A History of Men’s Fashion

Reviews, Books

210429 Architectural Acoustics Design Guide

Somehow not inspiring

210428 The Acoustics of Performance Halls

Illuminating overview from a seasoned acoustician

180720 Who Cares About Particle Physics?

Momentous topic and clear content shine through ho-hum writing style

180707 On Photography

Wonderful, challenging intro to art photography

180402 How to Write for Percussion

Companion to my next composition session

180108 The Character of Physical Law

Skip and watch the videos

170909 Capturing Music

Ideas for taiko notation

170904 How the Universe Got Its Spots

The ins and outs of being a physicist

170808 The Quantum Divide

Quantum theory through the lens of history-making experiments.

170731 Drawdown

Great resource for environmentalist priorities

170708 The New Urban Crisis

Important topic, deeply researched... impact hampered only by my weariness for figures.

170617 From Mathematics to Generic Programming

Rewarding at any level of engagement, from general historical overview to deep programming study.

170524 Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

Quick but insubstantial read.

170311 Red Rover

Recommended for NASA lovers (aren't we all NASA lovers?!).

170225 Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life

Highly recommended, for the physics and to fall in love with the author

170123 The Life You Can Save: Effective giving against extreme poverty

How to target your charitable giving

170112 Contemporary Directions in Asian American Dance

Stiff academic writing contains gems

161224 The Spy Who Couldn't Spell

Slow start, didn't finis

161023 Los Angeles Union Station

LA nerds unite!

160927 The Art of Learning

What chess and competitive Tai Chi reveal about learning

160903 Walkable City

LA voters, please read!

160822 Ending Medical Reversal

Important book for navigating modern healthcare

160819 Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

"Fixed" vs "growth" mindsets in excruciating detail

160815 Creativity: The Perfect Crime

An artists notebook

160808 The Climate Casino: Risk, Uncertainty, and Economics for a Warming World

Convincing case for role of econ in addressing climate change

160726 Whatever Happened to the Metric System?

For the love of measurement

160706 Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England

Useful reflection on the tragedy of our country's founding.

160620 Audio Culture, Readings in Modern Music

About 30 pages in, I almost stopped reading. What a shame that would have been.

160613 Decorating with Architectural Trimwork

Examples of what not to do.

160613 More Not So Big Solutions for Your Home

Not so deep

160416 This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things

Fascinating and fair look at online troll culture

160405 Half-Earth

New environmental conservation goal: 50 percent of earth surface should be protected

160405 Birth of a Theorem

Rare insight into working mathematicians, charmingly opaque math.

160321 How to Bake Pi

Charming and though-provoking, if a bit scattered.

160319 Letters to a Young Scientist

Unmoved.

160307 The Search for the Perfect Language

Only for language/history buffs

160307 Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance

Highly recommended for cyclists

160307 Black Hole

Recommended for cosmology lovers

150303 When Clothes Become Fashion

The best book I didn’t understand

150303 Designing, Building, and Testing Your Own Speaker System

Great starting point

150303 This Changes Everything

Climate change facts and figures

150303 Brioni

Better than expected (the book and Brioni)

150303 Art Power

Artful start, powerless end

150117 How We Got to Now

Science history!

150117 Closet Smarts

How to cover flaws (rather than redefine them)

150117 American Fashion

So-so intro to design of women's fashion design in America

150117 Charles James

Well-made cliche

150117 Cloudspotter’s Guide

Wanted to like it more.

150117 Pay Any Price

Useful info, shaky through-line.

141108 The Extreme Life of the Sea

A fun read for nature lovers

141108 Real Talk for Real Teachers

The best book this month!

141108 Absolute Value

Vacuous book about a vacuous profession

141108 The Dictionary of Fashion History

OK as reference, not useful to borrow

141108 Moving Through the Universe in Bare Feet

Not enough to take the leap

140919 Chanel

Uninspiring writing on an uninspiring designer

140919 A History of Men’s Fashion

The best on the topic!

140919 Fashion

No theory, no groundbreaking fashion

140919 It’s All About the Dress

It's too much about her

140919 Terpsichore in Sneakers

Awesome primer on post-modern dance

140909 The Divide

Frustratingly important

140909 The Code Book

Cryptography primer

140909 Missing Microbes

Slightly alarmist but worth reading

140909 Automotive Chassis and Body

The only source for this info!

