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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

#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). 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 make her own Twinkies, to begging her new neighbors not to become urban livestock keepers, to teaching her eight-year-old nephew about hoboes, 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.…

Overall Book Review:

Housebroken: Admissions of an Untidy Life is a series of essays by New York Times Bestselling author Laurie Notaro. The essays all have a similiar theme of homemaking and family, and vary in length from three to twenty pages. Notaro is a veteran writer and this latest novel is a quick and easy read. 

While Notaro is entertaining, she is extremely sarcastic and dramatic in her storytelling. Jokes and subject matter are limited to a few topics, which then repeat themselves over and over. Notaro is crass in her word choice and bathroom humor is prevalent in almost every chapter. Readers will want to check Housebroken out from the library (rather than purchase), to see if Notaro’s humor even strikes them as funny.  

Review of an Advance Reading Copy

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Ballantine Books

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  25 religious exclamations; 7 mild obscenities; 7 religious profanities; 7 derogatory names; 38 scatological words; 35 anatomical terms; 2 f-word derivatives. 

Violence/Gore:  Reports of violence include animal slaughter, honor deaths and physical altercation with a bully.

Sex/Nudity:  An incident of kissing; a few non-sexual depictions of nudity including a character getting out of the shower; a few sexual references and implied incidents of sexual activity. 

Mature Subject Matter:

Homelessness, smoking, drinking, producing and using drugs, body image.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Characters smoke and drink; a character is described as drunk; frequent mention of drug use, such as LSD, bongs and “shooting up”; author jokes about frequently “cooking meth”. 

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

My mother was the one who sparked my love of books. Long before school instruction, she sat me down and taught me to read. My childhood was filled with trips to the library and bookmobile to find great books. My first loves were The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Pippi Longstocking series by Astrid Lingren. Now as a mom and speech pathologist, I am constantly looking for good, clean books to use at home and in therapy. I enjoy reading many different genres, but my favorites are usually historical fiction. I married my best friend, the “boy next door”, and we have a beautiful little girl who we often find sprawled out on the floor, flipping through picture books. Together our family likes to swim, run and play tennis. Besides reading, I also love to bake, garden and travel.