House Lessons: Renovating a Life by Erica Bauermeister

Do you like to read memoirs?

How about home renovation books?⁣


You might recognize this authors name. Erica is actually the genius behind one of my favorite books last year, The Scent Keeper.

In this memoir – yes, it’s about Erica – but more specifically, one particular point in her life when she purchases and renovates a dilapidated home in Washington.⁣

This is ultimately, and uniquely, a memoir about a house.

The main “character” is old, and cranky. Stuffed to the gills with trash, it has more quirks and eccentricities than one might prefer in a protagonist.

And it’s quite dangerous, but not in a thriller-type way. Like actual danger – as in, turn on the water and plan to be electrocuted.⁣

“One part investigation of architecture and design, one part exploration of identity, House Lessons is a meditation on space and home, and Bauermeister is a Zen master of the self.”
—Adrienne Brodeur, author of Wild Game

We follow Erica’s journey as her and her family slog through what feels like the longest cleanup and renovation ever, all the while falling in love with this codgey, old house.

She beautifully integrates snippets of her life and her own thoughts on identity and foundation, as the house also struggles to find itself.

We are taken on a journey of the way a homes can affect us; how a home makes you feel; the connections we form with them; the smell of each ones individual space (yes, of course she talks about the scents!); and tons of unique facts and history, with gorgeous hand drawn illustrations interspersed throughout.⁣


I hope you’ll give this one a chance – it’s out today, and is one of the most interesting and beautiful memoirs I’ve ever read.

Huge thank you to Sasquatch Books for this gifted book to read and review!

Get your copy here! or at your local indie bookstore.



About the Book:


“I think anyone who saves an old house has to be a caretaker at heart, a believer in underdogs, someone whose imagination is inspired by limitations, not endless options.”

In this mesmerizing memoir-in-essays, Erica Bauermeister renovates a trash-filled house in eccentric Port Townsend, Washington, and in the process takes readers on a journey to discover the ways our spaces subliminally affect us. A personal, accessible, and literary exploration of the psychology of architecture, as well as a loving tribute to the connections we forge with the homes we care for and live in, this book is designed for anyone who’s ever fallen head over heels for a house. It is also a story of a marriage, of family, and of the kind of roots that settle deep into your heart. Discover what happens when a house has its own lessons to teach in this moving and insightful memoir that ultimately shows us how to make our own homes (and lives) better.

About the Author:

516F6Btw48L._SY200_Erica Bauermeister is the bestselling author of the four novels including The Scent Keeper (Reese’s Book Club pick for Feb. 2020), The School of Essential Ingredients (Pennie’s Pick July, 2019), Joy for Beginners, and The Lost Art of Mixing.

Her memoir-in-essays, House Lessons, will be published in March of 2020. Erica Bauermeister is also the co-author of two guides to books: 500 Great Books by Women and Let’s Hear It For the Girls. She lives in Port Townsend, WA and loves to talk with book groups.

For more personal insights, you can visit her on her website or on Facebook.




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