140909 No Place To Hide

Thank you, Snowden!

140621 Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money

Agreeable premise, disagreeable writing

140621 How Bad Are Bananas

Facts and figures for the climate-aware

140621 Cool Tools

A bit thin on content

140621 The West Without Water

A CA water-drinker's resource

140412 A Perfect Moral Storm

Why accepting responsibility for climate change is hard

140412 The Sixth Extinction

Captivating, terrifying, motivating

140412 The Ethics of Climate Change

Life changing

140412 Climate Change

Good overview, likely outdated

140312 Climate Matters

Mix of esoteric philosophy and practical advice

140312 The Small Wood Shop

Inspiring ideas

140312 Sustainable Energy

Top-tier resource

140312 Eating Animals

Eat in line with your beliefs

140312 We are the Weather Makers

Not particularly inspiring

140312 Now or Never

Not my favorite on the subject

140312 How to Grow Fresh Air

So-so book on an awesome topic

140124 The Power Surge

Not groundbreaking but well-written and even-handed

140124 The Silent Pulse

Unnecessarily mystical

140124 Delusions of Gender

Part of the long march toward gender fluidity

140124 Stuff

Fascinating trivia yearning for more depth

140124 The Time of Music

Great for percussion composers

140124 Mastery

Perfect for ambitious taiko players

131121 The End of Money

Uninteresting book by a cash-hater

131121 Traffic

Required reading for LA residents

131121 Fresh Lipstick

Nuanced connections between fashion and feminism

130710 Web of Debt

Confirmation of why I don't like loans

130710 The Castle

Engagingly tedious

130710 Just Being At the Piano

The musician's path

130710 Contagious

How to trade integrity for popularity

130710 Pension Fund Politics

A useful, if biased, opinion

130710 Ethical Markets

Great points poorly written

130710 The SRI Advantage

The bottom-line benefits of socially-responsible investing. (Are those what matter?)

130710 Thinking, Fast and Slow

For all thinkers!

130710 The Fashion Reader

Critical fashion textbook

130413 The Inner Game of Tennis

Great for teachers and students

130413 The Creative Director

Great for taiko teachers and composers

130413 Effortless Mastery

How to become the music

130413 Antifragile

A challenging, deep tome

130413 Teach Like Your Hair’s On Fire

A classic!

130413 Kanjincho

Serviceable summary of the play

130413 Steal Like An Artist

Thin. Should have stolen more content

130413 The Green Collar Economy

A rising sea floats all boats

130413 A Universe From Nothing

Connections between the smallest and largest scales of the universe

121231 Trust Me I’m Lying

Resist all advertising

121231 What Money Can’t Buy

Important read to resist the negative influences of markets

121231 How Music Works

Will check out again

121231 Which Side Are You On?

What page are you on? I stopped reading.

121231 Notes and Tones

Felt guilty not liking this... will try again when I'm a more mature musician

121231 How Much Is Enough?

Info for the good life

121231 Turing’s Cathedral

The personal computer's sordid start

121128 How Children Succeed

The fundamentals behind student success

121128 Basic MIG Welding Practices

Not useful

121128 The Handplane Book

Decent overview

121128 Towards A Poor Theatre

Interesting take on stage "honesty"

121128 Drift

Better than the TV show

121128 Welder’s Handbook

Great beginning welder's book

121128 Imagine

Can imagine worse... can imagine better

121128 Working with Handplanes

Good collection of articles

121128 Mathematics

Helped me love math

121128 Rethinking A Lot

Useful for LA commuters

120901 Choreography and the Specific Image

Not particularly inspiring

120901 Workshop Math

Oh to be a renaissance man!

120901 Kill or Capture

Still a pacifist but more understanding of Obama

120901 Being Watched

Useful inspiration when chorographing

120901 The Man Who Quit Money

Inspiring approach to life

120901 Consent of the Networked

The revolution will not be on Facebook

120901 The Net Delusion

Internet policy required to protect democracy

120901 The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty

Why we lie and how to resist it

120701 Flow

Didn't finish... flowed on to the next book

120701 The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces

Great. And video is even better.

