Home Is Where The Wine Is: A Review, Actually! And Even A Giveaway!
Leave a comment to enter to win a copy!
I realize that with a title like, "Home Is Where The Wine Is," you would be all, "Yes, Kristy, we know. With the wine." But no! Well, I mean, yes, but no!
Crazy Aunt Purl went and wrote another book and that's what it's called and that's why this is a review and giveaway and not me talking about a day of the week that ends in -day.
ALSO! Ms. Purl/Laurie/Raurie will be doing a guest-post/interview thingy here on this blog, too, I'm just not 100% sure when because probably it would help if I would send her questions instead of just saying things like, "YOU TYPE GOOD ON MY BLOG!"
(Not that I actually said that to her, but that's basically the message I've sent by my being all stammery and self-conscious about how to go about having one of my favoritest bloggers ever come for a visit.)
So, then. Let's get down to business.
Who Is Crazy Aunt Purl?
I would be very surprised if anyone who reads this blog hasn't also read Laurie's blog, seeing as she's a 30-something living in California, who's found her quirky way post-divorce. She lives with yarn and cats, and she blogs and writes and wines and is very, very funny. (She is also blond and a Cancer and not a size 4 and I'm just saying we may share some common ground.)
It should be noted, though, that unlike yours truly, Laurie is a both a good knitter and still, you know, knits. She uses the f-word far less than I do and has not, to my knowledge, ever posted a picture of her bare behind on her blog. She has described herself as a little self-helpy, but she's the ONLY PERSON whose self-helpery I read regularly and love and appreciate.
Laurie is real, and she is nice, and she is kind, and she is honest. She offers no platitudes or buzzwords or obnoxious quotes, but I have never laughed so hard while reading a blog post -- let alone being taught a lesson in humanity -- as I did when I read this post of hers about her bus catching on fire in the middle of rush-hour traffic IN LOS ANGELES.
Mostly, I just really like her, and have since I wrote about discovering her waaaaaaay back in March of '05. Because until I read her blog, it had never occurred to me that I could just write the way I talk, write the way I write emails to friends, sound conversational and not worry about posts Making A Point. (This was before everyone had a conversational blog, and the only "popular" blogs I knew about were political.)
So, Purl will always have a special place in my heart for being the first person to not only make me feel like it's totally okay to blog the real me, but to show me how it was possible.
What Is This Book She Wrote And Why Should I Read It?
Going from blog to book is a giant feat and one that impresses the bejeezus out of me for what I will say are OBVIOUS REASONS. I can't get out of my own way long enough to even know where to begin with this whole book business (and believe me, I have tried AND will be asking Ms. Crazy Aunt Purl about this very thing).
Yet not only has she done it once (see: Drunk, Divorced and Covered in Cat Hair), but she has done it twice. And well. And with purpose.
But now I am supposed to do an actual "review" of the book, which is funny because how do you review a non-fiction helpy book? The character development was great, but the plot was a little unrealistic. How am I supposed to believe a heroine who lives in LA and doesn't know you always schedule a bikini wax before a sunless tanning appointment?
So instead, I will take a page out of Laurie's book (but not like, her BOOK book, I mean her operation manual of sorts) and give you...
Reasons Why You Should Read "Home Is Where The Wine Is" in bullet form but in no real order!
- If you love her blog already, this is like feeding an addiction: it's more of the stuff you crave. More details, more stories, and more connective tissue. I'll admit to being super-curious about Laurie's dating life, for example, and this fills in some big holes. Big, awful, relatable holes. I also really like the structure it gives all these somewhat-random and somewhat context-free blog entries she's posted over the years. She's put it into context for us, and it's satisfying to read it in a linear, start-to-finish kind of way.
- If you have never read her blog, good lord is this woman ever funny. I almost wish I had never read her before, so that I could enjoy her turns of phrase for the first time. (Although when you read things like, "Wall Of Bangs" -- not to mention references of boyfriends past -- you will rush to her blog to dig up pictures. Or at least, you should.) Her self-helpy message is really secondary to her bouncing from one hilarious and self-deprecating anecdote to the next.
Also: square watermelons.
- The "message" doesn't suck and isn't condescending -- hell, it isn't even trite! I won't tell you the number of ridiculous PR pitches I get to read and review relationship books that promise to explain how I can land a guy. Even if I weren't married, I'd still find this infuriating. Purl's is the only story, book, blog out there that I know of that doesn't just illustrate life-beyond-slash-instead-of-married-with-children, but portrays a (real) single woman in her over-35s who...
...isn't married and doesn't necessarily care to be
...doesn't define her "completeness" by her partner status
...is ambivalent-at-best about having kids and doesn't take some Grand Stance on the issue
...can redefine and reclaim "selfish" in such a way that it makes you want everyone in the world to be just like her
...has an actual sense of humor
...may or may not sleep with her 24-year-old grocer
Among other things.
- Knitting recipes that are cute and not only easy to follow but FUN to follow, INCLUDING a personal massager cozy. And while I realize this isn't super relevant to anything, I just want you all to know that when I first met Ish and we were brainstorming stand-up material all the time, I once came up with a bit about knitting a battery-operated cover of sorts, and he looked at me wide-eyed. NOT because he was dating a wackadoo (although sure, he was), but because he then opened his notebook from a year prior and showed me where he'd written, "crocheted vibrator cozy." And, well, here we are.
Mostly, it's a warm, enjoyable read written by a warm, enjoyable woman about living a warm, enjoyable life. As defined by her (good-) crazy self, set against wacky neighbors and bad dates and the insanity that is LA and a dysfunctional relationship with her gardener and codependentish relationship with her cats and punctuated by yarn, wine, work, and solo travel.
Personally (and I hardly EVER get sentimental, so bear with me), as with the first Purl book, having Home Is Where The Wine Is on my bookshelf is like having a friend around; I'm comforted knowing it's there, because I'm comforted knowing that Laurie's there, out there, out in the world.
How Can I Get (Or Win) A Copy Of The Book?
Of course, you can order your copy from Amazon here, for a very reasonable price of $10.17 (at the time of writing this post).
Or, simply leave a comment and be eligible to win one of the FIVE kick-ass copies Laurie's publisher is giving me to give to you (if you're in the US OR Canada! That almost never happens!). So, that's kind of awesome, too.
Contest ends/comments close on Friday, February 5.
Coming soon: My Interview with Crazy Aunt Purl.
In the meantime, you can peruse the rest of Laurie's online book tour here.