Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Gentle Art of Domesticity: Stitching, Baking, Nature, Art & the Comforts of Home” as Want to Read:
The Gentle Art of Domesticity: Stitching, Baking, Nature, Art & the Comforts of Home
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Gentle Art of Domesticity: Stitching, Baking, Nature, Art & the Comforts of Home

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  572 Ratings  ·  147 Reviews

Jane Brocket delights in domesticity. Lively, curious, and creative, she takes inspiration from her surroundings, from art, literature, and nature, and expresses her passion through the gentle arts of needlework, cooking, gardening, and homemaking—and now through her writing. In The Gentle Art of Domesticity Brocket celebrates everything that is, and can be, wonderful ab

Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by STC Craft/A Melanie Falick Book (first published January 1st 2007)
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 The Gentle Art of Domesticity, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Gentle Art of Domesticity

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

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Nov 05, 2008 rated it did not like it
How do I loathe this "book"? Let me count the ways:

1) Faux Book
It takes more than a cover and pages to make a book. This appears to be a printout of blogposts, without the interactivity of an actual blog and without the structure of an actual book. While there is a table of contents, and there are "chapters," this "book" has no real bones to it. There's no thesis the author develops and the chapters are thrown together.

2) Faux Feminism
Convincing your husband to do the "domesticated" tasks of, s
Mar 06, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: crafty divas, artists
Recommended to Louise by: 782371
Shelves: crafty, 2008
I loved this book. And no, it is not anti-feminist.

The Gentle Art of Domesticity is about including simple yet beautiful pleasures into your life. It inspires the reader to do and make, though she also included examples of domesticity in art, literature and film. Honestly, I can only read bits at a time because there's so much to digest, but also because I have to take a break to actually DO something creative.

The book is filled with gorgeous pictures and bright colors, almost to the point of
Dec 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crafts, cookbooks
An enormous, thoughtful, beautiful book, perfect for anyone with any leanings at all toward domesticity. Makes me yearn to spend my days reading Jane Eyre, baking bread and growing tomatos. This book makes me realize how many small simple ways there are to make my home life more special. I got my copy from Amazon UK (they have international shipping), not sure if it's available in the US yet.
Jan 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: someone who loves color and design
Recommended to JayeL by: Jane Brocket and MavAnna
Shelves: own
I bought this book after reading several critical reviews. I bought it because I love the photos and words on Brocket's blog. It is totally worth the price even if you never read the text.

I have devoured all of the pictures and slowly made my way through the text. Brocket is an excellent and thoughtful writer. There are so many good thoughts that the photos offer a welcome diversion to some of the text. Not in a bad way, but in a way that allows me to process the words.

The photos are similar to
Apr 21, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2010
The Gentle Art of Domesticity by Jane Brocket has been my morning coffee reading. Visually, it's a lovely book. I ordered it shortly after it was first published in the UK. At the time, it was not available in the U.S. and I had a copy shipped from London. It felt it was worth it, just for the illustrations.

Jane Brocket does have some charming thoughts about the domestic arts. However, this is not a perfect book. I have to agree with other reviewers who have remarked that the book reads too muc
Jan 12, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
I was rather disappointed by this book. I expected it to be something of a celebration of the beauty of home, but found it was very half-hearted in that. As long as something is inherently decorative and largely purposeless, Jane Brockett approves of it (for example, embroidery and making ridiculously over-decorated cakes). But she is very scathing and derisory about most of what I would term domestic arts, and regards things that are generally useful (for example, cooking dinners as opposed to ...more
Oct 07, 2008 rated it liked it
Jane Brocket (she does the yarnstorm blog) is interested in ways that everyday life/domesticity can be made meaningful and beautiful. I support that project. The worst way to look at this book = rich woman who does not have to work spends far too much time playing with food color and writing poetically about cupcakes and paintings. A more charitable interpretation would include her thoughtful discussions of the value of making things, valuing one's living space and the way it looks/feels. At its ...more
Gina House
Sep 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys the arts of knitting, sewing, cooking and quilting.
Recommended to Gina by: Marion from Knitting
Only 2 books in my life have been put on the "LIFE BIBLE" shelf...not to have anything to do with religion, but because these books have changed my life in a great way somehow. This book is one of them. I savored every page, waiting for a time before bed when I could sip a cup of tea, snuggle under the sheets and read each page slowly and carefully. It not only inspired me, but brought me joy, laughter and a feeling of "yes, this is me". Truly, truly a remarkable and extremely enjoyable book. LO ...more
Kathleen Roberts
Nov 14, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: crafters, designers, cooks
Recommended to Kathleen by: Bookshop Santa Cruz
This book is beautiful! You do have to love color, yarn, quilts and looking at neon-colored cupcakes, though. The writing is average, something many people might write in their diary. However, there is so much inspiration in here to remember the "gentle arts" that (mostly) women have performed though the centuries. It reminds us that in this overly technological wordl, we can still enjoy simple earthy pleasures together. Check out the pumpkin tea cosy!
Mar 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Here are delicious photography, if over-sweet, and prose as familiar and comfortable as chocolate milk. Then, as I read, I started to wonder if the milk had gone off, because, well, I couldn't say why. On "the domestic library," she writes, "As I get older, I find I am happier to reread rather than spend (waste?) time with unknown and possibly disappointing books." Is that, I wonder, encouragement to enjoy another kind of pleasure or acknowledgement of an atrophied sense of adventure? She notes ...more
Feb 19, 2010 rated it did not like it
Before I get started, the author kind of looked like Marie- only Marie is prettier and not an idiot.

