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Book Review: House Lust
Book Review: House Lust

Book Review: House Lust

Oh my GOD, Jen! Another book review? What’s going on? Are you ill? Are you on bedrest? Is that how you’re reading all these books? What’s going on?

Har dee har har.

Giving up gluten has blown the brain fog away. I am foggy no more…well, the fog rolls in from time to time, but for the most part it’s pretty sunny around here. Sunny, warm, a gentle pleasant breeze…with a mojito…and silence…

Ack. I digress. But I seem to have more focus and energy and the ability to concentrate. I’ve missed it. And I’ve been reading with this new-found me.

Lately I’ve been taking the boys to the library on Fridays. Since DVD rentals are only a week long, this seems to work for us. They get books and a DVD each and run to the Papasan chairs in the back corners to read. I get to peruse the selections in the New Books area. I like to just pick up random books, flip through them, and either return them to the shelves or drop them in my bag. For whatever reason, I’ve been reading a lot of nonfiction. I have nothing against fiction, I just can’t seem to get into fiction right now. So I hit the new nonfiction books and I’m happy.

House Lust by Daniel McGinn is my most recent book. An interesting concept: it explores “America’s Obsession With Our Homes.” The author traveled the country to explore the real estate boom, how we are truly obsessed with home renovations, vacation homes, and foreclosure. It was published this year, but because of the rapidly changing nature of the housing market right now, many things have changed; I believe this book was written just as the sub-prime loan market was starting to tank, and before housing prices plummeted this spring.

I thought this book was absolutely fascinating. It amazed me that a woman featured in the book had a 9,000 square foot house and heard that 4,000 square feet described as a “mansion.” She didn’t think she lived in mansion, just a large house.


We live in a newer subdivision, on a golf course. We also have one of the smallest homes in the community. Modest. I see larger homes around us every time I set foot outside my door and it’s difficult to not have House Lust. But I find that decluttering and paint do wonders for that. I do suffer from mild House Lust, but it’s actually getting a cold shower due to the improvements we’re doing on our own house. Amazing what a coat of paint and some new (non-post-collegiate) furniture will do to how you see your house.

The book is an easy read, not everyone’s idea of summer reading, but fascinating nonetheless.


  1. RC

    Actually, if you are interested on the subject of homes and home foreclosure, This American Life & NPR teamed for a great report on what happened to cause the mortgage crisis. Let me know – it was a great listen!

  2. Poetikat

    Judging by the number of programs we get on the BBC network that feature home renos, house-flipping, property development and moving to the country – the UK is absolutely obsessed with the housing market. Pretty soon it will all crash, I suspect. It can’t go on forever like this. The money that’s being turned around on homes and flats in the UK is astronomical. We just don’t see that kind of thing here, in Canada.

    What’s a “Papasan” chair? I need to go to Pier 1.


  3. I’ll have to add this to my list. We’ve been in our house almost 12 years now, and it’s 30 years old. I do like the look of the newer neighborhoods, but love my 1996 mortgage a lot more 🙂
    I content myself with projects around the house. I think we’ve done all the rooms here now, next major project is the kitchen cabinets – pray for us!

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