Steal This Book

No, no, buy the books. We’re all for that. But we’ve lifted some free tips, courtesy of these new reads, to whet your appetite for the tomes.

Photos by David Croxford

If you have a new pool … “When filling a freshly plastered pool, make sure the water flows in steadily. If it stops and the pool is allowed to sit partially filled, an indelible mark will stain the uncured plaster all around the pool.” From Pools and Spas, by Curtis Rist, and Vicky Webster; Oxmoor House/Sunset Books, $21.95.



How to buy a lobster. “Crustaceans should feel heavy for their size as this is an indication of good muscle quality.” Compare the weights of two similarly sized lobsters by holding them in each hand and opt for the heavier, as it will have more meat. From Rick Stein’s Complete Seafood, by Rick Stein, Ten Speed Press, $27.95.

Make a giant batch of mai tais in a clean, 35-gallon trash can. “Several gallons of dark rum, several gallons of light rum, several quarts of passion-orange juice, dozens of pineapples and other fruits, and bags of ice, topped off with a one-gallon float of Bacardi 151.” From The New-Wave Mai Tai, by Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi, which has far more sophisticated recipes, too. From Watermark Publishing, $15.95.


Hurricane approaching? Get rid of your trash, and fill those rubbish cans with water instead. You can later tap into this supply to flush your toilets. “About two and a half gallons per flush should do it.” From Your Survival: The Complete Resource for Disaster Planning and Recovery, by Dr. Bob Arnot and Mark Cohen. Heatherleigh Press, $24.95.


Why you should go deeper. Many visitors to Koko Crater Botanical Gardens stop at the first garden, a plumeria grove, writes David Leaser in Tropical Gardens of Hawaii. But farther down the path, you can see hybrid bougainvillea vines, a Hawaiian-plants section and a palm collection with species from around the world. Mutual Publishing, $32.95.