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Looking for something to do? Tired of the same old social media scrolling? Sick of watching reruns? Check out CCPL’s recommendations for some great books on things to do from Hoopla. These publications were chosen for their quality of content and accessibility in digital format – so you don’t have to leave home to enjoy these great reads!

*CCPL Staff picks are chosen by CCPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We’d love to hear your ideas too, so write to us and tell us what you’d recommend!*

5,203 Things To Do Instead Of Looking At Your Phone by Barbara Ann Kipfer

Put down your phone! Filling your downtime by scrolling through social media is a bad habit. Here are thousands (thousands!) of things you can do instead that will result in a more mindful, rich, creative, fun, and engaged life.

Sneaky Uses For Everyday Things by Cy Tymony

Turn a penny into a radio, change milk into plastic, make a dozen STEM projects with everyday things

Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things, Revised Edition is a valuable resource for transforming ordinary objects into the extraordinary. With over 90 solutions and bonus applications at your disposal, you will be ready for almost any situation. This revised edition includes 10 new timely projects focused on STEM and Maker initiatives.

Do you know how to make something that can tell whether the $20 bill in your wallet is a fake? Or how to generate battery power with simple household items? Or how to create your own home security system? Science-savvy author Cy Tymony does. And now you can learn how to create these things and more than 40 other handy gadgets and gizmos in Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things, Revised Edition. More than a simple do-it-yourself guide, this quirky collection is a valuable resource for transforming ordinary objects into the extraordinary. A new section focuses on STEM initiatives, along with survival, security, self-defense, and other silly applications that are just plain fun. You’ll be seen as a superhero as you amaze your friends by:

  • Transforming a simple FM radio into a device that enables you to eavesdrop on tower-to-air conversations.
  • Making a compact fire extinguisher from items typically found in a kitchen pantry.
  • Thwarting intruders with a single rubber band.

By using run-of-the-mill household items and the easy-to-follow instructions and diagrams within, you’ll be able to complete most projects in just a few minutes. Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things has been a favorite reference tool for 16 years, and this new revised edition is better equipped than ever as a practical tool to build useful devices, a trivia guide to impress friends and family, and a resource guide for the next generation of makers.

The Most Important Thing by Howard Marks, Paul Johnson

Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor

Part of the Columbia Business School Publishing series

Chairman and cofounder of Oaktree Capital Management, Howard Marks has been linked to Warren Buffett for his lucid assessments of market opportunities and risks. His memos to clients have long been consulted by the world’s leading value investors. Now he brings his insightful commentary and investment philosophy to everyone. Informed by a lifetime of experience and study, Marks helps readers understand the keys to investment success and how to avoid the pitfalls that can destroy capital or ruin a career. Utilizing passages from his memos to illustrate his ideas, he teaches by example. Part memoir, part creed, the book shows the development of an investment philosophy that fully acknowledges the complexities of investing and the perils of the financial world. Marks’ insight applies brilliantly to today’s markets, supplying many broad takeaways for both the amateur and seasoned investor. Marks expounds on such concepts as “second-level thinking,” the price/value relationship, patient opportunism, and defensive investing. His frank and honest assessment of his own decisions-and occasional missteps-provides valuable lessons on critical thinking, risk assessment, and investment strategy. Marks encourages investors to be “contrarian,” to judge market cycles wisely, and to achieve returns through aggressive yet measured action. Which is the most essential element? Successful investing requires thoughtful attention to many separate aspects. Each of the subjects Marks covers is the most important thing.

14,000 Things To Be Happy About by Barbara Ann Kipfer

Newly Revised and Updated

Something to be happy about: This mesmerizing bestseller is revised and updated. Originally published 25 years ago (happy anniversary!) from a list that Barbara Ann Kipfer started making as a child, it’s the book that marries obsession with happiness. And it now has 4,000 fresh and more current reasons to be happy: Rabbit tracks in the snow. Kiteboarding and kitesurfing. Caramel gelato. Scoring super-high on a Scrabble turn. Babies burping. Summer storms. White cupcakes with multicolored sprinkles. Big red barns. 20 minutes all to yourself. No opinions, no explanations, no asides, no footnotes, editorializing, or proselytizing. Just the simple premise of a list of things that make us smile. With its chunky shape, striking black-and-white cover, and 100 whimsical illustrations by Pierre Le-Tan, the new 14,000 Things is an irresistible catalog of good thoughts completely updated to reflect today’s world-and an uplifting gift for people of all moods and all ages.

Home Ec For Everyone: Practical Life Skills In 118 Projects by David Bowers, Sharon Bowers

Cooking · Sewing · Laundry & Clothing · Domestic Arts · Life Skills

Discover the sublime pleasure and endless rewards of being self-sufficient. In two smartly designed and straightforward encyclopedias of DIY, Home Ec for Everyone and Shop Class for Everyone (previously published together as The Useful Book), here’s everything you need to know to fix it, cook it, make it, clean it, build it, and sew it yourself.

Each title features dozens of essential skills, practical how-tos, and projects, each explained and illustrated with step-by-step instructions, plus relevant charts, sidebars, lists, and handy toolboxes. Home Ec covers what used to be called the domestic arts, including everything from chopping an onion to hemming a pair of pants to folding a fitted sheet to writing a great thank-you note. Shop Class empowers each of us to become a skilled handyperson, a confident master of one’s domain who can hang a picture, paint a room, build a birdhouse, install a lamp, or fix a flat tire.

We may live in the information age, but there’s no app that will unclog a drain-only life skills.

24 Weekend Projects For Pets by David Griffin

Dog Houses, Cat Trees, Rabbit Hutches & More

Part of the Black & Decker Complete Guide series

Critter condos & pleasure palaces for pets Most pet owners keep at least two different types of animals-dogs and cats are the most common pairings-and a surprisingly large number keep even more animals. Domestic birds; pet rabbits, mice and other rodents; ferrets, snakes, turtles-some people may even raise a goat or potbellied pig or two. On top of this, most lovers of domestic pets are also enthusiastic supporters of wildlife. feeding birds and squirrels all winter long, or creating shelters for butterflies, toads, and even bats. This book provides nearly two dozen ingenious and fun do-it-yourself projects for anyone who loves animals of all types-from lowly bugs to aristocratic purebred show pets. This is a perfect book for parents or grandparents introducing children to the wonders of raising pets and observing wildlife.