Book Review: On This Day in History Sh!t Went Down by James Fell (2020)

Synopsis: This non-fiction book discusses 365 separate world events in history that took place on each day of the year, with a bit of profanity thrown in.

Review: I'm always a bit hesitant when someone gives me a book to read as a present. I tend to be a bit picky in that regard and more often than not, find I lose interest in books I didn't pick out myself. I was worried that would be the case when my wife gave me this book for Christmas, but it ended up exceeding my expectations.

The author has an intriguing way of discussing the world events. This includes not holding back when it comes to the profanity as he slips in his opinion (good or bad, usually bad) regarding things that happened and the people who were responsible for those events. I will admit, at first, this was something that made me doubt whether I'd enjoy the book. But as I progressed through it and became desensitized to some of the crudeness, I was able to admit it made reading the book more enjoyable, at least versus some of the poorly written and uninteresting non-fiction books I've read. 

There's also a good mix of historical events, ranging in when they happened and where they happened, rather than a focus on just American history, European history, etc. Each event was summarized in a way that gave a good background without being too long. This allowed me to stay interested and gave me the option to find out more details about any subject I wanted to learn more about. I even admittedly learned a few things I didn't know about history, whether it was about an event that I wasn't aware of or a detail involving an event I thought I knew everything about.

My only real complaint about this book is Fell doesn't cite his sources. As a result of that, while it doesn't detract from the entertainment value, I wouldn't be able to recommend this as a book you would want to reference when writing a history paper. It would, however, be a good book to read if you are trying to come up with a topic for that paper.

Final Opinion: It's an entertaining book that has some good information in it and enjoyable to read, especially if you like history. It was easily one of the better Christmas gifts I received last year.

My Grade: B+


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