I have read several how-to/homesteading/trendy home ec books and this one is a keeper. There isn't much narrative about "why we do this stuff" other than in the introduction, which is refreshing. I think most of us who read books like this want the 'meat and potatoes' to be real, how-to, instructional stuff--and this book delivers. I would give it five stars, but I would have liked more diagrams/pictures to help the folks that learn visually. I'm a learn-through-text learner, but I know some folks need the extra boost of photos. Great book!