Thursday, September 26, 2013

September's ARC

For my September entry in Darcy's Artful Readers Club (ARC), I chose Cindy La Ferle's
  • Paperback: 294 pages
  • Publisher: Hearth Stone Books (January 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0923568638
  • ISBN-13: 978-0923568634
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.9 x 10 inches 

Writing Home: Collected Essays and Newspaper Columns is a compilation of stories written over several years about such things as family time, "momisms," working from home, and other relatable incidences.  Funny at times, heartwarming at times, and tear-jerking at times, you will probably have trouble putting this book down. 

Although I don't usually include what's written on the book cover, here is what the publishers had to say about LeFerle's book.

Both a "motherhood memoir" and a handbook for living, Writing Home is a heartwarming anthology of domestic essays and lifestyle columns by award-winning journalist Cindy La Ferle. This timeless collection speaks to every suburban parent who has ever attempted to combine work, parenthood, and homekeeping. La Ferle's essays address such key issues as losing a parent, aging gracefully, reinventing family traditions, facing the empty nest, and finding deeper meaning in the small but defining moments of everyday life. Writing Home has won four awards for creative nonfiction, including one from Midwest Independent Publisher's Association and another from Writer's Digest. Think Club Publications voted Writing Home Book of the Year in 2005, praising it for its values-driven content. Midwest Book Review describes Cindy La Ferle's essays as "Little gems of wisdom from a modern working woman who has a valuable and interesting philosophy on life." The book has been featured on Sirius Radio and in other national media.

Personally, I couldn't have said it any better!  And this gives you a very good preview about what is contained in these 294 pages that features more than 90 essays.
This is what my copy of this book looks like.

And yes, it is signed by the author herself.

There are 12 chapters, with several essays in each.  Even the essay titles are funny, like (under House and Garden) "Trowel and Error" and "Zen and Remodeling."

Although I have never been a mother, and quickly explain that Bleubeard's mother is a calico who lives (or now probably lived) in a house in MO, under Child Care are gems like "Quit Picking on Barbie" and "Swamp Hair."  So you don't have to be married or a parent to appreciate LeFerle's humor.

Possibly my favorite was in the chapter called Keeping Up Appearances where I found an essay entitled "Recovering Perfectionist."  I might have to take that one to heart! 

Speaking of Bleubeard, I was brought to tears in the Creature Comforts chapter where I found such essays as "Eulogy for a Very Fine Cat" and "Booger."  Grieving can be so personal, but LeFerle makes it seem less so.

I found humor in many essays in Family Album and Work Ethic, where LeFerle gives us a look at how others look at those (especially women) who work from home. 

When I got to the chapter Keeping the Seasons, I thought about some of my internet friends who were working in Project Life Scrapbooks. "Ordinary Days Deserve Our Best," "Why I Still Love Halloween," and "The Lost Art of Loafing" were just a few of the essays that made the seasons come to life.

After reading these poignant essays, I give this book 5 of 5 stars.  And I suspect you would, too.

For the art, I began with a bit of digital fun.  Several people keep asking me to show more of Bleubeard,

so I took this opportunity to do so by writing home in these books.

Although this is a tongue-in-cheek (some might say cop-out) piece of artwork, I made the house by cutting several paint chips and sewing the pieces together using variegated thread.  I hope you found as much humor in it as I did.  It definitely conveys my take on Writing Home.

Next month I'll be reviewing:
Altered Art by Terry Taylor.

Please don't forget to visit Darcy for the rest of the ARC entries.

23 thoughtful remarks:

Marilyn J. Rock said...

Love your image of Bleubeard - he's so handsome and comforting looking. Great post! xxoo

Dandelion and Daisy said...

I have a couple of young Moms who would really enjoy this read. I'm taking note of this great Christmas gift idea. Love your take on "write home"!

Rebeca Trevino said...

this sounds like a fun (and funny) book. (or maybe it was just the commentary . . .)

love that handsome Bluebeard! so dapper!

Dianne said...

sounds like I might want to read this one...I love books that make me smile! interested to hear what you have to say next I own the book you are going to review. one of the first altered art books I your Writing Home art work too!

Helen said...

Sounds like a great book, and I love Bleubeard. Have a lovely weekend.

DocAngi said...

