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Made by Hand: Searching for Meaning in a…

Made by Hand: Searching for Meaning in a Throwaway World (2010)

by Mark Frauenfelder

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While the klutzy rambling of the book is endearing, and it’s good to be reminded that a fear of making mistakes is what stifles so much DYI, the reader wishes Frauenfelder would just RTFM. ( )
1 vote adzebill | May 5, 2012 |
A very simple but enjoyable book. Very motivational at first and then it gets settled in, but is still readable. Would have been better if some DIY plans were included to get people started on projects. I plan to build a cigar box guitar like the author. ( )
  soam | Feb 5, 2011 |
This was an inspiring book - not that it made me want to do the things Frauenfelder has done, but it did make me want to get up and *do things*. I cried over the chickens and was warmed by the stories of helping his daughters learn more. ( )
  mdesive | Oct 15, 2010 |
Made By Hand is one man's exploration into the world of DIY. I found it somewhat inspiring in that I've had the idea of doing a lot of similar projects and haven't gotten around to them yet, and Frauenfelder made them seem more easy and accessible than I thought.

Frauenfelder details several projects that he took on, including growing a garden, raising chickens and bees, making instruments and re-programming his espresso maker. I feel that a lot of people would benefit by exploring their ability to make and do with things that we already have instead of buying new things, and that is really what this book encourages.

That said, I found this book to be slightly masturbatory in nature. I'm never a big fan of reading about how cool people think they are because they did something new, and that's really how this book came across to me. I've read a lot of DIY books ([book:Toolbox for Sustainable City Living|2367358] and [book:The Urban Homestead|7454476]) where you can get a sense of the author's pride without getting caught up in it.

Also, does Frauenfelder honestly not know a single female DIYer? The only people he interviews or talks about in his book are male. Women show up in two contexts: wives and daughters. He wonders why his daughter gets frustrated with science while perpetuating the myth that only men do cool things in his book. What gives?

I also found that the DIYers he talks about in his book mostly come from positions of privilege: went to a great school, got lucky in the dot com boom, work from home and have plenty of time to stay at home with their kids, etc. I don't think this book would resonate with the average American. ( )
3 vote lemontwist | Sep 9, 2010 |
The best thing about this book is the encouragement to persevere, pointing out that making mistakes is the best way to learn. I have often talked myself out of trying something, convinced I will make mistakes. Mark Frauenfelder assures me I will likely do just that, but that its OK and I'll get something more out of the trying than if I had simply HAP (hired a professional) as opposed to DIY. I loved this book for the freedom it gave me to not let failure crush me. Not everything in the book turns out perfectly but that's the whole point. What does turn out perfectly is the satisfaction of connecting to the world we live in and awakening our sense of possibilities. ( )
  4daisies | Jul 20, 2010 |
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For Carla, Sarina, and Jane
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On New Year's Day 2003, my wife, Carla, and I were sitting in the garden of a little coffeehouse in Studio City, California, with out notebooks and pens in hand.
Recreational shopping, it turns out, is no match for recreational making.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The co-founder of BoingBoing, the world's most popular blog, goes on a do-it-yourself journey to prove that handmade is a more satisfying way to live.

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