I’ve been an avid reader from early on. As a small child, part of my weekend routine was a visit to the library with my father. I won the Babar Book Club prize one summer for reading the most books. Yes, I was competitive even then. My tastes range from autobiographies to fashion insider reviews to popular top ten novels. I’m not a book snob. I read for entertainment not grueling lessons.
Made to Measure: One of the best elements of my condo’s recent renovation is the book shelf unit tucked behind my living room’s spiral staircase.
I’m shocked when people tell me that they don’t have time to read. A great book whisks me away to a different world. It reveals new experiences, insights and personalities – perspectives unlike my own. Reading is in the same category for me as thinking and imagining.
A skillful writer inspires me to improve my own writing. One of the best compliments a writer can receive, in my eyes, is to be told that I could hear you speaking when I read your words. My book reviews are not meant to be an authority or critical analysis. They’re just notes about recent books I’ve read and enjoyed, or not. Pass it on.
Highjacking the Runway
By Teri Agins
Agins, a fashion industry veteran and columnist with New York based Wall Street Journal presents an analysis of how celebrities have taken over the traditional ivory tower of the fashion design industry. While her book opens promisingly with a look at pop star Jessica Simpson’s billion dollar business (yup BILLION) she only skims the surface of this often perplexing challenge that has transformed, and some say destroyed, the fashion business. Her book reads like a collection of headlines strung together as light chapters. A prime example is that she questions the Olsen sisters resounding success with their uber luxury line, The Row, but never presents the true nugget. I’m surprised that she didn’t include the news about the twins former designer, Nadege Vanhee-Cybulski whose previous design experience included Maison Martin Margiela and Celine. This may have come after the book was wrapped but the French design director for The Row was hired in July 2014 as the artistic director for Hermes, one of the most established design houses in the world.
Who Should Read It: Students of fashion will get a quick primer of the celebrity business but true fashion lovers or industry professionals will find it more like US Weekly than a satisfying read.
Lisa’s Take: C+
BEFORE BED READ
Luckiest Girl Alive
By Jessica Knoll
I’m always wary of seeming copy cat novels that pile up in quick succession after one blockbuster breaks the mold. Case in point – Knoll’s book is often compared to Gillian Flynn’s blockbuster Gone Girl. And in some ways it is – the main character, TiffAni FaNelli, is as flinty, unlikeable and tough as the murderous Amy in GG – but dismissing it as a knockoff doesn’t do justice to the story line or her salty words. I don’t want to give away anything here but I was attracted to Knoll’s book about an ambitious 20something from suburban Philly bent on reinventing herself as a glossy magazine’s sex writer in New York’s unforgiving publishing world. The book unfolds in unexpected ways and the ending wasn’t what I predicted. I wasn’t surprised to read that the Tracey Flick of Hollywood, Reese Witherspoon, is producing the film version.
Who Should Read It: Lovers of crackling good writing and feisty young women who refuse to be typecast
Lisa’s Take: A