The essayist, Cindy La Ferle, seems to me may be like Erma Louise Bombeck (February 21, 1927 – April 22, 1996), an American humorist who achieved great popularity for her newspaper column. I loved Erma Bombeck; so, I am delighted you have found another clever writer on domestic engineering! I will definitely add WRITING HOME to my list of books to read. I love your witty artwork and delight in seeing Bleubeard. Thank you for a wonderful review.

Sarah said...

Glad that you thoroughly enjoyed your read this month - loving the digital art of your lovely cat, and also the sweet little 'writing home' house.

Like a previous commenter I'll be interested to see what you think of next month's book, as that one was my first introduction to the world of 'altered art' many moons ago

BJ said...

Thanks for your comment on my "Juan Sheet" page, I suggest you go have another look at the page as I have added the reason for the frivolity on the end of the post - have a giggle. BJ

see you there! said...

Thanks for the review. I like to keep a book for those times when I just have a few minutes to read, this sounds like it would work as I could read single essays.

I like your house!


Dawn said...

Ha ha ha ha I see BJ has put up a video on her blog of our incredibly cheesy UK advert for a kitchen roll brand - 'juan sheet' is the hero of the hour lol!!!!! Fab post my lovely, sounds like a good read and your art piece is inspired, brilliant job sweetie.
Ooh I have that Altered Art book and really enjoy it, digging in every now and again when the mood takes me, I like the variety it offers and will be interested to see what you think.
Huge hugs x x x x

Corrine at said...

Sounds like a great book. As a parent, I chuckled immediately at swamp hair! Love your tongue in cheek art piece. xox

Craftymoose Crafts said...

This sounds like a book I would enjoy, and I will definitely get my hands on a copy. Your art for this book shows you enjoyed these witty essays. Have a great weekend!

Jez said...

I think this book would be for me, the short but complete sections make for good coffee-time reading, and they are the kind of articles I would read in the newspaper. I found your article very interesting - and lovely writing that makes it easy to read. Lovely photos of the cats and I really do LOVE your artwork. I have a little typewriter/pencil sharpener, not quite as good as your realistic as yours, but it would never have occurred to me to use it in that way. Very inventive.
I look forward to reading about your October book.

BJ said...

So glad you liked the little addition - added especially for you as it was a very British joke otherwise. Hugs BJ

Halle said...

That book sounds wonderful!! For so many years I only read fluff...nothing of substance. Books that were an escape from the realities of life. I've been finding myself reading a few more unfluffy books lately...some by choice some not...bookclub and moms class books. They aren't as bad as I once feared. As long as I can laugh a bit, I'm good. :)

dawn said...

Hello!! I love this post and want that book. Will see if it's at my library, sounds like just what I would read.
Glad this was a good read for you, always a bonus when that happens.

I hope you are feeling good and have a great weekend.

My computer is having issues due to the Wi-Fi service we have. It's making updates which is causing many outages around are area. I have to keep rebooting it when this happens, this is becoming a pain. If I'm MIA this week it will be for that reason otherwise I will see you for Mandala and T next week. Might even do a quick a post before that.

Take care and thanks for the wonderful pictures of Bluebird, love it!!

Magaly Guerrero said...

I might have to read this one. Even Bluebeard looks interested in the story. And we all know cats have very good tastes ;-D

Hettie said...

Haa Haa! Love the photo of Bleubeard enjoying the book! Love your take on it too!

SusieJ said...

This sounds like a good read indeed! Love the essay titles....
And your artwork is fun too....great to see Bleubeard!
You are mentioned in my you for last month's review.
Hugs xx

SusieJ said...

This sounds like a good read indeed! Love the essay titles....
And your artwork is fun too....great to see Bleubeard!
You are mentioned in my you for last month's review.
Hugs xx

Janet said...

Sounds like a lovely book for dipping into and it is so refreshing to read about other people's takes on day to day life. You clearly enjoyed this month's read and your artwork is very amusing. Looking forward to next month's review.

Janet xx

Darcy UK said...

This sounds like a great book, going on my list..Love bleubeards photos, and how cute is that lil typewriter!

Jen said...

So late getting round to look this month, my daughters wedding in three weeks time is to blame I am afraid.This sounds like a good book to read, will add it to my ever growing list. Your art work is such fun, wonderful.
Jen x