Reviews for Simple Times : Crafts for Poor People

Booklist Reviews 2010 September #1
"In her follow-up to the best-selling I Like You (2006), Sedaris once again invites us all to remember the "good old days" with her off-the-wall crafting and entertaining suggestions. "Did you know that inside your featureless well-worn husk is a creative you?" she asks. No doubt drawing on and making light of the current economic atmosphere, she notes, "Being poor is a wonderful motivation to be creative"; and most crafts are made with found or salvaged materials. More a vehicle for Sedaris' knack for farce and costume than a real how-to guide (unless the formula for a "wizard duck costume" marks the realization of your wildest dreams), it nevertheless contains a few useful facts, ideas, and recipes. The true joy of this book lies in its hilarious and amazingly well-styled photo spreads, many featuring Sedaris in one of her uncanny disguises, including a teenager, an elderly shut-in, and Jesus. She devotes equal time to instruction on making homemade sausage, gift-giving, crafting safety, and lovemaking (aka "fornicrafting"). Those looking to make conventional crafts, obviously, should look elsewhere. Everyone else should sit down, have a laugh, and make your very own bean-and-leaf James Brown mosaic. The author and her brother have a considerable following among hip readers of humor, and the appeal of this book will certainly transcend the world of crafters." Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.

Library Journal Reviews 2010 June #2
Please, this book is by Amy Sedaris: Comedy Central actor, David Letterman stalwart, and author of the best-selling I Like You. So it's not your standard crafts book-unless you think crab-claw roach clips, crepe-paper moccasins, and pompon ringworms are standard crafts. With an eight-city tour. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

Library Journal Reviews 2010 September #2

Comedian, actress, and author of I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence, Sedaris here addresses topics like "Crafting for Jesus," gifts for shut-ins, pre- and postcrafting stretches, and even the "Craft of Lovemaking." Through the "Healing Power of Crafting," readers learn that a Rusty Nail Wind Chime is the perfect gift for those suffering from bipolar disorder. Some projects include instructions; some don't. Making a Tea Cozy Kitten, for example, is "self-explanatory." Included with the handicrafts are recipes for treats like sausages, Damn Its (macaroons), and other baked goods. This book is a visual delight--kitschy projects are displayed with wonderfully garish sets, costuming, and illustrations. Sedaris isn't afraid to go from lovely to whimsical to wildly unflattering in her wardrobe, hair, and makeup. VERDICT Sedaris is actually quite crafty and known for her baking. In her latest irreverent take on home economics, she provides a fun, complementary balance to recent "serious" books in this genre. Recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/10; eight-city tour.]--Meagan Storey, Virginia Beach

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Library Journal BookSmack
Kookiness is great because you know everything's going to be okay when things get kooky. Kooky chicks are even greater, because they tend to take off their clothes. Think Phyllis Diller/Ruth Buzzy, even Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Sedaris, author of I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence, manages to bring "kooky chick" to an entirely new level, somewhere near "Holy crap." I think the Pulitzer Committee will concur with my declaration of this as the most important work since Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies and is as kitschy, satirical, and imaginative as Nancy Eha's Off The Beadin' Path: Discovering Your Own Creative Trail of Bead Embellishment is sad. Sedaris poses in a series of crafty tableau with the falsest sincerity imaginable. If you need to make an unreturnable gift, see handcrafted statistics on handcrafting, or see a lot of painted rocks and Popsicle stick cities, this is the perfect book. It shows readers the special warm-up and cool-down stretches you need to craft successfully, and the chapter on sausages is certainly the finest in print. Warning: neither eat nor drink while reading, as a spit take is assured. Pointedly tasteless, gaudy, garish, this book now counts among my favorite things. (See LJ's original review, 9/15/10.) - Douglas Lord, "Books for Dudes," Booksmack! 1/6/11 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.