Advice for fashionistas who want to save money.

Hess (Girl Secrets, 2010, etc.) asks, “Do you dream about Temperley but live in Target?” For readers on a tight budget, some of the author's ideas don't even come close to approaching the bargain bin. Ballerina flats from Sambag may be high quality, but as of this writing, they cost $175.00, plus another $40.00 in shipping costs. Hess does have her moments, though, with suggestions for online destinations for discounts, like price aggregator She recommends inexpensive beauty products like Palmer’s chocolate-scented body-care oil, Maybelline Great Lash Mascara and generic lip balm, which work just as well as their pricier counterparts. Some of the author’s other tips may strike the budget-conscious fashionista as common sense, such as thrift or vintage shopping, rummaging through closets to see if old outfits can be resurrected and refraining from shopping altogether. The label-conscious clotheshorse will delight in her advice for finding designer clothing at reduced prices; Hess suggests No aspect of the luxe lifestyle is ignored. If Paris is on the agenda, the author provides recommendations to keep chic travelers in swanky yet reasonably priced accommodations. The author's sophisticated pen-and-ink drawings add a splash of color to this elegantly slim and tastefully formatted volume. Readers looking for serious savings, however, will be disappointed.  A resourceful guide but not nearly as frugal as the title suggests.


Pub Date: April 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-59921-988-2

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Skirt! Books/Globe Pequot

Review Posted Online: April 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2011

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.


New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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