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The Amazing Thing About the Way It Goes: Stories of Tidiness, Self-Esteem and Other Things I Gave Up On
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The Amazing Thing About the Way It Goes: Stories of Tidiness, Self-Esteem and Other Things I Gave Up On

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  1,044 ratings  ·  144 reviews
From New York Times best-selling author and popular blogger Stephanie Pearl-McPhee comes a new spin and a hilarious look at life, parenting, and, well, pants.

The Amazing Thing About the Way It Goes takes on the amazing in the ordinary in this side-splitting series of short commentaries. Pearl-McPhee turns her trademark wit and perspective to everything from creative discip
Paperback, 224 pages
Published March 4th 2014 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
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4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,044 ratings  ·  144 reviews

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Dec 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
And with this book, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee officially becomes my spirit animal.

It's not just the love of knitting. And Battlestar Galactica. And the three kids. And having a wonderful husband who nevertheless cannot see that the house is dirty.

It's about the humor and pathos with which she describes motherhood. Personhood. It's about thinking that dodgeball was invented by a sadistic gym teacher. It's about applauding a mom at the grocery store whose three children are screaming and whose toddl
Mar 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Still very much one of SPM's books, though not as much about knitting as the others. I enjoyed it most of the time. Sometimes I wonder if there's anything else. It's not substantially different from the others, which is to say that I wonder how many memoirs a person can write before it's actually narcissism. And there's something bothersome about being continually reminded by someone who makes a living writing and knitting and teaching knitting that she herself isn't really all that special. If ...more
Jun 06, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: knitting
While this one didn't have as much knitting content, I can admit she's covered that a lot and we luckily have her blog posts for that. It had it's literal laugh out loud moments for me (scared my family a time or two) and it's thought provoking and touching times as well. There was only one chapter (the email one) that I had to skip through because while I could see it working in her head, it just slogged on and didn't grab me.

My only issue is the repetitiveness. I feel like I'm reading a sligh
Aug 30, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: knit-lit, humor
I swear I am getting crankier by the day. I love the yarn harlot, but I only liked this set of essays. 3.5 stars for a woman I genuinely appreciate and like, though I do not know her personally. The details: True there are a couple of poignant moments, and yes I did laugh out loud a few times, at 4am, which is when I usually read light as air stuff, all the while begging the cat to be quiet & leave me alone, hoping against hope for a few more winks. I like the harlot's husband, and her kids, ...more
Hester Rathbone
Jul 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: home
I wind up not having tons to say about this book. There were essays in it that were charming - some that were hilarious, although not as many as I would have hoped for. I do so love her writing style but to be honest, if she's not writing about knitting fiascos, I'm not quite as enthralled. I think if there had been a balance - more funny essays, perhaps, or at least one or two knitting-themed ones - I would have enjoyed this book more. As it was, it was fine and the first essay definitely had m ...more
Mar 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: light-reading
Wonderful, down to earth stories. Great writing. I felt like I was chatting with a good friend the whole time. It's the best kind of book, you laugh a lot, learn something, and feel lifted up and warm hearted after reading it. You'll want to buy extra to give to your friends.
Lesa Parnham
Apr 14, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014-books
I guess if you are a follower of Ms.Mc Phee this would be the book for you. I only found two stories I liked, one was laugh out loud funny and the other was lovely. Except for these two it was a major snooze fest.
Feb 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015
I have enjoyed her previous books but this one just didn't click with me. Didn't finish a few of the stories that didn't hold my interest.
Apr 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015-read
I really did not like this one. Couldn't really relate much to the writer and was expecting something much funnier.
Aug 16, 2017 rated it liked it
This book definitely had moments where I was laughing out loud (like the skunk story). Most of it was slow going for me to get through. It is probably just where I currently am in life that I couldn't yet relate to many of the stories. Maybe in another decade when my kids are teenagers this book might be something I can relate to a lot. I think I would like one of her knitting books better if anyone has any recommendations. That being said I've been to a retreat where Stephanie was the guest spe ...more
Having never heard of this author before (I would have if I were a knitter, it seems), I didn't have any expectations at all. Surely this helped my unadulterated enjoyment of her collection of essays, some of which were hilarious, others more quiet and insightful. This is my breakdown of them:

Thirteen A story about the author's level of determination when it came to mastering the art of cycling with clip-ons. 4/5

Marks left on you An essay on parenting. 3/5

Metal tornado About her love for scienc
Barth Siemens
Apr 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I should probably face the fact that, as much as I enjoy humourous, autobiographical essays, I appreciate other forms of writing so much more. Actually, I should realize that the best way for me to digest these journals is one at a time with breaks, as I read the authors blog.

But I have this need to quickly finish books that I start—to my detriment, because this is funny and touching stuff.

So, I'll keep reading the Yarn Harlot's blog, and support her work by buying her books. What else would I
Nov 01, 2014 rated it liked it

Not as funny as her books usually are. I only laughed out loud in the first couple of chapters, the rest gained a smile at best.

