How To Build A Fire, And Other Handy Things Your Grandfather Knew | A Book Review

by CountrySunshine

Tips on how to live life to the fullest, and become an outstanding person. From the wise words of people just like your own Grandfather.

When I read the words "How To" in a book title, I immediately think "this book will tell me how to do something". How To Build A Fire does exactly that. It provides information on how to do a number of tasks, including how to catch a fish, navigate office politics, learn to play the harmonica, and dress for a date. But "How To Build A Fire And Other Handy Things Your Grandfather Knew" offers so much more!

Erin Bried's book, published in 2010, is a collection of quotes, stories, memories and "how-to" articles shared by real grandfathers. Each section is based around a particular aspect of life, including making money, home repairs, having fun, and how to love. In each section are smaller articles, where you will learn much more than how to do a specific task. You'll also learn lessons on life from men who have lived full, happy and successful lives.

Why I Originally Purchased This Book, And Why You Should Also

I originally purchased "How To Build A Fire" for my nephew. As a modern-day teenager, he is much more inclined to playing video games and watching Netflix than camping or working around the house. I believed "How To Build A Fire" would be a good book for him whenever he attempted some of life's basic activities. After browsing the book, I decided to purchase a copy for myself!

How To Build A Fire has a more personal feel to it than most "how-to" books. As you read, you can picture your father, grandfather or other person actually explaining the steps to complete the task. It is easy to read, and has snippets of humor to hold your attention.

But most of all, I enjoy it because it has a gentle, patient touch to it, as if the person is really enjoys teaching you how to master each activity.

Grandfather and Grandson
Grandfather and Grandson

"Every grandfather has a story to share"

The Contributors and Teachers

An interesting preface to the main body of the book is the biographies of the men who contributed advice. Erin Bried contacted 10 different grandfathers for help, and provides biographies of each. While they had quite diverse careers later in life, the majority of them grew up during the Great Depression, and many served in the military. All of them reveal how hard work and perseverance got them to where they are today.


Topics | What's Inside

How To Build A Fire, And Other Handy Things Your Grandfather Knew, is broken down into 11 broad topics, then are narrowed down into specific lessons and instructions:

  1. Pioneering - how to keep warm, dry and fed
  2. Fixing - how to assemble a tool kit, and fix things around your house
  3. Leading - how to live so people look up to you
  4. Prospering - how to handle money and perform well at work
  5. Thriving - how to practice good health habits and be self-disciplined
  6. Bonding - how to be a good friend, and an even better person
  7. Playing - how to play games and be a good sport
  8. Dressing - how to look your best
  9. Loving - how to show love to all the people in your life
  10. Cooking - how to select, prepare and cook your own meals
  11. Hosting - how to throw a successful party

The best advice from this book:
Every fisherman has an opinion on what it takes to be successful, but there is only one tried-and-true method. The secret to catching a lot of fish? You've got to fish a lot. That's it.

The Author, Catching A Fish

Erin Bried shows how exciting it is to catch something as simple as a fish.

More Books by Erin Bried

If you like "How To Build A Fire" by Erin Bried, you'll probably like these as well:
How to Sew a Button: And Other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew

A handy guide on how to do everything around the house. From sewing buttons, to baking, to cleaning, and growing a vegetable garden, you'll learn how to run your household, plus enhance your life.

View on Amazon

How to Rock Your Baby: And Other Timeless Tips for Modern Moms

Whether you are a new mom, or have parenting down to an art, this book contains successful tried-and-true tips to raising your child. Stories on child-raising, and of course, about life.

View on Amazon

My Recommendation?

Buy This Book or Give It As A Gift!

Every person should own a copy of How To Build A Fire And Other Handy Things Our Grandfather Knew because it reminds us of how the simplest things in life can sometimes be the most important. Whether you are old or young, male or female, rich or poor, the stories in this book show that the relationship between the Grandfather and Grandchild is a special one. If you can master the basics, you can go far in life!


Copyright L.C. Clifton / Country Sunshine.  All Rights Reserved
Originally published April 18, 2012 on Squidoo


Updated: 11/03/2015, CountrySunshine
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CountrySunshine on 11/06/2015

There is always good advice in "how-to" books. Perhaps the knowledge isn't something you need right at the moment, but it certainly comes in handy later!

AngelaJohnson on 11/05/2015

I also love "how-to" books. I don't expect to have to do many of the things I read about, but it's good to have the knowledge.

blackspanielgallery on 11/03/2015

Basic ideas are important.

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