Monday, May 18, 2015

Book Review: "Ask the Past" by Elizabeth P. Archibald

I was barely 10 pages into "Ask the Past" and I knew it was going to be a read I'd find hilarious (and maybe occasionally useful?)

The book shares practical advice from centuries gone by on a whole range of topics. It's kind of comforting that people have been basically struggling with the same problems for a long time: "I don't want to embarrass myself in front of others" or "I want this girl to like me" or "I've been shot, what remedy should I try?" Oh humanity, we haven't come as far as we'd like to think!

Books like 1777's work "The Complete Vermin-Killer" offer advice on bed bugs (KILL IT WITH FIRE!). Or a tip about why you should always carry some hog lard when you go off to war, from a book from 1441. There is advice about how to get out of awkward conversations, how to look great on a limited budget (accessories, duh),  and what musical instrument just wants to cuddle.

The accompanying witty remarks from the author make the great (though sometimes a little nausea inducing) advice even better. There are also some medieval illustrations that border on disturbing every once in awhile!

I'm so glad I live in a time where we have things like penicillin,soap,clean hospitals and countless other things. Though, if Star Trek is right, in a couple of millenia people will look back to this time and be like "Oh! Barbarians! How did they manage to not all die of ridiculous diseases and their constant warfare!?".

There's also great advice like: "if you have to fart, try to cover it with a fake cough". Like I said, we've come so far...

A perfect book for a history lover, art lover, or someone who just wants to feel good about themselves because they know that when they blow their nose they shouldn't wipe the residue on someone else's drinking glass. #lifehack . 3.5 hilarious stars!



  1. What a fun idea for a book! It's a great way of looking at our history in a personal way. I would love to give this a read sometime - it's probably scarily enlightening!

    1. It's a rare book that is educational AND hilarious but this one manages to do it!


Thank you so much for your comment. I'd love to talk books with you!