No Place Like Home: A Memoir in 39 Apartments

I was not planning to read No Place Like Home while moving across the country. But like so much else in life, as playwright and author Brooke Berman explores in her memoir, sometimes things don’t always go according to plan.

Berman is looking for that place where she fits into the world a situation so many other young women face in their twenties. For Berman, she is sure the answer is New York City. Raised in Michigan by a single mother who ingrained in her that Manhattan is the epicenter of all things important, Berman leaves the Midwest for Columbia University at age 18 and never looks back.


What follows is a series of cramped apartments, vegan roommates, and a series of boyfriends one of whom swears he’s “this close to Enlightenment.” Segmented into sections by the various addresses she kept on the island of Manhattan and beyond, No Place Like Home explores what it’s like to face the actualities of trying to realize your dreams.

Berman’s best moments are those personal ones that she makes universal – when you can relate to how ridiculous her situation is or how overtly crazy she is acting.  During a particularly tough stretch, she finds solace in going to St. John’s each morning to weep in its garden, and admits, “I know, it’s dramatic, but it helps.”  She puts a story behind the cliched term of “starving artist” and shows us how much of our growing up actually occurs after the age of 20 until we can come to the point where we can say, “I know where I need to be, doing the work I need to do, and finally after years of living this way, I know it’s going to be okay.”

While at times the cynical reader will roll her eyes at Berman’s fancy for the New Age, the author seems aware of this, stating at one point, “I am a massive pain.” Despite the spiritual healers and macrobiotics, No Place Like Home will make you smile and shake your head as you remember where you’ve been and what might lie ahead – whether it’s turning thrifted clothes into “Salvation Armani” or finally buying a bed after ten years of moving a futon mattress between apartments.

Oh, and did I mention that Rainn Wilson makes an appearance?

Pick up a copy of No Place Like Home in our bookstore today, and join the discussion on GoodReads!

Win a copy of next month’s Book Smarts pick!
Interested in joining our Book Smarts group for a chance to win August’s book of the month? Become our friend on
GoodReads! Don’t know about GoodReads? It’s a social networking site that allows book lovers to share their favorite finds.

To enter our giveaway, join our Book Smarts group on GoodReads, and leave us a comment in the discussion titled, “What book has your parent(s) recommended to you?”  If you tell us what book your parent(s) have recommended to you on GoodReads by 11:59 p.m. on July 31, you’ll be entered to win a free copy of August’s Books Smarts pick!

About Sarah

Suggested Posts

Galentine’s Day Style + DIY Self-Love Kit
February 05, 2019
This Face Mask Is Like a Bouquet for Your Skin
January 17, 2019
Workplace Besties: A #TeamModCloth Trio Shares the Love
January 10, 2019
How to Style a Party Dress Three Ways
December 20, 2018
The New Black: Styling All-Grey 3 Ways
December 13, 2018
Travel Bug: Saumya Takes Us on a Tour of DC
December 06, 2018
Party Recap: Hello Kitty’s Birthday in LA
November 12, 2018
A Pampering Present: DIY Concentrated Bubble Bath
November 05, 2018
Easy Makeup for Going Out: Featuring Anna Sui Beauty
October 22, 2018
Haunt Now, Haute Later: Three Scary-Stylish Outfits
October 11, 2018

7 Comments

  1. Katharine Ellis Tapley 07/03/2010 at 7:52 am #

    This sounds really good. I’ll check it out.

  2. Keira 07/03/2010 at 7:59 am #

    Definitely checking this out! Thanks for the great review.

  3. kate maggie 07/05/2010 at 6:53 pm #

    What a great review, thanks for that! I need to get this..sounds amazing. Oh Modcloth, I just love you guys!

  4. Allie 07/06/2010 at 10:06 am #

    Thanks for sharing this gem :o)

  5. Miriam 07/06/2010 at 2:38 pm #

    This is definitely on my list of books to take to the beach! I can’t wait to read it.

  6. Tanya 07/06/2010 at 4:43 pm #

    Sounds wonderful!

  7. David Cohen 08/06/2010 at 11:56 am #

    I own a moving company in NYC ( http://www.divinemoving.com ) so during the course of my job I hear a lot of stories why people are moving, some sad, some are funny… but I really liked this book. it’s written well and talks directly to the NYC market..
    I may buy a few copies to give to my clients that complain that they move 5 times in 5 years or something like that…

Leave a Reply