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
Open Preview

Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  3,674 ratings  ·  426 reviews
The New York Times bestselling craft guide that inspired the hit new TV show, At Home With Amy Sedaris

It's often been said that ugly people craft and attractive people have sex. In Simple Times, Amy Sedaris sets the record straight and delivers a book that will forever change the world of crafting. Demonstrating that crafting is one of life's more pleasurable and construc
Audio CD, Abridged, 3 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.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,674 ratings  ·  426 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People
Jun 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parody, stuff-to-make
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
Nov 29, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 18, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  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
Dec 09, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: how-to
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
Laura Hancock
Oct 06, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dave Schaafsma
Nov 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
Amy Sedaris says ugly people do crafts and beautiful people have sex. :) This is a great and funny book with some actual crazy crafts you may want to try. It gets to be both craft book and a parody of craft books. Coffee table book, so that if you just were to see it, you would think it is straight craft. . . though it's by Amy Sedaris. . . and then there's that subtitle, Crafts for Poor People.

What's here? Glossy pics of Sedaris in various suburban housewife guises. Crab-claw roach clips, tinf
Jan 16, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jason Koivu
Apr 21, 2013 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.

Aug 08, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
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
Sara Lily
Apr 02, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, how-to
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
Apr 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, audio
This craft book which targets crafts that poor people can afford to make is surely one-of-a-kind. And who better to explore the subject than Amy Sedaris! This audio version is enhanced by the sage advice of the Woodchucks, Gene and Jean, and by the musical interludes. You will learn about things that other craft books tend to ignore: the dangers of crafting, crafting for the handicapped and the insane, how to borrow others’ ideas when your imagination fails, crafts for rabbits, and so much more. ...more
Jul 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 03, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

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
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. ...more
Dec 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Question from a 10 year old "If it's for poor people why is it $28?" ...more
Anne Gustke
Jan 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jul 20, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, humor
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
Nov 01, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-500
I did not read the blurb on the back of this audiobook so I thought I was getting a book about various crafts that Amy Sedaris enjoys doing. Instead, I got a sarcastic look at crafts and crafters. Fine by me. I thought most of the book was pretty funny. Some of it probably crossed the line of decency, but I'm pretty hard to offend, so I laughed at it. The only thing I didn't get was the chapter on sex. It didn't seem to fit the rest of the book; like it was thrown in for shock value. I could hav ...more
Jan 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crafts, funny
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 C
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. ...more
May 04, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Feb 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: craft-hobby, comedy
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.
Sarah Isgrig
Jul 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely hilarious. I'd never read anything by her before but I was cracking up listening to this audiobook about crafting. It's all one big joke (I didn't know it was going to be like that until after I got into reading it) but it was a great one. I'd highly recommend it to anyone who likes to make things. ...more
Dec 17, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
It's like an nc-17 version of those child craft books I was subjected to as a kid,complete with tacky photos with odd lighting. Includes hilarious chapters on crafting injuries, sausages, and crafts for the bedroom. Definitely will entertain you, if not inspire you to craft. ...more
Aug 15, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
my favorite: hotdogs on a rake.
DeAnna Rigney
Nov 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
« 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 »

Readers also enjoyed

  • American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America
  • The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee
  • The Jungle Book
  • Michelle Obama: Speeches on Life, Love, and American Values
  • Becoming: A Guided Journal for Discovering Your Voice
  • Michelle Obama: In Her Own Words
  • Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer
  • All Rise: Audio Perambulation
  • Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America
  • This is a Book
  • I Am America (And So Can You!)
  • Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk
  • Make Trouble
  • The Far Side Gallery
  • And Yet ...
  • Wild at Home: How to style and care for beautiful plants
  • The Saggy Baggy Elephant
See similar books…
See top shelves…
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

News & Interviews

These twelve books are so consistently adored, they have become regulars month after month in our data of most popular and most read books on...
123 likes · 43 comments
“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.” 232 likes
More quotes…