The Only Thing It Won't Teach You Is How to Escape the Firm Grasp of a Cougar
Reading has always been one of my favorite passtimes. And I don't mind telling you that I have a difficult time indulging in fiction. There's so much to learn, so much to discover, so much information to absorb. I could spend a lifetime reading and still not answer most of the pressing questions I have in my mind. Fiction, therefore, is the ultimate luxury when it comes to reading. It presumes you either know all you need to know, or are going to live a very long time. Long enough to learn all that you would have if you'd picked up those history books instead of Faulkner (not to mention Lauren Weisberger).
But it seems I have less and less time to spend with my nose buried in a book these days - fiction or non-fiction. So when I stumbled upon this awesome book, I knew it was a match made in bibliophile heaven.
Show Me How: 500 Things You Should Know Instructions for Life From the Everyday to the Exotic may look like a book for children, but don't let the cover fool you. It is a font of amazing information for everyone on the planet. Flip to any random page and you'll be treated with easy to follow instructions for one of any number of tasks. Some mundane, others fantastic.
Page 120, for example offers step by step instructions for mixing a classic martini. But flip to page 406 and learn the best way to mount an elephant. Or horse. Or camel. I'm not kidding. And on 434 you can learn how to evade a panther attack (no mention of cougars, a real modern day threat to every man).
It's like having Tim Gunn, Martha Stewart and MacGyver all sandwiched into a book. Well, even that doesn't do it justice. Toss in a lawyer, a schoolteacher, a scientist, a priest a nurse and a professional chef and you might have the makings of this book. But lest you think the book is only handy if you're headed off on safari or trying out for next season's Top Chef, let me assure you, there's something here for you.
I've learned how to make the perfect Windsor knot in my husband's tie (something every woman should master), how to make excellent pasta sauce from scratch, carry my skis, put someone in a choke hold (nice!), master salsa in a few quick steps and even how to combat jet lag. I love this book. Flip to any page and you'll learn something useful.And...if you do happen to have a little one around, it's got a section filled to the brim with clever things you can make or do to teach, amaze and amuse them...including simple instructions for fashioning a working clock out of a potato. I'm not joking.
In fact, now that I think about it, the only thing I didn't learn in the book was how to speed up my reading time. But who knows, with all the time I've saved I might just have more time for some of those fiction best-sellers I've had my eye on.