So What Are You Reading?

Reviews of Books.

Friday, February 17, 2006


The Taming of the Screw. Dave Barry

In 15 hilarious chapters Dave Barry takes on the DIY topics of Tools, Wood, Electricity, Plumbing, Walls, Heating and Cooling, Insulation and Weatherproofing, Masonry, Easy Projects, Impossible Projects, Household Pests, The Lawn and Garden, Car Repair, Home Redecoration, and Building Your Own House.

He defines a tool as "an object that enables you to take advantage of the laws of physics and mechanics in such a way that you can seriously injure yourself."

Barry has the following to say about wood. "Wood has been the preferred building material for thousands of years, because it is one of the few materials that will rot as well as burn."

On electricity, Barry defines alternating current as "electricity [that] goes in one direction for a while, then goes the other direction. This prevents harmful buildup in the wires."

Mr. Barry says the first step in fixing a broken pipe is to "go down to the dankest corner of the basement and locate the valve that turns off all the water in the house. This will be the valve that is covered with slime and a spiderweb containing a spider and the festering bodies of dead insects."

According to Barry, walls "keep the roof from falling down and damaging your television set."

Barry on solar energy: "The easiest way to heat your house with solar energy is to move it to Central America, which is located directly under the sun."

Barry on Masonry: "Any kind of building material that can fall on you and kill you."

Barry on cockroaches: "The only surefire way to get rid of roaches is to remove all the liquor from your house. Roaches can mate only when drunk. Can you blame them? Would you mate with a roach if you were sober?"

Finally, a DIY book for people who don't know anything about the subject and don't want to learn. You can read this book and it's totally frivolous Index without learning anything about home repairs. You will have a good laugh and never be tempted to do any home projects. So relax and enjoy the outlandish humor of Dave Barry safe in the knowledge that this book has no socially redeeming value.

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