My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag ... and Other Things You Can't Ask Martha

My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag ... and Other Things You Can't Ask Martha

Book rating: 05 Paperback

By (author) Jolie Kerr

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  • Publisher: PLUME
  • Format: Paperback | 242 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 193mm x 20mm | 227g
  • Publication date: 18 April 2014
  • ISBN 10: 0142196932
  • ISBN 13: 9780142196939
  • Sales rank: 128,911

Product description

"NEW YORK TIMES "BESTSELLER "Wise and funny. . . . The Lorrie Moore short story, or the Tina Fey memoir, of cleaning tutorials."--Dwight Garner, "The New York Times" "Thrillingly titled. . . . For a generation overwhelmed not just by dust bunnies, but by bong water on the carpet, pee stains on the ceiling and vomit seemingly everywhere, Jolie Kerr dispenses cleaning advice free of judgment. . . . A Mrs. Beeton for the postcollege set." --Penelope Green, "The New York Times" "Jolie Kerr really cuts through the grease and grime with her new book. I do what she tells me to do."--Amy Sedaris The author of the hit column "Ask a Clean Person" offers a hilarious and practical guide to cleaning up life's little emergencies Life is filled with spills, odors, and those oh-so embarrassing stains you just can't tell your parents about. And let's be honest: no one is going to ask Martha Stewart what to do when your boyfriend barfs in your handbag. Thankfully, Jolie Kerr has both staggering cleaning knowledge and a sense of humor. With signature sass and straight talk, Jolie takes on questions ranging from the basic--how do I use a mop? --to the esoteric--what should I do when bottles of homebrewed ginger beer explode in my kitchen? "My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag" proves that even the most nightmarish cleaning conundrums can be solved with a smile, the right supplies, and a little music.

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Author information

Jolie Kerr is a Boston native and graduate of Barnard College, now residing in a teeny, tiny spotless apartment in Manhattan's Lower East Side.

Customer reviews

By Karielle 17 Apr 2014 5

Cleaning isn't the most thrilling chore I could think ofâ??in fact, I can say with certainty that no one actually looks forward to the dirtiest job aroundâ??but Jolie Kerr's devotion and simply outlined tips really make me want to get my butt off the couch and clean the damn house. It's like when you read food blogs and become motivated to start taking the time to cook and eat healthier; I see someone being really productive with their life which motivates me to at least attempt to reach that level.

The trick is that Kerr actually makes cleaning seem fun; her enthusiasm is contagious and her anecdotes uproariously funny. She's kooky, fanatical, and just becomes your weird best friend who loves cleaningâ??a hyped-up Martha Stewart, you could say. But unlike Martha, Jolie Kerr isn't a domestic ideal; she's been through real world, real girl problems (like boyfriends barfing in handbags) and isn't afraid to get her hands dirtyâ??literally.

My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag is conveniently sectioned off into eight different cleaning categories:
1. Kitchen
2. Floors, Ceilings, Walls, and Other Immovable Things
3. Bathroom
4. Personal Hygiene Tools and Appliances (brushes, hair dryers, razors, etc.)
5. Wedding Cleaning
6. Laundry
7. Car
8. Things You Really Can't Ask Martha (or Mom, for that Matter)
I love how each chapter is outlined, making the book all the more useful as a reference tool. Just look up your problem area in the index and you'll find the solution Kerr suggestsâ??super easy!

I was pleasantly surprised by how helpful the guide is. There's lots of cleaning advice that I have never come across (or, let's be honestâ??have never had the opportunity to need) before, things that aren't just common knowledge. The book is filled with comprehensive tables and charts that streamline specific cleaning methods and materials; it's a nice break from huge chunks of text every once in a while. And to make your life even easier, Kerr provides DIY cleaning solution recipesâ??made with ingredients that are probably already in your cupboards!â??as well as specific brands and products she recommends for targeted problems.

There's definitely a lot of ***** in Kerr's voice, but that's what makes the book so entertaining; the rambling, direct style doesn't hold back. There's absolutely no BS and readers are taken straight to the emergency, no matter how mortifyingâ??and isn't that what we all want in a cleaning guide?

Pros: Extensive, easy-to-follow tips for any spill and situation // Humorous, light // Organized into sections (bathroom, kitchen, car, etc.) // Helpful graphics to compare and contrast different cleaning methods

Cons: A reference book... not exactly something I would sit down and read cover to cover

Verdict: Highly charged, full of personality, and conscientiously charming, My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag is a stylish but frenetic cleaning guide for the everyday woman in everyday situations. With advice that ranges from generic but crucial (how to do laundry in a way that won't wear clothes out, how to clean the toilet, how to get rid of mildew, etc.) to ridiculously specific and quirky (how to deal with a Laffy Taffy that's melted in your pocket, how to get embarrassing fluids out of your bedsheets, how to even wrap your head around poop stains, etc.), this book is a handy reference tool that's simultaneously thoroughly entertaining. Jolie Kerr zealously combines chick-lit with how-to by contributing her and her readers' own experiences, just for kicksâ??who knew cleaning would be so fun to read?

Rating: 9 out of 10 hearts (5 stars): Loved it! This book has a spot on my favorites shelf.

Source: Complimentary copy provided by publisher via tour publicist in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you, Penguin and TLC!).

Review quote

"Wise and funny. . . . The Lorrie Moore short story, or the Tina Fey memoir, of cleaning tutorials." --Dwight Garner, "The New York Times" "Thrillingly titled. . . . For a generation overwhelmed not just by dust bunnies, but by bong water on the carpet, pee stains on the ceiling and vomit seemingly everywhere, Jolie Kerr dispenses cleaning advice free of judgment. . . . A Mrs. Beeton for the postcollege set." Penelope Green, "The New York Times" "A darned informative book. . . . When you can combine breezy writing with things that are of day-to-day use, that's a win. . . . All of Kerr's advice is fun, but it's true that she is in some ways at her most irresistible when she's handling the kinds of awkward questions that do traditionally go unanswered in your women's magazines and your perky home-maintenance shows." --Linda Holmes, "NPR" " " "A Millennials version of "Hints from Heloise," Kerr takes a humorous and non-finger-wagging approach to tackling such problems as how to remove the lingering stinky smell from gym clothes, how to launder your bras and how to deep clean your kitchen. . . . Crammed with useful information . . . a worthwhile reference guide to keep handy in the house." --"The Times-Picayune" "Charming. . . . A must read." --Tyler Coates, "Flavorwire" "Light, breezy, nonjudgmental. . . . Kerr writes for readers who know little to nothing about laundry or mopping, getting across the notion that you'll have to work hard but trying, at least, to make it a little fun." --Daniel D'Addario, "Salon" "Jolie Kerr's cleaning advice isn't like your grandma's. . . . She gives unprissy solutions for the peskiest issues." --Alexandra Owens, "Allure" "Providing the Dirtiest Generation with basic rules for dishwashing (clean dishes, drain sink, rinse dishes), cleaning Formica or stainless steel and, most important, ridding clothing of embarrassing stains including, but not limited to, r