Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People” as Want to Read:
Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  2,488 ratings  ·  349 reviews
Read by the author!
America's most delightfully unconventional hostess and the bestselling author of I Like You delivers a new book that will forever change the world of crafting. According to Amy Sedaris, it's often been said that ugly people craft and attractive people have sex. In her new book, SIMPLE TIMES, she sets the record straight. Demonstrating that crafting is on
Audio, 0 pages
Published November 2nd 2010 by Grand Central Publishing
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Simple Times, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Simple Times

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
I think I'm such a fan of this book for all the terrific memories it brings back to me.

My mother was a "crafty" lady, though finishing things was
not her strong point. (Mine, either. Heredity?) But, boy, she LOVED starting them. I remember her going, at least one night each month, to take a class at a local craft store. More often than not, she would come home with a seasonal "centerpiece," normally a hunk of Styrofoam decorated with fake flowers, plastic bunnies or deer, ribbons and mounds of g
Paquita Maria Sanchez
I struggle with this constant, nagging problem: I like the idea of living simply, and am fond of a clean-lines, sparse aesthetic. I like rooms with nothing in them but one large painting on the wall, a stack of books on the creaky wooden floors, and a bed with no frame tucked into the corner. Soothing. I find throwing things away or taking clothes to the drop box to be invigorating, and I generally agree with the argument that the less you own, the more clearly you can think. I know you're proba ...more
Dear Amy. I loved your new book, Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People, but I have a few comments. First of all, I made your crab claw roach clips. Unfortunately, I was showing them off to some of my friends at a local restaurant when I noticed that the table of police officers at the next table were paying a lot of attention to my demonstration. Later, after lunch, they let me sit in the back of their police car while they looked through my van. On the plus side, I did get to make the siren wail ...more
Jason Koivu
Apr 21, 2013 Jason Koivu marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I got about a third of the way through and gave up. I'm just not into it. I love her brother's work, but hers just doesn't cut it for me. I think part of it is because I expect her to bring more of the funny and what she's doing here with this book is to bring a bit of the humor to a hobby that she enjoys. So part of my problem with it is that she's sincerely interested in crafting...and me? Not so much. I think a crafter would get quite a few laughs out of Simple Times. I'm not a crafter.

Laura Hancock
This book took THREE FREAKIN' months to read, because I hated it.
The premise is funny: A book celebrating crafting in an ironic way. Like the author, I too hate crafting.
The problem is that the book is one, big inside Sedaris joke. I like David Sedaris and I liked Amy Sedaris' previous book, "I Like You: Entertaining Under the Influence" but I hated this one. I think the big difference between her last book and this book is the author's perspective.
In real life, Amy Sedaris enjoys cooking and
It took me a long time to get around to this book because I was disappointed that it wasn’t “I Like You” all over again. Delving a little deeper, it is very similar to “I Like You” after all, but the pleasures are smaller, less laugh-out-loud, but equally pleasing. There humorous sideswipes (inserting a winking aside into a serious statement) remain; to paraphrase an example: the problem with interior decorators is not that they are predominantly homosexual, but that they are so expensive. As th ...more
I had high hopes for this book.

I read I Like You, and I really enjoyed it. I thought it was wacky and fun, but also at least a little bit useful. When I heard Amy Sedaris had a new book out, a book about crafting, I was really excited. I like to craft. Amy likes to craft. A wacky book about crafting by Amy Sedaris was sure to be FUN.

Sadly, no. This book is not so fun.

I think this book was an excuse for Amy Sedaris to dress up in horrible wigs and goofy costumes and have her photo taken. I think
Oh, Amy Sedaris. You are preciousness. But this book is like your crazy exploded, and someone caught a bunch of the pieces and published it.

What a weird, weird book. It’s not really a craft book since you’d never want to actually make any of the facetious crafts in it. It’s more of a photography book featuring portraits of Amy channeling characters (à la Cindy Sherman…kinda), but it’s a humor book also that features Amy’s stream of conscious quirk in a loose parody of how-to craft books. With t
Since I'm not a crafty person, I didn't read and study this like I did Amy's I Like You cookbook, which is jampacked full of useful recipes and tips and still manages to be funny. Simple Times is a fun book to flip through, but I don't know who would make 90% of these crafts.
Anne Gustke
This is a very funny, parody craft book by the authors of I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence. If you are expecting a serious crafting book which will teach you how to create amazing Christmas presents you have the wrong book. If you want a book that will make you laugh out loud then you have the right book. Many of the crafts are the kind of junky crafts you make a bad day camps – or even worse. For example the directions for “Rusty Nail Wind Chime” direct you to toss a bunch of nails i ...more
I really enjoyed Sedaris' previous book, I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence. It was a real kick with some surprisingly helpful information. This new book was still really funny, but just not what I was expecting. I had really hoped to find some new, inexpensive crafts to make but instead, just found myself laughing at her "creations". It is NOT a book for kids.

