Review: My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag, and Other Things You Can’t Ask Martha

Title: My Boyfriend Barfed in my Handbag…And Other Things You Can’t Ask Martha
Author: Jolie Kerr
Page Count: 256 pages
Publisher: Plume
Genre: Nonfiction
Copy for review obtained via the public library

Back Cover Summary:
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.

I don’t honestly remember where I first heard about this book but I’m glad I read it because it was super fun!  I know, I know, the phrase “super fun” isn’t one you’re likely to associate with a book about cleaning and stain removal and all that jazz, but it’s totally the truth!

The book tackles a variety of topics, from which cleaner is best for which surface, to stain removal (and I do mean stain removal- if it comes out of an organism, Jolie Kerr talks about how to get it off your stuff,) to laundry strategies for various fabrics, to getting rid of odors, to sanitizing surfaces, the list goes on. There are plenty of charts that organize the information for easy reference later, and plenty of letters to the author that lay out the kind of nasty, nasty messes that people need to clean up.

This would be a great book to give to someone who’s now in charge of their own chores- first apartment, etc. It’s written in such a style that a person wouldn’t be offended by getting a book on how to clean (there’s never a moment where a person feels like they’re dirty) and this is an area where you don’t know this information until the situation is at hand, so to speak (how do you get nail polish out of carpet anyway?)

A big part of that is the writing is effervescent and fun, and the tone is lighthearted throughout- people are nasty, it’s true, and the important part is to get the mess taken care of, isn’t it?

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