Summer is over, such as it was: nights are closing in again, and it’s a good time to find something new to do. If you’re thinking of taking up a new hobby or pastime, the Wolfhound Guide to Evening Classes can point you in the right direction for anything from accordions to zumba. But if you prefer the teach-yourself approach, and don’t want the hassle of travelling in the lashing rain to a formal class, your local library can give you plenty of ideas for new hobbies that can be done at home, online, or used to practice in between evening classes.
Art school: a complete painter’s course, published by Hamlyn. Intended for beginners and experienced amateurs, this explores watercolours, oils, and acrylics. It discusses materials, equipment, approaches, compositions, and a whole host of techniques, with step-by-step illustrations.
Knitted icons, by Carol Meldrum. If this doesn’t tempt you into learning to knit, nothing will! 25 legends to immortalise in wool, including Bob Marley, Jackie Onassis, Godzilla, and my personal favourite, Gandhi.
Care and repair of antiques and collectables, by Collins is a comprehensive guide to cleaning, restoring, mending, and conserving all kinds of materials: glass, wood, plastic, textiles, ceramic, metal, paper, and semi-precious stones. It’s specifically geared towards amateurs, and focuses on less valuable everyday collectables rather than Ming vases or first edition Shakespeares.
Play poker like the pros, by Phil Helmuth. This is just one of many books around that can teach you to play or improve your poker game. Before you know it, you’ll be wearing shades, giving yourself a cool nickname, winning a fortune in online poker, and giving up the dayjob.
Just in time for the return of Strictly Come Dancing, the Ballroom & Latin Dance Sampler teaches the 5 most popular dances – salsa, chacha, foxtrot, hustle, and tango. You get to keep fit, have fun, and live out those Fred and Ginger dreams in the comfort of your own livingroom!