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

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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 a 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.


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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 a 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.

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

  1. 4 out of 5

    Scarlet Cameo

    I'm the kind of annoying girl that, when my mother or father decided that is time to fix something i decided that is time to spend some time with them, so when i saw this book i thought that maybe i could learn something new. This book is divided in cooking, sewing, clothes care, domestic skills, mechanic skills, work with wood and metal, and bicycle maintenance, or, saying in another way, the things that you should know at least in the theory if you decided to live alone. The way it is explained I'm the kind of annoying girl that, when my mother or father decided that is time to fix something i decided that is time to spend some time with them, so when i saw this book i thought that maybe i could learn something new. This book is divided in cooking, sewing, clothes care, domestic skills, mechanic skills, work with wood and metal, and bicycle maintenance, or, saying in another way, the things that you should know at least in the theory if you decided to live alone. The way it is explained is really good and, even when some of the things here mentioned are opcional (like the tools you need in your house, personally i never need a wok, or you garage, i never use a chainsaw at home) give you clues to adecuate it at your lifestyle. My favorite part is when start the life skills, about mechanic, plumbing and things like that because i almost never have the chance to learn this things, the images are good for a better understand of the instructions. And the list of thing you probably need are really good, just with one look you can identify what you really need for every day fix, and you probably gone to use so little but is good to know their names and uses. A digital copy of this book was provided by NetGalley

  2. 4 out of 5

    Venus Maneater

    I received this book as an advanced reader copy from NetGalley, which doesn't influence this review at all. That said; holy shit this is an awesome book. My husband and I could've used this, when we bought our own home. How often we sat next to each other on the couch, some broken appliance or DIY project gone wrong in front of us on the coffee table, and asking each other; "How did our parents fix this? Why isn't there a do-it-ALL-yourself-book that appears in your mail as soon as you move out o I received this book as an advanced reader copy from NetGalley, which doesn't influence this review at all. That said; holy shit this is an awesome book. My husband and I could've used this, when we bought our own home. How often we sat next to each other on the couch, some broken appliance or DIY project gone wrong in front of us on the coffee table, and asking each other; "How did our parents fix this? Why isn't there a do-it-ALL-yourself-book that appears in your mail as soon as you move out of your parents place? Are we going to call your mom, or my dad to help us with this? We suck at adulting." Internet isn't always around (especially if you just moved in to your very first fixer-upper), and neither are parents. Sometimes it's just you, your new-found responsibilities and a lot of stuff that needs fixing. Sure, that sucks, but it sucks a whole lot less when you have this book lying around. This book explains more than 200 different skills in straight-forward and bite-sized texts, accompanied by clear-cut illustrations. Everything you can imagine gets covered, from the very basics of cooking (how to boil water - no, don't laugh, there's a science to it and this book explains it all), to woodworking and electrical jobs. So, long story short; it's awesome. Buy it, gift it, read it!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dirty Dayna

    so.. you have come to this book because someone told you that you are an adult now and the first thing to do is PANIC! so you pick up this bad boy to help you adult a little better by yourself. Please note this is not a all encompassing book just home ec and shop.. so your poor adult self still cant file taxes or balance a check book...that's some training for another book this book lays out a bit of the basics think "very first time away from mommy and daddy" .. so you forgot how to adult and yo so.. you have come to this book because someone told you that you are an adult now and the first thing to do is PANIC! so you pick up this bad boy to help you adult a little better by yourself. Please note this is not a all encompassing book just home ec and shop.. so your poor adult self still cant file taxes or balance a check book...that's some training for another book this book lays out a bit of the basics think "very first time away from mommy and daddy" .. so you forgot how to adult and you need help fixing a snag in a shirt boiling water not going broke with an electrical bill repairing that wall you accidently smashed into etc then pick up this book I think its well written but I think my brain needs it prioritized.. I mean ive been adulating for over 12 years and I still don't own nor need a wok.. but this book tells me I must have it. I also have only used a stock pot once

