Sunday, September 12, 2010

Recollections: A Baby Boomer's Memories of the Fabulous Fifties

A Baby Boomer's Memories 
of the Fabulous Fifties
Jim Chambers

Author, Jim Chambers, writes:

"I published my book Recollections: A Baby Boomer's Memories of the Fabulous Fifties in July 2009.  To date the book has sold more than 1,300 copies for the Amazon Kindle, plus about 225 paperbacks (published by Lulu).  "Recollections" has received 35 five-star reviews at Amazon, and is listed as the 25th highest ranked indie book by The Kindle Review." 

About the Author: Jim Chambers was born in 1946, nine months and five days after his father returned from serving with the U.S. 8th Air Force in England during World War II. After earning two engineering degrees at Georgia Tech, he spent the next 40 years designing highways in Georgia. Besides writing, Chambers is an avid amateur photographer and scuba diver. His land and underwater photography has been published in such prestigious publications as National Geographic, Popular Photography, and Parade Magazine.

About the Book: As one of the first post-WWII Baby Boomers, the author's childhood and early teenage years were in the 1950s, a remarkable decade for the United States that saw enormous political, technological, and cultural changes. Although many books have covered the headline-making events of the era in great detail, few of these books give the reader a real feel for what daily life was like for Americans living in that decade, especially for kids growing up then. The author remembers the little nuts and bolts things of daily life for families during the fascinating decade known as the Fabulous Fifties. "Recollections" perfectly blends paying homage to the little day-to-day rituals with a larger scale examination of social issues and mores of the times, and it’s equally entertaining on either level. "Recollections" is a warm, lovingly honest, and fascinating portrait of America in the mid-20th Century.

Amazon review by Melanie Frazier: I, too, am a Baby Boomer; though a few years younger than the author of "Recollections." We share many of the same memories, as I was constantly nodding vigorously and crying, "Yes, yes" as I took this poignant and humorous walk down Memory Lane. Mr. Chambers artfully interweaves interesting historical tidbits with his own recollections of The Fabulous Fifties.

So many words and phrases elicited a reflexive warm-and-fuzzy nostalgic grin -- The Weekly Reader; View Master; filling up your S&H Green Stamp book; Peanut Butter Logs. Even wince-inducing memories -- Cod Liver Oil, anyone? - brought a laugh, due to Mr. Chambers' hilarious description of being subjected to that indignity. At least we could get rid of the foul taste by licking the ice cream off the dasher of the old wooden churn!

"Recollections" perfectly blends paying homage to those little day-to-day rituals with a larger-scale examination of social issues and mores of the times. And it's equally entertaining on either level.

The book is neatly divided into 12 independent chapters, noted above, so for the reader short on time, it would be easy just to pick a topic of interest and dive in. I can guarantee you, though -- that chapter is going to make you hungry for more. The engaging, conversational style of this book made it very difficult to put down. And it was almost like a treasure hunt -- as I'd be reading an account of popular candies or toys of the day, I'd think of one myself and eagerly wait to see if it was mentioned. Unfailingly, it was. I thought I had caught an omission once when I found no reference to the intoxicating smell of a fresh mimeograph in the "School" section -- but not to worry, it was there in the subsequent chapter on "Gadgets and Gizmos."

Before I read this book, I may have admitted, if pressed, that I was probably overly romanticizing and glorifying my "good old days" -- but now, I'm not so sure. The innocence and humanity and optimism of this time in history seem hard to dispute after reading this funny but loving tribute to this era.
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1 comment:

  1. I've read Jim's book and it brought back a ton of memories-- most of them good!


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