Thursday, December 30, 2010

The best books I read in 2010

Kevin D., stylishly putting the rest of us to shame.

The House of Versace by Deborah Ball is an absorbing business book for fashion lovers. Ball chronicles one man's creative development, and the partial dissolution of a glamorous brand due to his sister's hubris and excess.

The book unveils Gianni Versace's post-WWII modest Calabrian roots, intuitive sense for what makes women feel sexy and luxurious, his sad killing by serial killer Andrew Cunanan, his celebrity-packed memorial service, and his sister Donatella's sometimes unwise management decisions.

The author uncovers the shocking way the Versace family jettisoned Gianni's 15-year partner Antonio D'Amico from company profits.

I found Wall Street Journal Business Reporter Deborah's Ball's work to be impartial, astute, and compulsively readable, despite little description of Versace's actual designs.

(post script: The label's last Milan collection in September, impressed NY Times critic Cathy Horyn, who called the long-lengths, and tight-fitting styles- superior.)

Secret Historian by Justin Spring

My heart is bursting with gratitude for Justin Spring for his exhaustively researched and exciting Secret Historian. And thanks, too, to self-invented, self-identified sexual rebel (though no label suffices) Sam Steward, the esteemed professor turned Hells Angels' tattooist, turned above average erotic fiction writer, all while fighting a valiant battle with barbiturates.

Spring spent 10 years studying Steward's journals, letters and notorious card catalog of notes on casual sex left behind in his Oakland attic.

This necessary and fulfilling bio, rejected by 10 publishers before FSG stepped up, will make a lovely holiday gift, even if the recipient, (unlike Steward) does not favor beatings and humiliation by straight guys in dirty socks.


Anonymous said...

Wonderful photo! You're positively aglow, Mr. T-Bone.

Spiros said...

The phrase "straight guys in dirty socks" is going to remain with me always.