Tuesday, September 28, 2010

How to Mellify a Corpse by Vicki Leon

How to Mellify a Corpse and Other Human Stories of Ancient Science & Superstition by Vicki Leon

If you or someone you know is a history buff then look no further because I have the perfect book recommendation for you, How to Mellify a Corpse and Other Human Stories of Ancient Science & Superstition by Vicki Leon. Sounds incredibly intriguing; does it not?! And so it is-- if you love to read about where we've been and what we've come from. But, of course, Vicki doesn't just write down the boring and mundane historical facts and move on, certainly not. More to the point, she adds a certain entertaining flair to each ancient tale.

Take for example the story where Vicki delves in to dreams and dream reading [No Matter How Weird, Just Do It (section II)]. Apparently, according to the information here, dream reading dates back to the Greeks. "Greeks were always trying to scope out what the gods meant, what this or that goddess liked or disliked. They also sought divine help with more quotidian matters: the outcome of a pending lawsuit, that chronic rash on Grandpa's buttocks, why a decent husband couldn't be found for an oldest daughter. In search of these truths, they frequently dipped into the rich cornucopia of divination methods available to them, such as oneiromancy or dream reading." Where else are you going to read about how the Greek's inquisitive nature in regards to their dreams ties in with grandpa's red and itchy hindquarters?! My guess is, there probably isn't anyplace else.

But don't worry, it's not all fun and games. There's actually a very hefty helping of scientific meandering through history that seems, to this novice's perspective, to be very thorough and, likely, very accurate on the facts. I must admit that, while I enjoyed drawing some lines through the ancestorial planes to the here and now, I actually think this book is better suited to my husband, a lover of history, than it was to me. In fact, I'm actually quite excited to share How to Mellify... with him as I have the sneaking suspicion he'll get a whole different level of appreciation from it than I did. I certainly enjoyed many of the stories, but for this self proclaimed hater of history (Let me clarify, I do not hate history. I do hate reading about it. Too many facts and I start to glaze over. It's an unfortunate reality I've had to deal with my whole life. Me and history, we just don't go as well together as peanut butter goes with jelly.) I'd be lying if I didn't say that a lot of it went over my head. It's history, so it's loaded to the brim with facts on who did what and when. I get it, that's the point of the book. For me though it was just a little more textbook like than I would pick for myself ordinarily.

However, the amount of time and research that Vicki must have put in to writing this book is simply stunning. Again, I'm no history geek, but I'd have to say it looks pretty thorough to me. From the afterlife to pollution to computers to honey and more, you'd never guess how truly mystifying the world's history is. How do you mellify a corpse anyways; do you know? While I won't be winning any science fairs or writing any history papers anytime in the near future, I can now say in all honesty that I know the answer!

Pick up YOUR copy of How to Mellify a Corpse by Vicki Leon today to learn the answer to this and take on many more intriguing quests for knowledge.

~Bookish Mom Reviews (aka RebekahC)

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