Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Misadventures of a 1970s Childhood: A Humorous Memoir” as Want to Read:
Misadventures of a 1970s Childhood: A Humorous Memoir
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Misadventures of a 1970s Childhood: A Humorous Memoir

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  282 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
Librarian's Note: this is an alternate cover edition - ASIN: B009KWO32U

“Misadventures of a 1970s Childhood” delivers 18 stories about:

• 6th grade puppy love
• A large wooden stereo console
• The first David Cassidy shag haircut
• A dog that ran away
• The old photo box in our parents' hall closet
• Reassessing my grandmother’s difficult life
• Bike jumps that nearly killed us
Kindle Edition, 3, 100 pages
Published November 6th 2015 by Jocularity Press, Inc. (first published March 6th 2015)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Misadventures of a 1970s Childhood, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Misadventures of a 1970s Childhood

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Nancy Steinle gummel
An Apple Core, a Toilet: Misadventures and Memories of a 1970's Childhood by Tom Purcell is a cute bit of memories from the past. I could identify with a few of the short stories Purcell wrote about. He was eight years younger than me so some things were very poignant and others were past my time. It is true we were out all day, expected to come in for lunch and be home by dinner out afterwards in the summer home when the street lights turned on. I can remember scouting thru the woods even ...more
Jan 28, 2014 Dutch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of stories from the author's childhood in the 60's and 70's: the David Cassidy hair style, the stereo console and losing children in a large family. I especially enjoyed the comparison to raising children nowadays in the wake of 24/7 sensationalist new coverage.

How on earth did I ever survive my childhood?
Dec 18, 2015 Leslie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 50 somethings
Shelves: fun, non-fiction, humor
This is a loving, nostalgic look back at growing up in a Catholic neighborhood in Pittsburgh in the 60's and 70's.

The author has funny, honest stories about his family, friends, and neighbors.

If you remember Sting-Ray bikes, drive in movies and long summer bike rides you will love this book. For younger folks, you can learn about live before video games, stranger danger and bike helmets
Kim Ess
Jan 18, 2016 Kim Ess rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoirs
What a sweet read this was. The author really did a great job of triggering treasured memories of a time when being a kid was special. We really were lucky to have grown up in the 60s and 70s. I loved it.
Dec 08, 2015 Sue rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anyone over the age of 45 will totally love this book! I could relate to everything except the snow stuff as I grew up in California. I laughed so much and this book brought so many childhood memories it wasn't funny! It's a great read!
Nov 14, 2015 ELENA BOHANAN rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This book brought so many memories flooding back! I laughed out loud and smiled sadly: it took me back so vividly I was sorry to see it end.
Troy Pelfrey
Mar 16, 2015 Troy Pelfrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very entertaining stories about a simpler time when kids could be kids (as long as you were home in time for dinner). Anyone who grew up in the 70's will enjoy this book.
Oct 22, 2016 Cathy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Sentimental and nostalgic, if a bit folksy. The memories are spot on though with many of my own recollections of childhood. Best suited for people 45 and older. I don't suspect it will resonate as well if you weren't alive back then.
Rhondda Homfeldt
Oct 28, 2016 Rhondda Homfeldt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brought back great memories.

Enjoyed the stories. I felt like I knew the people in the book since I grew up in a similar neighborhood during the same time.
Whistlers Mom
Sep 24, 2016 Whistlers Mom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Today there's much talk about the effects of Baby Boomers reaching retirement age. The miracle is that any of us survived childhood. There were NO seat belts, NO safety helmets, and NO helicopter parents.

The Greatest Generation produced huge families. Four to six kids was the norm; any fewer and people wondered what was wrong with you. Then they pushed us out the door to entertain ourselves. Either they had so many kids they could afford to lose a few or they were overly optimistic about our com
Nationally syndicated humor columnist Tom Purcell's column runs in more than 200 newspapers across America.

"An Apple Core, a Toilet: Misadventures of a 1970s Childhood includes misadventures and fond memories that are relatable to millions of baby boomers, men and women alike."

