Review 2069: Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving

TV host and comedian Mo Rocca loves obituaries and little factoids. So does my husband, so I bought him Mobituaries last Christmas. Then, after listening to the podcast, I decided to read it myself.

Unfortunately for me, a good deal of the content of the book was in the podcast and in seemingly greater detail. Still, it’s a fun book to read and full of factoids.

Rocca has written not just about the lives of people, some well-known, like Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor, some whose contributions are less known, like Elizabeth Jennings (the first black woman to refuse to leave a streetcar, 100 years before Rosa Parks) or Ada Lovelace (inventor of the computer algorithm in 1843) but also of objects and concepts that are not longer with us—the belief in dragons, Prussia, the station wagon, alchemy, and other medieval sciences. Obviously, this book, while not at all comprehensive, more notional, is wide-ranging. It is also fairly funny, and its asides, quips, and incidental factoids remind me of some of the works of Bill Bryson, although Bryson is a better prose stylist.

In any case, the book is enjoyable to read and provides plenty of fodder for trivia buffs.

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3 thoughts on “Review 2069: Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving

  1. Rebecca Foster November 22, 2022 / 2:00 pm

    This sounds like something I’d like. I’ve read a book about the art of the obituary, The Dead Beat by Marilyn Johnson, which I really enjoyed.

  2. thecontentreader November 23, 2022 / 8:46 am

    Sounds interesting, I am now following the podcast.

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