Dr Robert Rich
Reviews of Bob's two 'how to' books


Cover of 'Earth Garden building Book'
Cover of 'Woodworking for Idiots Like Me'
Earth Garden Building Book: Design and build your own house.
Dr Robert Rich and Keith Smith, Viking, 1991
Revised (3rd) edition.  ISBN 0-670-90420-1
315 pages, illustrated, large format paperback.

RRP $Au35.00 + GST $3.50

    "This is the book many people have been waiting for since they dreamed of building their own home from natural materials, in harmony with their surroundings. It answers all the questions for Australian owner-builders.
    It's a 'practical book for dreamers' and it faces the difficult subject square on. What the authors have done is to show how anyone of average intelligence and reasonable health can build their own home, and probably not end up with a 25 year mortgage at the end of it all.
    "This book is intended to provide an antidote to the stereotyped Australian suburban sprawl of red brick houses with red tiled roofs, set squarely in a rectangle of ground," said authors Bob Rich (who writes regularly for Earth Garden), and former Earth Garden publisher and editor, Keith Smith."

Woodworking for Idiots Like Me.
Bob Rich, Aird Books, 1994.
ISBN 0-947214-41-0
Large format paperback, illustrated, 194 pages.

RRP $Au20.00

   Please note that the paper version of this book is no longer available. However, I've made it into a highly usable electronic book, which works like a large web page. So, it's more useful than ever.

   "As well as an admirable reference for idiots and seasoned chippies alike, this book contains entertaining anecdotes about Bob Rich's life and friends. It is through these stories that Bob educates the idiots of the world about the intricacies of woodworking and a host of other technical information. Some stories are fictional and some are fact, but all make the learning experience very enjoyable indeed.
    Bob covers many aspects of woodworking in the more technical section of the book from skew nailing to sharpening chainsaws. The proper use of handtools is explained clearly with the aid of good diagrams. There is good cross-referencing between the technical information and the more colourful part of the book. The illustrations are simple and get the message across very well, but sometimes lack geometric integrity.
    I was delighted to see sections on how to fell a tree, how to use a hammer, and how to make a billy cart. No matter what your level of expertise, you will find this book both enlightening and entertaining. Bob Rich has created a reference which instils confidence in the reader and makes you want to get down to work immediately, or sit up late and chuckle at his humour."

    Judith Gray in Earth Garden magazine, No. 79, March-May 1992    Thomas Herbst in Soft Technology magazine, No. 53, 1994
   In its three editions, the Earth Garden Building Book was continuously in print from 1987 until 2002. Other reviews have described it as 'the owner-builder's bible'. Woodworking for Idiots Like Me is actually a collection of autobiographical short stories. Not having figured in the gossip pages of women's magazines, Bob could only get them published by dressing them up as practical advice. However, the advice works: by following the recipes in this book, you can make anything from a shed to a rocking chair.
   Ask for the Earth Garden Building Book at your local library and check it out. We are working on a new release.    The current print run of Woodworking for Idiots Like Me has sold out ... yet again. Check your local library. Email Bob Rich if you want to be notified when copies become available.
   Want to check out what the Earth Garden Building Book is about?    Want to find out more about Woodworking for Idiots Like Me?


   Bob also writes fiction. Have a look around at http://bobswriting.com. You can request a free book, read entertaining stories and book extracts, and buy one of Bob's books.


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