120701 The Intimate Act of Choreography

Great for choreographer's block

120701 The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance

Expertise is an adaptation

120701 The Art of Making Dances

Absolutely inspiring!

120701 Predator Nation

Wasn't in the mood for self loathing?

120701 Feelings Are Facts

Insight into genius

120701 Free

Decent but not as inspiring as Eben Moglen

120701 Redirect

How to create productive self-narratives

120701 iDisorder

Not my (tech-inspired) problems

120604 Canning for a New Generation

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews — June 2012"]

Canning for a New Generation
Liana Krissoff
pub. 2010, 303p
source: LAPL

120604 Make Space

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews — June 2012"]

Make Space: How to Set the Stage for Creative Collaboration
Scott Doorley and Scott Witthoft
pub. 2012, 272p
source: LAPL

120604 Salted

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews — June 2012"]

Salted – A manifesto on the world’s most essential mineral, with recipes
Mark Bitterman
pub. 2010, 312p
source: LAPL

120604 Making Ideas Happen

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews — June 2012"]

Making Ideas Happen – Overcoming the obstacles between vision & reality
Scott Belsky
pub. 2010, 242p
source: LAPL

120604 Choreography Observed

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews — June 2012"]

Choreography Observed
Scott Belsky
pub. 1987, 294p
source: LAPL

120410 Adapt

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews — April 2012"]

Adapt, Why Success Always Starts With Failure
Tim Harford
pub. 2011, 309p
source: LAPL

120410 Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews — April 2012"]

Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars
William Patry
pub. 2009, 266p
source: LAPL

120410 The Creative Habit

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews — April 2012"]

The Creative Habit – Learn It and Use It for Life
Twyla Tharp
pub. 2003, 243p
source: LAPL

120410 IBM and the Holocaust

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews — April 2012"]

IBM and the Holocaust, The Strategic Alliance Between Nazi Germany and America’s Most Powerful Corporation
Edwin Black
pub. 2001, 519p
source: LAPL

120410 A Guide to the Japanese Stage

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews — April 2012"]

A Guide to the Japanese Stage
Ronald Cavaye, Paul Griffith, Akihiko Senda
pub. 2004, 287p
source: LAPL

120410 Willpower

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews — April 2012"]

Willpower – Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength
Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney
pub. 2011, 291p
source: LAPL

120410 Knocking on Heaven’s Door

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews — April 2012"]

Knocking on Heaven’s Door: How physics and scientific thinking illuminate the universe and the modern world
Lisa Randall
pub. 2011, 442p
source: LAPL

111220 Creative License

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews — December 2011"]

Creative License, The Law and Culture of Digital Sampling
Kembrew McLeod, Peter DiCola
pub. 2011, 325p
source: LAPL

111220 Using Drupal

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews — December 2011"]

Using Drupal
Angela Byron, Addison Berry, Nathan Haug, Jeff Eaton, James Walker, Jeff Robbins
pub. 2009, 464p
source: LAPL

111220 The Chairs Are Where the People Go

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews — December 2011"]

111220 Program Or Be Programmed

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews — December 2011"]

Program Or Be Programmed: Ten commands for a digital age
Douglas Rushkoff
pub. 2010, 149p
source: LAPL

111220 Moby Dick

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews — December 2011"]

Moby Dick
Herman Melville
pub. 1851, 620p
source: LAPL

Just as I was lamenting my long lapse from reading fiction, my mom recommended Moby Dick. Why not be ambitious?!

I loved it.

111220 But Will the Planet Notice

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews — December 2011"]

But Will the Planet Notice — How Smart Economics Can Save the World
Gernot Wagner
pub. 2011, 258p
source: LAPL

The book’s ending provides the most concise summary.

