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Home Repair Book

Dare to Repair: A Do-It-Herself Guide to Fixing (Almost) Anything in the Home by Julie Sussman, Stephanie Glakas-Tenet, Yeorgos Lampathakis (Illustrator), Linda C. Fuller Dare to Repair: A Do-It-Herself Guide to Fixing (Almost) Anything in the Home
by Julie Sussman, Stephanie Glakas-Tenet, Yeorgos Lampathakis (Illustrator), Linda C. Fuller

Paperback: 272 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.85 x 9.18 x 7.36
Publisher: HarperResource; 1st edition (September 3, 2002)
ISBN: 0060959843

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Amazon.com: Whether you identify with riot grrrls or Rosie the Riveter, you'll love the tackle-it-yourself empowerment style of Dare to Repair. Covering simple tasks like unclogging bathroom sinks and switching directions on a ceiling fan along with more intimidating projects such as patching holes in drywall or creating a circuit map, this no-nonsense guide will walk you through those simple steps of maintaining, and perhaps even improving, your home. Forget about Martha and her hot-glue-gun projects--this is about drain snakes, electrical tape, and the kind of screwdrivers you can't order from a bartender.

Authors Julie Sussman and Stephanie Glakas-Tenet mix goofy "Your fridge is running? Better catch it!" jokes with a very matter-of-fact tone that assumes from the start you're woman enough for the job. Sections are arranged by general category (electricity, plumbing, etc.), and every entry is accompanied by clear illustrations of items and processes. For women who live alone or are starting up a business, this is a serious money-saving guide; for those of us with roommates, there's no quicker way to impress than to whip out your toolbox and get down to business. --Jill Lightner

From Library Journal: Owing to choice or happenstance, many women don't have men around to repair things, and even if they do there is no guarantee that the man isn't a complete bonehead when it comes to fixing things. Sussman and Glakas-Tenet, both wives of CIA employees who were never around to help with household problems, show women how to perform a number of the most common repairs, including unclogging drains and toilets, replacing electrical switches and outlets, leveling appliances, lighting pilot lights, unsticking windows, and installing a door peephole. The authors assume that the reader is a complete newcomer to home repair, so everything is explained in detail (down to what tools to use), but the tone is never condescending. The very readabable text is supplemented by black-and-white drawings. This is a wonderful book that should be purchased by every public library.

From Booklist: There are people in this world who take every plumbing leak and every clogged drain as a personal challenge. Then there are others who dial 911 when a toilet starts to run over. To stop the monetary damages, Sussman and Glakas-Tenet put together a "dummy's" guide to common repairs that usually flummox a beginner. Everything's explained in exquisite detail: tools, labeled and illustrated; steps, pictured realistically. The five major chapters--plumbing; electricity; major appliances; windows, walls, and doors; home safety--deal with 75 simple fix-its, ranging from replacing toilet seats to freeing a stuck window. Plus, words of encouragement accompany every task, certainly enough to convince anyone to pick up a pliers and twist. Barbara Jacobs

Book Description: This is NOT your father's home repair book!

And it's not your husband's, your brother's, your boyfriend's, or the guy's next door. Dare to Repair is a do-it-herself book for every woman who would rather be self-reliant than rely on a super or contractor.

No matter the depth of your pockets or the size of your home, a toilet will get clogged, a circuit breaker will trip, and a smoke detector will stop working. It's up to you how you'll deal with them -- live in denial, pay the piper, or get real and do it yourself.

Dare to Repair demystifies these home repairs by providing information that other books leave out.

• In Dare to Repair, you'll learn how to:
• Take the plunge -- from fixing a leaky faucet to cleaning the gutters.
• Lighten up -- from removing a broken light bulb to installing a dimmer switch.
• Keep your cool -- from maintaining a refrigerator's gasket to changing the rotation of a ceiling fan.
• Get a handle on it -- from replacing a doorknob to repairing a broken window.
• Play it safe -- from planning a fire escape route to installing a smoke detector.
• Filled with detailed illustrations, Dare to Repair provides even the most repair-challenged woman with the ability to successfully fix things around the home. Once you start, you won't want to stop.

About the Author: Julie Sussman's career included working for a national bookstore chain, three newspapers, and two United States Congressmen. She has been married to a career CIA employee for 14 years and has two children.

Customer Reviews
Go ahead...Dare to, January 16, 2003
Reviewer: A reader from Pittsburgh, PA
Fabulous book full of wonderful tips on how to do anything. I have yet to come up with a problem the book doesn't have a solution to. Although the title may appear to be aimed at women, I have caught my husband more than once flipping through the pages.

