Book Review: Made by Hand: Searching for Meaning in a Throwaway World by Mark Frauenfelder

First can I say I just giggle because I still get a thrill out of meeting someone I first get to know through a book that is written about their personal experiences and then get to meet in person. I know more about them than they know about me and it seems a little voyeuristic.

I had the pleasure of meeting Mark Frauenfelder author of the book Made by Hand: Searching for Meaning in a Throwaway World at Maker Faire last weekend and he was so nice! His book is all about his experiences “doing it himself” which is cool to read about when you, yourself are a “DIYer” and want to hear about other’s successes and let’s face it failures/learning experiences/process because that’s really a HUGE aspect of his point and why DIYers do it, because it is about the experience not just about the end outcome. If you like doing it yourself too I think you will really enjoy this book! I know I did and not only was I entertained I was educated on a wide range of topics!

More about Made by Hand: Searching for Meaning in a Throwaway World from the publisher:

The problem wasn’t how much money we were spending, it was how we were spending our time. Did we really want to raise our kids in an environment of prepackaged diversions, theme-park rides, trips to the mall, freeway traffic, and incessant e-mails?”
-from Made by Hand

From his unique vantage point as editor-in-chief of Make magazine, the hub of the newly invigorated do-it-yourself movement, Mark Frauenfelder takes readers on an inspiring and surprising tour of the vibrant world of DIY. The Internet has brought together large communities of people who share ideas, tips, and blueprints for making everything from unmanned aerial vehicles to pedal- powered iPhone chargers to an automatic cat feeder jury-rigged from a VCR.

DIY is a direct reflection of our basic human desire to invent and improve, long suppressed by the availability of cheap, mass-produced products that have drowned us in bland convenience and cultivated our most wasteful habits. Frauenfelder spent a year trying a variety of offbeat projects such as keeping chickens and bees, tricking out his espresso machine, whittling wooden spoons, making guitars out of cigar boxes, and doing citizen science with his daughters in the garage. His whole family found that DIY helped them take control of their lives, offering a path that was simple, direct, and clear. Working with their hands and minds helped them feel more engaged with the world around them.

Frauenfelder also reveals how DIY is changing our culture for the better. He profiles fascinating “alpha makers” leading various DIY movements and grills them for their best tips and insights.

Beginning his journey with hands as smooth as those of a typical geek, Frauenfelder offers a unique perspective on how earning a few calluses can be far more rewarding and satisfying than another trip to the mall.

[tag]Made by hand by Mark Frauenfelder[/tags]

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