Home Improvement 1-2-3
(Meredith Books)

There are plenty of home-repair guides that offer in-depth explanations of how to fix a water heater or troubleshoot a malfunctioning doorbell, but none makes it as fun as this plucky, snazzily designed manual from The Home Depot. In addition to being illustrated with clear, easy-to-follow digital photos, every project includes an accompanying skill meter delineating level of difficulty, required skills, and estimated length of the job. Plus there's "Homer's Hindsight," nuggets of hard-learned repair wisdom doled out by HD's sage, orange-aproned cartoon mascot.

Most surprising fact: Not sure which drill bit you should use when making a pilot hole for a nail? Use the nail itself. Just snip off the nail head, and secure it into the drill's chuck, and use it as you would a normal bit to make a perfectly sized pilot hole.
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