The chapter "Making Love" is hysterical. The author states, "The craft of lovemaking is simple to initiate, yet difficult to ac
This tongue-in-cheek guide to crafting is not for everyone. It jokingly gives tips and instructions on how to make various things, but never takes itself seriously, not should it. I loved the Ten Commandments of Crafting, which included, “Thou shalt not fill envelopes with glitter and confetti and send them through the mail.”

There’s one section that discusses “crafting for the hard-of-hearing.” Amy Sedaris literally yells this entire section on the audiobook, which is funny for about.02 seconds

So, while I think Amy Sedaris is a talented, hilarious and quirky woman - I also sometimes find her humour depressing - same for her brother David(?).

While I laughed a few times -- especially at the pic accompanying the Joy of Poverty section! I mostly found the crafts to be gross and tragically sad -- people have that in their homes!

I'm sure I also didn't like it because it was sort of late 60's mid 70's kind of stuff that just looks dirty and dusty and yucky too me. I just kept picturing t
this is in non-fiction part humor. Amy Sedaris has always had a great sense of humor. this is a humor craft and even recipe book. a fun read that offers tidbits of humor, some actual recipes, and ideas for crafts from objects you can find in your home. think the idea is these are projects that are not costly. I wish she had given more instructions with the craft ideas. some have instructions by most do not. I am not the craftiest person but i would have liked more instructions. this is a "for th ...more
I could barely finish this scattered, silly, boring coffeetable piece of nonsense. I generally love irreverent, snarky books, and I think Amy Sedaris is hilarious, but this book does not work. She's poking a great deal of fun at the crafting community. There is a veritable vomitous of gingham throughout, many bent-over-big-butt (clothed) pictures, about two dozen random recipes thrown in, a section on rabbit-proofing your home, and large chapter on craftastic sex that isn't really very funny, lo ...more
Haha this book is so funny! I guess I fell for the joke because I was expecting a real craft book with some light humor. Nope, this is all silly crafts that no one in their right mind would actually make and some recipes thrown in for good measure. (Her recipe for clam chowder is to glue googly eyes onto a clamshell.) If you have a strange sense of humor and enjoy crafting this book will make you laugh your ass off.
(link to Amy promoting her book on The Co
I love Amy Sedaris. She has this random quirky campy humor that makes me go "WTF?" and then just laugh out loud. There's not only creative ideas of crafts for poor people, but also recipes, stretching exercises before doing crafts, advice for successful "fornicrafting", and making sausages. And hilarious photos featuring Paul Dinello, too. This book just makes me want to watch some more Strangers with Candy episodes, and glue googly eyes onto something.
As a peruser of craft websites, this book seriously cracked me up! I think one of my favourite crafts in here was the "candlesticks" - ie, drumsticks painted white with red tips stuck in candle holders. But there were lots of great things.

The library clerk who is in love with Amy Sedaris hunted this down for me to read. He says it cracks him up when people check the book out thinking it's a "serious" crafting book.

He really loves Amy Sedaris.
This book is all kinds of crazy. It's pretty funny but not really the sort of book you read beginning to end. Still if you're looking for tips on how to build a skid row flop house for a mouse you've maimed in a mousetrap look no further. Also included -a Jesus beard you make w/ hair salvaged from your hairbrush, a hobo fireplace made w/ a tin can and a roll of toilet paper, and fake nails made w/ peanut shells.
Sara Lily
I have no idea who the audience for this book is, and further I'm confused as to how this got made. Obviously the author(s) had a lot of fun and enlisted a lot of talented people to create, stage, and photograph awful crafts reminiscent of the 70s. But intermixed with the parody are periodic actual instructions or half-recipes for real things. At one point I wanted to make one of the recipes, but ended up searching online for a better recipe when I decided I should probably not use any recipes w ...more
Amy Sedaris writes a how-to craft book.

Okay, you know how it's sometimes said that the key to good comedy is to punch *up* - toward the powerful - rather than *down* - toward the oppressed?

Amy Sedaris just sort of flails around flappy-handed in all directions going "wheee, look at me, I'm punching things!"

The sad thing is, crafting books are ripely due for a satire, and when what this book is doing is satirizing the crafts industry, it's good. When it's playing with hipster racism or mocking dis
DeAnna Rigney
Amy Sedaris just kills me. She is wickedly absurd. The crafts, pictures, categories, and everything else in this book make it a hoot. I want to hang out with this woman.
Kathy (Kindle-aholic)
I'm not sure what to rate this. It was bitingly funny in places, made me groan in a "She did not go there!" kind of way. Then there were a few actual crafts and recipes.
May 18, 2014 eeks rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody
I found a hardcover copy of this book, in excellent condition, in a recycling bin. It looked like a sweet book (I like to craft), so I was confused as to why it was tossed out, but then I opened the book and read it.

