Humorous, insightful and sometimes-sparkling essays that will appeal to readers interested in the pure fun of fashion.

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MAN REPELLER

SEEKING LOVE. FINDING OVERALLS.

Medine writes the well-publicized blog Man Repeller, and her debut memoir reveals extended, comedic stories about her Manhattan upbringing, adolescent embarrassments, young marriage and, always, details about what she wore.

The author defines herself as “this girl who accidentally stumbled into what turned into a career that allowed me to penetrate an industry I’d always admired.” Her penchant for sartorial choices that have nothing to do with garnering male attention—and her writing on the subject—resonates with thousands of devoted blog readers. She is candid, rebellious, outspoken and able to laugh at herself, and these qualities are on display on every page. “You can rest assured…that each and every sartorial object depicted, dramatized, and described…is as authentic a nod to my memory as it is to the clothing that shapes it,” she writes. Peppered with photos of Medine, some of which qualify in equal measure as unflattering and hilarious, the book is divided into chapters according to each one’s central item of unattractive clothing. These include “The Tent Dress,” “The White Socks,” “The Lesson of the Harem Pants,” “The Canadian Tuxedo,” and, for the closing story of her wedding, “The Big White Dress (And an Organza Jacket).” Throughout, Medine confesses to innumerable outrageous outfits and her present-day verdicts on the clothes; the aforementioned harem pants, for instance, are ruled “violently offensive,” but they did contribute, in a funny way, to her reconciling with the boyfriend she later married. In a strong, consistent narrative voice, Medine displays wit, unabashed openness and a knack for weaving seemingly superficial, materialistic details into essays that are rich with sly wisdom and the colorful personalities of family members and friends.

Humorous, insightful and sometimes-sparkling essays that will appeal to readers interested in the pure fun of fashion.

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4555-2139-5

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 9, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2013

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

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

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.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

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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