Anniversaries and Holidays

P1. Anniversaries and Holidays. 5th ed. Berna Trawicky and Ruth W. Gregory. American Library Association, 2000. 312p. (7)

Some 3,000 international holidays, holy days, and anniversaries are listed in this standard work. The arrangement is in three parts: “Calendar of Fixed Dates,” the largest section, which offers a day-by-day calendar of events; “Calendar of Moveable Days,” subdivided according to the Christian, Islamic, Eastern and Western worlds; and a bibliography of more than 2,000 books about anniversaries and holidays. Since the work is too expensive for many small library budgets, it could be suggested as a special gift or memorial.

Consumer Information

P2 . Consumer Reports Buying Guide Issue. Consumers Union. Annual. (1)

The Buying Guide is the December issue of the periodical, but it may be purchased separately. It includes summaries of consumer goods and services evaluations that have appeared in the magazine over the last several years, and cites the magazine issue in which the full article appears. Evaluations are based on independent tests and investigations. Consumer Reports is available on TexShare’s MasterFile Premium database (see section A).

P3. Consumer Reports Home Computer Buying Guide. Annual. Consumer Reports. (1pa)

Designed for both the experienced and inexperienced computer buyer, this guide provides brand name recommendations for desktops, laptops, PDA’s, and other types of computers plus advice on selecting a computer to meet individual needs. There also is useful information such as tips on such topics as speeding up your Web connection.

P4. Consumer Reports Used Car Buying Guide. Annual. Consumer Reports.

Annual updates provide a historical profile of over 250 models—cars, trucks, minivans, and sports utility vehicles—and evaluate each vehicle’s safety, comfort, and repair record. Information is based on surveys and includes price range, photos, and a listing of available safety equipment.

P5. Kelly Blue Book. (www.kbb.com)

This service provides pricing on older models of new and used cars giving both trade in and sale price to individuals. There also is information concerning financing, insurance, warranties, and more that is useful to the car buyer.


P6. How to Cook Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Food. Mark Bittman. Macmillan, 1998.

This comprehensive cookbook dubs itself the guide for today’s generation of cooks. The work attempts to meet the needs of beginners who want to learn the basics, those who are pressed for time, and experienced cooks seeking new ideas. The more than 1500 recipes and variations are simple to prepare and more than half can be completed in less than 30 minutes. Emphasis is on use of fresh, widely available ingredients, basic equipment, and healthful techniques. Special features include a listing of time required to prepare for each recipe, more than 250 detailed drawings of food preparation techniques, numbered steps in preparation for ease in keeping your place, and exhaustive menu-suggestions.

Note: The New Joy of Cooking. 6th ed. Irma S. Rombauer et al. (Scribner, 1997. 1,113p) has long been considered the most important basic cookbook. Since many users are displeased with the latest revision, the work has lost some of its authority. It is suggested that libraries retain their copies of earlier editions.

P7. Recipe Source. (www.recipesource.com)

There are many Internet sites for recipes and food generally. This site, containing an archive of over 70,000 recipes, is organized into two major groups, ethic cuisine and types of dishes.


P8. Emily Post’s Etiquette. 16th ed. Peggy Post. HarperInformation, 1997. 845p. (4)

A classic source on etiquette, this work has been updated for today’s world by the great-granddaughter-in-law of the original Emily Post. The current edition is for persons of all ages and in all walks of life, not just for those in “polite society.” Etiquette on situations never dreamed of by the original author are included—email, cellular phones, step parents, fourth weddings, and much more. New chapters have been added on international business customs and religious services. Amy Vanderbilt Compete Book of Etiquette, 16th ed., by Nancy Tickerman and Nancy Dunnam (Doubleday, 1995. 845p. [3]) is another standard work.


P9. The American Horticultural Society Encyclopedia of Gardening. Christopher Brickell, ed. DK Publishers, 1993. 648p. (6)

Although relatively expensive, this excellent work is the standard guide to gardening is useful for both the novice and the expert. The work covers all aspects of the topic from choosing and maintaining healthy plants of all varieties to building structures such as greenhouses and identifying pests and diseases.

