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Home Is Where the Wine Is: Making the Most of What You've Got One Stitch (and Cocktail!) at a Time Paperback – January 4, 2010


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Home Is Where the Wine Is: Making the Most of What You've Got One Stitch (and Cocktail!) at a Time + Crazy Aunt Purl's Drunk, Divorced, and Covered in Cat Hair: The True-Life Misadventures of a 30-Something Who Learned to Knit After He Split + Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: HCI; First Edition edition (January 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 075731368X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0757313684
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,037,269 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Laurie Perry knits and writes in Los Angeles, California, where she chronicles her daily life on her online diary, Crazy Aunt Purl (www.crazyauntpurl.com). She has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, MSN.com, Vogue Knitting, the Boston Herald, and The Palm Beach Post. Perry has written for the Los Angeles Daily News and the Winter Haven News Chief in Winter Haven, Florida. She is the author of Drunk, Divorced & Covered in Cat Hair.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

January 1:
Resolutions
Old Year

December 31, 9 p.m.
La Habra, California
Sunny Lake Retirement Community

It's New Year's Eve. Once again I have the disturbing feeling I should be somewhere more fun and exciting, wearing a funny hat and age-inappropriate glitter while drunkenly sloshing something on my fancy dress.

Instead I am wearing pajamas and my glasses, and I am locked in the bathroom at my grandmother's house in Orange County. We just watched the West Hollywood Gay Men's Chorus on TV, and she turned to ask me if I thought being gay was a requirement to join the chorus or if it was just a learning opportunity.
I am drinking wine out of a Styrofoam cup with my name penned on it. Grandma wrote my name on the cup so I would remember which one was mine. This is my family's version of going green.

Tonight, for the first time ever, I realized that my five-year plan includes turning FORTY YEARS OLD. My grandmother, well into her eighties, is still drinking bourbon and making jokes, but for some reason I am more terrified of one day being forty than of one day being eighty.

Also, since I am being honest, instead of really wanting to be at a cool party, I secretly just miss my cats who are probably puking on my new bathroom rug, unaware that we are on the cusp of a new year, a new start, a brand-new, freshly unopened calendar whose 365 days could hold unending surprise. I need to make some changes. I have to get my life together. I should make some resolutions. I should refill this Styrofoam cup.

The Morning After

After eating the required spoonful of black-eyed peas (for good luck!) and eating my way out of a jeans size at breakfast, I left Grandma's house and drove back to my own little corner of the world. My life, contained in 800 square feet of rented bliss in the San Fernando Valley. When I moved in, the landlord made me sign a disclaimer saying I wouldn't eat the paint or gnaw on the door frames, since the house was so old it was practically held together by lead-based paint from years gone by.

When I started my New Year's resolutions, there was no one in the house except for me and the cats—and a surprisingly large amount of champagne in little single-person sizes, which I couldn't help buying everywhere I saw them on sale until I had the equivalent of a miniature champagne farm in my cupboard. I opened a fresh notebook and began to ponder this new year, this new opportunity to become the person I'd always wanted to be:

New Year's Resolutions (first draft)
Start drinking champagne at noon
Clean the cat box

I am about to turn the corner from 'midthirties' to 'mid-to-wrinkled thirties,' and my life has settled into a rhythm that is certainly less dramatic and grief-encompassing than the past few years, but not nearly exciting enough to send out happy Christmas letters written in the third person, annoying all my friends and family about the minutia of my life.

New Year's resolutions feel powerful, like they have the transformative mojo to add purpose and excitement to your life and make over your wardrobe and your love life, and change your entire path. I want those resolutions; I want the list that will advance me ever nearer bliss and fulfillment—and forty.
But I am a realist; I can't see myself running off and joining an ashram and shaving my head to find enlightenment. I just paid my hairdresser to give me shiny New Year highlights, and I have yet to find an ashram that takes cats.

New Year's Resolutions (second draft)
• Stop reading books about other people that make me feel jealous and want to stab them with a fork
• Become a better person
• Clean the cat box

It is an attainable list, especially with 'become a better person' so loosely defined.
What I need is a purpose. An overarching life goal. And a pool boy. I want to change my life; I want happiness—whatever that is.

