Monday, December 03, 2007

Facts and Figures: Everything but the Kitchen Sink by Francesca Beauman

It may be a sign of getting older or just my natural crankiness, but I have issues with being told "What every modern woman needs to know" by someone who has yet to turn 30, but since it's an ironic, tongue-in-cheek label I can let it slide . Fracesca Beauman, author of Everything But the Kitchen Sink, is the know-it-all in question. Her biography includes a degree from Cambridge University, several TV appearances a book deal and being cute as a button and also British, so that's not a bad start.

The book cover looks quite retro, which might be the reason the UK version of Amazon has grouped it with such gems as "Don'ts for Wives" and "The Gentle Art of Domesticity". This is a wildly inaccurate placing, because the title is humorous and the book, while offering advice on the various uses of vinegar (I suspect that Ms. Beauman is somewhat of the crunchy granola type), points to consider when doing Internet dating and the best body parts to get tattooed, has several wild moments, like the etiquette of group sex (hint: Don't bother with thank-you notes).

Here and there you'll find a beauty or fashion tidbit. Some are good: "Perfect for any event that does not actually involve standing up, this $10 job from Payless is only for the iron-footed: mostly crafted from a hard generation of plastic, it is a shoe that seems to be designed for something far more industrial than mere human feet". Other are eyebrow raising: "A pedicure is a waste of time. Life is too short to worry about the way one's feet look." . She's all for bikini waxing, though.

This book is not a manual for anything. It's a compilation of odds, ends, weird statistics and random good advice. It reads like those trivia books that end up in some people's bathrooms, which might be just what it was aimed to be.


  1. Haha! Bathroom reading! Lots of those circulating...
    Thanks for informing us.


  2. If you are going to wear sandals pedicures are not only a waste of time, they should be compulsory, with stiff fines for not having one. Men as well. Men especially, since they more often commit the crime of flip-flops and horned heels.

  3. Helg- For some reason these kind of books have become very popular. Something to do with people's decreasing attention span.

    Tom- I wholeheartedly agree. And I've seen enough ugly hooves in women's flip-flops.


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