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Sugarhouse : Turning the Neighborhood Crack House Into Our Home Sweet Home - Matthew Batt

Sugarhouse

Turning the Neighborhood Crack House Into Our Home Sweet Home

Paperback Published: 19th June 2012
ISBN: 9780547634531
Number Of Pages: 272

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"You’re married, you’re getting older, and your parents are looking more and more like the grandparents they are pestering you to make them. It’s getting embarrassing. Your pathetic renter’s mailbox—the one with three former tenants’ names crossed out—is stuffed with your friends’ baby shower invitations. Just a few months ago, right after my grandmother died, five different people mentioned the word Ultrasound to me on the same day. It was both onomatopoetic and devastating." In the cruel, cruel summer of a recent year, this was the condition in which Matt Batt and his young wife, Jenae, found themselves. Transient residents of higher-education-inspired locations like Columbus, OH, Madison, WI, Boston, MA, and eventually St. Paul, MN, they were, quite unexpectedly, living, working and renting in Salt Lake City, UT. And when a vicious series of deaths in their respective, immediate families set their anxious sights on some semblance of stability, they landed upon a flamboyantly dilapidated house in the Sugarhouse section of Salt Lake. With a shaky young marriage and a full-blown ¼ life crisis on their hands, these perpetual grad-students/waiters/non-profiteers with no homesteading experience whatsoever, decided they would turn this yellow former crack house into a home. Dizzy with despair, doubt and the side effects of using the rough equivalent of napalm to detoxify their house, Matt and Jenae found themselves fighting for their marriage, alternately dodging and accepting the burdens and joys of becoming fully committed adults, while trying to figure out how the hell a rented power sander works.

Industry Reviews

-Batt makes the story feel fresh through a combination of lively storytelling, some very funny misadventures, and a goodly portion of real human drama, for the decision to buy a house wasn't a whim, being prompted by some pretty dire circumstances. A thoroughly enjoyable variation on a venerable theme.- --Booklist -Batt's home-rehab picaresque is hilarious, engrossing, and stocked with a cast of squirrely tradesmen and manic realtors...a charming take on domesticity . - --Publishers Weekly

-Whether the focus is on the installation of a hand-cut slate floor tile or Grandpa's new floozy girlfriend, Batt's retelling is fast-paced. Everyone has a crazy family, but who has a crazy family and a crack house to renovate into a first home at the same time? That takes guts or insanity, and the fun of this book in finding out how it all ends up. VERDICT His description of -I don't belong here- aisles in Home Depot feels so familiar. While it's no how-to, this book makes it fun to follow Batt's how-we-did-it, warts and all.- --Library Journal -It's hard to write funny, especially when your world is crumbling around you, but in this utterly compelling memoir, Matt Batt makes it look easy. This is a sweet and deeply memorable debut by a writer who's clearly the real thing.- -- Andre Dubus III, author of Townie

-Sugarhouse is hilarious. It's also sad. And uplifting. Ultimately it's a story about the most quotidian and most important thing any of us will do: make a home. Anyone who has ever argued over floor tile, loved a willful grandparent, or wondered what an orbital sander is, will enjoy this charming book.- -Anthony Doerr, author of Memory Wall -Sugarhouse is a whale of a book -- an uproariously funny and deeply affecting account of home ownership and its discontents. Matt Batt has written a must-read manifesto for anyone who's ever faced off against a fast-talking real estate agent, an impossibly stubborn varnish, or a family on the brink of heartbreak. I'm still not sure how he managed to stuff so much life into one little book, but I'm dazzled at his achievement.- -Steve Almond, author of Candyfreak

-Matt Batt proves himself an oddball cousin to Thoreau and Tracy Kidder in Sugarhouse, a charming and compelling memoir in which a professor of writing decides to renovate a disaster of a house. Read the first two chapters, and you are likely to sign on eagerly for the rest of the telling, which shuttles easily back and forth from theory to practice, from humorous narrative to deepening meditation.- -Billy Collins, poet laureate of the United States, 2001-2003

