cover image Best Time to Do Everything

Best Time to Do Everything

Michael Kaplan. Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, $13.95 (192pp) ISBN 978-1-58234-487-4

The best time to clean up a murder scene? Sooner rather than later with a shooting in bed, to keep blood from leaching into the floor. The best time to write a scathing tell-all about your boss? After he's dead. Best time to pose nude for Playboy? Between the ages of 18 and 25, though they have photographed women over 40. Did you need to know any of this? Probably not. Kaplan's volume carries self-help to absurdity--it's designed more for an occasional idle browse than as a compendium of truly useful information. That said, there are some good tips here: fish at your local fish market is freshest on Tuesdays and Fridays, according to a fish distributor in New York. Appliances are cheapest after January 1, but electronics should be bought before Thanksgiving, according to a former online retailer. Kaplan, the gambling columnist for Cigar Aficionado, has consulted experts in each area, from Donald Trump on deal-making to the stars of Car Talk for car repairs. There's no table of contents, and the tips seem randomly organized, so if you need specific information, head straight for the index.