A must have for anyone. Great house-warming gift for a person/couple just starting out.

Good Advice., December 12, 2002
Reviewer: A reader from FL, USA
Who says girls can't do house repairs? This is a good starter's guide.

courage to handle the basics, November 12, 2002
Reviewer: A reader from Pembroke, MA United States
This book demystifies some of the simple, around-the-house chores that you always thought you should be able to handle on your own, but somehow still weren't sure how to tackle.

The projects are well explained and have given me the courage and confidence to take some of them on. It's also nice to know the guide is in the book case, so when I start to think about calling a plumber or an electrician, I'll be able to look in the book and decide whether or not I really do need to make that call.

I've noticed that some people think the book's simplistic, while others seem to think it's too heavily slanted toward a female audience. Since women have not traditionally done a lot of home repair (myself included), I think the book is ideally suited to its target group.

Excellent book, November 11, 2002
Reviewer: A reader from Vienna, VA
You can't believe reviews written by people who don't know how to spell "too". (See comments from a "reader in Southern California" below). This is an excellent book with just enough info for women (and men) to do the necessary.

To basic, November 6, 2002
Reviewer: A reader from Southern CA United States
If you know absolutely nothing about basic repairs this is a book is a good starting point. If you have the ability to change a light bulb, spackle a wall, hang a piture, you probably will also find this book fairly useless.

why so saccharine?, October 10, 2002
Reviewer: A reader from Evanston, IL United States
So this seems like a great repair book, well written instructions and good design layout, but why does each repair have to be introduced with some cutesy story? Just the information please, I don't want to hear about some pregnant woman's problem with the running toilet! Too bad, as it distracts from the good information in the book.

A book for women. Yay!, September 20, 2002
Reviewer: purplelotus from Fort Lewis, WA USA
It makes me sick to see all the male-written, whining reviews for this book. You are missing the point of this book when you say they should change the title to something more male-oriented in order to "sell more." This book isn't written for men, it's written for women. Why? Because there are enough books out there written for and from the male point of view. I think this book will sell just fine and perhaps even better *because* it is written for women. Home repair has long been a male-dominated area and it's about time someone wrote a book that was dedicated to helping women learn to do these for themselves.

Women have been shut out of this and other fields for far too long. So for all you men out there who are screaming "discrimination," let me just say one thing... Now you know how it feels. : )

Can we fix it? Yes, we can, September 15, 2002
Reviewer: Kathleen Shaputis from Olympia, WA USA
As the author of "Grandma Online" I've been encouraging women for years by suggesting web sites on home repair. Yes we can repair things around our own homes and apartments. This book is an excellent addition to keep in your "handy dandy" tool box.

Bravo...finally,a practical easy to use repairs book., September 7, 2002
Reviewer: steve oristaglio from boston, ma USA
I saw Julie and Stephanie on the Today show and immediately bought this book, even though its for women.Doing repairs around the house is so challenging even for men, who are SUPPOSE to be able to do them. This book is easy to read, practical, and covers all the important maintenence topics that make living in a home hard work to keep functional. The diagrams are very useful..the writing so clear and easy to follow. Best of all, the writing is done in a style that makes me feel they wrote it just for me. Down to Earth, warm and friendly... like I stopped in at a friend's house and asked for some help and advise. The two authors were so charming and spontaneous on TV, I guess I am not surprised that the writing and tone of the book had that sensible, caring feel to it. I've already been able to fix or improve several appliances in the house. I never knew things can be kept up or repaired so easily. I finally feel like the handy man I am suppose to be.

Useful, Handy & Cheaper Than Hiring Someone, September 7, 2002
Reviewer: Anthony Trendl from Wheaton, IL United States
I'm a guy, and despite the pretense we guys like to present, men are not born knowing how to fix stuff.

Now, I'm not real happy with the sales schtick on this book. Why only women? Discriminiation, I say: we men need this book as much as any woman. Change the title from "Dare to Repair: A Do-It-Herself Guide to Fixing (Almost) Anything in the Home" to something more masculine (or neutral) and Sussman will sell a bunch more.

All my whining aside, "Dare to Repair" is a straight-to-the-point practical guide. It covers the basics, and has no delusions about being the last word in fixing things. There's nothing intimidating or overwhelming, but the reader mustn't be afraid of a little dirt. Broken stuff is often dirty, you know.

Buy the book. It'll come in handy, and pay for itself the first time you use it successfully instead of hiring an overpaid fixit person.

I fully recommend "Dare to Repair: A Do-It-Herself Guide to Fixing (Almost) Anything in the Home" by Julie Sussman, Stephanie Glakas-Tenet.

Anthony Trendl

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