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Rules of Thumb: A Life Manual Paperback – October 1, 2008


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Rules of Thumb: A Life Manual + The Order of Things: Hierarchies, Structures, and Pecking Orders + Phraseology: Thousands of Bizarre Origins, Unexpected Connections, and Fascinating Facts about English's Best Expressions
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 409 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company (October 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761150730
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761150732
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 4.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #521,427 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tom Parker is an author and illustrator who has written three volumes of Rules of Thumb, which The Wall Street Journal called a "brilliantly successful sample of our hidden intellectual resource." He is an IT specialist at Cornell University, a contributing writer for Make magazine, and a flight instructor. He lives in Ithaca, New York.

More About the Author

Tom Parker is an author and illustrator who lives in Ithaca, N.Y., and works for Cornell University. He has written and illustrated Rules of Thumb volumes 1 and 2, In One Day, Never Trust a Calm Dog, and Le Livre du Bon Sens, a French translation which even he can't understand. Trained as a biologist (Earlham College) Parker spent fifteen years as the cover editor and a contributing writer for American Demographics Magazine. His writing and illustrations have appeared in text books, children's books and a long list of other publications including The Wall Street Journal, Audubon, National Wildlife, Glamour Magazine, and The Whole Earth Catalog/CoEvolutionQuarterly. Parker and his books have appeared on Late Night with David Letterman, The Tonight Show, The Today Show and on the CBS Evening News. When he is not collecting rules of thumb, Parker is a flight instructor and flies a 1956 Cessna 180 bush plane. He is currently a contributing writer for MAKE Magazine.

Customer Reviews

It is fun because it is full of pictures.
Cheryl Russell
Great if you're the kind of person who can't commit to reading straight through a book; you can pick up and put down this one...
Caitlin
I have enjoyed the book this past year and so have bought 8 more for friends and family for Christmas.
S. Dodson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Caitlin on December 31, 2003
Format: Paperback
Tons of trivia ranging from useful to obscure. how many apples make a glass of apple juice? upon seeing a car crash, where should you aim your car to avoid it? how long, on average, does it take a person to paint a house? Interesting and fun(!) to read. Great if you're the kind of person who can't commit to reading straight through a book; you can pick up and put down this one...
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl Russell on October 24, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't know what it is with some of the so-called reviews of this book. They were written long before the book was even published. Amazon needs to get its act together and clean up the review process. For all of you potential readers out there, here is a REAL review of this book: Rules of Thumb is more than a book. It is a toolbox of shortcuts. There are a number of things I like about the book, starting with how it feels. It is small and fits in the palm of your hand. Set it on your kitchen counter, and it makes a great conversation starter when guests come over because no one can resist picking it up. It is fun because it is full of pictures. Use the index to find the rule you need. Best of all, Rules of Thumb compiles the advice of people who have learned from experience--so you don't have to. In this time of penny pinching, it will make a great stocking stuffer. I'm getting one for each member of my family.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. DeCarli on February 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
No, this book is not a substitute for training in a profession or trade, so don't buy it with the expectation that it will unlock the secrets of the universe. HOWEVER, it is a very entertaining collection of anecdotal information, "guestimates" for a wide range of endeavors. It's a great book to read on a rainy day or while traveling. You'll be entertained, and learn a little bit, too. At the prices you can get this book used, it's a steal.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Dodson on November 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed the book this past year and so have bought 8 more for friends and family for Christmas.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Charles B. Fortson on February 25, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thanks for the book. It's a very good one. I am sharing it with friends who will like it like I do.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Barbara E. Zimmerman on January 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
When I first saw this book on Amazon, I knew immediately that my soon-to-be 12 year old grandson would love it. I was right! After receiving it for Christmas this year, he can't wait to tell me all of the new "facts" that he learns each week. A very worthwhile purchase!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joseph H. Race VINE VOICE on May 12, 2014
Format: Paperback
This is a great book to peruse in your spare time, like during commercials, bathroom breaks, or just hanging out at the beach in the shade. I never knew we humans had so many rules of thumb, and often after reading a rule, you will think, "Oh sure...I've heard that one." I would classify the little paperback as worth your while and money...and have fun - many chuckles await you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Laurie A. Buchanan on September 21, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Husband has read it cover to cover. It ended up being a bathroom book. Many great suggestions for everyday things
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