-Winning, funny, and crackling with life, Sugarhouse is a can't-put-down chronicle of a bad house gone good and a good family gone in directions the author didn't expect. Batt's book about glue, grace, gumption, and the grit it takes to keep on living is an unforgettable and sweet read.- -Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild

-This is one charming book, told by a self-effacing Midwesterner way over his head, who leads the reader through the quotidian experience of buying and renovating a house in such a fashion that it takes on all the dire import and difficulty of Hercules' famous tasks. While Batt doesn't have to clean the Stygian Stables to get his house in order (in every sense of that phrase), his feat seems nearly as difficult and should not go unheralded. A DIY book to end all DIY books, full of wit and generosity and mercy for the foibles of family members, friends, hucksters, and most importantly himself.- - Robin Hemley, author of Do-Over! "Batt makes the story feel fresh through a combination of lively storytelling, some very funny misadventures, and a goodly portion of real human drama, for the decision to buy a house wasn't a whim, being prompted by some pretty dire circumstances. A thoroughly enjoyable variation on a venerable theme." --Booklist "Batt's home-rehab picaresque is hilarious, engrossing, and stocked with a cast of squirrely tradesmen and manic realtors...a charming take on domesticity . " --Publishers Weekly

"Whether the focus is on the installation of a hand-cut slate floor tile or Grandpa's new floozy girlfriend, Batt's retelling is fast-paced. Everyone has a crazy family, but who has a crazy family and a crack house to renovate into a first home at the same time? That takes guts or insanity, and the fun of this book in finding out how it all ends up. VERDICT His description of "I don't belong here" aisles in Home Depot feels so familiar. While it's no how-to, this book makes it fun to follow Batt's how-we-did-it, warts and all." --Library Journal "It's hard to write funny, especially when your world is crumbling around you, but in this utterly compelling memoir, Matt Batt makes it look easy. This is a sweet and deeply memorable debut by a writer who's clearly the real thing." -- Andre Dubus III, author of Townie

"Sugarhouse is hilarious. It's also sad. And uplifting. Ultimately it's a story about the most quotidian and most important thing any of us will do: make a home. Anyone who has ever argued over floor tile, loved a willful grandparent, or wondered what an orbital sander is, will enjoy this charming book." -Anthony Doerr, author of Memory Wall "Sugarhouse is a whale of a book -- an uproariously funny and deeply affecting account of home ownership and its discontents. Matt Batt has written a must-read manifesto for anyone who's ever faced off against a fast-talking real estate agent, an impossibly stubborn varnish, or a family on the brink of heartbreak. I'm still not sure how he managed to stuff so much life into one little book, but I'm dazzled at his achievement." -Steve Almond, author of Candyfreak

"Matt Batt proves himself an oddball cousin to Thoreau and Tracy Kidder in Sugarhouse, a charming and compelling memoir in which a professor of writing decides to renovate a disaster of a house. Read the first two chapters, and you are likely to sign on eagerly for the rest of the telling, which shuttles easily back and forth from theory to practice, from humorous narrative to deepening meditation." -Billy Collins, poet laureate of the United States, 2001-2003

"Winning, funny, and crackling with life, Sugarhouse is a can't-put-down chronicle of a bad house gone good and a good family gone in directions the author didn't expect. Batt's book about glue, grace, gumption, and the grit it takes to keep on living is an unforgettable and sweet read." -Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild

