The World According to Martha

Bill Adler, Editor
Bill Adler, Editor McGraw-Hill Companies $16.95 (182p) ISBN 978-0-07-146456-7
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She's been incarcerated. She's built a lifestyle empire. She has over three dozen pets. Her name is used to sell everything from paint to cookbooks. Her thoughts on these and many other topics are related here in bite-size capsules, organized into 30 categories for easy browsing. Due to the book's wide focus, Stewart's comments range from the mundane to the philosophical, and though, by some accounts, she's been known to be less than pleasant to live and work with, she comes across in Adler's quote compilation as angelic. (He does note that her husband of 29 years, in the divorce papers, accused Stewart of ""mental cruelty,"" though it's spun as a manifestation of Stewart's perfectionism, which-surprise-is Stewart's ""greatest strength and greatest weakness,"" according to her daughter.) Which isn't to say there aren't some gems in here. During her time in prison, for instance, Stewart ""didn't miss the cappuccino,"" she ""missed the idea of cappuccino."" And, during her trial, she told USA Today, ""For a creative person to be maligned like this is the worst thing that could happen. It takes away the joy."" Her thoughts on that which is joyful? ""It's nice to make a fluffy omelet."" And, for those burdened by chores, Stewart has found the silver lining to the ominous storm cloud of household duties: ""If you get tired of cooking, you can go outside and-and grow a plant. If you get tired of growing a plant, you can go canoeing. If you get tired of canoeing...you can paint a table, whatever."" Stewart's fans will welcome this addition to the Canon of Martha, but those who don't bleed color-coordinated blood won't find much of interest.
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