Monday, November 16, 2015

Book Review: The Tao of Martha: My Year of LIVING; Or, Why I'm Never Getting All That Glitter Off of the Dog by Jen Lancaster

Jen Lancaster is the perfect prescription for the reading funk I was feeling. She always cheers me up even when she's not feeling cheerful herself. As she comes to see during a mammogram, she can't help but be funny even when she doesn't want to be, even when she tries not to be, even when it's not exactly appropriate. And thank God she is.

In this book Jen decides that even though she's got a lot going well for her, she still just can't be consistently happy, and that's kind of strange. She ought to be happy. So she decides to follow everything Martha Stewart does and recommends for a year. It's not just that Martha's treats are yummy and her entertaining and hosting impeccable, but that everything gets done with a Zen-like calm. Jen could use more of that in her life. She doesn't just want everything to be yummy and pretty, but also she wants to be happier and less frazzled. So she starts by cleaning out some drawers and other hidden spots in the house that are just filled with literal random junk. She does throw a couple of Martha-inspired parties, and along the way there are some disasters, but unlike the year prior, she handles them much better, even as her very beloved dog Maisie's health deteriorates. She might not end the year with homemade bread or hand-crocheted duvet covers, but she does end up getting the tao part pretty well. (And she makes some wicked scarves from a loom instead of from knitting which I am very tempted to try.)

I accidentally read the most recent memoir first, earlier this year, and now it makes more sense. As I said with that book, I'm glad that Jen is becoming more happy, less angry, although thankfully no less funny. There is still room for snark. And I will always need Jen's snark. She never lets me down.

I've owned this for a while and I don't remember where I got it. I believe I bought it but I couldn't swear to it.

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