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lili

    I received this book as an advanced reader copy from NetGalley. I had alternating semesters of home economics (cooking and sewing) and industrial arts (woodworking) from fifth grade through eighth grade – before school became all about preparing for college. I’m a proficient cook, seamstress, and laundress. I painted the interior of my own home, hung my own paintings, curtains and shelving, built my own bookcases and repaired my own toilet. I even maintain my own bicycles. But there was still so I received this book as an advanced reader copy from NetGalley. I had alternating semesters of home economics (cooking and sewing) and industrial arts (woodworking) from fifth grade through eighth grade – before school became all about preparing for college. I’m a proficient cook, seamstress, and laundress. I painted the interior of my own home, hung my own paintings, curtains and shelving, built my own bookcases and repaired my own toilet. I even maintain my own bicycles. But there was still so much covered in this book that I didn’t know how to do! Some of it, I’m not sure I’ll ever need to know how to do. Some of it, I most definitely need to know. Right off the bat, I turned to Task #187 How to Change a Windshield Wiper Blade. I hate to admit it, but I’ve been driving around in New England winter weather (albeit a nice mild winter) with a shredded driver’s side wiper blade because I couldn’t figure out how to get the darn thing off the car. There were three clearly written steps with illustrations. It turns out that the secret was a small tab on the underside of the wiper that holds the blade in place. Ta da! I was able to change my own windshield wiper blades. The book is divided into sections for different skill sets. Each section begins with a graphic depiction of the necessary “toolkit” for that skill set. When it comes to cooking, the recommendations for the pantry and the toolkit seem overwhelming. I’ve lived in my house for over fifteen years and have never owned a microwave or a full-sized food processor. I get by just fine with a stove, a toaster oven, a mini-prep, some creativity and a lot of patience. I recently came into possession of an immersion blender, but before that, I was able to accomplish those tasks with a standard household blender. There are quite a few other items in the toolkit that I also still don’t own (like a potato masher and a salad spinner), and a number of items in the pantry that I almost never have in stock. The sewing toolkit seemed to be right on the mark, especially since the sewing machine was labeled optional. The laundry toolkit had a few unexpected items, especially chalk and glycerin, but after reading the stain removal task, the addition of those items made a whole lot of sense. The cleaning and housekeeping toolkit was spot on! The domestic repair toolkit seemed to have a lot of stuff in it, but on closer examination I already had most of it on hand in my own personal toolbox. A voltage detector seems a little excessive for a domestic repair toolkit; then again, I have no intention of messing around with electrical repairs. I can’t render an opinion on the woodworking and metalworking toolkits because I am not very familiar with those realms, but I did appreciate the caveat that the hand tools alone were sufficient for woodworking. I also really appreciated the depth of description for each woodworking and metalworking tool, which could easily function as a shoppers’ guide if necessary. A propane torch and a few other items also seem excessive for a plumbing repair toolkit but, again, reading the tool descriptions and the tasks, they definitely have their purposes. Aside from a few adjustable wrenches, some duct tape and a drain plunger, I don’t own any of the items in the plumbing toolkit! The electrical toolkit was short and sweet – just four basic items. The graphic for the garage toolkit makes it seem quite extensive, but the description on the following page boils it down to eight essential items plus “miscellaneous tools.” As for the trunk toolkit - I can’t imagine keeping all that equipment in my trunk! Then again, tire changing tools, jumper cables and Fix-A-Flat are the only things that I am certain that I have in my trunk toolkit (and it drives my gearhead ex crazy that I’m so unprepared). The bicycle repair toolkit was dead on. Each task begins with a brief introduction, usually persuading you why that particular task is important to learn. For the Shop tasks, each task is prefaced by a “tools” and “materials” list, which makes it easy to get organized to perform the task at hand. The tasks are written in short concise steps with big numbers and bold headings so it is simple to follow along with even the longest and most complex task. Within the sections, the tasks are organized to start with the most basic and build up to the most difficult. Within the cooking section, there is all sorts of good information and recipes sprinkled liberally between the tasks that you wouldn’t know about by looking at the Table of Contents. Who would have known that there was