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The Useful Book
Cover of The Useful Book
The Useful Book
201 Life Skills They Used to Teach in Home Ec and Shop
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"Master everyday tasks and take on a variety of projects and repairs around the house [with] this DIY encyclopedia" (The Buffalo News).
A modern and energetically designed reference 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 twenty-first-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.
"Married couple Sharon Bowers and David Bowers serve as mom-and-pop guides through the never-ending task of housekeeping in this handy book of how-tos . . . Readers learning to live on their own will want to have this book on hand." —Publishers Weekly
"Anyone who studiously read the book cover to cover would become the paragon jack of all trades."—Arkansas Democrat Gazette

"Master everyday tasks and take on a variety of projects and repairs around the house [with] this DIY encyclopedia" (The Buffalo News).
A modern and energetically designed reference 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 twenty-first-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.
"Married couple Sharon Bowers and David Bowers serve as mom-and-pop guides through the never-ending task of housekeeping in this handy book of how-tos . . . Readers learning to live on their own will want to have this book on hand." —Publishers Weekly
"Anyone who studiously read the book cover to cover would become the paragon jack of all trades."—Arkansas Democrat Gazette

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About the Author-
  • David Bowers is a woodworker, painter, author of Bake Like a Man: A Real Man's Cookbook, and stay-at-home dad.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 4, 2016
    Married couple Sharon Bowers (Candy Construction) and David Bowers (Dad’s Own Housekeeping Book) serve as mom-and-pop guides through the never-ending task of housekeeping in this handy book of how-tos. Organized as a reference guide, the book is divided into two sections, “Home Ec” and “Shop.” The 201 projects start with, of course, how to boil water. “Home Ec” includes all things lemon (zesting, juicing, wedging, and making ade), and “Shop” covers constructing doghouses and birdhouses. Projects in the first section register as much simpler than the ones in the second section; vacuuming does not offer the same challenge as replacing a windowpane. Sometimes the Bowerses recommend a gadget or a professional, but generally they encourage doing the project oneself. Their energetic, confident tone, softened with humor, supports specific directions and detailed illustrations, augmented with histories, hints (credit cards scrape ketchup off of white shirts), recipes, and facts (toilets flush in the key of E flat). Readers learning to live on their own will want to have this book on hand.

  • Library Journal

    June 1, 2016

    Did you miss taking home economics or shop during school? This husband and wife team, authors of several cooking books, here offer a wide selection of basic how-tos. The Home Ec section runs through cooking, sewing, laundry and cleaning, and a bit of etiquette. The Shop segment covers home repairs, simple woodworking and metalworking, plumbing, electrical, and vehicle repairs. The coverage of topics is not exhaustive and is sometimes quite random. While cooking is well represented, other topics appear more cursory. There are better options for basics of sewing, such as Tasia St. Germaine's The Sewtionary. For home maintenance and repair, the standard still is the Reader's Digest Complete Do-It-Yourself Manual, which has superior instruction and illustrations. Mark Bittman's How To Cook Everything: The Basics is a fantastic resource for beginning chefs. VERDICT This collection of life skills offers one-stop shopping for getting projects or tasks done for young adults launching out on their own. An optional acquisition.

    Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    May 15, 2016
    This bookbilled as an encyclopedia of DIYis for readers who ever wished they knew how to hem pants properly, clean a coffeemaker, or do a simple plumbing repair. The information is organized into sections, including Cooking, Domestic Arts, Woodworking & Metalworking, and Mechanical. All kinds of tasks are covered, from projects, such as hanging a light fixture and rotating tires, to life skills, such as packing a suitcase and polishing shoes. The layout is attractive and features simple illustrations. Most public libraries will want this for circulating collections as well as ready reference.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2016, American Library Association.)

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The Useful Book
201 Life Skills They Used to Teach in Home Ec and Shop
Sharon Bowers
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