111022 Moonwalking With Einstein

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews — October 2011"]

Moonwalking With Einstein — The Art and Science of Remembering Everything
Joshua Foer
pub. 2011, 307p
source: LAPL

111022 Life Inc.

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews — October 2011"]

Life Inc. — How the World Became A Corporation and How to Take It Back
Douglas Rushkoff
pub. 2011, 247p
source: LAPL

111022 Truth, Beauty, and Goodness Reframed

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews — October 2011"]

Truth, Beauty, and Goodness Reframed — Educating for the Virtues in the Twenty-First Century
Howard Gardner
pub. 2011, 244p
source: LAPL

111022 The Art Instinct

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews — October 2011"]

The Art Instinct: beauty, pleasure, & human evolution
Denis Dutton
pub. 2009, 278p
source: LAPL

111022 Physics for Entertainment

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews — October 2011"]

Physics for Entertainment
Yakov Perelman
pub. 2008, 330p
source: LAPL

110917 Freedom of Expression

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews — September 2011"]

Freedom of Expression – Overzealous Copyright Bozos and Other Enemies of Creativity
Kembrew McLeod
pub. 2005, 375p
source: LAPL

110917 Learning OpenCV

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews — September 2011"]

Learning OpenCV: Computer Vision with the OpenCV Library
Gary Bradski & Adrian Kaehler
pub. 2008, 555p
source: LAPL

110917 Small Is Beautiful

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews — September 2011"]

Small Is Beautiful — Economics as if People Mattered
E. F. Schumacher
pub. 2010, 324p
source: LAPL

110917 The Warrior Diet

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews — September 2011"]

The Warrior Diet
Ori Hofmekler
pub. 2001, 359p
source: LAPL

110723 The Essential Touring Cyclist

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews — August 2011"]

The Essential Touring Cyclist
Richard A. Lovett
pub. 2001, 160p
source: LAPL

110723 The One Pan Gourmet

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews — August 2011"]

The One Pan Gourmet: Fresh food on the trail
Don Jacobson
pub. 2005, 182p
source: LAPL

110723 Adventure Cycle-Touring Handbook

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews — August 2011"]

Adventure Cycle-Touring Handbook — Worldwode Cycle Route & Planning Guide
Stephen Lord
pub. 2006, 288p
source: LAPL

110723 Designing Furniture

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews — August 2011"]

Designing Furniture: from concept to shopt drawing, a practical guide
Seth Stem
pub. 1989, 215p
source: LAPL

110723 Practical Furniture Design

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews — August 2011"]

Practical Furniture Design: from Drawing Board to Smart Construction
various authors
pub. 2009, 268p
source: LAPL, no longer available

110723 The Perfect Edge

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews — August 2011"]

The Perfect Edge — The Ultimate Guide to Sharpening for Woodworkers
Ron Hock
pub. 2009, 221p
source: LAPL

110723 Great Soul

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews — August 2011"]

Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle With India
Joseph Lelyveld
pub. 2011, 425p
source: LAPL

110708 Decoded

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews – July 2011"]

Decoded
Jay Z
pub. 2010, 317p
source: LAPL

110708 Einstein: The Life and Times

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews – July 2011"]

Einstein: The Life and Times
Ronald W. Clark
pub. 1984, 878p
source: LAPL

110708 The 4% Universe

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews – July 2011"]

The 4 Percent Universe: Dark matter, dark energy, and the race to discover the rest of reality
Richard Panek
pub. 2011, 297p
source: LAPL

110708 Celebration of Awareness

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews – July 2011"]

Celebration of Awareness: A Call for Institutional Revolution
Ivan Illich
pub. 1989, 189p
source: LAPL

110708 In the Mirror of the Past

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews – July 2011"]

In the Mirror of the Past, Lectures and Addresses 1978-1990
Ivan Illich
pub. 1992, 231p
source: LAPL

110708 The Workbench

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews – July 2011"]

The Workbench – A Complete Guide to Creating Your Perfect Bench
Lon Schleining
pub. 2004, 202p
source: LAPL

110708 The Information

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews – July 2011"]

The Information: a history, a theory, a flood
James Gleik
pub. 2011, 526p
source: LAPL

110509 The Happiness Project

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews – May 2011"]

The Happiness Project
Gretchen Rubin
pub. 2009, 301p
source: LAPL

110509 Michael Polanyi

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews – May 2011"]

Michael Polanyi
Mark T. Mitchell
pub. 2006, 195p
source: LAPL

110509 Organizing from the Inside Out

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews – May 2011"]

Organizing from the Inside Out
Julie Morgenstern
pub. 2004, 320p
source: LAPL

110509 Massive

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews – May 2011"]