a graphic of all the different types of lettuce? Or a recipe for French Toast Casserole? The recipes in the cooking section were clearly written with standard American measurements and easy to follow instructions. Honestly, if the first 125 pages or so were a stand-alone cookbook, I know several of my friends who would appreciate it! Within the sewing section, there was less ancillary information, but there is a great explanatory diagram of the parts of the sewing machine. I always wondered what some of those seemingly extra parts did. The tasks themselves were excellent and, like the cooking tasks, built up in complexity. I loved the trick with the tailors’ chalk for placement of the second half of a snap, which was something I did not know. I also appreciated the advice on using white vinegar for getting fabric unstuck from a zipper (which happens to me all the time). Within the laundry section, I really appreciated the Guide to Universal Home Laundry Symbols, as that has been something that has perplexed me. The majority of the tasks were very basic, although there was a wealth of good information about clothes care to make your clothes last longer that was not necessarily associated with a specific task. It might just convince me to stop doing all my laundry in one load. Within the domestic arts section, the tasks are also very basic, with some great gems of information tucked in between. I loved the graphic on perfect hospital corners! It was pretty much exactly how I learned how to do it in basic training. The spring cleaning list was also very helpful, as I always mean to do a thorough spring cleaning, but never know how to start – or where to finish! Within the life skills section, there was an interesting collection of random tasks that I would consider to be just general successful “adulting.” The setting a formal table task was particularly well done with an easy to understand graphic (especially since I always misplace the bread plate). And I was thrilled to see a task about how to pack a suitcase – which was supplemented with excellent advice pre-travel preparation. The advice on the ten big items every wardrobe needs is also spot on, although it is tucked in between two tasks and would otherwise go unnoticed. I constantly write thank you notes, and the formula in the thank you note task is perfect. Within the domestic repair section, the tasks are widely varied. I’ve actually done several of the tasks myself – and the instructions for the ones that I have done are very well thought out. Some of these tasks I will never attempt. But here are also things around the house that I need to do (like repairing a hole in the plaster wall and re-caulking my bathtub) and I’m confident that I could accomplish them by following the task instructions. The task on how to polish furniture seems like it might be a better fit in the domestic arts section. Within the woodworking and metalworking section, there is a lot of really good additional woodworking information in between the tasks that doesn’t show up in the Table of Contents. For example, I learned a lot about types of wood and choosing wood from the “Visit to the Lumberyard” subsection. Each task was a small project that taught basic skills necessary to undertake a larger project – that is, the doghouse project was designed to teach the basics of framing and roofing and the spoon ring project was designed to teach the basics of cutting and bending metal. Plumbing is the currently the bane of my existence. And within the short and sweet plumbing section, I found some answers. My favorite was again something not found in the Table of Contents: a subsection on common toilet repairs that I plan on using to troubleshoot a troublesome toilet as soon as I get back home. The tasks within the electrical section were intimidating. Working with electricity frightens me. However, the first task about slashing your electrical bill was particularly insightful. And I did enjoy the additional information at the end of the section about “Lighting a Room Like a Pro.” Within the mechanical section, most of the automotive tasks also seemed too complex for me – except for the aforementioned windshield wiper replacement. The flat tire change task was especially well written and easy to follow – I should keep a copy of it in my glove box AND tucked in with my spare tire! The suggestion to park the car on a white sheet to diagnose the color of the fluid potentially leaking from it was a particularly good one, as was the diagnostic guide that followed the suggestion. The bicycle maintenance tasks were spot on! Overall, this book reads like cross between Hints from Heloise and You Can Do It!: The Merit Badge Handbook for Grown-Up Girls by Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas, which is one of my hands down favorite how-to books. The Useful Book is informative, easily accessible and even fun. This will likely become one of my new go-to engagement and housewarming presents, along with the batch of cookbooks that I usually give. And I definitely am going to consider it as a top gift giving idea when Christmas rolls around.

