Thursday, September 9, 2010

Book Review: Made by Hand

Made by Hand
Searching for Meaning in a Throwaway World
by Mark Frauenfelder

I happened to find this book on Amazon's homepage. I was definitely intrigued, especially by the book's tagline, so I put it on my WishList.

I love making things myself, using recycled materials, and generally doing my best not to contribute to the wastefulness of consumerism all the time.

My sweet husband bought the book for me for my birthday, and after I finished reading the other 5 books I was making my way through at the time, I started in on this one.

The whole theme of the book is the author's journey in the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) world. Why he decided to build a chicken coop from leftover building materials and raise his own chickens. Why he wanted to fine tune his espresso machine himself. The challenges and rewards that came with growing his own food, keeping bees, and crafting a cigar box guitar.

The book caught me right away as I read about his attempt to escape the rat race of the American lifestyle and live as a freelance writer with his wife and 2 small children on the tropical island of Rarotonga.

I loved how he described it:
"The problem wasn't how much money we were spending, it was how we were spending our time. Did we really want to raise our kids in an environment of prepackaged diversions, theme-park rides, trips to the mall, freeway traffic, and incessant emails?"
I'll let you read for yourself to see if they stayed in Rarotonga or not....

Overall, I loved his honest take on his projects and getting a glimpse inside his life. And I learned a thing or two about subjects that I've never studied, like bee-keeping and fermenting foods.

But I have to admit, this is definitely more of book for a complete newcomer to the DIY, natural, sustainable, recyclable world. I found myself wishing he would take things a step further or be a bit more extreme. Or even a bit funnier.

But I don't regret the time I spent reading it to be sure. It was worth reading, but it definitely didn't make my Top 10 list of books.

Check it out for yourself and let me know what you think:

1 comment:

  1. i love DIY,especially recycling old fabric! i haven't ever found a good DIY book that i like..but there are plenty of how-to's for free on the internet =)


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