Mumentous Review (Lone Star Book Blog Tours)

Original Photos and Mostly-True Stories about Football,
Glue Guns, Moms, and a Supersized High School Tradition
That Was Born Deep in the Heart of Texas
Amy J. Schultz

Nonfiction / Photo-Driven Memoir / Women’s History / Pop Culture / Texana
Publisher: Atmosphere Press
Page Count: 178 pages
Publication Date: April 25, 2023

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The closest you'll ever get to seeing someone actually wear their heart on their sleeve is in Texas, every fall, at the local high school homecoming game.

They're called homecoming mums. They are as bodacious as football, as irresistible as a juicy rumor, and as deep as a momma's love. Over a hundred years ago when the custom began, mum was short for chrysanthemum, a typical corsage that boys gave to girls before taking them to the big football game. But through the decades, mum went from a simple abbreviation to a complicated shorthand for an eye-popping tradition that's as ingrained in the culture as it is confounding to outsiders.

Through her original photography and collection of stories from across and beyond the Lone Star State, Amy J. Schultz takes us deep in the heart of mum country. You'll meet kids who wear them, parents who buy them, and critics who decry them as just another example of consumerism gone wild. But mostly, you'll discover that just like every ritual which stands the test of time, someone is keeping the tradition alive. Someone like Mom.

My Review: 

Mumentous is a non-fiction study and reflection on homecoming mums - a Texas tradition. I was in high school just over ten years ago. As a band and color guard member for four years, I had a mum every year for homecoming and marched in the parade each year. I've been back for a couple homecomings since and tend to have a mum - or at least a boutonniere. It's a must! Mine were always crafted by my mom, who spent hours customizing them - and who has also done a few for my homeschooled sister, because this is Texas and we can't let her miss out on the tradition. As a result, I have a lot of experience with the material covered in this book and found myself nodding repeatedly in recognition of its discussions. 

This book shares multiple generations' views of mums, the tradition itself, and the larger-than-life phenomenon it has become in Texas. I love mums and found this to be a very informative read, as well as a fun one. Amy Schultz is a photographer who planned an entire museum exhibit around the idea - which is discussed and is fantastic. I love the insight, passion, and time she took with this project. It's a great examination of a business turned craft turned business again in a new era. 

If you aren't from Texas, this book will likely seem like the state is a kind of cult that doesn't know when to quit throwing "bling" everywhere. However, if you're from the Lone Star state, you'll recognize this is just an annual occurrence under the Friday night lights. I love the progression of the book, it's organization, and the various anecdotes presented in it. This is truly a wide lens on mums, what they mean, how they're done, and how they're perceived. I would've loved to see the Mumentous exhibit; it sounds delightful. 

I definitely recommend this book for those who have fond memories of their own mums, as well as readers who love extraordinary museum exhibit topics. It's a fun examination of high school, Texas, the phenomenon that is Texas football and fandom, and craft culture. It's a fascinating read that is very accessible, with lots of beautiful, well-shot photographs. I give Mumentous a Lone Star rating of ✯✯✯ stars. The only downside is that it isn't longer! 

Click to Purchase!

Amy J. Schultz is an author and award-winning photographer who explores unique aspects of modern culture that hide in plain sight. When she isn’t talking about homecoming mums, Amy is writing, taking photos, working on other creative projects, traveling, snort-laughing, or vacuuming up dog fur.

First Prize: signed hardback copy + enamel pin; 
Second Prize: eBook + enamel pin
(US only; ends midnight, CST, 9/8/23)


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  1. I love your review and that you got so much enjoyment out of the book. I know 5 stars from you is a big deal, so I'm even more excited to read the book now. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. I would have loved for you to see the exhibit, too! Thank you so very much for your review and for sharing your own memories of this very particular Texas tradition. The fact that you nodded at any page in the book is high compliment. Fun fact: MUMENTOUS is being made into a traveling history exhibit by the Texas Lakes Trail Region (an initiative of the Texas Historical Commission). I hope it travels to your neck of the woods someday so you can check it out!


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