Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

Genre Kryptonite: Books about Nesting

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Ashley Holstrom

Staff Writer

Ashley Holstrom helps make books at Sourcebooks. She lives near Chicago with her cat named after Hemingway and her bookshelves organized by color. Newsletter: Crooked Reads. Twitter: @alholstrom.

I don’t really know how this became a thing, but at some point in the last year, I’ve come to really love books that can be best described as “nesting.” Not, like, prenatal nesting. More like I’m finally wanting to make my home cozy and clean. One afternoon I went to the library and came back with a stack of such books. Nothing else. Whaaaaaat?

These books are all super fun and I didn’t think I would love them, but here we are.

my boyfriend barfed in my handbagMy Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag … and Other Things You Can’t Ask Martha by Jolie Kerr.

First of all: Best cover (and title) ever, amirite? Jolie Kerr writes and podcasts about being a clean person, and after reading her book, you better believe I’m her newest fangirl. She covers each room/area of the house and what sort of daily clean vs. hard clean each zone needs. And also has funny anecdotes! And real-life letters from real-life people asking real-life questions about how to clean disasters like homemade beer exploding and people barfing on popcorn ceilings. Language levels are high and subject matters are a wee bit explicit, so, HELLO, perfect book. Because if you don’t curse while you scrub your grout, I don’t want to be friends with you.

makeyourplaceMake Your Place: Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills by Raleigh Briggs.

This book is so cute! It’s all handwritten with cute doodles on every page. It’s divided into three parts: Healing, cleaning, and gardening. Some of this is a little too hippie dippy for me, but I took notes for the very basic bits. I’m not going to start making my own pain-relief tea and shampoo any time soon, but I will certainly make some of the environmentally safe cleaning supply recipes.

She’s also written a bunch of little zines that are more in-depth on some of these topics — making your own soap, preserving food, mending clothes — and I am just so happy that these exist.

MarieKondoThe Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.

A list about nesting just wouldn’t be complete without the Konmari Method. She is now an integral part in all of our lives, whether we are aware of it or not. Whether it sparks joy or not. I will never ever have a special drawer for the things that belong in my purse to “give my purse a rest,” but the thoughts behind her rules are nice: Look at the things you own and appreciate them. Realize how they make your life better, and give them a pat on the head every once in a while.

at home brysonAt Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson.

Hello, microhistory about homes and rooms and chores and furniture. It’s so nice to meet you. Have you ever wondered when fireplaces came to be? How about upstairs bedrooms? Or dens? This is chock full of the progression of the structure of homes and home life through history, all told through a lovely meandering conversation about Bryson’s own home.

Also, he narrates the audiobook version, and it is a true delight.

realsimplesolutionsReal Simple: Solutions: Tricks, Wisdom, and Easy Ideas to Simplify Every Day.

My BFF found this in a Little Free Library and scooped it up for me, which I guess is a sign that maybe I’ve been conveying my weird nesting habits for longer than I thought I had.

It’s broken up into a bunch of categories, like grooming, cleaning, decorating, and entertaining. Each section has tips on other uses for things like vinegar or lemon, or must-haves in your kitchen/office/closet. It looks great on my kitchen hutch and is so lovely to have on hand for minor nesting emergencies.

So, those are mine. What are your favorite nesting books? Let us know in the comments!