Massive – The Missing Particle that Sparked the Greatest Hunt in Science
Ian Sample
pub. 2010, 260p
source: LAPL

110509 Against Method

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews – May 2011"]

Against Method
Paul Feyerabend
pub. 1978, 339p
source: LAPL

110509 Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews – May 2011"]

Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite — Evolution and the Modular Mind
Robert Kurzban
pub. 2010, 274p
source: LAPL

110509 Modern Spice

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews – May 2011"]

Modern Spice — Inspired indian flavors for the contemporary kitchen
Monica Bhide
pub. 2009, 265p
source: LAPL

110509 Making Workbenches

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews – May 2011"]

Making Workbenches
Sam Allen
pub. 1995, 160p
source: LAPL

110509 Treasure Chests

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews – May 2011"]

Treasure Chests, the Legacy of Extraordinary Boxes
Lon Schleining
pub. 2001, 200p
source: LAPL

110509 The Workbench Book

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews – May 2011"]

The Workbench Book
Scott Landis
pub. 1998, 247p
source: LAPL

110401 A Long Way Gone

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews – March 2011"]

A Long Way Gone – Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
Ishmael Beah
pub. 2007, 229p
source: LAPL

110401 The Moral Landscape

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews – March 2011"]

The Moral Landscape – How Science Can Determine Human Values
Sam Harris
pub. 2010, 291p
source: LAPL

110401 The Science of Good and Evil

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews – March 2011"]

The Science of Good and Evil – Why People Cheat, Gossip, Care, Share, and Follow the Golden Rule
Michael Shermer
pub. 2004, 350p
source: LAPL

110401 The Master Switch

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews – March 2011"]

The Master Switch
Tim Wu
pub. 2010, 366p
source: LAPL

110401 Piracy

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews – March 2011"]

Piracy – The Intellectual Property Wars From Gutenberg to Gates
Adrian Johns
pub. 2009, 626p
source: LAPL

101024 Decoding the Universe

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews – October 2010"]

Decoding the Universe
Charles Seife
pub. 2007, 296p
source: LAPL

101024 The Gift

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews – October 2010"]

The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World
Lewis Hyde
pub. 2007, 435p
source: LAPL

101024 Very Special Relativity

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews – October 2010"]

Very Special Relativity
Sander Bais
pub. 2007, 120p
source: LAPL

101024 Common As Air

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews – October 2010"]

Common As Air – Revolution, Art, and Ownership
Lewis Hyde
pub. 2010, 306p
source: LAPL

101024 The Shallows

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews – December 2010"]

The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing To Our Brains
Nicholas Carr
pub. 2010, 304p
source: LAPL

101024 Shop Class As Soulcraft

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews – December 2010"]

Shop Class As Soulcraft, An Inquiry Into the Value of Work
Matthew B. Crawford
pub. 2009, 246p
source: LAPL

101024 The Matchbox That Ate A Fourty-Ton Truck

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews – December 2010"]

The Matchbox That Ate A Fourty-Ton Truck – What everyday things tell us about the universe
Marcus Chown
pub. 2010, 269p
source: LAPL

101024 Payback

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews – December 2010"]

Payback, Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth
Margaret Atwood
pub. 2008, 230p
source: LAPL

100828 Laban for Actors and Dancers

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Book reviews – dance notation"]

Laban for Actors and Dancers
Jean Newlove
pub. 1993, 158p
source: LAPL

100828 Alphabet of Movements of the Human Body

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Book reviews – dance notation"]

Alphabet of Movements of the Human Body
Vladimir Ivanovitch Stepanov
pub. 1969, 47p
source: LAPL

100828 On the Count of One

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Book reviews – dance notation"]

On the Count of One
Elizabeth Sherbon
pub. 1969, 47p
source: LAPL

100828 Dance Notation – The Process of Recording Movement on Paper

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Book reviews – dance notation"]

Dance Notation – The Process of Recording Movement on Paper
Ann Hutchinson Guest
pub. 1984, 226p
source: LAPL

100828 Dance Writing Shorthand for Modern and Jazz Dance

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Book reviews – dance notation"]

Dance Writing Shorthand for Modern and Jazz Dance
Valerie Sutton
pub. 1984, 226p
source: author website