This book is primarily about parenting and how much cooler she thinks her sister is.

I was glad to have borrowed the book from the library rather than paying for it. I generally like the author's style, but this book felt flat- many of the essays felt/read like filler, so that there was enough content to call it a book.
Marjorie Speir
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved this. A funny and thoughtful read.
Nov 10, 2014 rated it liked it
This is a book of humorous essays - just light reading. The author has a blog, which is mostly about knitting but also about her life. Her other books have all been stories about knitting with a lot of humor involved. This one had no knitting at all. She is a good writer, but i did like her other books better.
May 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult, cnf-memoir
Fun. Our beloved Yarn Harlot has this way of writing that feels so intimate. This was less a book of essays, and more a catch-up with my friend Steph. Who I have met. And with whom I have a picture. In which I am wearing a sweater I knitted...Kind of like wearing the t-shirt of the band you're going to see. But I rocked it. So does she.
Nov 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014, essays, humor
Humorous essays about everyday life. I always enjoy Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's writing, and this book is no exception. I do miss her knitting-related musings, however, so this book was less interesting to me.
Apr 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Another great collection of essays by Stephanie. This is the first of her books that is not directed at knitters, and as such is more accessible. While I love Stephanie and her writing, I have to say that this book is not funny - rather, it's heart-warming and poignant. Highly recommended.
Jul 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I love Stephanie's books about knitting and it turns out I love her books not about knitting too. I think it's because she makes me feel normal, not neurotic and harassed like I usually feel! You don't have to be a knitter to read this book, you just have to be a person.
Mar 28, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: put-on-hold
I could not get into this book.
Harper Sutherland
Nov 12, 2014 rated it liked it
I vastly prefer Peal-McPhee's knitting stories and am looking forward to her next anthology.
Mar 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I love reading these essays. They make me laugh, make me cry, and always make an impression on me. But wait....she doesn't like pie?
Nov 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
I have loved the Yarn Harlot's blog for years and think she is incredibly smart and funny about not just knitting but life in general. And yet when I read one of her knitting books a few years ago, it fell flat for me. It's not that I didn't enjoy it, but it honestly wasn't as clever and funny as what I expected and so I haven't rushed out to read any more of her books. Then recently I was at a fiber fest and saw she was signing books and really wanted to get her to sign one for my mom. And so I ...more
Jessica Robinson
Mar 21, 2018 rated it liked it
If I could petition Goodreads for anything, it would definitely be for them to allow half-stars because this is a 3.5 if anything in the world is. I enjoyed the essays in this collection, laughed out loud like a crazy person a couple of times, and will surely forget everything I read by the time next Wednesday rolls around, and not just because I have the memory of an excitable goldfish. I do remember books better than people and while this book is funny and relatable, it doesn't stand out enoug ...more
Susan Baranoff
The chapter entitled "Writer" pretty much sums up what is wrong with this book. As the author explains chaining herself to the desk until the required number of words for the day written I found myself missing her easy, funny style from when she was mostly a knitter who also writes instead of a writer who occasionally mentions her knitting. I rarely put down a book before I finish it, but by the time I was 5 essays into this one I wished I had never paid for it. Bye, bye, former Yarn Harlot, it ...more
Dec 21, 2016 rated it liked it
2.5 stars

I didn't enjoy this one nearly as much as I did the other two of her books that I've read. I think it was because there was almost no knitting here. The essays are about life, and knitting is briefly mentioned but never the main focus of the humor. So I just wasn't feeling it. Some of the essays near the end were pretty good, and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee is a good storyteller, but overall it wasn't what I was expecting.
Not as great as the knitting essay books, but a good one all the same. I started once months ago, but I was disappointed to notice that this is not knitlit. It took a while to get into it, but it was still Yarn Harlot. Just with much less knitting.
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love Stephanie. We see her every year at Madrona Fiber Festival and she is a great master of ceremonies for the teachers talent show. I can specifically relate to the "oh if I just had time to knit" comment.
Jan 09, 2019 rated it liked it
DNF. I read the first several essays, didn't laugh, and decided to move on with life.

It's a perfectly fine book; I'm either not the right audience or didn't pick it up at the right time. Hence, three stars.
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Stephen's books are wonderful. She tells it like it is and adds humor to her words. Waiting for another book from her. I have them all.
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Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (better known as the Yarn Harlot) is a prolific knitter, writer and blogger known for her humorous but always insightful anecdotes and stories about knitting triumphs and tragedies.
“I am so uncoordinated that it’s as if the day they were handing out physical prowess I was distracted at the fine motor skills wicket, probably by a knitting pattern, and missed out completely on whatever it is that lets people do standing-up things with their bodies.” 2 likes
“An Open Letter to the Media re Unrealistic Portrayal of Life Screw you.” 0 likes
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