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Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  1,435 ratings  ·  353 reviews
From beloved CBS Sunday Morning correspondent and humorist Mo Rocca, an entertaining and rigorously researched book that celebrates the dead people who have long fascinated him.

Mo Rocca has always loved obituaries—reading about the remarkable lives of global leaders, Hollywood heavyweights, and innovators who changed the world. But not every notable life has gotten the
Published November 5th 2019 by Simon & Schuster
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Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a great book for fans of the Mobituaries podcast. Mo Rocca presents more fascinating anecdotes of the deceased who led interesting lives that mattered. The conversational style of writing is light , witty and informative. These short biographies are delivered as only Mo Rocca can, chock full of complexity and nuance, simplicity and brilliance.
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
I've been a fan of Mo Rocca's since his days on The Daily Show. If you haven't listened to the podcast this book is based on, you should. The book covers most of the topics from the podcast in addition to several new ones. The basis of the book and podcast is to bring unheralded and forgotten people, fads, and events from history that have been forgotten over the years to light. Mo has a wry wit that comes through even more so in the audiobook.
Karen Rush
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am so pleased that a few of my favorite podcasters are writing books. Last week I read Mike “Dirty Jobs” Rowe’s “The Way I Heard It” and this week, Mo Rocca’s “Mobituaries- Great Lives Worth Reliving”. Thoughtful, witty, and heartfelt storytelling about fascinating subjects. He is a true professional, down to earth and has done his homework in research and interviewing. The more I learn about Mo and his extensive resume, the more I’m a fan. Thanks to Simon & Schuster for the ARC in ...more
Kasa Cotugno
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The best adjective to describe Mo Rocca is "curious." From a very early age, his seemingly insatiable curiosity has led him to seek out facts, particularly in areas in which he is passionate about -- subjects as diverse as they are intriguing. This may have started earlier, but his love of the 1974 World Book Encyclopedia and continued fascination with its depth of interest led to his having it today line the walls of his bedroom.

Mobituaries the podcast led to this eponymous book in which Rocca
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, humor
I really enjoyed reading strange bits of history which are unknown to me. This book is based on podcasts which I am unfamiliar with but I believe most people will enjoy it!
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this guy, so obviously I have enjoyed his contributions to CBS over time. This book is witty, profound and educational in turns.
I wish I could include some of the brilliant quotes from this book, but I have been privileged to get a copy from Net Galley prior to publication date. I don't think it's allowed.
The research by Rocca was extensive and the title tells it all as it is packed with information about the lives of very interesting people throughout the ages.
Don't miss this book if
Gail C.
Nov 05, 2019 rated it liked it
This is probably best as a book you put out for the “occasional” read, so that the reader can peruse it for the people or things they find the most interesting. Each short chapter reads more like the research information and/or script that would accompany the podcast of Mobituaries, and as such is best read in short spurts. I believe the book would also be preferable as an audiobook one might choose to listen to as they do their daily exercises for example.
As someone who has enjoyed various
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought it would be fitting to have my final book of 2019 be one about odd and witty obituaries. The end of the year is filled with lists including those who have died that year. We'll remember those people but what about the people we have forgotten or obscure details about a person which we never knew about. That's Mobituaries. I’ve enjoyed Mo Rocca’s humor for many years and find his appearances on CBS Sunday Morning very amusing and insightful. His Mobituaries segment is always a treat ...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Nov 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Mo Rocca writes obituaries for people who have been ignored or missed as well as for things and places and events that have come and gone but need to be recognized. These mobituaries are quirky, of course, and fun, and oddly informative. A great way to spend a few days with a book.
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-reads-2020
This was an excellent and informative read mixed with Mo Rocca's humor. Like other readers mentioned, I could hear his voice while reading. I always enjoyed Mo Rocca's pieces on CBS Sunday Morning Show and after reading this book, my admiration for him has even grown more than it was before.

From the book one can tell that Mo has always been a curious person and add that to intelligent mixed with humor, it makes for a good read. My favorite parts of the book were the story of Chang and Eng the
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I listened to the audio book, which I believe enhanced the experience. I always enjoy hearing Mo Rocca on CBS Sunday Morning and these mobituaries were entertaining, interesting and sometimes poignant. Although Rocca presents a myriad of interesting characters, I especially enjoyed his sections on Audrey Hepburn, Sammy Davis and his tribute to his father. I'm very glad a friend recommended this book.
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Interesting pieces of history, some of them fairly obscure. The described demises are not limited to humans. I listened to the audiobook, read by the author. If I had been reading it, it would have been something to pick up and read small sections over a longer period of time. Looking forward to hearing more of these stories on Mo’s podcast of the same name.
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Mo Rocca is such a clean, clear, and clever writer, and his fun take on the obit made it such a joy to read about history. And dang if he didn’t wrap it all up with a tear-jerker to pull it all together. What a wonderful gift from my husband!
Mo Rocca has provided entertaining obituaries for interesting people who were otherwise left without much said about them!

While the pace, at times, felt slow and plodding, the information was so rich and descriptive. I would definitely say this book is better served as a chapter a day type of read. A coffee table book, maybe. Trying to sit and read through more than one chapter at a time just felt like cramming for a history test. Taking the time to read a chapter here and there with breaks in
Dec 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've liked Mo Rocca since I watched him on the Daily Show. I enjoy his humor as I listen to him regularly on Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me. Listening to this book, however, I realize that we also share a love of trivia (and I might add, similar types of trivia) and this leads to a similar sense of humor.

