I discovered blogs a few years ago when I started knitting, and one of the first blogs I began reading regularly was Crazy Aunt Purl. Crazy Aunt Purl wasn’t what I was expecting. My search for project ideas and knitting tips brought me to the blog of a young woman struggling through a divorce with the help of her friends, her cats, some wine, and some yarn. Laurie Perry (a.k.a. Crazy Aunt Purl) writes from the heart and says what’s on her mind…and boy is it funny! Perry is a good example of someone making lemonade out of lemons or picking up the pieces and creating something even better than the original.
After learning that Perry had become a published author, I couldn’t wait to read her first book, Crazy Aunt Purl’s Drunk, Divorced & Covered in Cat Hair. Despite swearing off alcohol (for the most part) after my crazy-but-fairly-innocent college years, being (mostly) happily married, and lacking pets aside from goldfish (which require some work but are nowhere near as high maintenance as cats), I couldn’t put the book down. Perry laid it all out on the line — the pain of divorce and the struggle to rebuild her life — and I really felt for her. The beauty of it all is her sense of humor, so when I heard she’d written a second book, I jumped at the chance to read it.
In Crazy Aunt Purl’s Home Is Where the Wine Is: Making the Most of What You’ve Got One Stitch (and Cocktail!) at a Time, Perry is ready to make some life changes, and she begins by setting some resolutions. But rather than set herself up for failure (who really keeps those New Year’s resolutions?), she creates a really broad list. “Explore New Paths to Enlightenment.” “Take an Adventurous Trip.” “Go on a Real, Live Date.” “Grow a Garden.” “Do some form of exercise other than knitting.” As I’m reading her list, I’m nodding, thinking to myself that these are some resolutions that would be good for me, too, and knowing that some hilarious stories are on the way.
Home Is Where the Wine Is is my kind of non-fiction. It’s not a traditional self-help book or memoir. It’s a humorous tale of a woman seeking happiness and contentment and finding it here and there while traveling, gardening, crafting, etc. Perry’s writing is thoroughly entertaining, and even if your circumstances are different from hers, I guarantee there’s at least one story in the book that you can relate to. I chuckled when Perry struggles with meditation, encountering the same problems I did on the few occasions I thought I needed a clear head.
I went back to the bedroom, my most serene room, and sat on my bed, the softest, most comfortable item in my entire house. I sat comfortably, abandoning the faux lotus. I sighed. Then I breathed in deeply and exhaled slowly and closed my eyes.
Then I fell asleep. (page 11 in the ARC)
And her pre-travel doctor’s appointment was something I could relate to as well.
I am always and forever showing up to the Doctor’s office with interesting ailments. Such as the time I had dry skin and thought it was scabies. Or the time I was sure I had a melanoma and it turned out to be a pimple. I am often told to stop looking up weird sh** on WebMD, but I can’t help it. The Internet is just so useful for diagnosing things!
“Hey, Dr. Curt, can you also look at my arm tumor?”
“You have an arm tumor?” he asked. “You just spent twenty minutes talking about germs on airplanes, but an arm tumor is just a ‘Hey, by the way’ issue? Okay, let me see the alleged tumor,” he said. I pulled up my left shirtsleeve so he could see the odd, lumpy upper arm.
“Is it fatal?” I asked.
“It’s not fatal,” he sighed. “It’s called a muscle.” (page 23 in the ARC)
Perry is not afraid to detail her online dating escapades, a battle with a plant-murdering gardener, and even a trip to a therapist. While Perry’s humor is the main reason I enjoy her writing so much, Home Is Where the Heart Is also teaches some good lessons about being yourself, taking chances, and laughing when things don’t go as planned. Opening the book is like sitting on the porch on a summer evening with a drink and chatting with your best friend for hours about anything and everything. And those of you who knit or crochet will love the assortment of patterns in the back of the book, including a Super-Easy Beret, Island Beach Bag, Retro Crocheted Toilet Seat Cover, and Braided Kitchen Rug. I haven’t tried any of them yet, but they look simple enough.
Disclosure: I received a copy of Crazy Aunt Purl’s Home Is Where the Wine Is from HCI Books for review purposes. I am an Amazon associate.
© 2010 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.