Awful Library Books

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Cheap, Cheerful, and Useless

cheap and cheerful homemaking cover

Cheap & Cheerful
Homemaking on a Budget
Forsyth
1973

I think this is probably one of the worst decorating/DIY books ever. None of the illustrations are any help. Note the kitchen layout picture. No context. No room dimensions or anything that might help the reader actually do the project. This book was a waste of money in 1973, let alone 2017.

Also, I don’t think any of this stuff is particularly cheerful, but then I am kind of grouchy today.

Mary

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Pretty Plants for Decorating

living with plants cover

Living With Decorative Plants
John Henry Company
1975

Plants were the cheap decorating accessory for the 1970s. I remember at the time people would fill living areas to the point where it was more jungle than living room. Houseplants were everywhere. Watering these plants probably took an hour a day.

Aside from the dated look, this book isn’t too bad. There is a list of plants and one or two comments on light/water needs. Plant care tips are low and decorating use is the main feature of the book. Not bad for the mid 1970s and downright comical in 2017. (See example rooms below.)

Mary

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Cat Talk

talk to your cat cover

How to talk to your cat
And get it to do what YOU want
Allison
1993

My cats have very busy schedule of napping and staring out the window. They barely notice, I mean tolerate, me. I can talk until I am blue in the face, and they will ignore me and NEVER do what I want.  So naturally I was curious to see what this poor author decided to sell us in terms of cat communication. Short answer: Not much.

This book is low on information and big on anecdotes about cats. There is also an ongoing theme of a cat’s psychic ability along with communicating with “spirits”. Other than some descriptions of body language: swishing tail equals angry/irritated, there is very little substance. There is no real “training” program or method. Even the examples aren’t really examples.

Even though cat training/communication is, at best, imaginary, there are still better choices than this particular book. There really only are a few things your cat is trying to tell you:

Feed me, I may starve.

Get out of my way. You are standing/sitting where I need to be.

Your stuff is in my way, I am going to have to push it to the floor or hide it from you.

You suck.

Completely trained by cats to do their bidding,

Mary

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