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My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag . . . and Other Things You Can't Ask Martha Paperback – February 25, 2014
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—Dwight Garner, The New York Times
“Thrillingly titled. . . . For a generation overwhelmed not just by dust bunnies, but by bong water on the carpet, pee stains on the ceiling and vomit seemingly everywhere, Jolie Kerr dispenses cleaning advice free of judgment. . . . A Mrs. Beeton for the postcollege set.”
Penelope Green, The New York Times
“A darned informative book. . . . When you can combine breezy writing with things that are of day-to-day use, that's a win. . . . All of Kerr's advice is fun, but it's true that she is in some ways at her most irresistible when she's handling the kinds of awkward questions that do traditionally go unanswered in your women's magazines and your perky home-maintenance shows.”
—Linda Holmes, NPR
“A Millennials version of "Hints from Heloise," Kerr takes a humorous and non-finger-wagging approach to tackling such problems as how to remove the lingering stinky smell from gym clothes, how to launder your bras and how to deep clean your kitchen. . . . Crammed with useful information . . . a worthwhile reference guide to keep handy in the house.”
“Charming. . . . A must read.”
—Tyler Coates, Flavorwire
“Light, breezy, nonjudgmental. . . . Kerr writes for readers who know little to nothing about laundry or mopping, getting across the notion that you’ll have to work hard but trying, at least, to make it a little fun.”
—Daniel D’Addario, Salon
“Jolie Kerr’s cleaning advice isn’t like your grandma’s. . . . She gives unprissy solutions for the peskiest issues.”
—Alexandra Owens, Allure
"Providing the Dirtiest Generation with basic rules for dishwashing (clean dishes, drain sink, rinse dishes), cleaning Formica or stainless steel and, most important, ridding clothing of embarrassing stains including, but not limited to, bodily fluids and bong water.”
—The New York Daily News
“Refreshingly honest and deeply true…The cleaning guidance in this text will not steer you wrong.”
“Informative cleaning instructions delivered by a Martha for millennials. . . . All college freshmen should receive a copy of this book.”
—Megan Fishmann, Bust
“A joy to read. . . . Whether you’re genuinely interested in the best way to scour a pot (baking soda, btw) or just looking for a few handy hints to impress your friends with, Kerr’s volume is a fun, entertaining read.”
“With a delightful mix of self-help and humor, Jolie Kerr is here to help turn your messy life into one of order and beauty. . . . One handy and, yes, neat book.”
“A practical and hilarious guide . . . to help with any and all of your bizarre or mundane cleaning inquiries.”
—Samantha Samel, Brooklyn Daily Eagle
"Jolie Kerr really cuts through the grease and grime with her new book. I do what she tells me to do."
“Jolie Kerr is unique among great, funny writers in that she isn't a repulsive slob.”
—Drew Magary, Author of Someone Could Get Hurt and The Postmortal
“I was a huge filthy pig—and then Jolie happened to me. Now I know just how easy and satisfying proper cleaning can be! I'm not afraid anymore! I used to live like an animal in a cage. I was completely helpless and hapless when it came to pretending to be human. Now I can actually have people in my home, instead of just insects and terrible smells! Jolie Kerr is the painless adult supervision I always needed but was afraid to ask for.”
—Choire Sicha, author of Very Recent History
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
But I was intrigued by the title of Jolie Kerr's book My Boyfriend Barfed In My Handbag and Other Things You Can't Ask Martha. You gotta admit, that's a catchy title. Kerr's book expands upon her cleaning column "Ask A Clean Person."
The book is filled with practical advice, her most important "Never mix bleach and ammonia", something you know must be very dangerous because she repeats it until she is sure you have it.
I liked the layout of the book; the chapters are divided into rooms- kitchen, bathroom, and specialty cleaning like bridal dresses and how to clean your car. I never thought about all of the mishaps that can occur to a wedding dress, but have no fear, Kerr has your answer (and it frequently involves club soda).
She has fantastic charts for types of flooring, beauty items, and kitchen appliances that are great for quick references. I made a list of her suggested cleaning products and headed to the store to stock up.
I put the book to the test and followed her advice to make my bathroom sparkle. I gave it a thorough scrubbing, following her step by step instructions, including mopping the floor using the handsie kneesie method. It looks amazing, but I don't want anyone to use it. I'd love to velvet rope it off.
There are some funny anecdotes, mostly questions sent in to Kerr (like the title question) and the chapter on cleaning sex toys is unique for sure. I have not seen that topic covered in Ladies' Home Journal or Real Simple magazines.
My husband is thrilled that I read this book because our apartment will be shiny clean, and so he doesn't even mind that I am adding another book to my permanent collection.
The trick is that Kerr actually makes cleaning seem fun; her enthusiasm is contagious and her anecdotes uproariously funny. She's kooky, fanatical, and just becomes your weird best friend who loves cleaning—a hyped-up Martha Stewart, you could say. But unlike Martha, Jolie Kerr isn't a domestic ideal; she's been through real world, real girl problems (like boyfriends barfing in handbags) and isn't afraid to get her hands dirty—literally.
My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag is conveniently sectioned off into eight different cleaning categories:
2. Floors, Ceilings, Walls, and Other Immovable Things
4. Personal Hygiene Tools and Appliances (brushes, hair dryers, razors, etc.)
5. Wedding Cleaning
8. Things You Really Can't Ask Martha (or Mom, for that Matter)
I love how each chapter is outlined, making the book all the more useful as a reference tool. Just look up your problem area in the index and you'll find the solution Kerr suggests—super easy!
I was pleasantly surprised by how helpful the guide is. There's lots of cleaning advice that I have never come across (or, let's be honest—have never had the opportunity to need) before, things that aren't just common knowledge.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
No plot here, this is a how-to on cleaning. But what a life-saver it has been. I am already an acknowledged Laundry Goddess, (if I can't get the stain out, then throw out the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Robin
Book information okay. Tried several of the cleaning hints and not very successful for me. Wasn't worth the price of the paperback. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sharon H.
This is an excellent book on how to clean just about anything, and the writing is so entertaining that I had to read it cover to cover just to enjoy the humor.Published 2 months ago by Not That Steve-O
Hysterical and helpful. This is the perfect book for anyone moving out of the dorms who wants to attempt to live like an adult. Read morePublished 9 months ago by C. Sage
A great book! It's filled with all kinds of great advice and fun to read too. I bought one for my daughter too and plan to keep,some on hand for wedding gifts.Published 10 months ago by Kendalyn Rosenberger