My reading habits generally turn to crime fiction. I love my Agatha Christies and Simon Bretts and Deanna Raybourns and Anna Lee Hubers. Of course I don’t just stick to this – how boring would that be? I love my comedy autobiographies – Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out With Me And Other Concerns is a favourite of mine as is David Mitchell’s Back Story and Tina Fey’s Bossypants. Recently I finished reading another book which can be added to the list – Leandra Medine’s Man Repeller.
I hadn’t heard of Leandra Medine or her blog Man Repeller until I picked up the book of the same name. I had no idea what to expect except that the tag line (or subtitle) of the book, Seeking Love, Finding Overalls made me laugh, and that I loved the photo on the front cover – how often do you see such a happy person on the cover of a book?
Man Repeller is a collection of essays, each one given the name of an item of clothing and accessory which influenced a major part of Medine’s life. And not just influenced but witnessed. Her essays chart her life from childhood to marriage exploring everything in-between, education, blogging, love, and of course fashion.
I loved this set up. Essays would span years of Medine’s life and jump from the past to the near-past and to the present day with only that one item of clothing or accessory linking it all together. As with all autobiographies pictures were used to illustrate each essay but instead of them being in the middle on glossy paper, they were embedded in the text itself. As an added bonus they were in colour. And the paper! I can wax lyrical about the feel and thickness of the paper, but I think the exclamation mark I just used says everything I need to. I thank whoever made this decision.
My favourite chapter had to be the one about the Hermes clutch and the adventures that clutch goes on in Paris. This chapter had me gasping in shock on the tube at one particular moment. And the funniest had to be the chapter on periods, or as Medine calls it, Aunt Flow. We have all been there and while I empathize I also chortle. The last chapter, just before her wedding was so well written that I stopped and read it twice. Her fears and hopes about getting married so reflect my own that it was uncanny.
Highly recommended – and you don’t even need to be a fan of fashion, you just need to like reading.