Salvaging the past is a tough way to live, but archaeologists wouldn't have it any other way.
Are librarians obsolete in the Google era? They couldn't be more important
A former obituary writer celebrates the cult and culture of obituaries
Why were people so shattered when this rogue princess died?
After an early life controlled by her mother and her Hollywood studio, nobody would tell her how to live.
A salute to the great actress from Life Book's Katharine Hepburn: 1907-2003
He was talented and careless and pain followed him wherever he hid.
An avid reader’s wry take on books, past and present


Coming November 11, 2014, from HarperCollins


“The great pleasure with which I read this book took me back to when I was eight years old and wanted to be an archaeologist. Marilyn Johnson does a wonderful job uncovering the delight in this tough, important, and exhilarating profession.”
— Ian Frazier, author of Great Plains, Travels in Siberia, and Humor Me: An Anthology of Funny Contemporary Writing

"World travel, drinking, lust in the dust—our lives are all in ruins, indeed, and Johnson reveals why we wouldn't want it any other way."
-- Sarah Parcak, National Geographic Society Fellow and author of Satellite Remote Sensing for Archaeology

“Many archeologists credit Indiana Jones with sparking their passion. In this lively love letter [to their profession] Johnson may well inspire a new generation to take up the calling.”
--Publishers Weekly Starred Review


What does it take to dedicate yourself to the hidden past, and why does it matter? I’ve been following archaeology professionals around the world for a new book titled Lives in Ruins: Archaeologists and Seductive Lure of Human Rubble, and here are a few things I've noticed:

*Archaeologists have a high tolerance for grossness. They're used to working in graves and garbage pits.
*Beer is the international beverage of archaeology.
*Archaeologists love Indiana Jones. They talk about him as if he's their daredevil older brother.
*The world is mutating faster than archaeologists can keep up.

To read more about Lives in Ruins, follow the link in the top left column.