Friday, July 6, 2007

Must Have Book: Home Comforts - The Art & Science of Keeping House

Speaking of keeping things clean, Cheryl Mendelson is a Harvard-educated lawyer who woke up one day and decided she was going to write a book (a tome, really) on keeping house. In it, she explains how to one should properly perform such seemingly mundane tasks as vacuuming, dusting, sweeping and sorting laundry. She also covers more involved topics such as dust mites, food safety, care for different types of fabrics and a LOT more. She even discusses the laws relating to domestic employees and potential liability for mishaps occurring on your property. This is not the kind of book you have to read from cover to cover (although I find it engaging), but it is an invaluable resource. More than a reference book, I think the book is a work of art. It reads like a conversation one might have over coffee, but is clearly the outgrowth of the author's passion for her subject: in her words, "the art of making a home a small living society with the capacity to make meet the needs of people in their private life." Thanks to this book, I have learned that keeping house can be a joyous effort. The book is a well-established classic and to "recommend" it feels presumptuous. I therefore simply pass this information along to those who are not yet in the know.

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