Make, Mend, Bake, Save and Shine! by Barbara Warmsley
|Make, Mend, Bake, Save and Shine! by Barbara Warmsley|
|Reviewer: Louise Laurie|
|Summary: A slim, slither of a book with a big title. Green is the mantra on most pages, as well as tips on how to waste less - whether it's food, clothes or water from the tap.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 144||Date: August 2010|
|External links: Author's website|
A slim, slither of a book with a big title. Green is the mantra on most pages, as well as tips on how to waste less - whether it's food, clothes or water from the tap.
This book has a universal message. How to waste less. There is a nice introduction by seventysomething Barbara Walmsley, aka the charity Oxfam's Green Granny. Certainly catchy but will it catch on? When I was delving inside the first couple of pages looking for the writer's name (it's not on the front cover) I discovered the phrase Printed And Bound In China. Defeating the message?
I got the sense that the wonderful (and I felt she was cuddly) Barbara is quite a character. Her many, many tips come across as sensible and no-nonsense. You could argue that some involved simple common sense to apply. The book is divided into three chapters: Handy Hints At Home, Yummy Food For Less and Thrifty Fun For Everyone. Overall, this book has a charming, old-fashioned appeal in its illustrations and layout giving the impression (especially in the recipe section) that someone has lovingly handwritten them.
I doubt that any sensible person would dispute the message of this book. I think its general appeal will be to older readers. I just can't quite see teenagers and twentysomethings either reading it or buying it. In that respect its olde-worlde charm may also be a slight negative. And it does have snazzier competitors. The irrepressible Gok Wan on television also covers capsule wardrobes but in an altogether grab-your-attention seeking way. I noted pretty early on that Barbara is a great believer in the almost magical properties of bicarbonate of soda for lots and lots of household chores. I shall look mine out from the back of the kitchen cupboard. Thank you Barbara.
For me, the conservation of water hit the right note. I think most of us could do more - fix that dripping tap, only use the washing machine for full loads, for example. But again, these are things most of us have heard several times already. And as for the whole de-cluttering section. There are people out there, enterprising people who have made profitable businesses de-cluttering others' messes. Has Barbara missed a trick here?
In an age where High Street fashion is as cheap as chips (I hate that phrase but it is apt) but often at the cost of very poorly paid people in other countries (India, China), are today's youngsters going to ditch say, Primark and Matalan any time soon? Are they going to sit down and repair their clothes, sew on a stray button? I feel as if I've just answered my own question. I wholeheartedly agree with the section on less is more. We all know the message - but we need to take action. While this book is charming and relevant in today's wasteful society and however well-intentioned its author - I rather doubt that its impact will be huge. Too many competitors. But I can see it as a great stocking-filler, come Christmas.
If you liked Make, Mend, Bake, Save and Shine!, you'll also like The Thrift Book by India Knight. Don't forget to check out our Top Ten Books To Help Down-Size And Make Ends Meet.
You can read more book reviews or buy Make, Mend, Bake, Save and Shine! by Barbara Warmsley at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Make, Mend, Bake, Save and Shine! by Barbara Warmsley at Amazon.com.
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