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.And her pre-travel doctor's appointment was something I could relate to as well.
Then I fell asleep. (page 11 in the ARC)
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!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.
"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)
Later today, I'll be posting a chat with Laurie and information on how you can win a copy of Home Is Where the Wine Is.
I want to thank TLC Book Tours for the opportunity to participate in the Home Is Where the Wine Is tour. Click here for all of the tour dates and participating blogs.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of Crazy Aunt Purl's Home Is Where the Wine Is from HCI Books for review purposes.