Reviews

Every Tool's a Hammer: Life Is What You Make It, by Adam Savage

katejones's review against another edition

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4.0

A book for makers (not really a biography, and not really too much about life despite what the subtitle suggests). But a fun read with some useful tips even if you don't have a workshop.

(use glue that when dry has the same properties as the stuff you're glueing!)

curiosityp's review against another edition

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4.0

4.5 stars only because I'm not into the same types of making. But the general advice about making, learning from your past experiences, and being curious is awesome!

ellimister's review against another edition

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3.0

Adam explains how he got where he is and some of his processes and ideology for life and making. Read by the author, which is always a nice touch. I have decided I do not like biographies, let alone autobiographies. Maybe it is just where I am in my life and such but I will steer away from them for a bit. I watch most of the stuff Adam and his team put up on youtube and enjoy it. Thinking about it maybe this was more for people who remember him from Mythbusters and were wondering what he has been up too.

tuesdaythemage's review against another edition

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4.0

Great stuff. Definitely goes in the self help category of things—super inspirational and probably one of the only books from that genre that I'd truly enjoy. Also little useful tidbits here and there but those are bonuses over the nice stories and lessons learned in a pretty rad life.

thudfactor's review against another edition

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5.0

I am a web developer. Adam Savage makes things. We are not that different, and this book speaks to me in a lot of surprising ways. There is a chapter on how creative labor works, and it is very much relevant to people who write software.

There’s a chapter that waxes philosophical on the difference between mechanical joiners and glue which, with the language changed a bit, would also apply to software engineering practices.

There’s a LOT about what it means to be a good student, then what it means to be a good mentor.

There’s a bit about different kinds of adhesives that’s a little too in the weeds to be relevant, but there’s far less of that truly shop specific advice than you might think. Everyone should read this book.

bizlet's review against another edition

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5.0

This is the kind of book you buy extras of for when you run across someone who could really use the wisdom, care and entertainment in this book!

I felt inspired, embarrassed, and ready to take on something new. Hearing his story and the lessons he's learned in a not preachy way was the perfect way to end the year.

I would recommend this to anyone interested in making literally anything, from code to furniture, there are some really solid gems here.

shaleco's review against another edition

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5.0

I went into this book not really knowing what to expect. I have followed Adam Savage’s work since myth busters and I really enjoy his podcast and his videos on Tested.

I expected this book to be a straightforward autobiography but to my surprise I found it filled with a lot of insightful, lessons and helpful tips. These lessons are told through entertaining anecdotes and stories from different points in Adams life.

I would honestly consider this mandatory reading for anyone who makes money through creative work. I don’t do any sort of material building which is the lens that this book does focus on (Given Adam’s professional history this is not surprising). However I believe the core lessons that Adam writes about are applicable to a much wider demographic.

I started up a freelance business last year and hearing Adam’s honest perspectives and experiences on creativity, collaboration, failure and continuous learning provided some excellent opportunities for some honest self reflection. I could see elements of myself and my bad habits in some of the stories where Adam talked about mistakes he’s made and it’s motivated me to make some changes to the way that I work, independently and with others, going forwards.

Don’t read this book expecting it to be a tell all on mythbusters. It’s mentioned a couple of times but it is far from the far from the focus. It’s got elements of a business book though it steers clear of all of the dry corporate monologuing and proselytizing that business books are so often known for. Instead it will make you reflect on your own creativity.

As a final note I would highly recommend listening to it as an Audiobook. I think hearing Adam narrate it added a lot to the story. It’s great to be able to hear the tone in the voice when driving home the importance of certain sections.

christinamoore's review against another edition

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informative medium-paced

3.0

nac1050's review against another edition

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funny informative inspiring slow-paced

3.5

artene's review against another edition

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informative slow-paced

2.0