The Useful Book [review]

The Useful Book by Sharon and David Bowers

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.

[My Review]

WELL. This book is an amazingly wrapped package of… well, useful information! Most types of handy tasks, basic cooking and DIY skills, sewing skills – even mechanical tasks! – are there in the pages of this book, waiting for you to better yourself with! And who doesn’t like to improve their skillset every now and again?!

I think I’m quite good at carrying out basic tasks…but even on a first flick through this book, it became very apparent that there were loads of tasks that, had I needed to do them on my own, I’d have no flippin’ idea how to!

Enter… this book!

The authors Sharon and David Bowers tell you, step by step (and in some cases with pictures – yay!), exactly how to do a tasks which are a range of difficulty levels.

Now I know nowadays you can just google most stuff, but to be honest it’s not always clear what’s the BEST way to do something. Having it all in a handy book (more like encyclopedia really) feels reliable and more trustworthy to me. Plus, it’s all in one place – no internet access needed! Knowing how to fix household items, learn basic plumbing skills, fix a flat bike tyre – it’s all come in very handy for me, particularly now I’m a house owner myself!

Some parts probably won’t be relevant to me now or in the future, but it covers a great range of tasks and problems, with clear, concise instructions on how to sort them out. This would make a fab present for someone who has just moved into their own place, or is off to uni. Or just someone who’s not so practically-minded (which sums up me a lot of the time, to be honest!)

[Rating: 5/5]

Many thanks to Workman Publishing Company and Netgalley for providing a copy of this novel in return for an honest review.

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