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Extended Audio Sample House Lust: America’s Obsession with Our Homes, by Daniel McGinn Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (261 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Daniel McGinn Narrator: David Drummond Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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What is it about the rustic beauty of hardwood floors or the luxury of natural stone counter tops 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 twenty 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 website 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[House Lust] is a witty survey of the world of buying, selling, and gossiping about homes.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • House Lust remains relevant in spite of the bust because, by and large, people will never stop jonesing to keep up with the Joneses.”

    USA Today

  • “[House Lust] raises provocative questions that strike at the covetous soul of America’s culture and economy.”

    New York Times

  • “Daniel McGinn examines what drove history’s greatest real estate boom with insightful, often amusing, anecdotes.”

    New York Post

  • “To understand this overweening desire for residential improvement, McGinn takes a humorous journey across the country…It’s obvious McGinn has done his homework.”

    Seattle Times

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jane | 2/19/2014

    " Wonder why the housing market tanked? Read this book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Mark | 2/19/2014

    " Not much new here if you followed the housing bust. Irrational exuberance and all that in a narrative. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jill | 2/14/2014

    " A little outdated now, given the housing collapse. Still an interesting read, particularly for a home-owner who watches too much HGTV (me). I am definitely a house-luster. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Ellen | 1/20/2014

    " Entertaining and speaks to my, shall we say, current preoccupation. Does this mean I'm not the only one who gets emotional while watching 'House Hunters'? "

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About the Author

Daniel McGinn is a national correspondent at Newsweek and has published articles on culture and real estate in the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine and Wired. He was twice named one of the country’s best journalists under thirty and has appeared as a guest on NPR, CNN, CNBC, and MSNBC. He lives in a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts.