Cheryl Mendelson - Home Comforts: The Art And Science Of Keeping House

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Home Comforts: The best housewarming present ever!

Jun 13, 2001 (Updated Dec 18, 2001)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Exhaustive, informative and extensive

Cons:This book is heavy, in more ways than one. Don't drop it on your foot.

The Bottom Line: The subtitle should be Housekeeping for the Unknowing. It's great book, if a trifle heavy and thick, but you'll be able to learn just about anything in here.


First of all, I want to state that I am not a Martha Stewart clone, and I tend to depise her anyway. That said, let me say the main reason to buy this book.

If you know someone out on their own for the very first time, or they've got a new house or apartment, buy them this book. This rather weighty volume is a godsend when you're facing a delimna in your new abode.

Stocking your pantry and you don't know what you should have? Entertaining? Tired of eating off of paper plates? That person you really want to impress is coming over and your house bears a striking resemblence to one of Hercules' labors?

Don't fret, you'll find a solution in here. Covering everything from how to set a table, make a bed, how to organize your housecleaning and ways to stick to that routine! to basic cooking, doing laundry, scrubbing tile, to even helping you decide when to call for outside help, such as plumbers, electricians and the like. It's pretty thorough, and even I, who personally hate to clean and sort and scrub, found myself facing those tasks with renewed vigor and enthusiasm.

Because the author, Cheryl Mendelson, goes that extra step, explaining from the ground up as it were. Not only does she show you how to do something, she provides the why you should do it. It's more than just being house-proud.

Some little known facts: you can prevent a lot of asthma by merely adjusting your housekeeping routine and finding ways of elimnating dust and mites from your surroundings. Or that attacks of food poisoning can be easily prevented by a few preventive measures.

The sections are organized in the following ways:
Beginnings, Food, Cloth, Cleanliness, Daily Life, Sleep, Safe Shelter, and Formalities. The best way I found to take this book in is to read all of Beginnings and Safe Shelter. Then look up the following chapters: 4. The Whys and Wherefores of Home Cooking, 13. Safe Food, 20 & 21. Gathering Sorting and Storing Laundry and Laundering, 34. Vacuuming and Sweeping, 57. Beds and Bedding, and 66. Understanding Your Castle. Then go through and pick and choose what you want to understand more. Don't try to read it all at once, take it a chapter at a time, or as you discover things that you want to know more about and skip about. There isn't any hard and fast rules here, most of all the author suggests that you gradually incorporate routines and habits to make your life more comfortable and enjoyable.

And isn't that something we would all like to be?

There are numerous line drawings in here to show you various tasks and devices made simple (such as what are all those attachments on your vacuum cleaner?), and step by step drawings on some other things. There is also a very well done index that makes it easy to find just about anything you need.

Best of all, the author does not talk down to the reader, there isn't any patronizing or scolding here, more like a friendly aunt or sister who isn't going to make you feel like an idiot for not knowing how to do something.

I give it five stars and eagerly suggest it as good addition to any home library.



Recommend this product? Yes

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