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Made by hand : searching for meaning in a throwaway world
Frauenfelder, Mark.
Adult Nonfiction GF78 .F73 2010

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In this overwrought ode to doing it yourself, Make magazine editor Frauenfelder attempts to "forge a deeper connection and a more rewarding sense of involvement with the world" by making more of the things his family uses and eats. His DIY projects are varied-organic gardening, building a chicken coop, constructing cigar-box guitars, keeping bees, tutoring his daughter-and not uniformly successful: chickens get devoured by a coyote; the bees subsist on sugar-water handouts; his daughter fails the big math test. (Not to worry, he insists, since accepting mistakes is foundational to the DIY ethos.) Frauenfelder's hand-making procedurals are engaging, but, for him, practicality takes a back seat to spirituality, to living authentically, to grokking "the Japanese concept of wabi sabi, the beauty found in an object's imperfections." He often presents DIY as a form of therapy: spoon-whittling isn't about spoons, it's about "the calming and focusing effect of spoon-whittling." (And like most therapies, these projects often require lots of disposable income-a thousand dollars for a load of mulch!-and spare time.) People have hobbies because they are interesting and fun; by inflating hobbyism into a belief system, Frauenfelder doesn't add much to their appeal. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Editor in chief of Make magazine and cofounder of BoingBoing.net, Frauenfelder here chronicles a year of delving into do-it-yourself projects such as keeping chickens and bees, gardening, making cigar-box guitars, and customizing an espresso machine. With each project, he illustrates the importance of technology and community in the resurgence of DIY and sustainable living practices. That more technology inspires back-to-basics living may seem surprising, but it makes perfect sense. The web rapidly connects us with a vast variety of people and ideas, making it easy for the beginner (or experienced) DIYer to access expertise and instruction. When Frauenfelder had to build a new chicken coop, for example, he used Google SketchUp to create a design. The author makes frequent references to online sources and communities in finding help and follows up on many of these connections in person. Verdict Frauenfelder offers an original perspective on the sustainable living and DIY movements, and this title should appeal to a tech-savvy audience.-Meagan P. Storey, Virginia Wesleyan Coll., Norfolk (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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