by Arianne Cohen

Filipacchi Publishing, $14.99, 224 pages

Whether you need to hang a picture or plunge a toilet, Help, It’s Broken!: A Fix-It Bible for the Repair-Impaired by Arianne Cohen is a must-read if you own your own home or rent an apartment. Cohen’s practical, humorous, and informative style helps anyone from a fix-it savant to safety-hazard Barbie in home repair and maintenance.

The basic goal of the book is to explain how things work before explaining how to fix them. Organized in chapters, each chapter covers the basics and then delves into the possible problems you could face with a particular area. For instance, did you know there are four reasons to have walls? Or, to patch a hole in vinyl floor you need a food grater?

From home invasion to freebie fixes, whether you live in a mansion, condo, pup tent, or dorm room, even if you associate screwdrivers with vodka or can’t tell a paint scraper from a hammer, this book is a great help in preparation for when stuff breaks and what to do when it does. (Hint: Cute heels and saying “this might be a dumb girl question, but…” might help here).

Axie Barclay