I think Mo Rocca would be a great teacher, which I think is one of the greatest compliments I can offer to someone. I haven't been a pod-cast listener, but I've downloaded the app so I can start
People, places, things, tv shows, and more! Anyone who has any kind of interest in any kind of history will geek this book as much as I do. I never had a lot of interest in TV (working off shifts is part of it) so I've never seen the author's contributions there, but I have now subscribed to the Mobituaries podcasts. I'm tempted to list the chapter headings, but that would get crazy. So, I'll just leave you with the idea that this is a great read and also a great gift.
I requested and received a
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, nonfiction, 2020
Interesting and fun.

Megan Hawley Steinfeld
Mo Rocca pronounces both of the Rs in February (like a psychopath), but everything else was delightful.
I’m always up for a little offbeat history, and Mo hit the spot for me. There were more than a few “Huh, I never knew that” moments in the book that, since I literally said “huh” and read the relevant tidbit aloud, meant everyone else in the room learned something new as well.
Lynn Coulter
Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you've ever happened across an obituary that was out of the ordinary, you'll enjoy Mo Rocca's new book, Mobituaries. Rocca, a commentator on CBS Sunday morning, has compiled a collection of humorous, witty, warm and ironic obituaries that give readers insights into some of our late celebrities, political leaders and more. An enjoyable and recommended read.
Biblio Files (takingadayoff)
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Mobituaries are a blend of obituaries, history, trivia, and comedy. The podcast, soon to start its second season, features Mo Rocca spending an entertaining half hour on a deceased celebrity (Audrey Hepburn), or historical figure (Herbert Hoover), or even a deceased trend, such as the station wagon. The book expands on the material in the podcasts and for those of us who are bibliography addicts, provides a massive list of sources Mo and company used to research the book & podcast. I enjoyed ...more
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If Trivial Pursuit, a game invented for people who never got picked in gym, ever comes back in style, I want Mo Rocca on my team. He knows more trivia, is able to rattle off more facts, and has never met ephemora that he didn't love.

I became addicted to his podcasts, Mobituaries, last year. Each episode was a gem of lost history drawn out to a full show, filled with fun facts and lesser known minutiae about things that have gone before. Two of the most popular were the history of Chang and Eng
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
Thank goodness this is not the kind of book one needs to read cover to cover. It is the size of a coffee table book, it is very heavy and hard to handle.
It is not exclusively about people. There are sections dealing with places, science, sports teams and many other subjects. You may choose the sections that interest you and forego the ones that don’t.
There are titbits of interesting trivia that may be of interest for the moment and forgotten the next day.
It was disappointing not to have any
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So very happy to have had the opportunity to read Mobituaries by Mo Rocca. What a fantastically written book and what a facinating topic. I too enjoy a good obituary so I knew I would enjoy this book, especially when I saw who the author was. I haven't ever listened to a podcast, I'm not quite sure how they differ from a radio program but if I were to listen to one, Mo Rocca would top my list. When I have had the pleasure to see him on tv I found him very interesting. I feel the same way with ...more
Tony Heyl
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes I regret taking a book from the library, not because I dislike it, but because I wish I could keep it for future reference and to share with friends. That is the case with Mobituaries by Mo Rocca, which is just delightful.

The premise of this book, and of Mo's podcast of the same name, is that Rocca likes obituaries and wants to give attention to people, things, and ideas whose "deaths" did not get the attention that the deserved. From Farah Fawcett dying on the same day as Michael
Oct 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mo Rocca is brilliant, funny, and honest. He knows things that most people never dream of knowing. And he does his homework. While reading this book, one learns captivating facts about presidents, movie stars, and others who were once well-known but are now dim lights. Mo makes sure the famous and the lesser so are celebrated one last time with respect and tasteful humor.

Mobituaries is also an autobiography, Readers learn as much about Mo as about Sammy Davis Jr. and Elizabeth Taylor. He inserts
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalleyarc, 2019
I have long been a fan of Mo Rocca, primarily through his humor and intelligence as displayed on NPR's Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me radio program, but I was previously unaware that he had a podcast and show highlighting "Mobituaries" for individuals or entities that deserve acknowledgement for their achievements that have been forgotten or unknown.

The topics addressed in his book Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving might delve into what the forgotten country of Prussia was, facts about what led
I knew I would like this book as soon as I read, “Mo Rocca has always loved obituaries.”

That is an understatement. He brings these people, places, and things to life with his words and gives them what seems to be a special honor posthumously that may or may not have existed during their lifespan. My own memories of getting up every Sunday morning to watch CBS Sunday Morning and hearing new and interesting stories, many brought to the screen by Mr. Rocca, prompted my request for this book.

Katharine Ott
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography-memoir
"Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving" - written by Mo Rocca and Jonathan Greenberg and published in 2019 by Simon & Schuster. I appreciate the premise of this book, to highlight unique aspects of the lives of some people who otherwise did not gain great notoriety. Mo Rocca is one of my favorite panelists on the NPR podcast "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me!" - always ready with a witty comment. The vignettes were heavy on people from the political and entertainment industries, but always ...more
A book like this has my name written all over it. This-always-wanted-to-be-on-Jeopardy-trivia-minded person loves Mo Rocca, his podcast and this book. Whether he's talking about someone I'm aware of like Victoria Woodhull, the Ohioan, first woman to run for president (before women even had the right to vote) or another I did not know about, Moses Fleetwood Walker, who was actually the first to integrate Major League Baseball on my hometown Toledo Mudhens in 1884, I'll eat it right up. The book ...more
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Maurice Alberto "Mo" Rocca is an American humorist, journalist, and actor.

He is a correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning, the host and creator of My Grandmother's Ravioli on the Cooking Channel, and also the host of The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation on CBS. He is the moderator of the National Geographic Society's National Geographic Bee, and host of the CBS News podcast Mobituaries with Mo Rocca.