  5. 4 out of 5

    ScrappyMags

    People know me as ScrappyMags – a DIY expert. I can refinish a table faster than a speeding bullet. I can wood fill and repair dog-eaten furniture legs in a single bound. But I will confess something embarrassing: My name is Maggie and I am a self-proclaimed moron when it comes to many home-ec topics (Hello Maggie!). Case in point: I’ve called my mother no less than 10 times in the past year or so to remind me how to hard-boil eggs. Every. Single. Time. My mom? Knows EVERYTHING! However, somethin People know me as ScrappyMags – a DIY expert. I can refinish a table faster than a speeding bullet. I can wood fill and repair dog-eaten furniture legs in a single bound. But I will confess something embarrassing: My name is Maggie and I am a self-proclaimed moron when it comes to many home-ec topics (Hello Maggie!). Case in point: I’ve called my mother no less than 10 times in the past year or so to remind me how to hard-boil eggs. Every. Single. Time. My mom? Knows EVERYTHING! However, something sad occurred to me – I won’t always have mom. :( And darn it – I’m an independent woman (Destiny’s Child strong!) so I should be able to complete these simple tasks sans help. There’s some mysterious reason my pea-sized brain isn’t retaining this information (I blame Twitter and the Kardashian garbage stuck in there, kinda’ like the same phenomenon that allows me to reminder every line from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off). The table of contents in The Useful Book in genius and easy to follow based on general topics (Cooking, Sewing, Domestic Repair, Woodworking, etc.) so it’s easy to find what you’re searching for and hold any and every thing I can possibly think of that a person would need in her home. Then, each section begins with helpful hints, i.e. the ubiquitous “how to” monikers, from boiling water to washing laundry to performing more advanced mechanical repairs. The cooking section includes a list of kitchen staples and a description of different pots/pans, etc. Trust me, I didn’t know what a “Dutch oven” was until I was almost 40, so this can be incredibly helpful to laymen, and fellow self-proclaimed morons like me. This book is a MUST BUY for: 1. Those moving into their first place after college or high school. Trust me parents, you will save TONS of phone calls and random texts messages! 2. Divorcees or widows/widowers who find themselves cooking, taking care of everything for the first time in a long time. 3. Retirees. When my parents retired, it was a massive adjustment, particularly as they come from a generation where women did most of the household chores. But as my mom had to define to my dad, she didn’t retire to sit home and wait him (you go girl). Dad had to learn the performance of some simple tasks around the house to help out. Curmudgeon is a word that comes to mind. However, he now has “jobs” and it’s good for him. He adjusted. 4. Anyone living solo or with a mate who doesn’t have a handy bone in his/her body. I live solo – this book can be a lifesaver (and money saver) as it shows many simple activities that CAN be completely, easily and with clear directions. Being non-spatially minded, I COMPLETELY applaud this book’s efforts. I see many wrench-clutching happy dances in my living room in the near future. 5. Those who secretly think they know everything but don't and no longer should have to fake it (err, I think we call this "husbands"). Take the “duh” out of “duh-know-how” and buy this book. Save yourselves. Save a loved one. Save your furniture and plumbing from a husband who refuses to read instructions. Save the power level on your phone and useless text messages that cause thumb pain. Now I have to leave as I have a bathtub to caulk, and thankfully a book that explains, simply (THANK YOU), how to do it. Thanks to NetGalley and Workman Publishing for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Penmouse

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I liked The Useful Book: 201 Life Skills They Used to Teach in Home Ec and Shop so much I plan to buy copies for my adult kids. Overall, authors Sharon and David Bowers have written a comprehensive and practical book that would make the perfect gift for newlyweds or adult children learning to independently. Based on the galley I downloaded from NetGalley you will find the main subjects covered in The Useful Book: *Cooking *Sewing *Laundry & Cooking *Domestic Arts *Life Skills *Domestic Repair *Woodwork I liked The Useful Book: 201 Life Skills They Used to Teach in Home Ec and Shop so much I plan to buy copies for my adult kids. Overall, authors Sharon and David Bowers have written a comprehensive and practical book that would make the perfect gift for newlyweds or adult children learning to independently. Based on the galley I downloaded from NetGalley you will find the main subjects covered in The Useful Book: *Cooking *Sewing *Laundry & Cooking *Domestic Arts *Life Skills *Domestic Repair *Woodworking & Metalworking *Plumbing *Electrical *Mechanical I do agree with most of the ideas or techniques suggested by the authors. I do have some quibbles over the cooking and electrical suggestions. In the cooking chapter, the Cooking Toolkit chart is rather extensive and it would have been helpful have the cooking equipment prioritized based on usefulness. For example a Dutch oven, Wok and Stockpot are all listed as things you need in your kitchen based on the Cooking Toolkit recommendations. For someone starting out the cost could be overwhelming. Personally, I would have suggested buy a Dutch Oven, followed by a Stockpot then the Wok. You can use a Dutch oven for almost all things including cooking stock or stir-frying. When funds become available you could purchase the Stockpot and Wok. Another suggestion was buying foodstuffs in bulk to save money. While in general this is a good idea and works most of the time it does not work all the time. The authors should have added a suggestion of checking the price to determine if the bulk foodstuff is cheaper. I do like the warning given at the beginning of the Electrical Chapter. The Electrical Chapter discusses how to slash your electricity bill and gives ideas on how to accomplish this goal. There were other topics discussed including how to evaluate breaker problems. I read this section to my husband and he said overall what was written was good except for a section about checking the breaker. My husband, who has an electrical background, said there should have been a statement suggesting the power be turned off before removing the wire from the breaker to see if it stays in the on position. That's all I can write as this book is a galley and I can not give exact quotes. In the Sewing chapter the authors tell about how thread a needle or sew on a button. The authors also tell about how to select thread, needles and what to purchase for a basic sewing kit. You will also learn how to thread a sewing machine thanks to the book's good illustrations. As written previously I will purchase the book for my kids as it covers the basics very well. Recommend. Review written after downloading a galley from NetGalley.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    I will be buying this book for my children and their friends when they go away to school! I may even buy one for myself! This book gives instructions for the everyday tasks that we take for granted that everyone should know, but might not have had anyone show them how. There are tough jobs, too! Thanks to NetGalley and Workman Publishing for providing this ARC.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kalena

