Monday, January 9, 2017


Housebroken: Admissions of an Untidy Life
Written by: Laurie Notaro
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Ballatine Books
Language: English
July 2016
Genre: Humor/Memoir

#1 New York Times bestselling author Laurie Notaro isn’t exactly a domestic goddess—unless that means she fully embraces her genetic hoarding predisposition, sneaks peeks at her husband’s daily journal, or has made a list of the people she wants on her Apocalypse Survival team (her husband’s not on it).

Inspired by Victorian household manuals, Notaro chronicles her chronic misfortune in the domestic arts, including cooking, cleaning, and putting on Spanx while sweaty (which should technically qualify as an Olympic sport).

Housebroken is a rollicking new collection of essays showcasing her irreverent wit and inability to feel shame. From defying nature in the quest to making her own Twinkies, to begging her new neighbors not to become urban livestock keepers, to teaching her eight-year-old nephew about hobos, Notaro recounts her best efforts—and hilarious failures—in keeping a household inches away from being condemned. After all, home wasn’t built in a day.


“I’m not really a good housekeeper. It is what it is. I work a lot. I haven’t cleaned my house in five years and it looks like a hobo lives here, minus the shopping cart.”

Laurie Notaro makes me smile and laugh out loud when I read her books. She is extremely relatable and I think we’d get along famously. Housebroken is the 8th book I have read by her and she still tells us all about her fabulous misadventures. I also still smile.

These are her adventures of being unfriended by family on social media, of suburban chicken coops, living an untidy life, piles of to be read books, Kiss Cam incidents, sewing dresses for friends, and making cheese and twinkies.

My thoughts: Like many of her other books these are short stories of her life. My favorite story was her reflections after reading ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’. “But when I got to the part where she talks about throwing away books that haven’t been read, I had had enough and closed the book. Those words are nothing short than the rantings of a lunatic. Madness…Tossing books you’ve never read is not just a sin, it’s a crime, one worthy of capital punishment. Frankly, if I walk into your house and you don’t have 200 books in there somewhere that you haven’t read yet, I don’t trust you.” My thoughts exactly.

She makes the most mundane things funny. I like that. Sometimes the stories fell a little flat for me, almost like she was trying a bit too hard to be funny and witty. But the majority of the stories made me smile. It’s not the strongest collection of stories (I like earlier ones a bit more), but this one even has recipes like those of her Nans (Meatballs and Vodka Sauce).

Also, Eugene, Oregon may be odd, but I kind of really want to go and visit there now.

Buy or Borrow: Buy. Or at least pick it up from the library. It will make you smile.

Part of: Standalone.

Also Recommended: You might also like memoirs from Jenny Lawson, Sloane Crosley, and Sara Barron. I am also a big fan of Self Inflicted Wounds by Aisha Tyler, Bossypants by Tina Fey, and Is Everyone Hanging out Without Me by Mindy Kaling.

3.25 out of 4 happy bibliosnark bookmarks 

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