Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived in That House by Meghan DaumReading Group GuideABOUT THIS READING GROUP GUIDEThe questions, discussion topics, and reading list that follow are intended to enhance your reading group’s discussion of
Life Would be Perfect If I Lived in That House
, MeghanDaum’s laugh-out-loud memoir.ABOUT THE BOOK “A wonderful new book from one of my very favorite writers. It’s like having a long,glorious, no-holds-barred conversation with your smartest, funniest friend about all the juicy topics: real estate, class envy, bad dates, family identity, and the discrepancies between the lives we aspire to and the lives we lead.” — Curtis Sittenfeld, author of
From the acclaimed author and columnist: a journey into the world of real estate—the truestory of one woman’s “imperfect life lived among imperfect houses” and her quest for thefour perfect walls to call home.
After an itinerant suburban childhood and countless moves as a grown-up—from New York City to Lincoln, Nebraska; from the Midwest to the West Coast and back— Meghan Daum was living in Los Angeles, single and in her mid-thirties and devotingobscene amounts of time not to her writing career or her dating life but to the pursuit of property: scouring Craigslist, visiting open houses, fantasizing about finding the right placefor the right price. Finally, near the height of the real estate bubble, she succumbed,depleting her life’s savings to buy a nine-hundred-square-foot bungalow, with a garage that“bore a close resemblance to the ruins of Pompeii” and plumbing that “dated back to theCoolidge administration.”From her mother’s decorating mania to her own “hidden room” dreams, Daumexplores the perils and pleasures of believing that only a house can make you whole. Withdelicious wit and a keen eye for the absurd, she has given us a pitch-perfect, irresistible taleof playing a lifelong game of house.QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
Meghan Daum details her lifelong obsession with real estate and her quest for a place to call home. What does “home” mean to you? How has that meaningevolved over the years? Do you agree with Daum’s assertion that “a house is notthe same as a home . . . You do not shop for a ‘home’ any more than you’d shop for a life” (pages 12–13)?
Daum writes, “I wanted to live on another block, in another part of town, in NewYork, in Paris, on the moon” (page 224). Why does Daum constantly desire tomove around? How does Daum’s concept of a dream home change as she movesfrom New York City to Lincoln, Nebraska, and on to Los Angeles?
After taking the big real-estate plunge, Meghan Daum met, dated, and eventuallymarried her now husband. Do you think there’s any sort of connection or similarity between finding a house and finding love?4.What is it about real estate that draws such a following? Why are so many