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From Ben and Erin Napier, the stars of the hit HGTV show Home Town, comes Make Something Good Today, a memoir that tells us all to seek out the good in life, celebrate the beauty of family and friends, and prosper within our communities because everything we need in life to be happy, is within our grasp. Long before their hugely popular TV show, an expanding family, or demo From Ben and Erin Napier, the stars of the hit HGTV show Home Town, comes Make Something Good Today, a memoir that tells us all to seek out the good in life, celebrate the beauty of family and friends, and prosper within our communities because everything we need in life to be happy, is within our grasp. Long before their hugely popular TV show, an expanding family, or demolition day on their dream home, Erin began keeping a daily online journal to help her stay focused on the positive and count her blessings in life. She never expected that her depictions of small-town life in the tiny swath of Mississippi where she Ben call home would catch the eye of a television producer and set them off on the journey of a lifetime. Make Something Good Today offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the struggles and triumphs of a couple that America has come to know and love for their easy humor, adoring relationship, and ability to utterly transform a place into something beautiful and personal. This is the poignant story of how Erin and Ben took a small, tight-knit town into their own hands (literally) and used ingenuity, community, and authenticity to rebuild a once-thriving American Main Street. And how, by combining Ben’s carpentry skills with Erin’s design eye, Home Town is making it clear to us all that small-town living can feel as big as you make it. Complete with family photographs, Erin’s hand-painted sketches, and never-before-heard personal stories, this inspirational memoir reminds us all not to give up hope that great love stories are possible, big things can bloom in small towns, and there is always magic in the ordinary if you know where to look for it.


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From Ben and Erin Napier, the stars of the hit HGTV show Home Town, comes Make Something Good Today, a memoir that tells us all to seek out the good in life, celebrate the beauty of family and friends, and prosper within our communities because everything we need in life to be happy, is within our grasp. Long before their hugely popular TV show, an expanding family, or demo From Ben and Erin Napier, the stars of the hit HGTV show Home Town, comes Make Something Good Today, a memoir that tells us all to seek out the good in life, celebrate the beauty of family and friends, and prosper within our communities because everything we need in life to be happy, is within our grasp. Long before their hugely popular TV show, an expanding family, or demolition day on their dream home, Erin began keeping a daily online journal to help her stay focused on the positive and count her blessings in life. She never expected that her depictions of small-town life in the tiny swath of Mississippi where she Ben call home would catch the eye of a television producer and set them off on the journey of a lifetime. Make Something Good Today offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the struggles and triumphs of a couple that America has come to know and love for their easy humor, adoring relationship, and ability to utterly transform a place into something beautiful and personal. This is the poignant story of how Erin and Ben took a small, tight-knit town into their own hands (literally) and used ingenuity, community, and authenticity to rebuild a once-thriving American Main Street. And how, by combining Ben’s carpentry skills with Erin’s design eye, Home Town is making it clear to us all that small-town living can feel as big as you make it. Complete with family photographs, Erin’s hand-painted sketches, and never-before-heard personal stories, this inspirational memoir reminds us all not to give up hope that great love stories are possible, big things can bloom in small towns, and there is always magic in the ordinary if you know where to look for it.

