what is a wife worth

Housewife Value

What is a Wife Worth?
Minton
1983

This book represents an important development in the world of divorce law. The author, Michael Minton argued the economic value of homemaking in the late 1970s. Minton, an attorney from Chicago, argued that stay at home wives were entitled to assets from the marriage. He argued that there was economic value in homemaking. Prior to this time, a high earning husband can walk away with all the marital assets leaving a wife with nothing. Minton represented a former wife of a Sears Roebuck executive and obtained a settlement arguing that she contributed economically to their 39 year marriage and deserved appropriate compensation.

Miami Vice Scrapbook

Miami Vice Scrapbook

Miami Vice Scrapbook
Friedman
1986

Submitter: In the 1980s, my mom worked for Tiger Beat and Right On! magazines and parlayed into a gig writing books about music and TV stars for Sharon Starbook, which included this illustrious tome.

Holly: It’s alive and well. (Not “well,” exactly, but it’s still out there!) Worldcat lists 19 holding libraries. 19 of you have some weeding to do. I’d love to see some interior shots of this book, though. If anyone wants to send some, I’ll update the post!

sea veg gelatin cover

Vegetarian Jell-o

The Sea Vegetable Gelatin Cookbook and Field Guide
Madlener
1981

Oh no! Another gelatin book has found it’s way to ALB. Brace yourselves! Instead of Bill Cosby and Jell-o treats, we have sea vegetable gelatin or agar.

I was okay at the strawberry souffle, and maybe the pineapple-coconut punch, but wait! Right next door is beet and red cabbage drink. Beets are not bad, cabbage is not (that) bad. Together in a drink? NO!

The worst picture is the Beef and Carrot souffle, with hard boiled eggs. Somehow seeing this dish is worse than reading the recipe. Given that agar is used as a vegetarian option for gelatin, it seems a bit odd to be specifically using agar for a beef dish.

101 costumes cover

Costumes Gone Wrong

101 Costumes for All Ages, All Occasions
Cummings
1970

This book sure looks old and the illustrations are awful. I just want to cringe at “instant Oriental” as well as some culturally insensitive assumptions. Yikes.  It certainly needs to move on from a public library collection.

This isn’t really for a serious costumer or theater person and it also seems a bit much for the basic Halloween costume or even school play. Is there a real need for an “Instant Napoleon”?

magnificent macrame cover

Not so Magnificent

Magnificent Macrame
Solvit
1979

Another macrame book for your consideration. I dislike this one for being ridiculously oversized and square. (I really dislike oversize books.) If macrame is your thing, than I suppose this isn’t too bad. The crafts seem to be mostly wall hangings. (Ugh!) There is also that earthy 1970s brown, harvest gold, and avocado green theme throughout the book. I think it is time to admit that maybe 1970s decor wasn’t that great. (In case you need more evidence: this book on home decor, or this one, and especially this one by Barbara Taylor Bradford.

365 shortcuts to decorating

365 Shortcuts to Decorating

365 Shortcuts to Decorating
Draper
1968

Looking for some decorating tips? Here is your book! The author sure did love prints. I got a headache just looking through the overwhelming of matching….everything. It is also amusing to take a look at study areas and realize there is no room for any kind of computer, printer, etc. The matching look was quite the trend back in the day. I think most of this resembles homes I remember from when I was a kid. 

I was just reading an article (I can’t remember where/what) but it talked about how the pandemic has changed what people are now wanting in home design. Dedicated office space and larger spaces were at the top of the wish lists for new homes. Can you imagine spending the pandemic working from small desks and then trying to relax in that awful bedroom?

big stick cover

Size matters

How big is a stick?
Podendorf
1971

This is very dated. The illustrations are bizarre and look even older than early 1970s. Andy and Jerry go around comparing sticks to body parts. (Of course I immediately wanted to make a bunch of tasteless jokes, because it is just too easy.)

Andy and Jerry need better hobbies and they need to be a bit more clever with names. 80 percent of this book is focused on the naming and comparing of these sticks. The last bit is when Andy and Jerry’s dad shows up and talks about rulers. The end.

I have questions. I want to know why they have so many sticks. Don’t these people gather them up? Don’t they need kindling? What about all the dogs in the neighborhood?

Parties Mother Never Gave cover

Parties Mother Never Gave

Parties Mother Never Gave
Drill
1991

Submitter: I found this gem while weeding our cookbook collection. The entire book is not only outdated, but every recipe is a pun or a “fun” play on words. The pictures are all washed out yellow tones, making every meal look completely unappetizing. The book focuses more on ridiculous menus with a list of adjective filled names of dishes than actually detailing the recipes well enough to cook! And then there’s the title..it almost seems like the author has a few family issues that are coming out in their writing.

Holly: I love cookbooks, and I can actually read them cover to cover like a novel and be thoroughly engrossed. My deal breaker for cookbooks is lack of (or bad) photos. The cover is colorful and fun, but is that the last photo in the book? I like the idea of menus, planning and timing tips, and shortcuts, but it needs pictures! And, yeah, odd title.