Marken, William Riley 1942- (Bill Marken)

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MARKEN, William Riley 1942-
(Bill Marken)


Born September 2, 1942, in San Jose, CA; son of Harry L. and Emma Catherine (Kraus) Marken; married Marilyn Tonascia, August 30, 1964; children: Catherine, Elizabeth, Michael, Paul. Education: Attended Occidental College; University of California—Berkeley, B.A., 1964. Hobbies and other interests: Tennis, skiing, basketball.


Agent—c/o Author Mail, IDG Books Worldwide, 919 E. Hillsdale Blvd., Suite 400, Foster City, CA 94404.


Sunset, Menlo Park, CA, editor-in-chief, 1981-96;, editor-in-chief, 1999;, former columnist; Garden Escape, former editor; Rebecca's Garden, former editor; Taste, former consultant; Garden Design, Orlando, FL, editor-in-chief.


Horticultural Communication Award, American Horticultural Society.



(With National Gardening Association editors) Container Gardening for Dummies, IDG Books Worldwide (Foster City, CA), 1998.

(With National Gardening Association editors) Annuals for Dummies, IDG Books Worldwide (Foster City, CA), 1998.

(With Michael MacCaskey and National Gardening Association editors) Gardening for Dummies, IDG Books Worldwide (Foster City, CA), 1999.

How to Fix (Just about) Everything, Free Press (New York, NY), 2002.


Bill Marken has had positions with gardening and how-to magazines and Web sites for most of his professional career. He is former editor-in-chief of Sunset, a magazine that provides information on home improvement, cooking, and gardening, and is also former editor of Rebecca's Garden, a magazine that provides tips and ideas on gardening.

In Container Gardening for Dummies, Marken and the National Gardening Association editors provide ideas and steps for planting and growing flowers, herbs, berries, vegetables, and even trees in containers, such as terra-cotta pots or hanging baskets. A GardenBed contributor noted, "Guaranteed to show you everything you need to know to create a container garden."

In Annuals for Dummies, Marken and the National Gardening Association editors provide new gardeners with instructions on how to choose annual flowers, and plant and maintain an annual garden. In Gardening for Dummies, Marken and his coeditors broaden the subject matter and provide instructions and tips on how to plant and maintain various types of gardens, including ones of flowers, vegetables, and shrubs.

In How to Fix (Just about) Everything, Marken provides steps for fixing things such as a broken toilet, a wobbly table, a ring stuck on a finger, a hangover, a broken zipper, bad breath, and even bad credit. Included in the book are illustrations, tips, and warnings. Library Journal contributor Bonnie Poquette claimed, "This book's focus on problem-solving, enumerated instructions, and clear layout make it worthwhile." Booklist contributor Barbara Jacobs concluded, "To cherish—and to chuckle at."



Advocate, January 27, 2003, Greg Langley, "Do-it-Yourselfers in a Fix Can Get Help from Fix-It Guide."

Booklist, October 15, 2002, Barbara Jacobs, review of How to Fix (Just about) Everything, p. 370.

Library Journal, December, 2000, Phillip Oliver, review of Annuals for Dummies, p. 87; October 1, 2002, Bonnie Poquette, review of How to Fix (Just about) Everything, p. 84.

Orlando Business Journal (Orlando, FL), November 2, 2001, Bob Mervine, "Green Genes?," p. 17.

Publishers Weekly, October 21, 2002, review of How to Fix (Just about) Everything, p. 69.

Seattle Times (Seattle, WA), December 1, 2002, Darrell Hay, "Books to Improve Just about Anything; Well, Most Will, Anyway."


GardenBed, (January 27, 2003), review of Container Gardening for Dummies.*

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