30 review for Make Something Good Today

  1. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra Consolver

    Full Review: 4.5 Stars - I recommend if you like memoirs and/or HGTV's Home Town. This book follows Ben and Erin Napier's lives from childhood to the present. This very personal memoir contains their childhood hopes and dreams, their strong personal faith, their love story, their travels, their work with HGTV, their love of Laurel, and their growing family with baby Helen. This is a behind the scenes look at the show, but more-so a story about two people who found each other, found their callings, Full Review: 4.5 Stars - I recommend if you like memoirs and/or HGTV's Home Town. This book follows Ben and Erin Napier's lives from childhood to the present. This very personal memoir contains their childhood hopes and dreams, their strong personal faith, their love story, their travels, their work with HGTV, their love of Laurel, and their growing family with baby Helen. This is a behind the scenes look at the show, but more-so a story about two people who found each other, found their callings, and are creating a life that they love in Laurel, MS. HOW GORGEOUS IS THIS COVER?! As soon as I started reading this.. I could hear it being read in their voices. I always thought I'd love Home Town, and once I started watching it my suspicions were confirmed. Ben and Erin are delightful, hard working, so caring, and a darn cute couple. Anyhow, I was super jazzed to receive this book via the publisher and Netgalley. I was so touched and emotional about their stories, and I just didn't expect that. Especially parts where Ben talks about his younger brother (10 years younger) Tom. That is me and my OE Jo (17 years younger!) to a T. And I missed her dearly when I went to college. I loved reading about Erin and Ben's childhoods, career and twenty-something struggles, their desire to create a community, their love story, and their journey as new parents. It was further personalized by including so many home photos, paintings, and mementos from throughout the years. It felt a bit like you were reading their scrapbook or journal. Some of this book has a religious tone to it, but it's not pushy which I appreciate. It just shows how caring that they are to tell their story which is deeply rooted in their faith, without it coming across in an overbearing way. Even though I do keep ARCs of books that I really enjoy, I would love to have a hard copy of this one! Right After Reading: 4.5 Stars - I loved this very very personal memoir by HGTV's Home Town stars Ben and Erin Napier. The photos, illustrations, and mementos really made you feel like you were reading their scrapbook or journal. I was given advance access to this title by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. These reviews are my own opinion, and based on the edition of the book I was given at the time. Thank you Netgalley

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    While I have only seen this show a few times, I found this book very interesting. Their story about how they met and they fell in love is very sweet. It was also interesting and encouraging to read how they followed their dreams and created businesses out their interests and passions rather than choosing to stay in their stable jobs working for other people. To read about their success and subsequent TV show on HGTV after following their dreams reminded me that one has to follow one's dreams in While I have only seen this show a few times, I found this book very interesting. Their story about how they met and they fell in love is very sweet. It was also interesting and encouraging to read how they followed their dreams and created businesses out their interests and passions rather than choosing to stay in their stable jobs working for other people. To read about their success and subsequent TV show on HGTV after following their dreams reminded me that one has to follow one's dreams in life and carve one's own path. Not everyone is a fit for every job, even if it uses a skill set you own. Sometimes we have to take chances if we want our life to be what we truly envision for ourself. Their story was a good reminder of that.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    Really enjoyed this book. It was well written and very real. I enjoy watching their show and this made me feel like I know them even better.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I love Home Town, but even if you do don't, this is a wonderful, heartfelt book. Erin and Ben Napier write about their early lives, their courtship and marriage, their desire to do work that satisfied them creatively and spiritually, the whirlwind that is Home Town, and the birth of their baby daughter. You feel like you're having coffee with them. The book is real, open, and heartfelt--a wonderful and inspiring read that motivates you to go for what you love.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kayo

    I actually hadn't seen their show, or know anything about them. I'm so glad I do now. They seem like such a sweet couple. Great book! Thanks to author, publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book. While I got the book for free, it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Angela Schlater

    I’m a total sucker for hgtv and these two are too cute and this book was fun to read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    I love everything about this book!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin

