Book Review: The Tao of Martha by Jen Lancaster

 The Tao of Martha by Jen Lancaster

Author: Jen Lancaster
Pages: 344
Score: 5/5

The Tao of Martha: My Year of LIVING; Or, Why I’m Never Getting All That Glitter Off of the Dog by Jen Lancaster was one hilarious, kick ass read! I don’t read a lot of non fiction books, but when I do, I like to choose the ones that will make me laugh my butt off.

I came away from the year long memoir being a little bit jealous of the amazing way Lancaster can deliver her wit. We all have a little bit of smart ass in us, but she has the supreme capability of translating it into written form without it coming off as angry or in a negative context (well, I didn’t think it came off as negative, but I have a bit of a potty mouth just like hers so I appreciate her use of expletives). It’s a real kind of humor that is sometimes self deprecating, but this comicality only adds to the relatability of Jen Lancaster’s personality.

Most people have someone they admire, Jen’s idol just happens to be Martha Stewart. In The Tao of Martha, Jen admits to having a lackluster year in 2011 and finds herself in a rather unhappy state of mind. Health issues, professional setbacks, deaths of beloved pets (I can relate), regular power outages which affected impending deadlines, and other “first-world bullshit” had really put a damper on her otherwise positive mindset. Not to mention her clutter; the mere thought of getting her home organized is an overwhelming stressor on its own. She confesses life has been worse, and there are people who are really suffering in this world. So, she basically tells herself she needs “to buck the hell up.”

When 2012 rolls around, the wheels in her head begin to turn as she contemplates how she can make the year into a positive one. Fletch, her husband, inadvertently triggers a spark of an idea in Jen’s mind. She determines that perhaps if she tries to live by the philosophies of her icon, she might just learn how to make her life a happier one as well as the lives of those around her (including her pets).

Throughout the book, Jen takes on various Martha-esque projects and confronts a few hard times as well. But as the days go by, she figures out the dictates of The Tao of Martha, or what she interprets them to be for herself.

Some of Jen’s projects are admirable, some a little excessive and wacky (we are talking about stockpiling rations and supplies in the basement like a Dooms Day prepper, but hey, I guess you never know).

The Tao of Martha scored a 5 out of 5 stars with me. I honestly feel like Jen is someone I know. The way in which she shares her journey to happiness in her comedic way makes it feel as if she is a friend you are having coffee and laughs with. I highly recommend reading her book.

*Sidenote: Yesterday I found out she has recently completed a fiction book called Twisted Sisters. It will be released on February 4th, 2014. I didn’t realize she wrote fiction too! If you want to keep tabs on the writings of Jen Lancaster, visit her website¬† Her blog is equally as entertaining as her book!


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