Based upon your comments and emails, I know that I am not the only one who enjoys studying the midcentury lifestyle.
And so, I hope you will join me for the Modern Retro Woman Online Book Club. Just like regular book clubs, I will tell you what book we are reading and provide a link to buy it on Amazon. On the last Sunday of the month at 7:00 Central, we will get together via an online video chat service to share our thoughts.
February and March Book Choice:
For February and March, we will read Something from the Oven: Reinventing Dinner in 1950s America by Laura Shapiro*. This book was recommended to me by several readers and I think you will like it, too!
When NPR’s Melissa Block interviewed Laura Shapiro in 2004, she summarized Something from the Oven this way:
Think 1950s food and you might conjure up Jell-O salads with a riot of add-ons or soda pop put to unnatural uses. In her new book, Something from the Oven, author Laura Shapiro deconstructs food from the ’50s — and the industry that foisted it on American households.
She describes how some foods developed for soldiers during World War II were successfully transplanted into the home, while others died unappetizing deaths: Canned peaches survived, but the canned deep-fried hamburger, thankfully, did not.
Shapiro says the ’50s food industry tried to convince American women that they didn’t enjoy cooking or have time to do it — and that they’d be better off turning to a box or can.
Something from the Oven is a non-fiction book so we will use the “3-2-1” technique that school teachers use to guide our discussion. As you read the book, see if you can answer these three questions:
- What are three things that you learned?
- What are two things that surprised you?
- What is one question you still have related to the book?
How to Participate:
- Buy or borrow a copy of Something from the Oven.*
- Sign up for the book club mailing list, using the form below, so that I can send you reminders and logistical information
- Join us for our online Book Club Meeting on Sunday, March 26, at 7:00 Central Time (Handy time zone converter)
Since we are getting a late start in the month, I want everyone to get a chance to get a copy of the book and have time to read it. I’ve decided to give us a bit of extra time by having one book for February and March. I’ll announce April’s book in mid-March.
I’m looking forward to our conversation on March 26th!
*This is an affiliate link. If you click on this link and decide to buy the book, Amazon.com will pay me a small commission. Thank you for supporting ModernRetroWoman.com!
Images used in collage: Something from the Oven* book cover courtesy of Amazon.com; Coles Phillips ‘Detail from Scranton Lace Curtains advertisement’ 1920 courtesy of Plum Leaves on Flickr.com; Jean Patchett, photographed by Irving Penn, June 1950, courtesy of Kristine on Flickr.com