P10. Howard Garrett’s Plants for Texas. University of Texas Press, 1996. [2pa.]

Garrett, an authority on organic gardening, presents no-nonsense advice on design, maintenance and care of everything from turf grasses to annuals. The alphabetical section provides information on each plant’s mature height, distinguishing attributes, and cultural requirements. Another work of his, Howard Garrett’s Texas Organic Gardening. (Lone Star Books, 1998. [2pa.]), is equally useful.

P11. Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region. 2nd ed. Sally Wasowski and Andy Wasowski. Lone Star Books, 2001. 406p. (4pa.)

This guide divides Texas into regions based upon soil type, and suggests a wide variety of plants that will thrive in each. The 399 native plants are pictured, profiled and categorized by type. The gardening plans provided for each type of terrain will inspire homeowners to go native.

P12. Neil Sperry’s Complete Guide to Texas Gardening. 2nd ed. Neil Sperry. Taylor Publishing, 1991. 388p. (4)

Considered the definitive work on Texas lawns and gardens, this work covers all types of plants—grasses, perennials, annuals, vegetables, trees, and shrubs. The hundreds of full color pictures guide the user through the basics of gardening and treat the problems that often occur with each plant. 1001 Most-Asked Texas Gardening Questions by Neil Sperry (Summit Publishing Group-Legacy, 1997. [2]) is a useful companion to this work.

P13. Texas Bug Book. C. Malcolm Beck. University of Texas Press, 1999. (4, 2pa.)

Malcolm Beck, an organic gardening expert, explains in detail how to identify, control or protect Texas insects, spiders, mites, snails, slugs, nematodes, and other critters. Full-color photographs and line drawings support the text.

P14. The WWW Virtual Library. (www.gardenweb.com)

The site links the user to many topics related to gardening such as horticulture, plants, and famous gardens. There also are useful sources such as a glossary of botanical terms and advice and tips on gardening.


P15. Houseplant Encyclopedia. Ingrid Jantra, et al, Firefly, 2001 reprint 1997 ed. (4)

For each of the 1,000 houseplants, arranged in an A to Z listing, there is a detailed description and color photograph, plus advice on placement, care and propagation, light, watering and feeding needs. Two less expensive works, also useful, are Complete Book of Houseplants: A Practical Guide to Selecting and Caring for Houseplants by John Evan (Studio Books, 1994. [3]), and The House Plant Expert: The World’s Best Selling Book on House Plants by D.G. Hessayon (Expert Books, 1998. [1pa.])

Home Maintenance

P16. New Complete Do-It-Yourself Manual. Reader’s Digest, 1998. (3pa.)

With the novice in mind, this excellent manual on repair covers all areas from electric to plumbing. The work is copiously illustrated and instructions are clearly written. An emergency repair section is especially helpful. Another useful work, Better Homes & Gardens New Complete Guide to Home Repair & Improvement. 2nd ed., ed. by Benjamin W. Allen and Ben Allen. (Better Homes & Gardens Books, 1997. 600p. [3]), provides step-by-step repair instructions. The publication’s Web site, www.bhg.com/bhg/househome/index.jhtml , also is useful.

P17. New Fix-It Yourself Manual. Reader’s Digest. Reader’s Digest, 1998. (3pa.)

This manual directs itself toward repairing appliance, furniture, and other household items. Photographs, charts, diagrams, and other helpful aids accompany well-written instructions.

P18. How to Clean Practically Anything. 5th ed. By the editors of Consumer Reports. Consumer Reports Books, 2002. (2pa)

This inexpensive publication is one of the best of a number of handbooks on the topic. It includes sections on cleaning strategies, cleaning agents arranged A to Z, cleaning appliances, and tools for home, car, clothing, and more.

Price Guide: (1) Under $15 (2) $16-$25 (3) $26-$35 (4) $36-$45 (5) $46-$55 (6) $56-$65 (7) $66-$75 (8) $76-$85 (9) $86-$95 (10) Over $96

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