Review: The Useful Book by David and Sharon Bowers

The Useful Book by David and Sharon Bowers
Notes: ARC received via NetGalley.
Release Date: May 17th, 2016
Cooking, Woodworking, Homemaking
Print/Ebook (416 pages, WORKMAN)
A modern and energetically designed encyclopedia of DIY with everything you need to know to roll up your sleeves and cook it, build it, sew it, clean it, or repair it yourself. In other words, everything you would have learned from your shop and home ec teachers, if you'd had them.
The Useful Book features 138 practical projects and how-tos, with step-by-step instructions and illustrations, relevant charts, sidebars, lists, and handy toolboxes. There’s a kitchen crash course, including the must-haves for a well-stocked pantry; how to boil an egg (and peel it frustration-free); how to grill, steam, sauté, and roast vegetables. There’s Sewing 101, plus how to fold a fitted sheet, tie a tie, mop a floor, make a bed, and set the table for a formal dinner.
Next up: a 21st-century shop class. The tools that everyone should have, and dozens of cool projects that teach fundamental techniques. Practice measuring, cutting, and nailing by building a birdhouse. Make a bookshelf or a riveted metal picture frame. Plus: do-it-yourself plumbing; car repair basics; and home maintenance, from priming and painting to refinishing wood floors.
Publisher Site: website

A must-have resource for EVERYONE. (5 stars)

Let's face it... for a couple of generations now learning certain skills just hasn't been made a priority here in the US. We thrive on the convenience of paying others to bake and cook, sew and build, clean and repair. Awesome for those who have those skills but shouldn't everyone be able to sew a button or boil an egg?

Thanks to my great-grandparents, grandparents, and parents as well as family friends, aunts and uncles, I learned a lot of the basics in this book like making a bed and basic sewing but there were other skills that no one saw fit to teach me because I was a girl. So I snapped a review copy of this book and spent many nights pouring over it discovering things old and new presented in ways that made sense, ways that I could apply without needing any more knowledge than what was provided within. Many are basics, some are a little more advanced, but all were things I was ecstatic to have learned to do... or at least, have accessible in one place when I needed them.

If you're looking for a fantastic book for a curious tween or teen I would have devoured this enthusiastically at that stage. I think it's an amazing resource to give a new graduate or someone moving into their first apartment/house. Newlyweds. Friend who swears she burns water. Teen who just got their first car. Pretty much anyone and everyone can learn something here and I can't wait to pick up a hardcopy for those times when I really, really don't want to ask my husband to do it or call my father-in-law to ask how something is done. Two very big thumbs up!

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