Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Simple Times - Crafts for Poor People by Amy Sedaris

I am a fan of David Sedaris, so when an opportunity came up to review a book by Amy Sedaris, I could not resist googling her name - Sedaris is not a very common name. Sure enough, Amy Sedaris is the sister of David Sedaris, but she is certainly not following in his shadow. Amy Sedaris is a well known comedian, actress and author. (the two movies I strongly recall watching her in are "Elf" and "Maid in Manhattan". She was great in both - very lovable in "Elf", and intentionally not so much so in "Maid in Manhattan".  And she is from Raleigh, NC!   

For her new project Amy has worked on bringing her readers " a new book that will forever change the world of crafting".  According to Amy, it's often been said that ugly people craft and attractive people have sex. In her new book, SIMPLE TIMES, she sets out to disprove this theory.  By demonstrating a wide variety of crafts for a wide variety of uses, Amy attempts and succeeds in building her case. 

This book is a riot.  Most of the crafts are hideous but a few are passable for actual crafts.  Either that or I have extremely poor taste.  Amy's comedic style really pushes the bar - you know you really shouldn't be laughing but you cannot help it!  

My favorite chapter from Simple Times is "Unreturnable Gift Giving".  No explanation needed here except these are crafts the recipeinet would probably WANT to return, if possible.  Other gems are the "Making Love" which seemed oddly out of place, even with the crafts included, and "Teenagers have a lot of pain" .  Unfortunately, I think the teenagers would have more pain if subjected to the handicrafts featured in this chapter but I also think that is the point.

You can see Amy in true character.  For the theme of each chapter or craft, Amy is photographed in the proper setting and attire.  From "Out of This World"  - sniffing the glue cross-eyed -  to Gift for the Single Working Women - wearing a horrific not-in-a-good-way retro 70's denim skirt and fringed vest combo while toting a lovely handmade denim pocket portfolio.  I am still confused about the matching yellow-green chenille robes in the sex chapter, but the cheesy, spoofy and yes, scary photos vividly capture of the essence of a campy sexual self-help book.  (Not that I would know from personal experience of course.....)  Each page is filled with a new adventure, whether you are prepared to take it or not.   

One cannot help but wonder where she came up with all of these bizzare crafts.  Then one cannot help but realize sometimes the truth is best left alone.  This book is a great gift idea for the crafter, the anti-crafter or  for the person that just likes truly inappropriate humor.  List price is $27.99 USD.  If you present to the serious crafter, you may want to do so with a disclaimer.  I also would not suggest giving to the easily offended, but everyone else should be fair game!

Thank you to Hachette Book Group for this review opportunity.  All opinions expressed were my own.  I did not receive any form of compensation for this review, but did receive a book for review purposes.

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