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Home-related reads

By | 2018-01-16T07:49:11-05:00 April 2nd, 2009|Guides|

1. “Super Natural Home: Improve Your Health, Home, and Planet – One Room at a Time,” Beth Greer, Rodale Books, $15.95

Not anxious enough? Beth Greer’s make-good book exacerbates the worry wart in all of us by making note of things to tiptoe around in this toxic world: bad air, unsafe homes, icky chemicals and Republicans (that last one isn’t included – but it should be). Greer’s inspiration for the book? A medical crisis, which prompted a call-to-action. She re-evaluated the food she ate, but also the environment she lived in (dwelling too much on the latter could be a health problem in itself, couldn’t it?) The how-to-make-life-better book’s motto is “live clean,” and it’s got lots of cool quizzes and solution-based approaches – all of which have nothing to do with Republicans.

2. “Sara Snow’s Fresh Living: The Essential Room-by-Room Guide to a Greener, Healthier Family and Home,” Sara Snow, Bantam, $16

Turn the house green – not with paint; that’d be gross. Sara Snow, a Discovery Channel TV host and Ann Arbor native, helps turn every room into an eco-friendly space. From environmentally-safe bedding and sexy personal products to using recycled toilet paper in the bathroom, Snow – who grew up eating healthy, composting and recycling (yay for her!) – lets us in on her go-green secrets. Most interesting and ignored (how many people use air fresheners instead?) is her suggestion for more in-house plants – she even lists the top 15 for the indoors – to eliminate pollutants and promote clean air. Oh, duh!

3. “Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Home: No-Nonsense Advice that Will Inspire You to Clean Like the Dickens,” Thelma Meyer, Wellness Central, $19.99

Your place could pass for a garbage truck – with a pretty picture on the wall. So Thelma Meyer, whose daughter founded Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day products, is here to help. She’s the spic-and-span Superwoman dishing tips on keeping the home tidy. The mother of nine’s helpful tidbits – clean out the fridge before grocery shopping to get rid of, say, the yogurt that was lost behind the soy milk – are part common sense and part inspiration. But really, who has time for common sense, like washing the windows on a cloudy day to avoid the sun-dried streaks? Meyer obviously does, but she’s making money off this advice. And you’re not.

4. “Home Buying For Dummies: Fourth Edition,” Eric Tyson and Ray Brown, For Dummies, $21.99

We’re sure smart people use these books, too. They just don’t admit to it. But no one has to feel stupid trying to buy a new house – the market is so screwy, even the most experienced mover might appreciate a book for, well, dummies. This fourth edition addresses concerns about the tipsy-turvy housing situation, with Eric Tyson and Ray Brown guiding prospective crib buyers with oodles of advice. Make smarty-pants financial decisions, choose the right property, understand the latest lending requirements and tax implications and – new to this latest installment – check out expanded coverage that’ll help you take advantage, drunk-person-in-my-bed style, of low home prices.

5. “The Work-at-Home Success Bible: A Complete Guide for Women: Start Your Own Business; Balance Work and Home Life; Develop Telecommuting Strategies,” Leslie Truex, Adams Media, $14.95

Home is where the heart is – and the money, maybe. For self-motivators who’d rather work from their La-Z-Boy – sure the title says women, but it’s safe to assume that means gay men, too – Leslie Truex’s guide on working from home is pretty genius. Yo-yoing gas prices, cranky co-workers – why not learn how to bring the business to you? Truex’s book – inspired by the Virginia mom’s stay-at-home strategies – has tips on organizing and scheduling daily tasks, finding the job that best fits you and avoiding distractions. You might want to skip that chapter.

6. “A Smart Girl’s Guide to Staying Home Alone,” Dottie Raymer, American Girl Publishing, Inc., $9.95

So reading too much of R.L. Stine’s “The Babysitter” series was probably not the best idea. But help is here. For the tween crowd just learning to hold up the fort solo – it’s scary stuff, man – American Girl offers up a breezy 64-page guide for pre-puberty girls. Feel confident! Learn snack recipes! Survive with the sibs! Research vibrators! Wait, no. This girl-friendly guide by Dottie Raymer is chock-full of self-help nuggets, boredom busters, fun-for-one ideas (we promise, nothing about sex toys), quizzes and a handy tear-out booklet for keeping track of vital info and house rules. Or just make the kids watch “Home Alone” again.

About the Author:

Chris Azzopardi
As editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBTQ wire service, Chris Azzopardi has interviewed a multitude of superstars, including Cher, Meryl Streep, Mariah Carey and Beyoncé. His work has also appeared in GQ, Vanity Fair and Billboard. Reach him via Twitter @chrisazzopardi.