"It includes 17 stories about bike jumps that nearly killed us, vengeance on the sledding slopes, 6th grade puppy love, the old wooden stereo console, the embarrassment of getting the first David Cassidy shag haircut, a
Julie O'Leary
Aug 04, 2014 Julie O'Leary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Awesome!! :-) Purcell writes with humor the truth about what's wrong with America nowadays in my opinion -parental fear based on hyped up news media who aren't reporting about how much riskier it is for a child to get in an automobile than go to a park by themselves! I can relate with many of his wonderfully heartwarming anecdotes about life as a child. Love that as a military spouse and now through the culture in Germany my American kids are able to experience the same freedoms he experienced ...more
Bill Steigerwald
Kids today don't know how good they have it compared to survivors of the 1970s. Growing up with disco. Growing up with presidents Nixon, Ford and Carter. Seventies survivors had only three TV channels to watch, thought 8-tracks were cutting edge and were forced to communicate with each other via payphones and pen and paper. It was so tough growing up in the 70s that most adults in their 40s have purged their memories of the pain. Not Tom Purcell. For some reason, he remembers. He's been filling ...more
Cynthia Jones
Nov 13, 2015 Cynthia Jones rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting essays from a slower-paced childhood

The author writes, in short essay form, about his family and experiences in the 70's and 80's. The stories are of a good length to provide background and perspective into the society and mindset of the era.

This is a most appropriate read for anyone born in the 60's or children of those born in that era. As a child of that time myself, I could totally relate to the stories! Roaming the neighborhood, playing outside, family adventures, and school ant
Feb 25, 2013 Peg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have two daughters who were born in the late 1960's so I could relate more to the parenting than to the children's viewpoints in this book. Tom Purcell does a fantastic job telling us what his life was like growing up in the 70's. He described his wonderful memories and gives his parents the credit they deserve in raising him and his sisters.

Mr. Purcell is a great storyteller. He can take any experience that you and I might consider mundane and turn it into an enjoyable and humorous adventure.
Jan 13, 2016 Charlotte rated it liked it
This book was listed as a humorous memoir so I was surprised that there was not as much humor as I expected.
I was also surprised that there were so many errors in this short book; these were errors that a good editor should have found. In one place there was a typo on the author's mother's first name.
The book had quite a bit of repetition. I got the impression that the chapters may have been some of the columns Tom had written over the years. Since his readers could change from one column to
May 25, 2013 Cindy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
I really enjoyed reading this book! It brought back lots of fun memories! Times were so different then and the author took me back to my childhood with this book.

There are 17 short stories and each one is like going back to 1970 again. The author had a David Cassidy haircut and I had the walls of my room covered with posters of David Cassidy. Sledding, bikes with banana seats, stereo consoles... all good stuff!

This was a fun, laugh out loud quick read because you won't want to put it down.

Jul 22, 2014 Laurie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fun
I understand that the author writes a syndicated humor column but I did not find this funny at all. It brought back many memories of my own childhood during the same period as I am only a year older than the author. It worked best when it was reflective and wistful, at least for me, and the essay about Jingles touched me deeply. There are sloppiness issues here though as some material is repeated and it became obvious the chapters are columns cut and pasted together with no editing or cleanup in ...more
Sep 18, 2014 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
I thought a lot of it was funny, because I am a little older than the author and many of things he mentioned rang true. I laughed when he told about how he was sledding and ended up in the pond at the bottom of the hill. Is sledding even allowed any more, without kids being so protected from injuries they can't even move? Loosing kids at the drive in...we left a brother at a rest stop once! Good for baby boomers, and maybe for others to learn what fun was!
Shannon Nass
Aug 10, 2016 Shannon Nass rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Growing up in the 70s myself, I could relate to just about every story Tom told. This book is reminiscent of a time gone by and conjured sweet memories of my own childhood. Tom's writing is humorous and he has a way of weaving the reader into every story he tells. I enjoyed this intimate glimpse into his family and childhood and think readers of all ages will enjoy this look back to a simpler time.
Feb 19, 2015 Sandi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such fun...

