The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

October 12, 2007

Book review: Make it work with Tim Gunn's new guide

‘Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style’

By Tim Gunn and Kate Moloney

“Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style” is a fun and informative read from the host of the television show “Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style” and one of the stars of “Project Runway” (both on Bravo). If you’re familiar with Gunn and his signature line “Make it work,” you’ll know if you’ll like this book.

The tone is just the same as his television work, and he brings the same prescriptive style as well. While the book focuses on finding your own style, it also contains lots of useful information on what to buy and how to shop for it. Of course, my favorite parts are the what not to buy (or do) bits, like the advice to kindly conceal your midriff unless you are in a workout class and to please refrain from wearing cotton flannel drawstring-waist pants (aka pajama bottoms) when you leave the house.

A lot of the material here will be familiar to anyone who has ever paid any attention whatsoever to fashion, but there are a lot of good reminders even for those who have, like not buying things according to the size label (hey, who’s going to see it?) and how to weed out your closet. More than anything else, it’s a fun read if you enjoy Gunn’s writing style.

Playaway devices

For audiobook readers, here’s some interesting news. We are in the process of introducing a new format to the library: Playaway audio books.

A Playaway is a self-playing digital audio book that comes pre-loaded on a small storage device. Each Playaway can hold content that ranges up to 24 hours of play time and is about half the size of a deck of cards. No discs or tapes to shuffle or lose, and far more easily transported than a cassette or CD players! Unlike most audio formats, you can also control the speed of play, so you can listen more quickly if you like (or just speed through the parts you don’t care much about). You can also bookmark the Playaway so that you can pick up where you left off, or mark passages you want to listen to again later.

The Playaway device was designed with a universal headphone jack to work with almost any type of headphone, speaker or car adapter. We will be selling headphones for patrons who do not have them, but obviously better headphones will provide a better listening experience.

The Playaway devices can be checked out for 21 days, and will be limited to one per patron, at least until we have more of them! Once the collection grows, we will expand the number each patron can have at one time.

You can check our catalog to see what titles we own by doing a keyword or subject search for “Playaway.” We have bought 61 Playaways so far, and will be adding more over the coming months. Most of the titles are children’s and teen titles, but more adult titles are on the way. Some of the titles we have now are David McCullough’s “1776”; “Mossflower,” by Brian Jacques; “Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America,” by Barbara Ehrenreich; and “The Ninth Key,” by Meg Cabot.

We hope that the Playaways will be popular and that you will find them convenient and easy to use. Drop by and check one out!

Linda Cannon is the collection development librarian at Joplin Public Library.