Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Marilyn Johnson's "Lives in Ruins"

Does that title grab you?  Sounds like a murder mystery or heart throb?  Well, here's the subtitle: "Archaeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble".  Probably not a book you'd readily pick up but I do recommend it.

I have a fascination with archaeology that goes back to grade school.  I even headed off to college thinking I would pursue that course but took another route instead.  My interest didn't wane and I have followed most stories about spectacular finds through the years.  I even subscribe to Archaeology, the magazine and get my bimonthly fix on what's happening in that world.  My husband knows of my interest and wisely selected this book for me for Christmas.  One I had heard of by way of an interview with the author on NPR.

Marilyn Johnson takes you on a dig, behind the scenes, and into all aspects of archaeology.  The nitty gritty so to speak.  It's not as glamorous a life as Indiana Jones would have us all believe.  Many archaeology majors never find jobs in the field because funding is tight and made tighter with government cutbacks in spending.  Others settle for contract work checking new sites for developers before shopping centers or buildings are constructed.  Others go into forensics and analyze crime scenes in the same manner that archaeology procedures require of ancient sites.

Johnson writing style is light and easy to read.  She makes me want to be there too but since I can't her description of her experiences is the next best thing.  I hope you'll look for "Life in Ruins" and tell me how you liked it.



  1. Well, that isn't a book I would have picked off the shelf but.... it looks very interesting. I'll have to check that one out. You say it's a good and easy read and girl, I take your word for it. I tend to drift off when I run into a really boring book....but this one looks exciting. Thanks for your post. I am loving all this book sharing.

  2. Sounds like an interesting way to explore history!

  3. Oh, you are a woman after my own heart! I am SOOO interested in ancient pre-history! Just can't get enough of it! This sounds like a wonderful book, and I will definitely read it some time this year....will let you know my comments!

  4. Latane, thanks for starting this. I look forward to many more reviews both to read and to write. Are we truly limited to one a month?

    1. No, Marcia. I was thinking far in the future, when we had a ton (optimistic me) of people posting that we needed to keep it one a month. But, until we get a ton of people, let's go for it. A month is a long time to wait to post another review. If I see at some time that we can't handle the number of posts then we will worry about that. I am having so much fun doing this. Can't wait for the next review.


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