100828 Principles of Dance and Movement Notation

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Book reviews – dance notation"]

Principles of Dance and Movement Notation
Rudolf Laban
pub. 1956, 56p
source: LAPL

100828 Movement Study and Benesh Movement Notation

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Book reviews – dance notation"]

Movement Study and Benesh Movement Notation
Julia McGuinness-Scott
pub. 1983, 148p
source: LAPL

100828 Your Move

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Book reviews – dance notation"]

Your Move
Ann Hutchinson Guest and Tina Curran
pub. 1993, 158p
source: LAPL, no longer available

100630 What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews – June 2010"]

 

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
Haruki Murakami
pub. 2008, 179p
source: LAPL

100630 Healing with Whole Foods

I eat like this for totally different reasons

100630 Beautiful Evidence

More great Tufte!

100504 The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint

Damning

100504 Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value

Not my favorite on behavioral economics

100504 Brain Rules

Can you find the signed copy at LAPL?!

100504 The Ethics of Authenticity

Didn't finish

100504 Virtual Music, Computer Synthesis of Musical Style

David Cope is incredible!

100401 The Art of Possibility

Zander's TED talk outshines this book

100401 Ayn Rand and the World She Made

The best way to know Ayn Rand

100401 Visual Explanations

Good as primer to "V.D. of Q.I."

100401 The Visual Display of Quantitative Information

The best in the field

100401 Envisioning Information

Read everything by Tufte

100401 Just Food

Good info, so-so writing

100401 Money for Nothing

Insight into a sleazy industry by a half-reformed opportunist

090709 Outliers

A classic

090709 Musicophilia

A scientist's appreciation of music

090709 This is Your Brain on Music

A fun look at the biology behind music

081227 home-construction (various)

All-things house design

A History of Men’s Fashion

[Originally posted at OnEnsemble.org as "Recent book reviews – October 2014"]

A History of Men’s Fashion
Farid Chenoune
pub. 1993, 336p
source: LAPL

Aha! A well-written tome on fashion. Chenoune’s smart prose is butressed by a remarkable depth of knowledge about all things fashion and its historical context. This was the best book I’ve yet read on the subject. The focus on men’s fashion and the breadth of the time period (1760-1993) was the perfect combination for me. My enjoyment of the book, however, did not lead to revision of my current approach to clothing. None of the philosophies touched on in the book felt more honest or more “me” than what I currently wear.

As evidenced by the volume of quotes below, I found much I like in A History of Men’s Fashion, and many new ways to describe and contextualize my approach to fashion.

1890_cyclist

Men and women want to dress differently — except perhaps in the rare instances of berdache ambiguity and unisex utopianism. Gender distinctions are nonetheless indivisibly connected in the human destiny.

… the prosperity of English agriculture provided French physiocrats and free-thinkers with food for thought; it proved that British aristocrats were able to produce wealth since, as major landowners, they sought to enhance the value of their property in the fine tradition of “country gentlemen.” Added to that was a puritan work ethic which considered neither labor nor business to be disgraceful, as was the case among France’s Catholic nobility. British landowners lived on their land, far from the court, whereas French nobles lived at court, far from their land. That is why the former, rather than the latter, began borrowing garments adapted to their outdoor occupations from the lower classes.

… a slow revolution in dress that occurred between 1750 and 1815; the rise of more informal dress signaled transformation in the codes of elegance. Within this revolution in masculine etiquette, Anglomania simultaneously represented an experimental laboratory, a social testing-ground, and an ideological crucible.

Black clothing dominated the nineteenth century, accompanied by a masculine ideal based on reserve, austerity, and gravity.

The winds of freedom blowing from America in 1776 had already turned simple, sober, wigless dress into “fashion a la Franklin.” Sometime around 1780 in England, the radical whig Charles James Fox (1749-1806), formerly a foppish “macaroni”, surprised London with his grimy dishevelment, bare chest, unruly hair and questionable beard. This calculated casualness… was designed to break down class barriers and promote egalitarian ideas.

Sans-culottes were tradesmen who … eschewed culottes (breeches and stockings) as a symbol of the inequality of the ancien regime, adopting instead the trousers worn by workers…

Pants — in the form of pantaloons or trousers (which were more casual and, though occasionally tight-fitting, never clung to the calves like pantaloons) — definitively ousted breeches during the Restoration and the 1820s.