    Non-fiction; first book read by this author. This is a handy book to read or review. Keep in mind they explain things as if you know nothing. Having said that, your memory is jolted or you learn something that has been overlooked previously because people felt it was too basic. A really easy to read and fun book to refresh those long-gone Home Economics days. Good times.

  9. 5 out of 5

    West Hartford Public Library

    "A must have reference for millennials, frugalists & DIYers." --patron "A must have reference for millennials, frugalists & DIYers." --patron

  10. 4 out of 5

    Martha

    This book might be a good selection for a person who is moving to their first home and needs the very information on everything from boiling water to fixing a flat tire. The book covers themes on kitchen tools, equipment and recipes along with the basics of sewing on a button. It provides the easiest directions for laundry, cleaning, home maintenance, decorating and repairs. There are also sections devoted to basic life skills for working and entertaining. This is a guide for furnishing a home a This book might be a good selection for a person who is moving to their first home and needs the very information on everything from boiling water to fixing a flat tire. The book covers themes on kitchen tools, equipment and recipes along with the basics of sewing on a button. It provides the easiest directions for laundry, cleaning, home maintenance, decorating and repairs. There are also sections devoted to basic life skills for working and entertaining. This is a guide for furnishing a home and potentially making your own things like jewelry. I personally found the pages on universal home laundry symbols to be most helpful. You will have to have a specific person in mind for this book. Most people these days just hire the work to be done and/or merely purchase all their daily needs.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Pryke

    I wish I had this book when my oldest child was still at home. So many things in here that we take for granted that everyone knows. Us parents have such a short time with our kids to impart our knowledge and wisdom into our kids that things are bound to fall through the cracks. As a kid I know I didn’t care about a lot of this stuff but picked it up as I got older and made mistakes. Now that I’m raising an autistic I can’t take for granted that he’ll be paying attention and learning just by obse I wish I had this book when my oldest child was still at home. So many things in here that we take for granted that everyone knows. Us parents have such a short time with our kids to impart our knowledge and wisdom into our kids that things are bound to fall through the cracks. As a kid I know I didn’t care about a lot of this stuff but picked it up as I got older and made mistakes. Now that I’m raising an autistic I can’t take for granted that he’ll be paying attention and learning just by observing. This book is great for teaching important life skills I may not have thought to focus on. I love the way the material is presented so that it’s easy to follow but doesn’t make you feel like an idiot if you didn’t already know the stuff. I HIGHLY recommend this book!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Joel