    *Gallery Books sent a copy of this book to me for free through a giveaway here on Goodreads* As a huge fan of Ben and Erin's HGTV show Home Town I was really excited to get my hands on this book. Admittedly, I was also a little wary due to my experience reading another HGTV-connected memoir, The Magnolia Story, earlier this year, but the fact that I'd previously enjoyed Erin's blog and that she was designing the book herself pushed down those worries. Having finished the book, I wish I'd let that *Gallery Books sent a copy of this book to me for free through a giveaway here on Goodreads* As a huge fan of Ben and Erin's HGTV show Home Town I was really excited to get my hands on this book. Admittedly, I was also a little wary due to my experience reading another HGTV-connected memoir, The Magnolia Story, earlier this year, but the fact that I'd previously enjoyed Erin's blog and that she was designing the book herself pushed down those worries. Having finished the book, I wish I'd let that wariness tamper down my hope just a bit more. While this isn't a bad book, per se, it's one that I struggled with and felt could've been much improved. The main problem for me is that it's less of a book and more of a careful chronicling of their lives in which they include every single thing that's happened in as much excruciating detail as possible. Somehow, despite being 225 pages long, the result just feels overstuffed and bland. I spent two months trying to read it but always putting it off because I knew I'd have to push through the drudgery of material that wasn't very interesting and also wasn't important to their overall story. And on a more personal note, which I kind of hate to even include, the chapter about how Ben and Erin first got together was a tough one for me because so many of the things Ben did came across as creepy, possessive, and wildly aggressive. Now nothing that I've seen from him in later parts of the book or on TV would make me think of him that way, so I'm left guessing that either something got lost in the writing process or else Ben has simply grown out of that behavior. Either way, it's disappointing that those things were portrayed as romantic, and it made those passages very uncomfortable to read. I so wish that they'd had an editor who would have helped focus this book more. After those two months of trying and failing to make progress, I ended up skim reading in large part, slowing down when I would come across one of the several really great nuggets of material that are sprinkled throughout. A huge positive in this book is certainly Erin's design. Each and every page is beautiful, brimming with full color pictures from throughout their lives and with Erin's artwork. And there's no denying that I enjoyed it more when it got to what I considered the most interesting parts of the book: the discussions about their creative passions and their professional lives as business owners and now TV personalities. Unfortunately, it was a lot of work to get there. So overall, I'm left frustrated at the wasted potential of this book but also having enjoyed large parts of it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I loved this book. Erin's description of her youth and growing up reminds me of my own. Probably because we both grew up around the same time. The bumps and trials she went through deciding her career as well as her questions in life also remind me of things I have gone through. I love the relationship Erin and Ben have an this book goes deeply into it and shows true love does exist. The only thing I'm a bit confused about (and it may have been because I read through the book quickly) was how the I loved this book. Erin's description of her youth and growing up reminds me of my own. Probably because we both grew up around the same time. The bumps and trials she went through deciding her career as well as her questions in life also remind me of things I have gone through. I love the relationship Erin and Ben have an this book goes deeply into it and shows true love does exist. The only thing I'm a bit confused about (and it may have been because I read through the book quickly) was how they made the jump to working on houses. The book goes in great detail Erin leaving her corporate job to create invitations for people, Ben leaving youth ministry to work in carpentry and their Ah Ha! moments but doesn't really say very much on how they went into working on houses. A chapter just starts on their show. Again, I read this really fast though so it might have been a short part of the book. I also had not seen very many episodes of their show before reading their book. I bought it on a whim and am so glad I did. It not only made me want to watch more of their show, but was such a great story overall. If you like home renovation, couples who work together, have a strong relationship in Christ, and are just genuine, great people, you will love this book :)

