Any book that tells how to avoid housework can't be all bad, and this one lived on the British bestseller list for 29 weeks. Former magazine editor Conran is no Peg Bracken: even though her suggestions for paring down routines are idiosyncratic, she's not wonky, and her get-it-over-with attitude should win adherents. At the start, some absolutes: don't keep pets, buy anything that needs ironing, or scrub the tub--bathe with liquid detergent in the water; do join a food coop, get your family to share cleanups, and invest in Teflon cookware. It's not the (quite Americanized) contents that are remarkable but the fact that so much good sense has been collected in one place. Not everyone will cling to every bit of advice (on moving, budgeting, homemade cleaning potions) but the ideas for cutting utility bills or the tips on first aid are reliable, and the tone is just right--neither insufferably coy nor coldly authoritative.