    I already had most of these skills, but out of interest I wandered through it. Okay, maybe you’re a guy who wants to learn to make tent seams, or sew a hem so your jeans will be the right length. Maybe you’re a girl or woman who wants to get comfortable & safe at using an electric drill or other DIY tools. What about a parent who wants to encourage a growing child, of either gender, to get onto the basics of cooking, fixing, cleaning, maintaining, etc? Maybe you’re an adult intending to move fro I already had most of these skills, but out of interest I wandered through it. Okay, maybe you’re a guy who wants to learn to make tent seams, or sew a hem so your jeans will be the right length. Maybe you’re a girl or woman who wants to get comfortable & safe at using an electric drill or other DIY tools. What about a parent who wants to encourage a growing child, of either gender, to get onto the basics of cooking, fixing, cleaning, maintaining, etc? Maybe you’re an adult intending to move from city or suburb to the countryside. Aspects of plumbing, cleaning, electrical, note & letter writing, and more. Except for the e-book edition, this seems now to be out of print. It’s a good intro & reference book. If interested, look for print copies via used-book sellers.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Christine Kenney

    Apt name. The biggest value-add of this book for me was the table of contents providing a giant list of basic skills in a single place. The details on how to accomplish them when you lose a button, discover your sink is leaking, etc. is easy enough to track down on Youtube. Not having an urgent problem I was looking to fix, I found myself going through the content thinking 1. how could I simplify my life so that this skill requires fewer steps or is totally unnecessary? 2. what coverage gaps are Apt name. The biggest value-add of this book for me was the table of contents providing a giant list of basic skills in a single place. The details on how to accomplish them when you lose a button, discover your sink is leaking, etc. is easy enough to track down on Youtube. Not having an urgent problem I was looking to fix, I found myself going through the content thinking 1. how could I simplify my life so that this skill requires fewer steps or is totally unnecessary? 2. what coverage gaps are there between this book and my own life that justify adding some supplemental skills to the list?

  14. 5 out of 5

    Susan Bewley

    As a homeowner, I didn’t realize how much my husband and I didn’t know until we started going through this book. Sure, we had Google but so many of the things in this book we just hired out, not realizing how easy they were to do. As well, it has information on just about everything, from repairing drywall, formal dinner manners, to building birdhouses or furniture with your kids. I honestly have no clue how I went so long without a book like this since it truly is like an encyclopedia for getti As a homeowner, I didn’t realize how much my husband and I didn’t know until we started going through this book. Sure, we had Google but so many of the things in this book we just hired out, not realizing how easy they were to do. As well, it has information on just about everything, from repairing drywall, formal dinner manners, to building birdhouses or furniture with your kids. I honestly have no clue how I went so long without a book like this since it truly is like an encyclopedia for getting through so many tricky situations or repairs in life. If you are a homeowner, I honestly think The Useful Book: 201 Life Skills They Used to Teach in Home Ec and Shop is a must have book!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Chris Cohen

    What a useful, interesting, entertaining, and well-written book! I discovered that much of what I take for granted and do with little thought has become a dying art. Plus, I received reinforcement that I do many things correctly. To be fair, I was not all that riveted by the “shop” part of the book, but it was very interesting, and the authors made it sound perfectly reasonable and easy enough to do if I approached the task with the proper tools and this book. I plan to share it with my kids — and What a useful, interesting, entertaining, and well-written book! I discovered that much of what I take for granted and do with little thought has become a dying art. Plus, I received reinforcement that I do many things correctly. To be fair, I was not all that riveted by the “shop” part of the book, but it was very interesting, and the authors made it sound perfectly reasonable and easy enough to do if I approached the task with the proper tools and this book. I plan to share it with my kids — and while they are more the YouTube generation, they will appreciate this book as much as I do, and hopefully find it as useful a tool as I have.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tabitha Elizabeth

    The Useful Book is actually pretty useful if you want to learn how to do some basic repairs or save money by not hiring a professional for everything. Learning how to fix clothes, windows, car dents, or a lamp is a good skill to have if you don’t believe in throwing something out at the first sign of wear. Cooking, building a first aid kit, and cleaning without harsh chemicals are important skills for anyone. The information is overwhelming if reading it in one go, but it could be a good resourc The Useful Book is actually pretty useful if you want to learn how to do some basic repairs or save money by not hiring a professional for everything. Learning how to fix clothes, windows, car dents, or a lamp is a good skill to have if you don’t believe in throwing something out at the first sign of wear. Cooking, building a first aid kit, and cleaning without harsh chemicals are important skills for anyone. The information is overwhelming if reading it in one go, but it could be a good resource to have on hand if something comes up.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Janka H.

