Look out GoodHousekeeping! Move over Betty Crocker! Heloise, you day as reigning champion of household tips is over! If there is a book that is the 21st century standard that should be a gift for every new couple starting out, it is Heather Solos’ Home-Ec 101.
From the cover, to the topics covered, it starts to look like (and is probably an homage to) a 1950’s “housewife guide book.” Fortunately for the reader, Heather’s writing personality and writing style come through wonderfully, and rather than your static, boring how to, you get fresh, current, real world tips and ideas that are useful *today* (after all how many people are still trying worried about caring and storage for a mink stoll these days?)
This book is essentially a “Cliff Notes” version of the home-ec101.com website. This is a good thing, because first, it gives many basic day to day problems a solution and keeps them at your fingertips (because, if the power is out, it is hard to look for a solution on how to fix it on a computer with no power, isn’t it?), and because that means, when you are done with this book (though, are you ever really “done” with a good reference book?), there is a whole world more information available from Heather readily available for you to continue reading. Unlike your favorite thriller author where you will have to wait months if not years for the next installment, you can see tips and tricks that didn’t make this book, and the possible tips and solutions that may make up the next edition, as they are being developed… on a basically daily basis.
If there is one drawback to this book, it is that by making it so clearly a sort of tongue in cheek dedication to the 1950’s housewife, it will not be picked up by as many men as it probably should be. I started off saying that this would be the perfect starter book gift for a couple. It would be just as beneficial (if not more so) to a bachelor getting his first apartment, but odds are he would not appreciate it, just based on the superficials of the cover and style. Is that shallow and sort of neanderthal like thinking? Of course. But in many cases true. Yes, there are men who will read it (I did), and will appreciate all the information (guilty as charged), but that is not true of everyone.
OK, a second flaw, and this is strictly for Kindle Edition readers (and especially those that read the Kindle Edition on a device other than a Kindle). It is preety obvious that this book was nothing but a straight port from the book. There are images that are not clean or formatted properly and look pretty bad in Kindle Software. There are a few glitches as well in bullets and line item numberings that make it pretty clear that the editor did not go over it again once ported to digital. Fortunately, this flaw is not bad enough to detract from the otherwise fantastic content.
So, in short, if you ever have the need to wash something, cook something, clean something or fix something, then there is absolutely no reason that you should not have a copy of this book at your fingertips. You life just might depend on it.
How good is this book? It is so good that in honor of me actually starting to try and make this blog somewhat useful, I am going to use it as my “official launch” promotion. (Yes, my launch is months late, but I figured I needed some content, and with some here, and more on the way… well it seemed like a good time to do so). So, I am going to give away 2 copies of the Kindle Edition of the Book . ( I will be giving a paper edition away soon for those that are less digitally inclined, but as they say, “Stay Tuned for more information on that one).
What do you have to do to win a copy? Simple:
1. Leave a Comment on this post (by 11:59 PM Saturday, April 16th)
2. Stop by http://www.home-ec101/.com and tell Heather you entered to win her book because she is so smart and pretty.
(OK, technically Step 2 is completely option, but highly encouraged (It will not however alter your chances of winning the book).
3. Tweet this Review and Contest for an additional chance to win (leave a separate comment).