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The Totally Sweet 90s: From Clear Cola to Furby, and Grunge to "Whatever", the Toys, Tastes, and Trends That Defined a Decade Paperback – June 4, 2013
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Praise for Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops
"A great nostalgia-inducing gift for fellow members of Generation X."
—Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch
"With entries like 'John Hughes Movies,' 'Judy Blume Books,' 'Love’s Baby Soft' and 'Pen Pals,' it’s hard not to go into a state of nostalgic euphoria while reading Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops?"
—The Weekender, Wilkes-Barre, PA
"Gael Fashingbauer Cooper and Brian Bellmont are two people who obviously lived through and loved the '70s and '80s. They're funny and sharp, and their passion for pop jumps off the page."
—Whitney Matheson, USA Today Pop Candy
"A pop culture flashback"
—Jen Chaney, The Washington Post
"I was reading this book the other night and just howling at some of these entries."
—Rachel Martin, "All Things Considered," National Public Radio
"...filled with nostalgia memory bombs that will apparently make you want to 'throw your ponytail into a scrunchie and take a swig from your can of Surge.'"
—The Huffington Post
"The language is snappy, the pace brisk, and the research impressive. Cooper and Bellmont know how to dig..."
[If] “and you just want to crawl under the covers and relive your youth with something sweet, check out Gael Fashingbauer Cooper and Brian Bellmont’s new book The Totally Sweet 90s.”
—Jen X ‘67
“It’s full of fun trivia and facts about all the games, toys, and pop culture that made the 1990s awesome.”
—How About We
About the Author
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper is a journalist who writes the nationally recognized pop culture blog Pop Culture Junk Mail. Brian Bellmont is a former television reporter and producer who now runs a public relations agency
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THE TOTALLY SWEET 90s is an A-to-Z encyclopedia that covers a myriad of iconic toys, foods, clothes and entertainment that defined a decade probably more memorable for its projected doomsday ending (Y2K) than the preceding 10 years. Each entry consists of a brief description in which the authors inject their own sarcastic take on the subject matter, followed by a current-day status update and an informative fun fact. The authors have provided a nicely organized 1990s time-capsule with plenty of research and several photos to jog your memories. I must credit the effort in developing such a comprehensive list that includes many forgotten/obscure items (Surge Soda and Gak) on top of the obvious (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). As expected, there will be those disappointed in the exclusion of some 90s-related item that only a handful of people care to remember, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a more comprehensive list (for crying out loud, even the “It’s Pat” movie is mentioned in the book). I do wish each and every entry included a photo.
Even though I enjoyed the light-hearted trip down memory lane, the ongoing list of mindless techno-junk (Tamagotchi and Furby), completely unnecessary food experiments (Doritos 3-D), music (“Macerena”) and fads (Beanie Babies) started to annoy as well as rationalize my disdain for the 90s. I was reminded me how mindless things started to get; when things began to matter more than people. A decade defined by “Riverdance”, Jim Carrey, the Spice Girls and Zubaz is something I’d rather forget. Sure, the decade wasn’t all bad, after all it did deliver “Seinfeld” and Snapple, but those gems are buried in a mountain of sludge that includes “MMMBop”, the Ebola Virus, OJ and the “boxers or briefs” debate.
While the 90s weren’t memorable for me, I find THE TOTALLY SWEET 90s to be a nice resource documenting that moment in time … for better or for worse.