  10. 5 out of 5

    Brian's Book Blog

    See this and many more reviews on Brian's Book Blog A Wonderful Memoir When I first found out that Fixer Upper was going away I was worried that I wasn’t going to find another show that I liked similar to that. Then comes Ben & Erin Napier and Home Town. I instantly fell in love with the show, their personalities, and their big southern charm. So, when I found out they were writing and narrating a book I was excited. I really don’t know much about their backstory and I was intrigued to figure See this and many more reviews on Brian's Book Blog A Wonderful Memoir When I first found out that Fixer Upper was going away I was worried that I wasn’t going to find another show that I liked similar to that. Then comes Ben & Erin Napier and Home Town. I instantly fell in love with the show, their personalities, and their big southern charm. So, when I found out they were writing and narrating a book I was excited. I really don’t know much about their backstory and I was intrigued to figure out who they were and where they came from. Make Something Good Today Gave me that and more. I’m a big guy like Ben (not as tall) and have a similar heritage – so I identified with him a lot on the show. My wife is also short, cute, and, creative like Erin – so you can see why we fell in love with them. I was not prepared for just how cute Ben really is. I consider myself to be a romantic but Ben blows me out of the water. The scenes where they talked about when they first met, first dated, and where he proposed had me smiling from ear to ear while listening. If you didn’t know what I was listening to you might think I was a bit crazy. It was just so cute and so incredibly adorable to listen to them tell it from both of their perspectives. They don’t go too much into the story behind Home Town which was fine with me. They talk a little bit about the pilot and what it was like shooting in the southern heat. But a lot of the story is where they came from, what shaped them, and how they overcame certain issues (quitting jobs, not knowing what they wanted to do next, not getting a political position, etc). There was so much in Make Something Good Today that I didn’t know it was a joy to read from beginning to end. I’m glad I picked this one up!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I received a free digital copy to review from NetGalley/the publisher. While I’m a casual fan of HGTV, Home Town is a show that never made it on my radar until a few months ago when I saw a recap special where Erin and Ben Napier seemed sweet, funny, and interesting. As memoir is one of my preferred genres, when I saw Make Something Good on NetGalley I took the opportunity to learn more. Aesthetically, this book is beautiful, even on an iPad. Their story, told in alternating voices (with differe I received a free digital copy to review from NetGalley/the publisher. While I’m a casual fan of HGTV, Home Town is a show that never made it on my radar until a few months ago when I saw a recap special where Erin and Ben Napier seemed sweet, funny, and interesting. As memoir is one of my preferred genres, when I saw Make Something Good on NetGalley I took the opportunity to learn more. Aesthetically, this book is beautiful, even on an iPad. Their story, told in alternating voices (with different fonts for each writer, which was a solid and helpful choice), is accompanied by photos from practically every stage of their lives. These photos bring their words to life and showcase their relationship and stories. Though their story isn’t filled with “drama,” the way they approach the natural but difficult transitions that life brings is comforting and reassuring. The central theme of finding the good in life is refreshing. Make Something Good is perfect for fans of HGTV and books by other tv stars, as well as those interested in stories of how others handle life transitions and making big decisions.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Kellan

    I bought a hardcover copy of this book, and I'm so glad I did. Make Something Good Today is a beautiful book, one that you'll want to keep close at hand for the times when you need to hear someone say that good things can happen if you follow your heart. Written in Erin's and Ben's distinctive voices, every page contains so many examples of how optimism and love can change a life, a purpose, and a community. Honestly, I was surprised to read about Erin's childhood. I won't say why because I don't I bought a hardcover copy of this book, and I'm so glad I did. Make Something Good Today is a beautiful book, one that you'll want to keep close at hand for the times when you need to hear someone say that good things can happen if you follow your heart. Written in Erin's and Ben's distinctive voices, every page contains so many examples of how optimism and love can change a life, a purpose, and a community. Honestly, I was surprised to read about Erin's childhood. I won't say why because I don't want to provide any spoilers for those who haven't read this yet, but Erin strikes me as someone who I'd love to get to know...it was heart-wrenching to hear about the tough times she experienced when she was young. Both Erin and Ben have faced moments in their life when things aren't working. I was inspired to witness how they allowed love and faith to carry them through painful changes within this beautifully written memoir. Their book inspired and entertained me, and it's one that I'll be keeping on my bookshelf to page through often.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Roxann

    From the cover: From Ben and Erin Napier, the stars of the hit HGTV show Home Town, comes Make Something Good Today, a memoir that tells us all to seek out the good in life, celebrate the beauty of family and friends, and prosper within our communities because everything we need in life to be happy, is within our grasp. I received this book free from Goodreads Giveaway. I don’t usually read memoirs, but since I’m familiar with the HGTV, Home Town show I thought I would give it a go. The book is b From the cover: From Ben and Erin Napier, the stars of the hit HGTV show Home Town, comes Make Something Good Today, a memoir that tells us all to seek out the good in life, celebrate the beauty of family and friends, and prosper within our communities because everything we need in life to be happy, is within our grasp. I received this book free from Goodreads Giveaway. I don’t usually read memoirs, but since I’m familiar with the HGTV, Home Town show I thought I would give it a go. The book is beautiful. It’s filled with lots of photos, etc. I found the book a little ‘slow’ for me. It took me awhile to finish the book. I did like how the couple tries to focus on the good in life. Something more of us should try to do.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Glaittli