The stories brought back a lot of great memories of when I grew up (not much later than the author), so I really enjoyed reading them and remembering a simpler time. The stories were sometimes disorganized, sometimes preachy, and sometimes lost their thread, but overall...good fun.
Jan 24, 2014 Barb rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish there'd been more to this book! I'm a couple of years younger than the author, and so much of what was in here really resonated with me. It was funny and well-written. Unfortunately, there were also some repetitive sections; the same story was told a couple of times over at different points in the book. Maybe this was a collection of articles/newspaper columns--that's what it reads like.
Feb 26, 2013 Trudy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An Apple Core, a Toilet: Misadventures and Memories of a 1970's Childhood is a collection of very humorous stories about growing up in the 1960s and 70s. It was literally laugh-out-loud funny, as well as poignant. Tom Purcell tells it like it was! Kids today are really missing out! At 131 pages, it was altogether too short!
Jen Winckler
Fun stories you can relate to if you were born before the 70s and good perspective if you were born later. A few things repeated as if the short stories are meant to be not be in the same book. Also some typos made it only 3 stars for me.
Kim Dula
Jul 16, 2014 Kim Dula rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I Loved It!

Read it in one sitting! If you are a child from the 70's you will enjoy this book. I smiled and laughed several times. It will definitely bring back memories from a much simpler childhood than what our kids have today.
Jan 16, 2014 Elaine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This wasn't bad. Several parts were repetitive such as the author at 4 years old being given a cardboard 'coin' to go to the nearby Mom and Pop store. The author compares the 60's and 70's to today. It's probably more a look down memory lane for him than a nostalgic look into the past for readers.
Jan 13, 2016 jamusson8675 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read it in one Night!

Charming and brought me back to a few childhood memories. Funny and witty, Tom makes you reflect on the importance of family and what we often take for granted.
Sarita Lynn Waytaszik
Reminder of the good old days...

All though I'm little younger my cousin's were around the same age and we as the youngest always tried to keep up and always shared the same fate.Wish we still had those days now,wow what a difference it would make in our children.Good read!!
Jan 23, 2014 amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good read

Reminded me so much of my childhood. Made me laugh, nearly brought me to tears and praised aloud his suggestion for parents to turn off electronics and actually send their kids outside to play.
Nov 21, 2015 Carey rated it liked it
This one is seriously in need of an editor. Fine reading before bed. Probably not very appealing to those who didn't grow up or have children in the 70s.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Madison Mega-Mara...: An Apple Core, a Toilet 1 5 Feb 26, 2013 06:18PM  
  • Life is a Pirate Ship Run by a Velociraptor
  • AVIATRIX: First Woman Pilot for Hughes Airwest
  • Stories from a Teacher
  • Zombies versus Aliens versus Vampires versus Dinosaurs
  • Rigormortie: Death by Sex Puppet
  • Armed Gunmen, True Facts, and Other Ridiculous Nonsense: A Compiled Compendium of Repetitive Redundancies
  • Bunny on a Bike
  • Secrets of a Working Dog: Unleash Your Potential and Create Success
  • Mom's Crazy: Her Bipolar Memoir
  • Easy Slow Cooker Recipes for Busy Moms
  • Crossroads Road
  • Coffee, Tea, the Gypsy & Me
  • How to Find A Job: When There Are No Jobs A Necessary Job Search and Career Planning Guide for Today's Job Market (Find A Job Series)
  • Silver Lies (Silver Rush, #1)
  • Embrace of the Enemy (Winds of Betrayal #2)
  • The Interventionist
  • Lucky Me: My Life With--and Without--My Mom, Shirley MacLaine
  • Please Tell Me I'm On Mute
Author of a light-hearted book about growing up in the 70s and, coming soon, the Sean McClanahan mystery series.
More about Tom Purcell...

Share This Book

“In the 1950s, the standard bike had been the cruiser design, a gargantuan fender-covered machine built exclusively for adults. There was only one speed (slow) and you stopped the bike by reversing the pedals and pressing down hard. In 1962, however, Schwinn designer Al Fritz had an idea. He’d heard about a new youth trend centered in California: retrofitting bicycles with drag-racing motorcycle accoutrements. “Choppers” — custom motorcycles with long handlebars — were all the rage. Fritz introduced chopper elements into his new design. The Schwinn Stingray was born. It had smaller, 20-inch tires — with flat racing treads — and high handlebars and a banana seat. Sales were initially disappointing — parents didn’t want their children riding such an odd looking bike — but as the Stingray began making its way into America’s neighborhoods, every kid had to have one. And every bike manufacturer began manufacturing bikes just like it — a style we referred to as the “spider” bike.” 1 likes
“Here’s a dirty little secret from the ‘70s: lots of big families lost a kid now and again.” 0 likes
More quotes…