it is really just a calendar with a sentence or two. I would like to think that a library would want a little content for their budget.

teen dating cover

Teen Dating in the 1980s

Teen Dating
Stewart
1984

Aside from the crunchy brown paper, and a girl sporting a Cosby sweater, this isn’t too bad on the teen dating advice front. Yes it is outdated, but the advice is pretty generic. Look for qualities that are about friendship, be respectful, etc. A lot of the book is devoted to understanding social situations. There are tips on throwing a party, entertaining a date, going to prom, and other group activities as well.

However, it is glaringly out of date in terms of technology and social norms. I also think it is important to reiterate how important cover art is to getting someone to actually pick up the book. Fast forward 10 or so years, and the book looks dated. After 30 years, it is a book suitable for this blog.

Geo-whiz! front cover

Geo-Whiz

Geo-Whiz
National Geographic Society
Tejada
1988

Another choice from my Swedish Death Cleaning Project.

I am assuming by the publication date this was a book given to one or both of my kids.  Both of my kids were science nerds, so it does make sense that we might have something like this. We were library users so we really didn’t buy books for the kids that often.

Since my kids are now 28 and 30, I doubt they want to hang on to this. Frankly, we still have so much of their stuff, it will have to be a part 2 (of many parts) of my death cleaning project. Even though it is in good shape, I am going to give it the big heave ho. What I am NOT going to do is donate to my local public library.

Taking Care of your child book cover

Taking Care of Your Child

Taking Care of Your Child
A Parent’s Guide to Medical Care
Pantell, Fries, and Vickery
1992

Yet another entry from my Swedish Death Cleaning project.

Since it has a 1992 publishing date, it has to be when I changed pediatricians and went to a new practice. Old pediatrician yelled at me for not breast feeding enough, even though I told him that I hadn’t had a shower in a month and was walking around topless trying to feed the baby all the time. I wasn’t making enough milk to feed my kid and was tired of crying every time I went to see this guy. I don’t like anyone who is sanctimonious about breastfeeding, but I really didn’t like this guy (yes, a guy) tell me how I just needed to try harder or I would hurt my baby.

When I joined the new practice evidently they gave me this book. (I stayed with that practice until my kids were teens.) No one yelled at me during well baby visits. New pediatrician told me to do bottle feeding and get some sleep. That moment totally changed my life.

As far as the book goes, its okay. I don’t remember using it much. It probably made me feel better to have it around though. Since my kids are grown up, I don’t think I am going to need a baby care book from the early 1990s. Circular file it is!

German in 10 Minutes

Sprechen sie Deutsch?

German in 10 Minutes a Day
Kershul
1992

Another pick from Mary’s Swedish Death Cleaning Project

My husband and I spent a couple of years in the UK. Hubs was frequently doing work in Germany as well. We thought it would be fun to take a German course through our local community education. It was fun and hubs felt comfortable ordering beer with other engineers after a hard day making cars. The book itself was a good choice for a community education class.

If this were for a public library I would have to say no. Since it mostly a workbook, it is probably not the best use of a budget. This would be a good donation for the book sale though.

The thing I can’t understand is why we kept 2 copies?

Mary

online seduction

Cyber Seduction

Online Seductions
Gwinnell
1998

Before all the dating apps, Facebook, and other social media all sorts of interactions were happening in the early media of AOL, Prodigy, and BBS groups. The author professes to neither be “for” or “against” online matches. She has mostly anecdotes of both successful and not so successful matches.

Online dating is pretty mainstream now, so although her advice is not wrong, it is out of date. Time to let this one go and update with something from this century.

Mary's library for weeding

Library Death Cleaning

Since I am working from home right now, I have set up shop in what we call “the library.” Most of the stuff in this room are books, pictures, and some miscellany from family. This room is more for reading and not working. However, I wanted to keep library work separate from my other stuff, so I used this room so I could spread out.

We have a LOT of books in this room. Most of the time, I don’t pay attention since I mostly read library books. I can’t remember the last time I looked at titles in here. Combine this with the fact that I turned 60 last month, and we have known people that have been sick – and in some cases died – from COVID-19, I had a literal Swedish Death Cleaning moment. I am not planning to die soon, but I have decided that it’s time to get rid of our detritus throughout the house, starting with this room.