Friday, February 29, 2008

Book-a-month Challenge, February 2008

Why yes, I am doing this at almost the absolute last minute. In fact, I finished my book yesterday morning on the bus going to work. If it wasn't a leap year, I'd have been in trouble.

Title: Finding Betty Crocker: The Secret Life of America's First Lady of Food
Author: Susan Marks
Genre: Non-fiction, biography (well, of a fictitious person)
Age Level: Adult

This is the story of Betty Crocker, how the persona and image changed over time. For an 80 year old, she doesn't look so bad, does she? That 1986 version is kind of scary to me (image from here).

This was an interesting read - of particular interest to me were the depression and war years, and the way the company took the Betty Crocker persona and used it to help those at home when there wasn't much and during the war years when some items were rationed and others were in short supply. It's the story of a corporate icon that, in keeping with this month's theme, became part of the heart of the nation's kitchen. She helped home cooks adjust as kitchens became modern and in 1945 (at a youthful 24 years "old") was the 2nd most popular American woman.

It was a good read - I promise it didn't take the whole month to read it, but it's been a busy month out here in Arizona!

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