Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Book Review - The Tao of Martha, Jen Lancaster

The Tao of Martha: My Year of LIVING; Or, Why I’m Never Getting All That Glitter off of the Dog


Jen Lancaster

Category: Nonfiction: Memoir: Project; Home; Humor

Synopsis: Lancaster decides to apply knowledge gained from Martha Stewart to her home and garden.

Date finished: 16 August 2013

Rating: ****½

I’ve never read anything by Jen Lancaster, but I’ve long known about her and that she had a sizable following. I decided to see what all the fuss was about, and her newest book seemed as good a place as any to start.

For most of the book, I suffered low-grade annoyance. So many jokey jokes. So many pop culture references. So many swears. I figured I’d rate this as another average book. But somewhere after the 200-page point, she broke down my defenses, and I really started to enjoy the jokey jokes, the pop culture references, even the swearing. I confessed to my husband that I found it sort of hilarious when someone refers to her pet as an a--hole. Amiright?

This was a project book—which I love, but it was loosely so. She basically tries to up her domestic game and looks to The Great One, Martha Stewart, for guidance. And of course, she has lots of missteps along the way.

I felt like I really started to like and understand Lancaster by the end. She doesn’t make excuses for who she is or why she does what she does. She seems like a pretty secure woman. I was afraid this would be a book about a woman who’s clueless in the domestic realm, but I was pleasantly surprised that she and I had a similar skill set when it comes to home comforts.

As much as I ended up liking the book, I think it could have been strengthened with a good bit of tightening. It dragged in spots. And a steadier clip would have highlighted the humor, I think.

My favorite passage:
I dress like a page from an L.L.Bean catalog, circa 1983. The sexiest shoe I own is a tasseled loafer. I’m aware that I do not inspire anyone to say, “I’d like a piece of that,” when I pass, unless they’re referring to the cake I’m carrying. (page 239)

I’ll definitely look up her other books. Anyone have any suggestions as to where to start?

Would you recommend this to a friend?
Yeah, why not.

 You might also enjoy:
Happier at Home, Gretchen Rubin

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