In 1842, French military authorities decided to replace the front flap on regulation trousers with a modern fly. … this decree signaled their inexorable decline.

… “horse collars” that circled their necks.

… the paletot or overcoat was basically synonymous with a sack-like, waistless garment suitable for all. This democratic feature in fact made it a symbol of the uniformization of male dress demoaned by artists and tailors. It became identified with “hives of bureaucrats” who filed papers all day long behind dusty desks…

The invasion of ready-made clothing, with the overcoat as its banner, meant a steady decline in regional dress.

This respect for the occasion, for always being properly dressed in both private and public spheres, was the key to the perfect expression of an accomplished gentleman’s main sartorial virtue — dressing with discretion.

… “the golden rule that a gentleman never discusses such matters. They should come naturally, effortlessly, without too much thought, like a somewhat annoying duty to which one is obliged to devote a little time (‘After all, you have to dress yourself’) but that a refined mind would never take to seriously.”

… the history of women’s fashion has always been punctuated by the temporary borrowing of masculine details. … This trend would accelerate in the twentieth century, particularly with the adoption of pants.

“The absurd fashion for tight clothes now in vogue has reached the point where you no longer know where to put your wallet and handkerchief,” … 1879.

The aristocracy remained the uncontested arbiter of elegance throughout the nineteenth century…

Black evening dress reigned supreme for nearly half a century. It was regularly criticized for its funeral air, yet just as regularly praised for providing an elegant setting for the luxuriantly colored dress of the fairer sex, a gallant male homage to feminine beauty.

As an emblem of a new urbanity, the dinner jacket basically represented the final rupture with waisted garments making a last-ditch stand as formal evening wear. It thereby became yet another symbol of the modern wardrobe made necessary by an “active lifestyle.” Even tailors admitted by 1900 that men were in need of “a wardrobe suitable for all requirements and all occasions.”

“Comfort, gentlemen, is the main thing in male stylishness.” Henri Duvernoi, 1913

1913… “The trouser crease is not there to indicate that the trousers are new,” (Sir Archibald Hennington) explained, “but that great care was taken with them, that they were lightly hiked up prior to sitting, that they have been ironed many times.”

… a panama “lent the most humble man the air of a landowner” and wound up losing favor precisely because it was too often seen “on the heads of coach drivers and humble folk…”

“Soon only artists will be seen in the street — it will be impossibly difficult to find a man there.” Arthur Cravan, 1914

Designed in a post-war Italy undergoing economic difficulties, the ‘tuta’ was an everyday garment to be worn by everyone, rich or poor.

With the progressive installation of central heating, long underwear gave way to boxer shorts…

The youthful, postwar (1925) generation delighted in the rash style of its Oxford and Cambridge … peers. … criticize the slovenliness of these “young bloods” who dared remain in flannels and soft collars all day long, violating the Edwardian principle of appropriate dress for each specific time of day.

… the Men’s Dress Reform Party… (1920s) disapproved of pants, neckties, suspenders and hats… advocated tennis shorts and bathing trunks at a time when men wore long trousers on the tennis court…

It was thus in the early 1930s that the Riviera became a fashionable spot for spring and especially summer holidays… this shift represented the coming of age of summer as a full-fledged “season” in itself.

… “up until now (1930s), the lower classes more or less followed, according to their means, models created by great master tailors… For the first time, he noted a revolt against good taste, … that revealed a desire to escape middle-class conventions and perhaps masked subversive intentions.

American Blacks — especially musicians — rejected the affected slovenliness of bohemian artists who had tried to set themselves apart from upper-middle class society starting in the nineteenth century. Black musicians wanted fine suits, magnificent ties, shiny shoes.

Saint-Germain was also where the first wide-cuffed black jeans appeared… and black turlenecks that could be worn for days on end without looking soiled. The sudden proliferation of black shirts was an unexpected development that was thought to reflect the moral quandary and chaos of the times. (40’s, 50’s)

In the years following the Liberation, Europe went resolutely American. … Men longed for featherweight, airy (or “ventilated”) fabrics, and so the garment industry turned to new artificial fibers that would usher men into the wrinkle-free, Cold-War period.

