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The Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking

Decorating, Dining, and the Gratifying Pleasures of Self-Sufficiency—on a Budget!
The Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking: Decorating, Dining, and the Gratifying Pleasures of Self-Sufficiency—on a Budget! HarperDesign: HarperCollins. Apr. 2011. c.288p. illus. ISBN 9780062014702. pap. $19.99. HOME ECON
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Payne presents a disappointing companion to her excellent blog of the same name (hipgirlshome.com). While the book boasts superb visual style and organization, it lacks the blog's friendly, spontaneous tone and clear how-to instructions. These are unfortunately replaced with trite advice and the stilted feel of an attempt at simultaneous authority and h ipness. A handy "Resources" section at the end of each chapter is this book's most notable redeeming feature. Since one of Payne's greatest strengths is her connection to the ecohip blogger scene, the web resources are especially outstanding. However, the quality and depth of these sections are inconsistent, and they frequently omit important resources discussed in the chapters.
VERDICT This book is directed at a very specific audience—ecochic, crafty, tech-savvy young adults living in urban shoe boxes. Its shelf appeal and the blog's name recognition may make it initially popular with those readers, but their needs will be ultimately better met by a good variety of housekeeping and ecolifestyle manuals, e.g., Erin Bried's How To Sew a Button.

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