    I loved this book! Ben and Erin are my favorite TV couple because they just seem real. I loved hearing their stories and how they got to where they are. I thought that the book was thoughtful and beautifully written and the pictures that accompanied their stories only enhanced them. I bought the audiobook as well as the hard copy and I would listen to it and then go back and look at the pictures from those chapters. I loved the way their own voices bring their stories to life on audio as well. A I loved this book! Ben and Erin are my favorite TV couple because they just seem real. I loved hearing their stories and how they got to where they are. I thought that the book was thoughtful and beautifully written and the pictures that accompanied their stories only enhanced them. I bought the audiobook as well as the hard copy and I would listen to it and then go back and look at the pictures from those chapters. I loved the way their own voices bring their stories to life on audio as well. All kinds of love!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    This was the greatest way to begin the new year! This isn't just a book about the TV show, it's a book about love, family, friendship, life and spirituality. They have such a way with words that I felt so connected to what I was reading. Although I watch the TV show, I never imagined falling more in love with Erin, Ben and Laurel. I feel as if they are my friends and I'm part of their "framily." It was a great read and it's bittersweet to reach the end. Looking forward to the new season of Home This was the greatest way to begin the new year! This isn't just a book about the TV show, it's a book about love, family, friendship, life and spirituality. They have such a way with words that I felt so connected to what I was reading. Although I watch the TV show, I never imagined falling more in love with Erin, Ben and Laurel. I feel as if they are my friends and I'm part of their "framily." It was a great read and it's bittersweet to reach the end. Looking forward to the new season of Home Town.

  16. 5 out of 5

    AD

    4.5 stars. I was delighted to receive a copy of this book in a Good Reads giveaway. Here’s my honest review: When I initially thumbed through the book, I was disappointed that there was not more coverage of Ben and Erin’s design style/philosophy. But once I dipped into the book, I was pleasantly surprised. While telling the story of their lives and the evolution of their television show, there’s a lot of general wisdom that i’ll be using as ‘self-care’. I hope for more good things for these two.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Megan Peters

    I liked the way Ben and Erin wrote- they use lots of cozy metaphors throughout the memoir and it feels like they have truly invited you into their lives. At times I did find them a bit holier-than-thou (I can already hear them telling us how humble they are though!), hence the 4 stars. I do wonder about these southern home-reno shows though - where do their true values lie? Are they friendly like Jesus in that everyone is welcome in their lives? Or just straight WASPs? Ben describes his run as a I liked the way Ben and Erin wrote- they use lots of cozy metaphors throughout the memoir and it feels like they have truly invited you into their lives. At times I did find them a bit holier-than-thou (I can already hear them telling us how humble they are though!), hence the 4 stars. I do wonder about these southern home-reno shows though - where do their true values lie? Are they friendly like Jesus in that everyone is welcome in their lives? Or just straight WASPs? Ben describes his run as an independent for the Laurel council, which gave me some hope.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

    I rarely review books. Mostly because I am rarely surprised by how much I love a book. Despite the fact that I don’t have a lot in common with the authors, I related to this memoir in a kismet kind of way. I recently bought an old house and the way these two talk about old homes makes me relate on a cellular level. I left this book feeling positive and warm. Anyone who loves small towns, old homes, and loves stories should read this book. It will quickly become one of your favorite stories.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Audrey

