Info By the Dozens Useful for Anyone

By Martin Oliver & Alexandra Johnson
Zest Books, $10.99, 125 pages

Here is a very cute, thin, small paperback filled with useful information in its 125 pages. Anyone is likely to find at least a dozen or two useful ideas to justify reading The How-To Handbook from cover to cover. The authors, Martin Oliver and Alexandra Johnson divided the book into six sections: Everyday Essential; Looking (and Smelling) Good; Get to Know Your Kitchen; Clean Up Like a Pro; Do It Yourself; and Emergency Skills 101. Most of the tips are on a single page, some of the most complicated ones (Tie a Bow Tie) slip over to two or three pages. All are nicely illustrated with simple but clear monochrome sketches.

“The six sections of the book are organized to help you to quickly find the type of skill you want to master…”

The instructions are very clear, given as conveniently numbered steps. Many of the tips have one or two sidebars. “Warnings” help you avoid problems that may be harmful. “Tips” provide a sentence or two of additional help with that problem. Some of the tips aren’t very useful (Inflate Bike Tires; Serve Transcendent Tea; Tighten a Screw). It seems this book was written partly to children, partly to adults. This is not a book you need to keep on your shelf but rather one to read and pass along.

Reviewed by George Erdosh

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