    This is a fresh, modern take on home economics (kitchen and cooking, laundry, basic cleaning, sewing and "the men stuff" (furniture, repairs, car). The range goes from very basic skills (like how to heat water or how to sew a button) to more advanced techniques. The set of new knowledge/skills is wisely set and of good usage nowadays. I only miss more pictures/photos, but the explanations are quite user-friendly and easy to follow (at least where I can follow, because I do not think I will ever This is a fresh, modern take on home economics (kitchen and cooking, laundry, basic cleaning, sewing and "the men stuff" (furniture, repairs, car). The range goes from very basic skills (like how to heat water or how to sew a button) to more advanced techniques. The set of new knowledge/skills is wisely set and of good usage nowadays. I only miss more pictures/photos, but the explanations are quite user-friendly and easy to follow (at least where I can follow, because I do not think I will ever be skilled in the car mechanics!).

  18. 5 out of 5

    Leanna

    Got this book from the library and I basically skimmed through it and read a few of the skills in more depth. I think most of the items in this book can be gotten from You Tube and I think a video is more helpful than a book, but it was interesting to see what used to be taught in Home Ec and Shop and that's what made me check it out in the first place. I know I learned a lot less in Home Ec than this book covers. Got this book from the library and I basically skimmed through it and read a few of the skills in more depth. I think most of the items in this book can be gotten from You Tube and I think a video is more helpful than a book, but it was interesting to see what used to be taught in Home Ec and Shop and that's what made me check it out in the first place. I know I learned a lot less in Home Ec than this book covers.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Dulce.A

    I loved this book! Originally was worried that this book would be full of interesting USEFUL infuriation, but be dull ad hard to read. I was pleasantly surprised though! This book reads very easily and it’s interesting tidbits, useful directions, and simple explanations. I was not able to read through all of it since it was a borrowed library book (with a waiting list!). I will definitely be picking up this book for myself on Amazon!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Elena

    I can't actually say that I read the whole book, but I did go through the chapters and read topics that interested me. The book led me to fixing a crack in my windshield instead of calling someone to do it. Other topics of interest to me included: am I ironing my shirts correctly? how do I cut an onion? It's a good resource book, but I think of it more as a one-time reference rather than something I would keep on hand. I can't actually say that I read the whole book, but I did go through the chapters and read topics that interested me. The book led me to fixing a crack in my windshield instead of calling someone to do it. Other topics of interest to me included: am I ironing my shirts correctly? how do I cut an onion? It's a good resource book, but I think of it more as a one-time reference rather than something I would keep on hand.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Bree

    I have mixed feelings about this book. I find it useful for a young adult getting ready to move out and can reference this quickly. However the other part of me says it was vague or needed more for that same audience. I remember calling my mom all the time when I first moved out. This could save some time and hurt the ego a bit less when ya have to admit you have no clue how to wash clothes.

  22. 5 out of 5

    J.P. Willson

    I, luckily, went to skool when Home Ec and Shop were still a thing. I did have the good fortune of learning many a thing that I believe should still be taught in school. To be honest I was unaware these subjects had been taken out of school curriculum. Regardless, even I learned a few things perusing this not so little book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Linda Quinn

    I stumbled upon this book and quickly saw its value. This is one of those books that will make you both nostalgic for the days of home ec and thankful that someone has put all of this knowledge into one place. I’ve now purchased a copy for each of my just-about-adult children.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kelli

    Really was surprised by the amount of information in this book! The cooking was great info and pretty in-depth, and I liked the Mechanical chapter as well. Overall, a great book to get a general knowledge of life skills from how to make a household budget to how to properly change a flat tire.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Olwen

    Loved it. Useful - oh yes! This book would be a great gift for any young adult moving out of home.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Nice to browse through this book and see that I could learn a few new things.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Chani Childers

    It was a good and helpful book but it was dry of it was approached it took me a bit to read it because of how it presented itself as kind of dull.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Very nice book! Simple, quick explanations. Would be nice to get a copy to keep around the house.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Anne (w/ an E)

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. All I can say is that I found this book to be...useful.

  30. 4 out of 5

    E G

    Some useful stuff, but some is stuff I wouldn’t be doing on my own

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