A book on crafting, which I guess was intended to be funny and ironic(?), instead produces racist caricatures, mocks folks in poverty, and those with mental health and physical disabilities --- there are entire chapters in this book based on these topics and I found this to be total
This book was purchased for me by someone who didn't read the inside cover. She thought it was really a crafting book.

I kept it for 3 years before toughing it. I wondered why make a book when there's Pinterest. THEN I opened it, without reading inside the cover.

I DID NOT know this was not a Hot-To book an started becoming REALLY concerned about Amy Sedaris' sanity in the first Chapter. I flipped through and found that all the craft projects were batshit crazy and stupid.
I marked it as "Read"
During some very difficult months in our lives my kids and I stumbled across a copy of this. Although it was inconvenient, we took it with us everywhere we moved in those months. We would pile in the bed together and laugh and laugh and laugh. There is one particular "spread" that caused the children to go silent for concern out of Miss Amy's well-being, but I snorted the loudest on those pages, so they eventually carried on. We will cherish this lovely philosophy tome and German expressionist d ...more
Wendy Hines
First off, I want to say that this book is a HOOT!! It is a heavy book, very colourful photographs and pictures of different craft projects. It also has how-to's for most of the projects in the book.

For example:

Simple Times Protector Rod
Protect your yesterdays from the uncivil tomorrows today! Don't delay.
Instructions: Saw the base off a broom, cutting the bristly sweeping mechanism free, and leaving only the handle. Decorate according to your personal sense of style. Place in window diagonally.
As fans of my blog already know, I love certain crafts. I can't say I've ever been a huge fan of crafts that involve taking those extra things from around the house (or buying stuff some strange people still keep around the house---sugar cubes, for example) and making them into something even weirder than they already are. In other words: one time through elementary school was enough for me.

The wonderful thing about Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People is that you can make this journey through "
This wasn't really what I was expecting from a craft book, but I guess I should have since it's pretty much the essence of Amy Sedaris' humor. It's pretty weird and sometimes disgusting but you can't look away and you can't help laughing. There are lots of crafts for poor people interspersed with pictures of Amy doing some crazy weird shit. The book alternates between recipes for such delicacies as fudge and homemade sausage and instructions on how to make your very own milk carton Skid Row or a ...more
Kate Woods Walker
Amy Sedaris and Paul Dinello, with plenty of assistance from crafters, costumers, photographers and other collaborators, have created a tidy package of eye-watering, urethra-loosening hilarity that is as highly-recommended as a Gene Woodchuck custom pipe.

Everything in this book is designed to elicit laughter, or at least a heartfelt WTF. From the spot-on costuming reminiscent of every bad 1970s McCalls how-to book, to the earnest-yet-absurdist copy, this volume lifted my mood so thoroughly that
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Big-Ass Book of Crafts
  • Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft, and Design
  • Regretsy: Where DIY Meets WTF
  • Subversive Cross Stitch: 33 Designs for Your Surly Side
  • The Cute Book
  • The Sexy Book of Sexy Sex
  • Hoopla: The Art of Unexpected Embroidery
  • The Handmade Marketplace: How To Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, And Online
  • The Repurposed Library
  • Mortified
  • The Ten, Make That Nine, Habits of Very Organized People. Make That Ten.: The Tweets of Steve Martin
  • Crafting a Meaningful Home: 27 DIY Projects to Tell Stories, Hold Memories, and Celebrate Family Heritage
  • Crafty Superstar: Make Crafts on the Side, Earn Extra Cash, and Basically Have It All
  • Stitch 'n Bitch Superstar Knitting: Go Beyond the Basics
  • ReadyMade: How to Make [Almost] Everything: A Do-It-Yourself Primer
  • Doodle Stitching: the motif collection
  • Creepy Cute Crochet: Zombies, Ninjas, Robots, and More!
  • Time Management For Creative People
Comedianne Amy Sedaris confronts vulgarity with a daring innocence to create her wickedly absurd characters. You may best remember her as America's most lovable skank, Jerri Blank, from the hyper-irreverent series Strangers With Candy. Raised in North Carolina,, Sedaris got her start at Second City in Chicago before moving to N.Y.C. to write plays with her brother, author David Sedaris, who has hi ...more
More about Amy Sedaris...
I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence Wigfield: The Can-Do Town That Just May Not The Book of Liz - Acting Edition The Ultimate David Sedaris Audio Collection The Party Dress Book: How to Sew the Best Dress in the Room

Share This Book

“Sometimes losing a pet is more painful than losing a human because in the case of the pet, you were not pretending to love it.” 174 likes
More quotes…