June 2012

Tools and Their Uses

A handy book by the U.S. Bureau of Naval Personnel

No matter how much of an expert DIY-er you are, you will still need some solid reference materials. If you are a tradesman, a good text may be even more valuable. When it comes to tools, there is a lot to know and you will need at least one good source of thorough reference material. Tools and Their Uses by the U.S. Bureau of Naval Personnel is the kind of businesslike and authoritative source that no handyman or DIY hobbyist should ever be without.

Anyone just starting out in the world of working with tools (including youngsters considering a career in construction) and building things should read a copy. While obviously a book for personnel in the U.S. Navy, all types of workers can find something valuable in it.

The Joy of Less: A Minimalist Living Guide

A book by Francine Jay

One of the side effects of being a shopaholic is the tendency to accumulate stuff. The modern consumer culture is the place where garage sales and used goods on craigslist are born. Both Craigslist and the garage sale are methods used to rid a living space of unwanted junk. The clutter-free home is what many strive for after having found that they cannot buy their happiness. The Joy of Less: A Minimalist Living Guide tells its readers how best to create an uncluttered environment by stripping down to the essentials. The aesthetic is known as minimalism and is for people who are tired of hoarding.

Little House in the Suburbs

A book about self-sufficient living by Deanna Caswell, Daisy Siskins and Jacqueline Musser

These days, many people long for a simpler and more sustainable way of life. The idea of community gardens and growing your own foods has become a major trend, together with a movement to educate people about nutrition and to return to organic food production. Many may believe that the ability to raise chickens or to have a functional garden is restricted to living in a rural setting. 

Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter

A book by Lloyd Kahn


Have you ever felt tired of living in a large house and longed for something smaller and easier to maintain? Well, there are enough people who felt like this to have started a movement aimed at building and living in small homes. These homes are not just more affordable and easier to construct, they are even portable in some cases. They are excellent for people who believe that the American dream has become burdensome and just long for something smaller and simpler. A good starting point for anyone interested in building a tiny home would be with Lloyd Kahn‘s Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter.

Home Repair That Pays Off: 150 Simple Ways to Add Value Without Breaking Your Budget

A book by Hector Seda

While one of the primary reasons for renovating a home is for the comfort of the homeowner, another reason is to be able to make the property more valuable when it comes time to resell. This is the same principle used when “flipping” houses. Hector Seda‘s book, Home Repair That Pays Off: 150 Simple Ways to Add Value Without Breaking Your Budget is not really about house-flipping, it is intended for homeowners who want to execute improvements on their homes themselves, more so than for people who want to do it professionally. The key is for the homeowner to know which improvements will result in more profit and this is what Seda attempts to teach.