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Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek
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December 2018: Geek Reads > Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek by Maya Van Wagenen - 5 stars

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Ellen | 2133 comments As she was about to enter 8th grade, Maya decided she was tired of being at the bottom of the popularity ladder and was determined to change her status. A copy of a popularity self-help book written in the 1950's by Betty Cornell, a former model, sparked Maya's interest. Could advice from 60 years ago still be relevant today? Maya took each of the chapters in Betty's book and decided to concentrate on a different one each month of the school year. These included shin care, makeup, posture, clothing, hair care, dating and being a hostess. The results were at times hilarious and sometimes eye-rollingly geeky. Did you know you can still buy girdles? That pearls make the outfit? Wearing a hat and gloves to church is the correct thing to do? Maya did all of this and so much more. Most importantly, she found that stepping out of her shy shell and showing sincere interest in others made her much happier, more approachable and therefore more noticeable to her classmates. Soon everyone knew who Maya was. Yes, she was certainly more popular but the changes in herself were the surprising result of her experiment.

This is such a delightful nonfiction book. It is written by a teen for teens but I absolutely loved it. What a brave spirit this young lady has and what a fun book she has written. Highly recommended!


message 2: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 7448 comments This sounds like such a fun read....Indeed pearls make the outfit, and for goodness sake a lady never walks out the door without putting on lipstick(even if it's to just take out the trash!) One of my mother's "rules" just for the fun of it!


message 3: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 5742 comments This sounds like fun. For having suggested the tag Geek-reads, I am having an extremely difficult time deciding what to read.

Poetic justice.


message 4: by Jgrace (new)

Jgrace | 2809 comments Booknblues wrote: "This sounds like fun. For having suggested the tag Geek-reads, I am having an extremely difficult time deciding what to read.

Poetic justice."


:) Serves you right.


message 5: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 5742 comments Jgrace wrote: "Booknblues wrote: "This sounds like fun. For having suggested the tag Geek-reads, I am having an extremely difficult time deciding what to read.

Poetic justice."

:) Serves you right."


;p It does indeed. I thought it would be fun, light and interesting, and I'm finding it to be so. I have some books that are on the list, but I'm not overly excited to read them.

I'm in such a quandary.


message 6: by Joni (new)

Joni | 612 comments Wonderful review, Ellen!!!


message 7: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 7448 comments Booknblues wrote: "This sounds like fun. For having suggested the tag Geek-reads, I am having an extremely difficult time deciding what to read.

Poetic justice."

😂😂


message 8: by Amy N. (new)

Amy N. | 256 comments This sounds amazing. I thought for sure it was fiction until I got to the end of your review. Did she really do all that? I am impressed.


Ellen | 2133 comments Amy N. wrote: "This sounds amazing. I thought for sure it was fiction until I got to the end of your review. Did she really do all that? I am impressed."
I should have mentioned at the start that it was non-fiction and yes, she really did all that! She also began a correspondence with Betty Cornell who was 84 at the time of Maya's book. Such fun!


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Wonderful review! This sounds like a great book. I love that she took advice from 60 years ago.


message 11: by KateNZ (new)

KateNZ | 2321 comments That’s so lovely. What a great find!


message 12: by NancyJ (last edited Dec 10, 2018 12:25AM) (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 5217 comments That sounds hilarious. I think Ellen will want her for her show.

It reminds me of a book I read when I was twelve. How to Get a Teen-Age Boy and What to Do with Him When You Get Him. It's amazing that the title popped into my mind after all these years. It was really about popularity with girls, not boys. The idea is that to get the right boy, you need to be in the right group of girls. It worked. I went from being a nice little book worm, to a member of a group of girls that got a lot of attention, and got into some trouble.


message 13: by Nikki (new)

Nikki | 661 comments Great review, thank you! I'll tuck this away in my memory for when my daughter gets a bit older - I can imagine it being a fun one for us to read together & compare notes on, hopefully opening up a few useful conversation topics. (Can you tell that I don't have teenagers yet and am hopelessly naive about what it's going to be like?)


message 14: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 7448 comments Nikki wrote: "Great review, thank you! I'll tuck this away in my memory for when my daughter gets a bit older - I can imagine it being a fun one for us to read together & compare notes on, hopefully opening up a..."

Hold on for a fun, crazy ride-that's all the advice I have🤣


message 15: by AsimovsZeroth (new)

AsimovsZeroth (asimovszerothlaw) | 436 comments What a delightful find! Thanks for the review Ellen.


message 16: by Nikki (new)

Nikki | 661 comments Thanks Joanne, I'll try to see it as an adventure when I get there!


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