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Orchids On Your Budget: Or Live Smartly On What You Have
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Orchids On Your Budget: Or Live Smartly On What You Have

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  58 ratings  ·  12 reviews
""It's not difficult to have fun out of economizing (up to a point), both because of the sense of achievement it gives you and because everyone else is doing it, too. . . . A slight financial pressure sharpens the wits, though it needn't sharpen the disposition. But it takes an interesting person to have an attractive menage on a shoe-string and to run it with gaiety and c ...more
Hardcover, 186 pages
Published by Virago Press (UK) (first published 1937)
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This book was written in the depths of the Depression as a guide to living through hard times. The author is a very amusing writer who clearly believes attitude is everything when faced with adversity. The first chapter is called "Well, who isn't poor?" matter-of-factly. Another asks "Can you afford a husband?". The writer is unfailingly witty as she considers various aspects of life during an economic downturn & offers advice that is still generally useful. She has a surprisingly modern app ...more
Note: I actually read Chronicle Book's reprint version (retitled Bubbly on Your Budget), but thought this cover had more personality. I believe the contents of both editions are the same.

I wanted to read this for 3 reasons:
1) I enjoyed author Marjorie Hillis' Live Alone and Like It. She has a no-nonsense style that's refreshing. As a Vogue editor, too, her version of thriftiness promised to be more glamorous than most.

2) Vintage advice books are fascinating. Their assumptions and concerns can
I've read and re-read this book, and enjoy it every time. I'd love to find some of her other books.
This book was written in 1937 during the Depression, to be a guide to living through hard times. Some of the advice is still useful, and some with a little brain power to make it fit modern life is generally useful too.
It's main theme is that a positive attitude is important, and to think and be a doer not a mourner.
The book shows it age by the wording, terms used and some cases of women been seen as staying at home with servants, but the author does not pose this view on the reader, and is all
I was sold a witty, feminist, still relevant book of advice on how to have approach life while impecunious. What I got? 'The Depression has taught us all that not everyone always has money! You can look good and enjoy yourself on not very much money, but if you don't know how, it's because you're boring, and I'm not going to tell you. PS if you are truly broke, it is almost certainly your own fault, and you do not deserve anything nice.'

Also, it really wasn't that funny. Virago should have left
Magdalene Lim
I didn't realise this was a book written in 1937 when I picked it up so the advice is rather quaint. While I'm not sure how much of it applies to life now, it's a fairly novel and interesting read, mainly about how to be a good wife.

Expect advice such as this:
"Learning to make sauces will get you a reputation as a cook in no time - so few have a varied and sophisticated sauce repertoire."

I can't say it didn't instill in me an interest in sauces. :p
Universale e senza tempo. Scritto con brio e leggerezza, ma veramente utile per destreggiarsi con eleganza anche in tempi un po' tristi. Un unico neo: la traduzione italiana ["Chic! Vivere con eleganza ai tempi della crisi" n.d.r.] un po' "furba" del titolo, l'originale "Orchids on Your Budget" mi pareva un piccolo capolavoro di stile!
So cute! Still relevant. I absolutely adore Hillis's sassy and authoritative voice. I found my copy at an antique bookstore and couldn't resist. Her "case files" are clearly works of fiction, but they are so ridiculously exaggerrated, they are enjoyable. A fun, retro read.
Really enjoyed Live Alone and Like It but didn't enjoy this - what came across as arch and charming in the other book here felt preachy, snobbish and bossy. Could be I just read it too soon after the other one.
very amusing - maybe not that helpful as it was so set in the times it was written (1930s) when society was very different. An interesting read, a bit like travelling into another era.
Umbereen Beg-mirza
I absolutely love vintage how-to books. This one may be dated in parts, but some are surprisingly modern. Generally a fun, light read.
Ásdís Paulsdóttir
Lovely - advice from 1937 do actually work 2011!
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Marjorie Hillis was the second child of Annie Louise Patrick Hillis of Marengo, Illinois, and Dr. Newell Dwight Hillis of Magnolia, Indiana, both authors. Mrs. Hillis wrote The American Woman and Her Home (1911). Dr. Hillis was a famed, though sometimes controversial, clergyman who had served as pastor of Plymouth Congressional Church, Brooklyn, from 1899 to 1924. Miss Hillis had a brother, Richar ...more
More about Marjorie Hillis...
Live Alone and Like It Bubbly on Your Budget: Live Luxuriously with What You Have Chic! Vivere con eleganza ai tempi della crisi Elä yksin ja nauti Work Ends at Nightfall

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