I love Amy Sedaris, usually. Yes, her humor isn’t for everyone, and she quite often offends, but her new book, “Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People” just misses the mark. After reading the inside jacket cover, I was expecting a fun and silly look at all the home crafters from the 60’s to now.  And while it is to a point, and you’ll likely see some things you’ve made over the years, it’s also a bit creepy and dark.  Amy tells you how to craft while bipolar (rusty nail wind chime), angry (distressing a box), ramped up on Amphetamines (all of them), and more. OK, they’re kinda funny.

She also pokes fun at craft related injuries including graphic photos with blood and impalement. Again, kinda funny. But then the book goes too far.

First, she offends the handicapped, mentally ill, then religious people. OK, fine. It’s satire. But what I object to is the sexual additions that have nothing to do with the parody of crafting. There’s a section on teens, which is so unnecessary. Even in a parody, talking about fondling teens isn’t funny and again, this is a craft parody? And the next chapter? “Making Love”, ie “fornicrafting”. This book goes from fun PG-rated humor to R for no apparent reason. Photos with simulated sex abound in this section. I assume the handmade adult toys are the tie-in to a crafting parody, but it feels forced and out of place.

Trust me, I’m no prude. My favorite writer is David Sedaris and when I read his books I know what to expect.  The sexual issues included don’t feel forced or out of place and feel as though they have a purpose in exposing the way the told experience changes a person.  Amy’s inclusion feels more like an instruction manual on how to inflict pain, but it’s meant to be funny.

I wouldn’t give this book to anyone I know, which is a shame. It’s an expensive and beautifully photographed book and the crafting humor is fun. I thought about using it at the annual White Elephant gift exchange but again, when the recipient hit the fornicrafting section, I’m afraid I’d be mortified.  It’s a very taste-specific kind of humor and the sex section totally unexpected. Had that not existed, it would have been a fun poke at the economy and the home crafters of yore. As it is, it’s uniquely Amy, but not something I’d read or own.

That said, if one of you’d like it, it’s yours! One reader will receive the copy I received from the book company for their very own. Just comment below that you’d like to own it and on 11/17 one of you will be picked to own it. I’m not going to advertise the giveaway, too embarrassed, so only those of you who actually read my blog or are FB friends will know 🙂  Since this is an unofficial giveaway, there won’t be any extra entries.  I’ll mail it anywhere in the US or Canada.

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Comment Contest – Winner

Prize won: Amy Sedaris Book

Comment: Julie says i am a huge amy sedaris fan! 🙂

9780446557030

$27.99 – hardcover

:give:

http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&ref_=nb_sb_noss&enc=1&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Asimple%20times%3A%20crafts%20for%20poor%20people&field-keywords=simple%20times%3A%20crafts%20for%20poor%20people&url=search-alias%3Daps&ajr=3