This was a bit more dry and academic than I expected, but I still enjoyed it. I thought it would be more of a history of swearing, or a sociological s...moreThis was a bit more dry and academic than I expected, but I still enjoyed it. I thought it would be more of a history of swearing, or a sociological study of the way different groups curse. There's definitely some of that but most of the focus is on linguistics, which I really don't know much about.
In addition to the "dirty dozen" in English--fuck, cunt, shit, piss, bastard, bitch, ass, damn, hell, fart, crap, and dick, according to Wajnryb--this book also explores swearing in different languages and countries, and how various cultural taboos affect what words are considered bad or insulting. Those were the sections I found most interesting. The author also studies language from a feminist perspective, and devotes several chapters to exploring how swearing is gendered. For example, there are many more nasty names to call women than there are men, and most of these insults reflect society's misogyny. "Slut" and "whore" are obviously indicative of a fear of women's sexuality, and other terms are often meant to insult women's appearances. Meanwhile, even the many of the insulting words used commonly against men, such as "bastard" and "motherfucker", are jabs at women as much as the men they're directed at.
While this wasn't exactly what I was looking for, I did find some pleasantly interesting surprises like those sections I referenced above. I'm still looking for more of a pop culture type of nonfiction related to language though, rather than dense academia like this.(less)
I was given this book as an opening night present by the costume designer I assisted a few months ago. It's taken me a while to read this cover-to-cov...moreI was given this book as an opening night present by the costume designer I assisted a few months ago. It's taken me a while to read this cover-to-cover, as it is a reference text, but I'm really glad I did. There is a wealth of information in here. The authors guide you through all steps of the design process: what to consider when reading the script; the differences between rough/thumbnail sketches to show the director and fully rendered illustrations for the shop, and how each should be approached; the realities of shopping and building (including using stock costumes or rentals if available/necessary); how to manage a budget.
There are lots of tips and tricks in here as well--for instance, in the section on drawing, in addition to describing various media and illustration techniques, the authors also offer their preferred types of brushes and technical pens, and the best way to maintain and clean each, as well as creative ideas for incorporating several different media in one drawing. In the section on swatching fabric, they advise carrying a reducing glass (the opposite of a magnifying glass) to see if a print will "read" on stage. There are instructions for quickly improvising a light table, blocking watercolor paper in a time crunch, and the best way to ship fabrics when you are purchasing them across the country from where they will be built. These little bits of wisdom were my favorite parts, which are often left out of other guides. The authors also offer a great deal of advice about communicating with the producer, director, and other designers on the show, which can be a huge source of stress in any team effort like theatre. For instance, what do you do when the director completely disagrees with your costuming choices? The colors the set designer has chosen clash horribly with the costume colors? Or the lead actor decides he hates his costume? Don't fear, Ingham and Covey will tell you exactly how to discuss these sensitive issues!
The final chapter is all about "The Costume Design Business" and is exactly what it sounds like--it lists the various different jobs involved in the world of costume design and how to get them. There's some great advice on how to write a cover letter and resume, as well as how to organize your portfolio. There is also a little bit of information about contracts and how to protect yourself as a freelancer.
I thought this book was extremely thorough, and covered all aspects of costume design that I knew I needed to know, as well as providing some information I wouldn't have even thought about! There are lots of inspirational illustrations and photos scattered throughout the text (but never enough!), and it was all presented in a clear, straightforward manner, with even a little humor thrown in from time to time. This is a valuable resource that I'm sure I will be continuously referring to.(less)
Loved this. I'm a huge Margaret Atwood fangirl, but I don't think you have to be to appreciate these essays on speculative fiction. Which brings up a...moreLoved this. I'm a huge Margaret Atwood fangirl, but I don't think you have to be to appreciate these essays on speculative fiction. Which brings up a whole separate point: Atwood has gotten a lot of flak, being called a "snob" and worse, for referring to her own work as speculative fiction rather than science fiction. She explains her reasons clearly and eloquently near the beginning of this collection, and it's great food for thought that I definitely recommend to all fans of the genre.
I wanted to love this, especially after really enjoying the author's sex work memoir, Indecent: How I Make It and Fake It as a Girl for Hire, but it w...moreI wanted to love this, especially after really enjoying the author's sex work memoir, Indecent: How I Make It and Fake It as a Girl for Hire, but it was ultimately a little disappointing. Sarah Katherine Lewis's writing is so shameless and in-your-face that I expected this to be a manifesto, something that I would find myself reading passages aloud from, nodding and excited that someone GETS IT, but it just turned out to be a collection of lukewarm essays about, well, food and sex. Some were better than others, certainly: Earl Grey Tea, a "love story" of sorts about hooking up with a butch lesbian in a new city; Britney, in which the author espouses her love for the pop princess and why she considers Ms. Spears a feminist icon; Baby Ruth Man and Agapae, tales similar to those in her previous book about delightfully kinky clients. I loved the simplicity of The Bacon Quotient, because really, who hasn't been there? And I appreciated the body-love messages of Thin and Fat. The last section about heartbreak really began to grate on me, though. There's only so much wallowing in self-pity and cartons of ice cream as I can stand, and we've all been there, so she's not really saying anything original. (less)
I enjoyed this, and it provided some great food for thought, but I definitely thought it was lacking in some areas. With edgy chapter titles like "How...moreI enjoyed this, and it provided some great food for thought, but I definitely thought it was lacking in some areas. With edgy chapter titles like "How is the Ku Klux Klan Like a Group of Real-Estate Agents?", this is obviously a pop piece meant to make a usually boring field accessible to the masses. It does that well, but I would have enjoyed some more in-depth information throughout the book. It seems like the surface is just barely skimmed on most of the topics explored here, and I don't know that the authors always provide ample evidence to back up their views.
Also, it was much shorter than I expected. I read this on my kindle and had a bit of a shock when I reached the epilogue, since the status bar said I was only at 55%! The rest of the book is appendices, excerpts from the authors' blog and newspaper columns, and various other extras -- some interesting, but many just a repeat of what was already in the main text. Annoying.(less)