Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Book Review: More Bad Days in History

I think it's safe to say I'm not going to make my Goodreads goal this year. I think I'm like 18 books behind schedule and yeah..... I have more on my plate than I can chew. I have a terrible habit of doing this but I'm really trying to get better. All of the task lists in the world isn't helping me right now. I just keep telling myself that once school starts I'll have basically 7 hours alone so surely I can get stuff done, right? RIGHT?! 

More Bad Days in History - Michael Farquhar

In these gleefully gloomy pages, you'll find a politically smeared George Washington, a cranky Colonel Sanders, a homicidal Saint Olga of Kiev, a cuckolded Napoleon, a flame-censored Steinbeck, a treacherous Douglas MacArthur, a weeping Einstein, an exasperated Charles Dickens, a humiliated King Henry II, and a faux-contrite Ted Kennedy. And that's just in July!

From the decadent palaces of ancient Rome to the modern Halls of Congress, this illuminating (sometimes disturbing) narrative features an almost endless array of misbehavior, amusing mishaps, and breathtaking misfortune over the ages and across the historical spectrum. Each less-than-red-letter day of the year is recounted in Farquhar's wry voice and comes with the enduring lesson The Wall Street Journal found in the first volume of this series: "Bad Days in History may offer consolation to the great mass of quotidian belly-achers . . . whose piddling misfortunes and regrets will snap neatly into perspective when set against [this] record of idiocy and disaster."

This surprising and sometimes heartbreaking collection of mayhem and malady will leave you amused, intrigued, and horrified by day after day of hilarious catastrophe.
I know we shouldn't get joy out of other people's bad day but honestly, some days I really need something and this book brought it. I also love good organization, so you give me a book organized by the calendar year and I'm going to sit my butt down and enjoy it. Sure, I'll be bouncing around the book looking at the birth dates of everyone I know, anniversaries, etc. because I'm morbid like that. 

My birthday is March 10, and this book covers a story in which a famous nude was hacked with a meat cleaver. I mean, I could give you more context for that to make more sense but that sentence alone makes you want to read this book, am I right? I also really love the one for my anniversary on June 12, aptly titled, "Unholy Matrimony, Part 3: With This Ring, I Thee Dread", about a prince who very much didn't want to get married but had to, literally never had sex with his wife and only had dinner with her once a year. I mean... good grief. If you're a fan of the daily calendars with fun facts, you'll love this because it's a meatier version of that. Not quite short story level but also longer than quick facts, this is an entertaining read for sure. The entire time I was going through this I kept thinking a high school history teacher would LOVE this and it would be a fun way to start class everyday, with a crazy fact of history. While this is the second installment of Bad Days in History, this was highly entertaining and now I need the first book, and eagerly anticipate the next one! 

My husband and I had a good time going through this and if you're bored at home and are staging a low key date night, order some take out and pass the book back and forth looking for the best one to share, I promise you'll get some laughs. You'll feel guilty for laughing sometimes, but not enough to quit because this book is just too good. 

A huge thank you to TLC Book Tours and National Geographic for having me on this tour! 
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