Okay. I was so excited for this book to only find out that it was just a random mismatch of very unimportant information! Want to know what movies this author likes but have no importance to your life at all? Read this book! Want to look at somewhat cute cakes and kind of pretty knitted projects but not have a pattern/ recipe to learn how to make them? Read this book! It was kind of like a really
Apr 06, 2009 rated it did not like it
I didn't even make it past pg 15. I felt like I was reading slightly pretentious essays. I might not even mind reading slightly pretentious essays if they were at all inspiring, interesting, or thought provoking. But reading someone's (not so interesting) journal, that isn't especially entertaining or inspiring? No thanks.

I also didn't like how it jumped from one idea to another so quickly, although retrospectively I'm thinking it might be good bathroom reading. I guess if I owned the book I'd
Nov 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ongoing-project
Some books in the library you pick up and put down...interesting but not enough to check out.

Some books you check out from the library and return. That was nice. I enjoyed that book.

Some books you bring home and ...wait... this one is different. I need this one. This one has things in it that I will come back to and enjoy and use, such as lists or recipes.

This book is the last of the three. I smiled as I looked at the wonderful photographs. I wanted to copy down all the lists she had of favorite
Feb 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
Just picked this up on Valentines day whilst roaming the isles of B&N waiting for my kids to go to sleep. I love books/people/blogs/anything that elevates the art of domesticity. It's a fine line between sheer drudgery and taking pleasure in building your nest. Books like this one inspire and remind me to enjoy the journey. Also, she involves her kids in so many of the things she does. I am trying to be better at that.
Apr 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is such a delightful book. Brocket is a talented and engaging writer, and obviously a talented domestician. This is a book you actually want to *read* instead of just looking at the (adorable) pictures. I love how the topics are divided up, making the path to domesticity an achievable and enjoyable one. A must for anyone who enjoys the home arts. A wonderful source for books, movies, and travel ideas as well.
Jul 20, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art-craft
Nice Pictures, intended more for inspiration than instruction, therefore inherently disappointing. I did get a little sick of pictures of color coordinated cupcakes. Am I just jealous? Do I want to stay home wearing birkinstocks (color coordinated) and baking cupcakes in a home-made apron? Knitting up a tea cozy while they bake? It's possible
Nov 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautiful book. Jane has a lovely writing style, and writes on a great range of home-y topics. The accompanying images are bright and colourful, and sometimes I pick up the book just to appreciate the beauty of these pictures. The book isn't particularly instructive, but rather serves to inspire you to be busy and creative in your own home, to make it lovely.
Oct 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book. I have read it cover to cover, but the joy for me is just picking it up and reading bits here and there, and looking at the pictures. I want to live in this book, knitting and baking and eating rock buns with tea.
Nov 13, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I want to quilt...This book is a terrible indulgence; it's impossible to do anything but bake or desire better sewing/knitting skills. I both like and loathe the lack of patterns.
Feb 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Brilliant, just Brilliant. I wish I had an iota of Jane Brocket's creativity. This is a lovely, dreamy book, perfect for a lazy day with a cup of tea.
Apr 07, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
dipping into now and then, and really enjoying it
Sep 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Read this book slowly; savor it. It's really lovely.
Jenn Mckague
Beautiful pictures but otherwise lacks substance. Reviews presented as almost a "how-to", sorely disappointed for this reason.
Mar 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Honestly, I went into this book thinking, I’m not gonna like it. I don’t think of myself as a super feminista, but, hey, I’m a lawyer and before that I was an “engineer” (yeah, I never could seriously take that playing on a computer is “engineer”-like). So I’m used to playing in the man’s world. And all about woman-power in that world. In fact, no one was more shocked than I when 1) I succeeded when I taught myself to crochet (have I mentioned how that came about? mental note: story on how I got ...more
Feb 09, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book in a moment of weakness, basking in the "I have a full-time job again" glow. How could I not? The cover is mostly pink and features thread, yarn, cookies, flowers, fabric... in other words, more than a few of my favorite things. (Note: the photo here is from the UK edition, I think.) I'm a sucker for attractive books and as a lover of things domestic (except cleaning), I responded to this tome's siren call.

