Books & Literature

Book Review: How to Adult, by Anna Blackie

SELF-HELP: From doing your taxes to changing a tyre, How to Adult contains everything a fully functioning adult should know to survive in the grown-up world.

Lots of useful and practical information for adults of any age who still get baffled or frustrated with life's expectations.

You may not expect much from a book aimed at newly-independent millennials but in reality, who does know how to fold a fitted sheet properly?

There’s a lot of very useful, practical information in this book, regardless of how long you’ve been trying to adult. Anna Blackie gets down to the very basics for the truly innocent babes just leaving home – what’s the difference between credit and debit, and how to make gravy, for example – but then she also gets into the more nitty gritty of taxable income, insurance claims, the right temperature settings to cook steak how you like it, and some basic first aid.

Each chapter has a highlighted box of “shit you should know” which adds to the useful pages above and before it. The book is written for young adults and targeted well. Blackie doesn’t talk down to the reader, and she admits to her own limitations. Humour abounds in her text, making this information-dense read a highly enjoyable one too. Even her chapter titles are amusing – Oh, The Irony, for example, for the chapter on ironing, and Fishing: For More Than Just Compliments for her words of wisdom on how to go fishing.

The information is laid out using lots of white space, tables and lists, with an occasional graph or nice illustration by Alex Nicol. The pear green design may not be the best for colour contrast but for the most part, it’s used for design purposes and only limited text or text-backgrounds.

The broader sections, which include multiple chapters on various topics, are: Finance, Cooking, Household, Professional, Outdoors, Mechanical, Legal, Health and Fitness. Unfortunately, there’s no index or sub-menus to find the specific information you may wish to find.

How to Adult is a marvellous and broad overview of how to do the things we should be doing ourselves, along with a range of other useful titbits. The information is clear, practical, and fun to read, and suitable for all adults who still get baffled or frustrated with accountants, finance, cooking, cleaning, keeping fit or changing a tyre. It’s bound to remain a handy reference book for years to come.

Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Twitter: @StrtegicRetweet

Book Distributed by: Pantera Press
Released: January 2020
RRP: $24.99

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