Category Archives: Barb G.

Oh No She Didn’t: The Top 100 Style Mistakes Women Make and How to Avoid Them by Clinton Kelly (2010)

You might recognize Clinton from cable TV on TLC’s What Not To Wear. His latest book has a split personality—it’s half clothing and style advice and half humor. Clinton may convince you to reevaluate some of your fashion choices. Perhaps you’re innocent when it comes to wearing denim on denim or socks with clogs, but what about wearing pastel pink, matching jewelry, or wearing all solids all the time? There’s a hilarious photo or drawing for each of the 100 big mistakes. It’s guaranteed that you will see yourself in at least one of the 100 warnings and improve your style today. For more information on Clinton’s other ventures, see his website.

Check the catalog for Oh No She Didn’t and other books by Clinton Kelly.

Life Itself by Roger Ebert

Life Itself: A Memoir by Roger Ebert (2011)
Roger Ebert is one of the most well-known movie critics in the world, writing for the Chicago Sun-Times since 1967 and also famous for the television show Siskel & Ebert at the Movies. Ebert has written many books that review movies and even a biography of director Martin Scorsese. But his memoir of growing up in southern Illinois is his most impressive work yet.

Plagued for years by cancer that eventually disfigured his face and left him unable to eat, drink or speak, Ebert’s story is not depressing but rather a celebration of what a wonderful life he has had. He was able to overcome alcoholism and marry the woman of his dreams who is still his devoted partner. The book also has fun tales to tell of his close encounters with movie stars such as John Wayne and Robert Mitchum. To learn more about Ebert check out his blog.

Read Ebert’s reviews of movies currently playing at a theater near you:


Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson (2011)
Biography fans will devour this in-depth look at the life of a man whose ideas transformed the modern world’s computers, music, phones, digital publishing, and even animated movies by Pixar. Jobs chose Isaacson to be his biographer since he did such impressive work writing bios of other famous men. Jobs gave more than 40 interviews to his approved author and insisted that he would neither read the book nor tell Isaacson to leave anything out. Photos of Steve Jobs’ life help to make the story come alive.

For further reading, see the author’s other biographies of Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, and Henry Kissinger.

What to Wear for the Rest of Your Life: Ageless Secrets of Style by Kim Johnson Gross

What to Wear for the Rest of Your Life: Ageless Secrets of Style by Kim Johnson Gross (2010)
Are you “feeling fat” and wondering what to wear? Is your closet jammed full with a lot of things you seldom wear but you reach for the same tried and true outfits? I prescribe this quick read by a former model, fashion editor, and magazine columnist who has felt your pain and knows what you should do to feel better about yourself and your clothing choices.

This upbeat book aimed at “the woman past her 30s” will initially help you rejuvenate your existing wardrobe without spending a penny by helping you discover your “Feel-Good Closet.” With clever tips and a humorous tone, Kim recommends that you analyze what feels comfortable and still looks good in the mirror. She will help you to realize that a good foundation of suitable undergarments may make all the difference in how you look. You will also be compelled to get rid of a lot of the clothes you never wear in your closet since you don’t feel “good” wearing them.

Complete with suggestions on what you should spend your cash on to make you feel confident about what you wear, you’ll also finally understand why you keep reaching for the same shoes or pants over and over. The brand names of the new “closet classics” you purchase may not be as upscale as the authors’ are, but you’ll begin to understand principles to guide you as you shop for new clothing to fit your own personal lifestyle.

For more tips from the author visit her website here.

Life, On the Line by Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas

Life, On the Line: A Chef’s Story of Chasing Greatness, Facing Death, and Redefining the Way We Eat by Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas (2011)
Famous for both his innovative cooking and beating Stage 4 tongue cancer, Grant Achatz (rhymes with Patches) co-wrote this autobiography with his restaurant business partner. Their five star Chicago culinary mecca Alinea has won many accolades, including Gourmet Magazine’s Best Restaurant in America (2006) while Restaurant Magazine boosted Alinea to No. 6 in the world for 2011. Chef Achatz has won numerous personal awards, including “Best Chef in the United States” for 2008 from the James Beard Foundation.