"This is one charming book, told by a self-effacing Midwesterner way over his head, who leads the reader through the quotidian experience of buying and renovating a house in such a fashion that it takes on all the dire import and difficulty of Hercules' famous tasks. While Batt doesn't have to clean the Stygian Stables to get his house in order (in every sense of that phrase), his feat seems nearly as difficult and should not go unheralded. A DIY book to end all DIY books, full of wit and generosity and mercy for the foibles of family members, friends, hucksters, and most importantly himself." - Robin Hemley, author of Do-Over! "" "Batt makes the story feel fresh through a combination of lively storytelling, some very funny misadventures, and a goodly portion of real human drama, for the decision to buy a house wasn t a whim, being prompted by some pretty dire circumstances. A thoroughly enjoyable variation on a venerable theme." --"Booklist ""Batt s home-rehab picaresque is hilarious, engrossing, and stocked with a cast of squirrely tradesmen and manic realtors...a charming take on domesticity . " --"Publishers Weekly" "" "Whether the focus is on the installation of a hand-cut slate floor tile or Grandpa s new floozy girlfriend, Batt s retelling is fast-paced. Everyone has a crazy family, but who has a crazy family and a crack house to renovate into a first home at the same time? That takes guts or insanity, and the fun of this book in finding out how it all ends up. VERDICT His description of "I don t belong here" aisles in Home Depot feels so familiar. While it s no how-to, this book makes it fun to follow Batt s how-we-did-it, warts and all." --"Library Journal"

"It s hard to write funny, especially when your world is crumbling around you, but in this utterly compelling memoir, Matt Batt makes it look easy. This is a sweet and deeply memorable debut by a writer who s clearly the real thing." Andre Dubus III, author of "Townie """Sugarhouse" is hilarious. It's also sad. And uplifting. Ultimately it's a story about the most quotidian and most important thing any of us will do: make a home. Anyone who has ever argued over floor tile, loved a willful grandparent, or wondered what an orbital sander is, will enjoy this charming book." -Anthony Doerr, author of "Memory Wall"

""Sugarhouse" is a whale of a book -- an uproariously funny and deeply affecting account of home ownership and its discontents. Matt Batt has written a must-read manifesto for anyone who's ever faced off against a fast-talking real estate agent, an impossibly stubborn varnish, or a family on the brink of heartbreak. I'm still not sure how he managed to stuff so much life into one little book, but I'm dazzled at his achievement." -Steve Almond, author of " Candyfreak "" ""Matt Batt proves himself an oddball cousin to Thoreau and Tracy Kidder in "Sugarhouse," a charming and compelling memoir in which a professor of writing decides to renovate a disaster of a house. Read the first two chapters, and you are likely to sign on eagerly for the rest of the telling, which shuttles easily back and forth from theory to practice, from humorous narrative to deepening meditation." -Billy Collins, poet laureate of the United States, 2001-2003

""

