Weekly Home Help with items on books to buy as gifts, preparing for holiday guests, a home-selling tip and more.
If you are looking for a holiday gift that will thrill, inspire and entertain, then you should be looking in your local bookstore this holiday season.
This collection of books from DK Publishing has something to offer just about everyone on your gift list.
* "Monsters in the Movies" ($40) by John Landis. This book showcases some of the most memorable movie monsters ever from the viewpoint of legendary Hollywood director John Landis. Read some of the fascinating behind-the-scenes facts about how monster movie magic was made.
* "The Lego Ideas Book" ($24.99) by Daniel Lipkowitz. You don't need to be a kid to love creating things out of these iconic little bricks. This book is filled with ideas for making vehicles, castles, buildings and creations from space and the world of fantasy. The helpful tips will inspire hours of fun for kids.
* "Illustrated Step-by-Step Baking" ($35). This book contains 350 recipes that cover a huge range of sweet and savory classic recipes, which are demystified and presented in a clear and accessible step-by-step format.
* "Mountaineers" ($40) from the Smithsonian Institution. You'll find stirring tales, amazing images and fascinating facts about the men and women who faced great danger and hardship in their efforts to pursue glory, knowledge and scientific advancement.
* "Car: The Definitive Visual History of the Automobile" ($40).Go on an unforgettable road trip through automotive history with this exciting encyclopedia, which is filled with detailed information and fascinating stories of legendary cars and their makers.
-- Family Features
Tip of the week: Preparing for holiday guests
The first rule of thumb, says entertaining expert Dana Christine, is to know the limits of your home and don't invite more guests than you or the house can accommodate. Most importantly, establish arrival and departure dates and avoid inviting friends and family for an open-ended stay. If your home is an ode to artful arrangements and small children are on the way, this is a good time to put away your most precious objects.
-- Scripps Howard News Service
Home-Selling Tip: Get creative with incentives
In today's competitive market, home sellers need an edge over builders and foreclosures. Have you considered offering some incentives? For example, can you include brand-new appliances? How about paying for six months' worth of landscaping services or electric bills? Now with all the holiday sales, can you get a good price on a 60-inch TV, mount it on the wall and include it with the house? Get creative with your incentives to beat out the competition.
Did You Know …
Existing-home sales rose 1.4 percent in October from September and are 13.5 percent above 2010 numbers. -- Realtor.org
New Product: Driver-less Prius
Forget humans driving cars. How about cars driving humans? That’s what Toyota envisions in the “not-too-distant” future, according to Consumer Reports. The car maker recently showcased an experimental Prius hybrid at the Tokyo Motor Show that is modified to drive itself. They call the technology the Toyota AVOS, or automatic vehicle operation system.
Garden Guide: Force spring bulbs in winter
While planting your bulbs this year, consider forcing a few for indoors. The long nights and cloudy bleak days make winter really dreary for most avid gardeners. One way to break up winter is to force flower bulbs to bloom indoors in mid-winter. Many of the bulbs available for planting outdoors can be potted and forced indoors. Many tulip varieties, crocuses, daffodils, squills and hyacinths are easily forced. Varieties most easily forced are usually marked as such in store displays and catalogs.
-- University of Illinois Extension
GateHouse News Service