By: Laura Lee
Publisher: Readers Digest
Publication Date: March 2013
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: April 20, 2013
From cooking burgers on the grill to avoiding credit card dept, Don’t Screw It Up! tackles an amazingly wide range of common “screw ups,” and tells the reader just what to do to either avoid or correct said mistake. It’s fun, interesting, and has a surprisingly large amount of useful information within its pages.
Don’t Screw It Up! is divided into thirteen chapters:
Don’t Screw Up Your Home
The Great Outdoors
How You Look
Your Job or Your Computer
A Good Time
Each chapter is then further divided into numerous sections, each on a different “screw up.” The book is very attractively designed, bright, and easy to read. There are sidebars throughout with “top screwups” for each topic as well as for additional suggestions. One of the best things about this book, beyond the helpful hints, is that the author is funny, very funny. She is candid, tells it like it is, and inserts humor that helps keep the pages turning. You won’t fall asleep reading this book!
When I first saw this book, I thought, well, what on earth can I learn from a book like this? A few handy tips on how to get stains out of my clothes? But no, there is a LOT of helpful information here. And while there are some basic tips such as locking your doors to keep burglars out of your house (you’re thinking sure, of course, it goes without saying), even with these "obvious" suggestions, the author then takes it a step further (in this case, by pointing out that “…a surprising number of burglaries occur with no forced entry.") Hmmm….maybe it isn’t so obvious?
Beyond the basics, there are just so many useful ideas within the pages of the book. I now know how to open those incredibly annoying hard plastic packages so many products are wrapped in; what to do (and NOT to do) for frostbite, why so many people tend to use more paper today than before recycling; and how to tell if a compost pile is properly working as well as a myriad of other things that I didn’t even know I didn’t know.
Quill says: Whether you need to fix your car, a picture frame, or even fix your dating life, Don’t Screw It Up! will likely have the answer you need. And you’ll have a really good laugh while reading it too!