I'm happy to announce our second Neatorama Mini Hunt, featuring Made by Hand: Searching for Meaning in a Throwaway World, a new book by Boing Boing co-founder, DIY enthusiast (amongst many other things) and our friend, Mark Frauenfelder.
The Mini Hunt is a quicker version of online treasure hunts we often do on the blog. We'll give you a clue - solve the question and you'll be in the running for some really cool prizes!
But first, the book.
If you're stressed out by the frenetic pace of modern life, the never-ending emails, the ceaseless errands and the overwhelming accumulation of stuff, then this is the book to read.
In Made by Hand, Mark started by telling us his version of the all-too-familiar story of the stress of living in the city. But while the rest of us just moan about it, he actually did something we've all talked about: he moved his family to a remote and idyllic South Pacific island. But rather than finding paradise, he found that his problems and stress actually got worse!
The book isn't a "how-to" guide - rather, it's tale of a journey in discovering the joy of DIY. Mark killed his lawn, raised chicken, built his own cigar-box guitar, whittled his own spoon - and for the love of God - kept bees! Mark's breezy narration, peppered with neat facts and humble depictions of the many mistakes he made along the way make for great reading, but it also delivers the message that the antidote to the stresses of modern lives can be found by slowing down and reconnecting with the ways of yore - of making things with your own two hands.
Here's Mark being interviewed by Stephen Colbert about the book:
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
At this point, let me confess that despite my being a typsographically-challenged bumbling fool on this blog, I'm actually quite handy. My wife and I remodeled our own house: we tiled, framed, sawed, hammered, and painted pretty much everywhere. Sure it was hard work, but there's quite a bit of happiness at the end of the process and a lot of pride in being able to say "yes, we made that."
With three lil' Neatoramanauts to raise, we've sadly strayed from our DIY ways (after all, it's easier and quicker to buy things than to make 'em) and I've found our lives more stressful than ever. While it was an entertaining read, this also book serves as a timely reminder for us. I'm not going to keep bees (they sting!) but perhaps it's time to revisit my vertical vegetable garden.
Now, on with the hunt! We'll ask you a single question, the answer to which makes a hidden URL on Neatorama:
What is the name of the South Pacific island that
Mark and his family moved to?
To find the answer, visit Made by Hand's official website and read the free First Chapter [PDF] (don't rush - it's a fantastic story). Then type the answer into your browser bar in this format: http://www.neatorama.com/answer (one word, all lower case) and leave a comment there.
We'll pick 6 random winners: 3 will win free autographed copies of Made by Hand, and another 3 will win neat items ($50 or less) from the NeatoShop. IMPORTANT: Please write what you want from the NeatoShop, otherwise you forfeit the prize.