As I climbed into the book, I learned that Jane Brocket has a domestica
Odd how a word expressly designed to describe pursuits that are clean, orderly, and wholesome can come to mean things gritty, repressing and yes, dirty but that is the case with the word domestic and its derivatives: domesticity, domestication, domestics, domestically. That is until I read these words in the introduction of this delectable book by Jane Brocket:

"There is a world of difference between domesticity and domestication. This book is about domesticity and pleasures and joys of the gent
Aug 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, crafts, style
This book was not exactly what I was expecting. Most crafty books have actual recipes, crafts, directions, etc for the reader to follow. This book reads more like a blog with a lot of text; which I must admit I didn't read all of, but instead I skipped from paragraph to page haphazardly and still enjoyed it immensely! The focus of the book is much more about becoming inspired with your own passions, enjoying your little nest to the fullest, and the joy one gets by simply slowing down and getting ...more
Jan 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: essays, knitting
I had postponed reading this book for several years as I had been (as might be described in Jane Austen's Persuasion) "persuaded" by an older, more well-read (at least when it came to the subject of domestic arts) friend that the book was haphazard and inaccurate. On a holiday whim, I added it to my Amazon wishlist in hopes of a secondhand copy to test my friend's theory.

I've read just 50 pages or so and I feel vindicated to have bypassed the prejudices and given this book a chance.

Rather than a
Apr 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Heidi by: Holly O'Keefe
Well, I really enjoyed this book--even though I had to read it one eyed! My sister recommended this book to me when I saw her at Easter. It's not a book about housekeeping and efficiency. It's all about enjoyment and making our homes more lovely--even more homey.

I enjoyed every single page of this book, and it inspired me with a ton of new ideas--both the author's and my own.

In the afterword, the author, Jane Brocket, pens these words: "I was wondering how to explain what I believe is the key to
Aug 18, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a regular reader of Brocket's blog and share her affection for Persephone books. I've paged through this numerous times in bookstores and finally decided to get it from the library. I didn't expect to read it all, but found that I enjoyed reading it in leisurely chunks at the breakfast table or before bed. If I had tried to read it straight through, I think I might have found it all A Bit Too Much and wondered if Brocket's life, home, and family were really all that perfect.

The photography i
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts
  • Seams to Me: 24 New Reasons to Love Sewing
  • Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing: Patterns and How-To for 24 Fresh and Easy Projects
  • I Love Patchwork
  • Amy Butler's Midwest Modern: A Fresh Design Spirit for the Modern Lifestyle
  • Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts: Basic Techniques for Sewing, Applique, Embroidery, Quilting, Dyeing, and Printing, plus 150 Inspired Projects from A to Z
  • Bend-the-Rules Sewing: The Essential Guide to a Whole New Way to Sew
  • "A" Is for Apron: 25 Fresh & Flirty Designs
  • The Vintage Tea Party Book
  • Weekend Sewing: More Than 40 Projects and Ideas for Inspired Stitching
  • Handmade Home: Simple Ways to Repurpose Old Materials into New Family Treasures
  • Stitched in Time: Memory-Keeping Projects to Sew and Share from the Creator of Posie Gets Cozy
  • Denyse Schmidt Quilts: 30 Colorful Quilt and Patchwork Projects
  • Simple Sewing with a French Twist: An Illustrated Guide to Sewing Clothes and Home Accessories with Style
  • Sublime Stitching: Hundreds of Hip Embroidery Patterns and How-To
  • Knitting Little Luxuries: Beautiful Accessories to Knit
  • A Knitter's Home Companion: A Heartwarming Collection of Stories, Patterns, and Recipes
  • Well-Preserved: Recipes and Techniques for Putting Up Small Batches of Seasonal Foods
[From the author's website:]

My first book The Gentle Art of Domesticity was published by Hodder & Stoughton in October 2007. My second book Cherry Cake and Ginger Beer was published by Hodder & Stoughton in July 2008 and my third book with Hodder Ripping Things to Do was published in July 2009. September 2008 saw the publication in the USA of The Gentle Art of Domesticity by STC Crafts/Mel
More about Jane Brocket...

Share This Book