Let’s be honest, the author of this hardback book, Henry Cole, is like Marmite — you either love him or hate him! Ian Kerr reviews his latest book.
On the plus side he has done more than any one individual to get motorcycling on mainstream TV, as well as getting the automotive side of collecting and restoring across, highlighted by producing his English version of American Pickers called Shed and Buried, again on TV. If you are on the opposite end of the spectrum you probably just find his presenting style irritating and, it must be said, that there are a few irritating phrases in this book like the constant use of the word ‘man’ as he does on TV.
But, contained in the 240 pages of this — his second book — is a lot of very reasoned thinking and lot of good advice, especially to anybody starting off their life in a shed. Sir Terry Wogan can take the credit for the need to have a shed to retire in, but Henry can take credit for explaining the psyche in this excellent book.
Although he states that the shed should be wooden and live at the end of garden, be equipped with certain items, giving sound, often unarguable reasons, the reality is really he is talking about man caves.
He occasionally tries to be PC by mentioning that they can be suitable places for the fairer sex to go and enjoy their hobbies and interests, but the main theme is a refuge and a workshop for males.
He quite rightly points out that sizes, construction, facilities within, etc. will always be commensurate with space and finances — not everyone has his available land to build a number of sheds for instance. But, throughout the 24 chapters, he comes across as someone who really understands that to most of us, it is a spiritual refuge, somewhere to get one’s head straight — to become the master of our own destiny.
Given all the emphasis on mental health these days and the pressures of lockdown there is lot of understanding here; Cole has definitely got things sorted and is real enthusiast who should just occasionally tone things down a little to get everyone on his side, because he clearly has got things sussed when it comes to self-understanding and our hobbies.
It is actually a very good book and should be given to anybody who asks the question as to why we collect bikes, or spend hours in sheds. It is an easy read that can be dipped in and out of, and at the end you may well have a better understanding of yourself and just perhaps change your opinion of Henry Cole, but if you need more help on that subject read his first book! Well worth the £16.99 cover price for a quality publication.
#henrycole #TheLifeChangingMagicofSheds #bookreview #motogusto
ISBN 978 1 52940 655 9.