It’s amazing to read about the untold hours Chef Achatz spends at his restaurant and surprising that anyone can get by on so little sleep. His life experiences ultimately stress the importance of love, friendship, passion for your work and being your own health advocate, even if a fifth medical opinion is what it takes to get the help you need.

The book includes many photographs, but my curiosity led me to look at live footage of Grant Achatz on You Tube.

Gunn’s Golden Rules: Life’s Little Lessons for Making It Work by Tim Gunn

Gunn’s Golden Rules: Life’s Little Lessons for Making It Work by Tim Gunn (2010)
Tim Gunn made the phrase “Make It Work!” famous on the hit reality TV series Project Runway where he mentors the contestants and costars with model Heidi Klum. In this etiquette book/biography, Tim shares his 18 golden rules for a happy and successful life. The rules include “be a good guest or stay home” and “when you need help, get it.” Surprisingly, when it comes to appropriate clothing, he reminds us that “physical comfort is overrated,” but that he really doesn’t notice too much what other people wear, and will rarely comment on an outfit unless he is asked.

Just one of the interesting tidbits in the book is that Tim was an unpaid consultant on Project Runway for the first two seasons. Other juicy revelations include info on J. Edgar Hoover since Gunn’s father was an FBI special agent and also J. Edgar’s ghostwriter.

Visit Gunn’s facebook page for more information on the fashion guru.

Throw out Fifty Things by Gail Blanke

Throw out Fifty Things by Gail Blanke (2009)
Do your clothes and your home represent the way you’d like to think of yourself? What has to change to make that happen?

This motivational speaker and former columnist for Real Simple magazine wrote this self-help book to inspire the reader to first clear our homes of clutter and then clear the clutter in our minds. After step-by-step directions for getting rid of the physical clutter in our homes, the author shows how letting go of the clutter in our minds can lead to happiness and productivity.

Let go of feeling inadequate. Let go of the mistakes of the past. Get started on the path to the next and greatest part of your life! Check out these additional tips on getting organized and living a simpler life.

How Not to Look Old by Charla Krupp

How Not to Look Old: fast and effortless ways to look 20 years younger, 10 pounds lighter, 10 times better by Charla Krupp (2008)
This former beauty director for Glamour has advice on how women of a certain age can improve their looks. Not all the information will apply to everyone, but there are plenty of ideas to choose from to become more young and hip: cut some bangs, stop wearing athletics shoes with jeans and shorten your outdated long skirts. Every woman could use a little update to their hair and makeup routine, and most will admit to a multitude of unflattering outfits hiding in their closets.

Visit the author’s website and read an interview with this fashionista.

How Not to Act Old by Pamela Redmond Satran

How Not to Act Old: 185 Ways to Pass for Phat, Sick, Hot, Dope, Awesome, or at Least Not Totally Lame by Pamela Redmond Satran (2009)
columnist Satran aims to drag baby boomers into the 21st century with both humor and infinitely practical guidance. Did you realize that counting out exact change and telling otherwise competent adults to wear a sweater or hurry up makes you look just plain old? Filled with witty and practical info about how not to become the subject of ridicule by younger generations, the advice from this fast read may just change your life and boost your mood with its laugh-out-loud observations.

Read an excerpt and visit the website for more advice on how to not act old.

Eat This, Not That by David Zinczenko

Eat This, Not That!: The Best (& Worst) Foods in America! by David Zinczenko (2009)
If you love to eat but would like to lose a few pounds with little effort, this book can help you make better food choices. One can learn about the “40 Best & Worst Beers in America” and the “Best Snacks in America” with glossy full-color pictures of every food and beverage featured and exclamation points galore. Frozen foods, pizzas, burgers, desserts and many other well-loved treats get the full analysis. Making better choices in the grocery store, mall food court and restaurant can lead to a healthier lifestyle.

Written by editors at Men’s Health magazine, this popular series makes food research fun and easy. Other books in the series concentrate on nutrition for kids and a restaurant survival guide.

Get more ideas for healthy eating at Eat This!