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

Sharon and David Bowers, illus. by Sophia Nicolay. Workman, $19.95 trade paper (416p) ISBN 978-0-7611-7173-7
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. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/04/2016
Release date: 01/01/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 448 pages - 978-0-7611-8714-1
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