Young people were the first to let shirts hang out, yet by 1953 one commentator claimed that “a man of forty [could] perfectly well wear a short-sleeve shirt outside of his trousers without appearing ridiculous…”

… the advent of jeans, T-shirt and leather jacket constituted an abrupt new crystallization of the slow and powerful subversion of dress codes by work clothes. It represented another stage in a struggle characterized by constant exchanges between upper and lower classes, between center and fringe, between establishment and nonconformists. But the special aura attached to it is also due to what might be called the ‘material moment’ of this crystallization. It occurred just when the garment industry was congratulating itself for having vanquished, thanks to synthetic fibers, the last obstacles to the democratization of elegance and correct dress. These sturdy, wrinkle-free fabrics henceforth embodied the abstract ideal of the classic suit: clean surface, permanent shape, and rigid lines, as keenly demonstrated by the “permanent crease” in pants so vaunted in the 1950s. Yet this ideal remained supremely tangential to the body itself.

… a tradition of sartorial diversity that held that there should be as many styles as there were cities, towns and schools.

Even more than Mary Quant (who had opened Bazaar in 1955), [John] Stephen heralded the new sales approach of the pop boutique with piped-in music, spot-lit displays and a young, fashionably-dressed sales staff. Items were easily available to customers who were encouraged to try things on, and garments were displayed on racks in front of the store.

[1960s] What shocked people more than anything, perhaps, was the ambiguous image… The question on everyone’s lips was, “Is that a boy, or is it a girl?”

“I’m very bored with the young man about town with his little square Cartier watch, his Gucci shoes, his tight shirts, his gold pen, his mohair suit, and his initials on everything.” [Michael] Fish rejected this sartorial expression of social conformism and distinction, preferring instead the hedonistic behavior of the modern individual who takes pleasure in dressing “for himself” as a type of “self-expression”. These concepts became the ideological bedrock of men’s fashion in the 1970s…

“A suit should move when one moves and, when one stops, should fall as though made of wood,” explained Feruch…

All these little revolutions, from Nehru jackets to jersey and from visible seams to the elimination of interlinings, ultimately served to undermine the business suit rather than to illustrate its adaptability.

“The increasingly casual body positions and poses adopted by young people are obliging garment manufacturers to design clothing differently,” stressed le Journal du textile in 1970, noting that “certain gestures that violate the code of accepted behavior — like putting one’s hands in the pocket of one’s jacket — mean that finishing touches have to be completely revised.”

Sportswear constituted more than just a list of related articles, for it implied the abandonment of traditional etiquette, particularly the etiquette of wearing one’s “Sunday best”.

Then came the hobo style, sometimes in a “1930s Depression” version, sometimes in a “Post-World War III” incarnation. Japanese designers, who emerged on the scene in the early 1980s, turned this into a fashion for luxury rags.

The garb of these tribes (which often place males on fashion’s front line) undergoes an incessant redefinition of codes as those codes become known. Once it falls into the public domain, an outfit is abandoned by its original wearers. “The pleasure we take from being a la mode,” noted Toby Young, “consists in knowing about something which others do not.”

Pants a little too short, sleeves a little too long, shirt collar a little too big — all these little imbalances created a slightly skewed male image that became typical of numerous eighties designers, notably Japanese. They began with outmoded garments and second-hand clothes like those that “street people” picked up at flea markets. Yohji Yamamoto … on August Sanders’s photographic portrait of interwar Germany, an album full of pictures of farmers, engineers, road repairers, lawyers, mailmen, businessmen, boxers, architects, artists, teachers… etc. “It conveyed my ideal of clothing,” remarked Yamamoto, “because people didn’t ‘consume’ these garments, they might spend their entire lives in them… That’s what life’s about. Real clothes, not fashion. What makes a coat truly beautiful is that you’re so cold you can’t live without it.”

Following in the footsteps of Gaston Louis Vuitton who in 1896 put the initials LV on his firm’s luggage to distinguish it from imitations, as well as in those of tennis player Rene Lacoste who in 1933 marketed the “alligator” shirts he had been wearing on the court since 1927, Pierre Cardin decided in the 1960s to cash in on his own name by signing his neckties. Twenty years later… No item in the male wardrobe escaped the rage for signed garments.