What is it about the rustic beauty of hardwood floors or the luxury of natural stone countertops that turns ordinary people into covetous friends, competitive neighbors, and shameless snoops? In House Lust, Newsweek writer Daniel McGinn takes readers inside the homes and the psyches of people all over the country to discover what's fueling the national fixation on where and how we live today.
If eyes are the windows to our souls, then our homes are the windows into our taste, our wallets, and, arguably, our very identities. Buying a house or apartment is a rite of passage, so it's only natural that we spend a lot of time talking about our homes - and our neighbors' homes. House Lust is filled with stories of what people are not talking about:
The kitchen designer who in four years saw seven of her 20 clients' marriages end in divorce
The woman who took a sledgehammer to her kitchen while her husband was away on a fishing trip to motivate him to start remodeling
"Zillowing: using the Web site Zillow.com to find out how much your friends (and enemies) paid for their homes
In a narrative that blends comic social commentary with incisive reporting, McGinn proves what real-estate agents have known all along: people are not just buying a house, they're buying an identity. House Lust is an astute, funny, and sometimes disturbing portrait of contemporary America.
"Daniel McGinn has written an insightful, comical read for the real estate junkie in all of us." (Alex McLeod, original host of Trading Spaces)
"The best part of this smart, entertaining book is that while you're laughing at other people's excesses, you're simultaneously calculating how much it would cost to do a renovation like theirs." (Joel Stein, Time)
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If you read real estate ads...
- B. Steele "Intolerant of pretense"
Just the right amount of sarcasm