Sadly, didn’t get a chance to read much in February, but here’s what I did finish:
Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste, and Style: Tim Gunn can do no wrong in my book. I love him and I think he’s such a great mentor. This book wasn’t a keeper for me but it was a quick, fun read about finding your style and taking care of yourself. The best piece of advice I learned from this is about posture. We all know posture is super important, and sadly I have always had the worst posture (do all tall people?). Anyway, Tim talked about how the traditional advice of sticking your chest out and shoulders back is a ridiculous and unnatural way to stand – thank you! It’s the most awkward stance ever. His advice: instead of pushing your shoulders back, think about pulling your shoulders away from your ears. Game changer. Brilliant. That advice alone was worth the cost of the book.
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft: I really, really liked this. It was a perfect mix: a little bit of memoir (just the right amount), a little bit of technical advice (dialogue, grammar), and then a longer section about actual writing – character development, crafting a story, and insights into his experiences of writing some of his novels (like The Stand). Every part was interesting and obviously, wonderfully written. Even if you’re not trying to write a novel, the book is really interesting because it helps you identify what makes good writing good and what makes bad writing oh so bad. I learned a lot from reading this and really enjoyed it at the same time.
Always Pack a Party Dress: I thought I might dislike this (especially after reading this scathing but I’m sorry, hilarious review), but I actually did enjoy it. It was a quick read and delved into Amanda’s life and experiences in fashion – how she got into it, her multiple attendances at the Met Ball and what that was like, working for Barneys, covering Paris Fashion Week, and finally giving that life up to move to the English countryside with her family. Various reviews criticized the book for just being out of touch with reality, but it didn’t really bother me.