Tag » book review
  In this paperless e-world of ours, it's fun, retro, and just plain courteous to send an actual thank-you note, emblazoned with a stamp and everything. (And no, a text that reads "kthanxbai" does not count as a thank-you note.) According to Nancy Sharon Collins' book, The Complete Engraver: Monograms, Crests, Ciphers, Seals, and the Etiquette of Social Stationery, it's a practice that we should keep up. "A thank-you note is always appropriate. Any act of ... Read More
  Louise Fili makes awesome shit and you can see a lot of that awesome shit in her new book, Elegantissima: The Design and Typography of Louise Fili. A much-respected figure in the field of graphic design, Fili is known for her fancy lettering and raised the bar on book-cover design in the 1980s, creating nearly 2,000 book covers as art director for Pantheon Books. Elegantissima is a monograph of Fili's work over the past four ... Read More
  It sure isn’t easy being a girl, but Caitlin Moran’s got some pointers in her book, How To Be A Woman. In this part-memoir, part-rant, the TV critic and columnist for The Times in London takes us on a journey from puberty to motherhood. With each chapter title, she exclaims like a little kid, “I start to bleed!” “I get furry!” But don’t be fooled, this book is about more than periods and pubic hair. Yes, Moran does her fair share of ... Read More
  These days, eccentric ice cream flavors are as popular as Phish Food, but San Francisco ice creamery Humphry Slocombe was one of the originators. Now you can make their kooky cones yourself–40 types to be exact. The book’s got classics like Tahitian vanilla and malted milk chocolate, but also has recipes for salted licorice and balsamic caramel, most of which, if using an ice cream maker, are easy to whip up (sans-machine instructions are also ... Read More
  A nice-guy husband, a nice job, a nice apartment: for many women, this sounds like the ideal way to end their 20s; for an almost-30 Jessica Dorfman Jones, it felt like the end to her life. Looking to shake things up just a bit, she signs up for guitar lessons and winds up quickly entering the world of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. (“It’s not a list,” she insists, “It’s a lifestyle.”) First there’s the ... Read More
Tara Hardy gives you her life’s thesis when she writes, “…my/blood does not make a pity trip.” Indeed, what grips about the poems in Bring Down The Chandeliers (Write Bloody Publishing) is not that she speaks so directly about incest, chronicling the sexual abuse from her father. (In fact, nowhere is the word “abuse” even used in these poems.) Hardy’s gift is her ability to take bravery where it’s never gone before. ... Read More
  If you’re a crafter who’s dreaming of quitting your day job, this book will provide you with the necessary know-how. Hello Craft is a non-profit trade association dedicated to crafters and the handmade movement, and their insider knowledge of the industry makes them a natural (and adorable) guide to its nuances. Handmade to Sell walks you through the ins and outs of business -launching, covering topics such as registering with the federal ... Read More
In Battleborn, a collection of short stories, Claire Vaye Watkins recreates the rich and complicated history of the desert regions of California and Nevada. The title is derived from one of Nevada’s nicknames, The Battle Born State, which it earned by becoming a state during the Civil War. Similarly, the ghosts of past battles are never far away from the characters’ minds as they struggle through life. Watkins succeeds at using regional details to ... Read More
  Oksana Marafioti’s memoir brings to light a minority culture that most people have very little knowledge of beyond TLC’s My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. Yes, Marafioti does write about one of those extravagant affairs, in which she donned a mango-colored taffeta gown and teased her hair to the heavens, but the strength of her book lies in the way it makes her Romani family, who moved to California in the early ’90s, and their over-the-top ... Read More
In Overdressed, New York-based writer Elizabeth Cline explores the extreme decline in the cost of fashion, and the political, economic, and social implications of this change. Cline begins with a personal yet familiar anecdote: she once bought seven pairs of $7 shoes in a single haul, only to eventually throw half of them out without having worn them once. Most of us who grew up in the ’90s practice Cline’s former shopping ritual: consistently buying ... Read More
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