There Is Nothing Wrong with Me,
Still I Search

Some of my resolutions, such as 'become a better person,' are works in progress and not immediately achievable, while others, such as 'try five new things (not all of them food items),' 'clean the cat box every day,' and 'send at least two birthday cards on time' seem doable. But in terms of whole-life changes, there is no single resolution I can make, so my final list is fairly brief:

1. Explore New Paths to Enlightenment.
2. Take an Adventurous Trip.
3. Knit Something That Isn't Square.
4. Go on a Real, Live Date (Versus a Pretend One with Jason Bourne-Anderson Cooper/George Clooney).
5. Grow a Garden.
6. Deal with My Issues
7. Try Something New (and Not Just a New Food)
8. Do Some Form of Exercise Other than Knitting

©2010. Laurie Perry. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Home Is Where the Wine Is. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442


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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Laurie Perry writes with honesty and great humor.
a. amaral
I read Perry's first book and found it very entertaining...Would buy it again!!!
Debi Kruis
Timing is everything on this read and it is a perfect vacation style book.
Sheila A. Dechantal

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Eric C. Thompson on December 18, 2009
Format: Paperback
Ms Perry writes another fantastic read of a single woman coping with 21st century L.A. A must read for anyone who sometimes feels like a victim of time, place, and Los Angeles. Well written and a seminal insight into the brilliant mind of the author.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lola Violet on December 29, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I sat down with this book on Christmas Day with a glass of wine and ended up reading it straight through. I didn't want to put it down! I am a fan of Laurie Perry's blog, Crazy Aunt Purl, and of her first book, Drunk, Divorced and Covered in Cat Hair. In her second book, she is still navigating life as a 30-something in Los Angeles, but she is stronger, more confident. Reading her second book is like chatting with a good friend as she writes about dating, trying to grow a square watermelon (yes, really!) , joining a gym, creating a vision board, traveling solo, bikini waxes and spray tans. It is all there plus some awesome knitting patterns at the very end. This is a book that will speak to a lot of women (cat ladies and dog ladies), and is done with a great sense of humor. A fun book to curl up with!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Poppy J. on December 31, 2009
Format: Paperback
Laurie Perry's "Home Is Where the Wine Is" offers the reader useful advice for getting to - and past the age of forty, and also tells her readers that they should live their lives to the fullest, no matter what happens to them.

Her lessons on life and meditation are really funny, and can be considered a type of guide to doing everything better. She writes in a clear style that is easy to follow. Her tone is conversational and it is as if she is your best friend in the room with you. By reading each chapter, labeled as resolutions, you get the feeling you are reading her diary, and following her inner most thoughts. Her life is one realistic adventure, and she always comes out on the positive end of the experience in the end.

I would recommend this book to a wide range of readers, especially female women or teens. In this story the author envisions how she should spend the rest of her life, including the spaces between and around the dots she connects. She advocates self love, and overall the book is meant to inspire us in the little pieces that make up our daily lives.

Ms. Perry's relationships in the book are interesting and completely believable. I felt as if I could relate to her friendships on every level, and thought I had definitely met these people myself, at some time or another in my own past (especially the section about the competitive gardeners, the internet dates and the people she met while traveling).

This book is a guide to showing us how to live our lives to the fullest. After reading it, I wanted to live my life differently too. I wanted to be more conscious of what it takes to live fully each day, and I wanted to begin my New Year with a few resolutions of my own. Overall, it was a good read, highly recommended for the New Year.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen Kibblehouse on May 26, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really wanted to love the sequel to the first book, but there just was no substance here. Even the knit patterns were a disappointment. I think the journey of the "starting over" in the first book provided that good reason to see how it all came together. Not enough in the second one. It was funny and the author has the ability to write like she talks, which might make it fun beach read for some.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sheila A. Dechantal on February 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
What a funny book! Timing is everything on this read and it is a perfect vacation style book. It is a quick read with funny antidotes and day to day life of author/blogger Laurie Perry. The book description said if you like cats and knit this book is for you! Well cats make me a bit stir crazy and I have never knit in my life..... BUT if you like funny stories on working out and falling off ellipticals, poor dating choices and the list created so as not to repeat them, the ever existing quest for a square watermelon, gardeners who kill everything they touch, and vacations that bring out the self tanner experience...then by all means - pick this book up!

The book ends with several patterns including how to make an island beach bag, a braided kitchen run - and more. That is kind of a fun idea!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tina on January 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
Okay, reading Home is Where the Wine Is felt like the author was writing about my life. She is single, loves cats and is constantly questionning herself and everything around her - but with a healthy dose of humor!!

I love that author Laurie Perry has a somewhat sarcastic but always funny take on so many ordinary events. This book is loaded with random musings about things and events that happen to her (or don't happen). She somehow manages to take alot of the drama out of life and this was such a welcome change of pace.

The writing, as always is fun and it feels as though you are talking with your BFF - she does not hesitate to share some personal stuff with us and does so in an honest and forthright manner!!

My particular favorite story was definitely her take (and her cats) on meditation! hilarious. As I read, I found myself laughing out loud with actual tears!!!

Perfect read for this crummy time of year!! (or actually for any time of the year).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Julia O'C on December 27, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I can't say enough good things about this book - I absolutely loved it. Ms. Perry has a way of drawing you into her world and making you feel a part of it. Reading it is as therapeutic and fun as a night out with your closest, most hilarious friend.
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