Months ago I posted about Crazy Aunt Purl scoring a book deal. I started reading Laurie's blog in March 2006 after someone (I honestly couldn't tell you who anymore) told me about a post about a trip to Paris in which she attacks a man that was bothering her and her friends with an umbrella. Actually, after she whacked him upside the head with it she chased him down the street and yelled ""I'm from Los Angeles, motherf***er! I'll bust your ass!!" If there is one thing I recognize it is my kind of crazy and Crazy Aunt Purl was my kind of crazy. I hadn't laughed that hard in weeks. It was instantly added to my blog feeds and it has not left.
Late last week I wandered down to the bookstore to buy a gift for a friend and seeing they had Drunk, Divorced and Covered in Cat Hair: The True Misadventures of a 30-Something Who Learned to Knit After He Split in stock I added it to my pile. Then I went out of town for the weekend, taking it with me. When my friends saw it on their kitchen table they raised their eyebrows and I told them I was studying for my future life. Ok, so I'm not married. But I figure the day will come once again when I am drunk, single and covered in cat hair. After all, that's most of my life now if you take away the drunk part. Luckily while I was in the bookstore I also picked up some book darts (the best invention since books themselves) and I used at least half a dozen on this book. You know what that is? That's a sign I liked the book. A lot.
One of the things I liked most about this book is that it isn't regurgitated material from Laurie's blog. That's a frequent concern with "blooks" - books that based on blogs. Yes, she does talk about things that she also talks about on her blog, but she hasn't taken her blog entries and plopped them into a book. For example, when she talks about that trip to Paris she doesn't talk about the umbrella story, but she does talk about how it impacted her, what it meant to her. These are things that you pick up reading her blog but aren't quite explicitly said.
That last quote? I have no idea what she's talking about. None at all. I mean, I've never moved boxes of stuff from one province to another because I couldn't figure out what to do with stuff and somehow feeling like I'd be naked and exposed without it. Nope, not me!
I think one of the most appealing and attractive things about this book, and her blog, is that Laurie doesn't hide the fact that she was not fine. She sat in backyard, Amoxicillin, smoked cigarettes and was not fine. She let herself grieve the loss of the life she had and the life she thought she'd have in the future. There's something empowering in that.
And, of course, throughout the book there is a lot of talk about knitting. Knitting got Laurie out of the house. It was something new. It was something that if you just followed the instructions and practiced and tried really hard it would work out in the end. It was something controllable in an uncontrollable situation. But it was more than that. Knitting is a social activity. For centuries women have gathered together to knit and share company. Through knitting Laurie makes new friends, friends that know her only as Laurie, not as Laurie-formerly-part-of-a-couple-and-now-divorced. And as a special treat she included 15 knitting "recipes" at the back of the book. Including one for a felted bracelet bag that I *must* have - as soon as I figure out how to felt items either in the kitchen sink or in my apartment building's commercial washer and dryers.