"Winning, funny, and crackling with life, "Sugarhouse "is a can't-put-down chronicle of a bad house gone good and a good family gone in directions the author didn't expect. Batt s book about glue, grace, gumption, and the grit it takes to keep on living is an unforgettable and sweet read." -Cheryl Strayed, author of "Wild" "This is one charming book, told by a self-effacing Midwesterner way over his head, who leads the reader through the quotidian experience of buying and renovating a house in such a fashion that it takes on all the dire import and difficulty of Hercules' famous tasks. While Batt doesn't have to clean the Stygian Stables to get his house in order (in every sense of that phrase), his feat seems nearly as difficult and should not go unheralded. A DIY book to end all DIY books, full of wit and generosity and mercy for the foibles of family members, friends, hucksters, and most importantly himself." - Robin Hemley, author of "Do-Over!" """Batt's home-rehab picaresque is hilarious, engrossing, and stocked with a cast of squirrely tradesmen and manic realtors...a charming take on domesticity. " --"Publishers Weekly""" "Whether the focus is on the installation of a hand-cut slate floor tile or Grandpa's new floozy girlfriend, Batt's retelling is fast-paced. Everyone has a crazy family, but who has a crazy family and a crack house to renovate into a first home at the same time? That takes guts or insanity, and the fun of this book in finding out how it all ends up. VERDICTHis description of "I don't belong here" aisles in Home Depot feels so familiar. While it's no how-to, this book makes it fun to follow Batt's how-we-did-it, warts and all." --"Library Journal""It's hard to write funny, especially when your world is crumbling around you, but in this utterly compelling memoir, Matt Batt makes it look easy. This is a sweet and deeply memorable debut by a writer who's clearly the real thing." -- Andre Dubus III, author of "Townie"""Sugarhouse" is hilarious. It's also sad. And uplifting. Ultimately it's a story about the most quotidian and most important thing any of us will do: make a home. Anyone who has ever argued over floor tile, loved a willful grandparent, or wondered what an orbital sander is, will enjoy this charming book." -Anthony Doerr, author of "Memory Wall"""""Sugarhouse" is a whale of a book -- an uproariously funny and deeply affecting account of home ownership and its discontents. Matt Batt has written a must-read manifesto for anyone who's ever faced off against a fast-talking real estate agent, an impossibly stubborn varnish, or a family on the brink of heartbreak. I'm still not sure how he managed to stuff so much life into one little book, but I'm dazzled at his achievement." -Steve Almond, author of" Candyfreak """"Matt Batt proves himself an oddball cousin to Thoreau and Tracy Kidder in "Sugarhouse," a charming and compelling memoir in which a professor of wr "Batt's home-rehab picaresque is hilarious, engrossing, and stocked with a cast of squirrely tradesmen and manic realtors...a charming take on domesticity. " --"Publishers Weekly"""Sugarhouse" is hilarious. It's also sad. And uplifting. Ultimately it's a story about the most quotidian and most important thing any of us will do: make a home. Anyone who has ever argued over floor tile, loved a willful grandparent, or wondered what an orbital sander is, will enjoy this charming book." -Anthony Doerr, author of "Memory Wall"""""Sugarhouse" is a whale of a book -- an uproariously funny and deeply affecting account of home ownership and its discontents. Matt Batt has written a must-read manifesto for anyone who's ever faced off against a fast-talking real estate agent, an impossibly stubborn varnish, or a family on the brink of heartbreak. I'm still not sure how he managed to stuff so much life into one little book, but I'm dazzled at his achievement." -Steve Almond, author of" Candyfreak

""Matt Batt proves himself an oddball cousin to Thoreau and Tracy Kidder in "Sugarhouse", a charming and compelling memoir in which a professor of writing decides to renovate a disaster of a house. Read the first two chapters, and you are likely to sign on eagerly for the rest of the telling, which shuttles easily back and forth from theory to practice, from humorous narrative to deepening meditation." -Billy Collins, poet laureate of the United States, 2001-2003"It's hard to write funny, especially when your world is crumbling around you, but in this utterly compelling memoir, Matt Batt makes it look easy. This is a sweet and deeply memorable debut by a writer who's clearly the real thing."

- Andre Dubus III, author of "Townie" ""Sugarhouse" is hilarious. It's also sad. And uplifting. Ultimately it's a story about the most quotidian and most important thing any of us will do: make a home. Anyone who has ever argued over floor tile, loved a willful grandparent, or wondered what an orbital sander is, will enjoy this charming book." -Anthony Doerr, author of "Memory Wall" ""Sugarhouse" is a whale of a book -- an uproariously funny and deeply affecting account of home ownership and its discontents. Matt Batt has written a must-read manifesto for anyone who's ever faced off against a fast-talking real estate agent, an impossibly stubborn varnish, or a family on the brink of heartbreak. I'm still not sure how he managed to stuff so much life into one little book, but I'm dazzled at his achievement." -Steve Almond, author of" Candyfreak ""Matt Batt proves himself an oddball cousin to Thoreau and Tracy Kidder in "Sugarhouse," a charming and compelling memoir in which a professor of writing decides to ren

ISBN: 9780547634531
ISBN-10: 0547634536
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 272
Published: 19th June 2012
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 20.32 x 13.97  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.25

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