Catch Me Writing Nerdy: Four Books for the Fourth


You get a couple of glasses of wine in me and the conversation usually devolves into boobs, babies, and which former classmate I hid from at Target last week. That is closely followed by a healthy dose of shoving my fingers in my ears and singing “lalalala” so you don’t spoil my latest Netflix binge. I know what you’re thinking, and yes, the awesome is blinding.

It is hard to imagine, but I recently discovered that there are better things to talk about when you’ve been doing alcohol. Apparently there are people who get sauced then hang out and talk about history. I saw this on a television show, and if it is on TV or the internet it is true.

Now that Drunk History has made my weekends taste a little less like a good Pinot and glitter, and a little more like Boone’s Farm and sadness, I have want to get everyone drunk and make them tell me stories. Tomorrow is the Fourth of July, dammit. I wanna get drunk and talk about Elvis meeting Nixon or the invention of Coca Cola!

I’m going to wave my nerd banner a little higher and assign some of the my favorite recent history reads to you all. There will be a test because from here we have no where to go but a dive bar where you will tell me a story, right?

  1. 1493 by Christopher Mann – I have to admit, I picked this up because… food. It turned out to be pretty interesting and definitely featured baked goods prominently. Mann explores post-Columbus America in his book, so read it and let’s discuss.
  2. The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell – She is flipping hilarious, and as such I am going on record that you must read everything she’s written and we’re probably BFF’s in a former life. She combines personal essay, history and a subdued humor that is unique and pulls you in to history and pop culture topics in a way you’ve never been before. (Unless, of course, you’ve read Assassination Vacation, The Wordy Shipmates etc.)
  3. Lies My Teacher Told Me by James Lowen – I picked this one up when I was at Mount Rushmore. It seemed such mid-thirties flavored subversive act to pick it up at a National Monument, and I felt awfully punk-rock reading it. Interesting read and it made me want to get my hands dirty with source material.
  4. A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn. – This might not be fair to recommend because I haven’t finished it yet, so if you have don’t tell me how it ends.

Who’s ready for a round of shots?

Mrs SmartyPants