Friday, July 13, 2012

Top ten stylish reads

Sophia Bennett won first place is the second annual (London) Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition with her debut novel Sequins, Secrets, and Silver Linings, which is the first title in a trilogy that combines her long-standing obsession with fashion with her keen desire to write for young readers. Her latest novel, The Look, is the story of a girl who is spotted by a model agency at the same time as her sister is diagnosed with a serious illness.

For the Guardian, Bennett named her favorite writing about the fashion world.  One entry on the list:
The Jeeves stories by PG Wodehouse

I discovered Wodehouse in my teens, when I was busy with exams and needed some light relief. The stories of Bertie Wooster and his butler, Jeeves, were at least 50 years old by then and are now practically historic, but I would still recommend them as an antidote to teenage stress. And from a style perspective, the well-meaning, well-funded Bertie is probably one of the best-dressed young men to have lived in comic fiction.

'"Jeeves,' I said coldly. "How many suits of evening clothes have we?"
"We have three suits of full evening dress, sir; two dinner jackets –"
"For practical purposes two only, sir. If you remember, we cannot wear the third. We also have seven white waistcoats."
"And shirts?"
"Four dozen, sir."
"And white ties?"
"The first two shallow shelves in the chest of drawers are completely filled with our white ties, sir."
--Carry on, Jeeves, 1926

Many of the stories revolve around Jeeves's disapproval of Bertie's more adventurous choice of hat, suit stripe or dress shirt collar. But given the extent of Bertie's wardrobe, peace is usually, if not always, restored.
Read about the other entries on Bennett's list.

--Marshal Zeringue