Mark Frauenfelder doesn't need me to review his new book, "Made by Hand". It's been reviewed by almost everyone. He's been on the Colbert Report and interviewed by countless others. Time. com, Huffington Post, you name it. And I'm glad - because this book is utterly absorbing and I didn't want most of the chapters to end! It made me cry (when the family lost their chickens to predators), educated me (how cigarette advertising killed DIY, killing the lawn, growing food, etc.), made me laugh (recounting his family's reactions to his DIY projects and admitting his own mistakes) and it also inspired me to try new things.
The thing I can't get over, though, is what a great writer Mark is. He makes everyday homespun activities sound interesting and important. He encourages us to ask questions and learn about things that we don't already know about. Most of all, Mark tells us how fulfilling it is to have a more hands-on approach to life, to make the most of what we already have and to create new things. Mark reminds us that we need this soul food to stay in touch with ourselves and that our mistakes and frustrations are the very things that educate us.