    I don't frequently read memoirs, but I'm a fan of the show so I figured I'd give this a shot. It's well-written and the couple's voices are distinctive and authentic. I love how they each take turns with telling their story, so we get both perspectives. The design is beautiful too, which is a bonus. I enjoyed getting this inside look at who these two TV personalities are, and I'm interested to see where their story goes from here.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Shannon Elizabeth Ford

    This is a gorgeous book! This is a wonderful look and the lives and begin I gs if the star couple. It takes you from their humble (first) beginnings, how they met, and the trials and tribulations of their early relationship, well into building a family, and eventually to the people we see each week in television. This is one book that I would purchase for the photography alone, as well as the first hand look into this lovely couple!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    I have to confess that before starting this book, I had never watched Home Town. But as I adore Chip and Jo, I thought this would be a book I would enjoy. I did. This was an interesting behind the scenes look at Ben and Erin and their lives. I have since checked out the show as well and I enjoy it too. So I am happy to have another HGTV family to like. If you like Home Town or Chip, Jo and Fixer Upper, I would check out this book!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    I have loved Erin and Ben Napier since the first time I saw Home Town. I could tell how much they loved and respected each other, I loved that they got to know the home owners before renovating the home, and I love how much they love and respect the history of things. I just feel like they would be amazing friends. The book is completely 100% them. I can hear their voices so clearly when I'm reading. I loved their story!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ellen Caraway

    I already loved Ben and Erin before I read their book, but after reading the last page and wishing for more I understand them so much better. This book was about how they met, their childhoods, the hard times they had, and the happiness in their lives. When I preordered it I was expecting a book about home renovation projects but I was not disappointed in the least with what they put into this book. Fingers crossed for a design book in the future!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    I won this book in a GoodReads giveaway. I'll admit, I only entered the giveaway because the listing said they had a show on HGTV as I had never heard of them before. I'm happy that I entered and won because I loved this book! I related so much to Erin and couldn't wait to see what the next page revealed about this couple. I love that they included so many personal photos in it too. I'm definitely a fan of this couple now and can't wait to catch their show.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Somerbreeze8

    I’m a big fan of Home Town because of its message of restoration and making old new again. But I’m an even bigger fan of Ben and Erin. This memoir is such a sweet glimpse into their lives and is so well told with photos and original art. They are a perfect example of living out God’s calling and using their unique gifts to foster community and preserve stories. A visit to Laurel is on my bucket list!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nettie

    I loved this book! It is so joyfully written and inspiring. The photos and drawings are delightful and it was so interesting reading about how their show is filmed. Thanks so much to Goodreads Giveaways and Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster for the review copy. This is a lovely memoir and it would make a wonderful gift for fans of Erin and Ben. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and I think you will too.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sherry Elswick

    This was a sweet read by a sweet couple. I like the way the book altnerated between Erin and Ben's point of view. Since it's a book, it delves deeper into their backgrounds that the show Home Town doesn't have time to do. This was a heartwarming antidote to the jaded cyninism of today's climate. It's also inspriring. If you don't like the town you're living in, then do something about it. The Napiers make you believe that you can. I want to move from the city to a small town now as a result.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lina Abi-Samra

    A beautiful story of love This book is about enduring faith, love of family and friends, and community. It stresses the importance of incorporating our personal stories, our past and hopes For the future in the spaces we inhabit both in an individual level and on a community level . It is very well written with a genuine honest vibe and just the right amount of humor.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Martha Diane Hooker

    Making great out of good I like real people not fake people. Ben and Erin are real, ordinary people with extraordinary gifts from GOD. They share the search for His plan as to how they are to use these talents. This book will encourage those who are the "unusual one" in their classroom to stay true to themselves, for GOD made them with an artistic mind and He has a plan for their uniqueness. A refreshing look into reality tv.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lynette Gile

    Make Something Good Today by Erin and Ben Napier is an autobiography about both Erin and Ben’s life. It follows them through their childhood to present . I’m familiar with their HGTV show and found the book interesting, how they look at life and what brought them to where they are now. I found this book very insightful and enjoyed it immensely.

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