Tim Gunn — Gunn’s Golden Rules

Okay, I’ll admit I’m slightly ashamed that my first update in AGES is Tim Gunn’s new book… I feel like I should be breaking a silence or reading rut with something more serious. But unfortunately, this was a quick, breezy book to blow through in between reheating old samosas for dinner and attempting to teach myself Federal Income Tax.

If you don’t know Tim Gunn, you probably don’t watch Project Runway, and probably won’t be terribly interested in this book. Although I GIVE UP on that show after this season, Tim is probably the most appealing thing about it. He serves as the designers’ mentor, go-to advice guy, and general father figure. He comes across on television (and in the book) as just such a genuinely nice, likable person. Gunn’s Golden Rules is a small, slim book centered around his “golden rules” of how to treat people–the book begins with him bemoaning a dearth of manners in the modern world. Each chapter is centered around one of these rules, and fleshed out with his own experiences with people who followed or didn’t follow those rules, little anecdotes about his life (which is really fascinating–the story about the time that, at age 8, he might have met J. Edgar Hoover in full drag regalia is a doozy to be sure), and about his experiences with Project Runway, and the fashion world (best story: Diane von Furstenberg drunkenly demanding a hot dog.)

Gunn, or his ghostwriter, has a conversational style that is enjoyable and easy to read. Of course, it’s not going to win any literary awards–it’s basically just that, a one-sided conversation on paper. But no one’s reading this because they were looking for the next Great American Novel, they’re reading because they’re interested in what Tim has to say. (And I have to say I would have liked a little more Project Runway gossip, but what is in there is interesting if presented in a typically NICE and conciliatory manner.) I’m not a huge fan of the celebrity memoir genre in general, but I have to say that this was a nice palate cleanser in between characteristics of gross income, personal deductions, and capital gains and losses.

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