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Things I Wish My Mother Had Told Me: Lessons in Grace and Elegance Hardcover – 1 Nov 2007


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray (1 Nov 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0719566681
  • ISBN-13: 978-0719566684
  • Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 20.4 x 4.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 410,394 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'The fairy godmother doling out advice is the eminently stylish Lucia van der Post, who manages never to patronise her reader or - as other guides do - write as though she has been lobotomised . . . Her tips on simple but treacherously difficult things like how best to wear black are vital reading' (Vogue)

'With no-nonsense bravura she filters out the rubbish and highlights the ways to age glamorously, dress chicly, entertain fabulously, be a supportive and warm friend, mother and wife . . . Insightful, practical and poignant' (Easy Living)

'Poised, elegant and idiosyncratic, Lucia is the grande dame of style . . . Good advice was never so glam' (Eve)

'Finishing school in a book' (Daily Mail/ Weekend)

'If the word elegance touches you in a deep, primal place, then this book will do it for you . . . this book is soaked in the essence of van der Post, heady but grounded with earthy undertones' (Good Housekeeping)

'Much-adored journalist crafts wise words about fashion, fun and family' (Daily Candy)

'A lot of information packed into this single volume, from how to dress for your age to the author's pick of the best cleansers and moisturizers available' (Sainsbury's Magazine)

'Some tips are common sense while others are authoritative gems of insight. The Financial Times sage avoids being patronising, and offers an entertaining read, even if many tips are achievable only with a good wage' (The Big Issue)

'This fantastic style companion reveals the secrets of achieving an uber-glam woman-of-the-world lifestyle . . . This book could change your life for the better. Even your mother would approve' (Now Magazine)

'Things I Wish My Mother Had Told Me benefits from the author's chatty style and covers everything from dress to make up, plastic surgery and modern etiquette' (Financial Times)

'Winsome tome packed with shrewd fashion advice . . . it's a big cut above all the other fashiony "how-tos". No "how to face the paparazzi" rubbish here, just common sense, and a dash of glamour' (Sunday Times/ Style)

'Packed with golden rules from style queen Lucia' (Look)

'A compendium of wardrobe, cosmetic and all-round advice from The Times style writer' (Grazia)

'Van der Post's book is the most grown-up self-help book I've read' (Scotsman)

'Every inch as gorgeous as a book on style should be' (Glamour)

'Wonderfully old-fashioned . . . you'll find yourself reading it all. And maybe even putting some into practice. After all, life is too short not to live it elegantly and well' (Sunday Canberra Times)

'An arbiter of style . . . Full of fabulous, glam motherly advice' (Sun Herald (Australia))

'A helpful, all encompassing guide to everything a stylish woman needs to know . . . all written as though a dear friend is sharing a lifetime of experience with you' (Townsville Bulletin (Australia))

'Comprehensive compilation covers such subjects as make-up skills, vitamin injections, plastic surgery and wardrobe advice' (Daily Telegraph (Australia))

'Van de Post has put in writing everything you wish your mother had told you, and she has done it with the style and pizzazz she is renowned for' (South Coast Register (Australia))

Book Description

An indispensable guide for all women learn how to be glamorous and stay glamorous with Lucia van der Post


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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mina Murdoch on 11 April 2008
Format: Hardcover
From the title I would have expected to read about some valuable life lessons, or at the very least some wise words. Disappointingly, nothing whatsoever of that nature could be found between the beautifully illustrated covers.
Basically a glorified shopping guide for the very well to do, Lucia Van Der Post comes across as shallow, snobbish and clueless.
Statements like "It is almost always the woman who benefits most from a marriage" in her tiny section on marriage left me feeling incredulous at this womans extraordinary naivety and lack of insight.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By C. C. Stevenson on 11 Oct 2008
Format: Hardcover
I was looking forward to reading something light hearted and entertaining but was left slightly disapointed by this book. First of all the book is a total contradiction, for example ''you don't have to have alot of money to look good'' BUT then lists a whole lot of ''the best'' places to go for clothes, marc jacobs, chloe, etc. This left me confused. Statements like only white candles will do because apparently coloured ones look cheap and nasty and don't eat pasta because it's fattening but a cheese board after a meal is fine, seriously irritating. What planet is this woman on!? As another reviewer pointed out perhaps seriously wealthy women might enjoy this book, emphasis on 'might'. Buying this book will only had to her extravagant wealth, spend your hard earned cash on something else.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By MN on 21 May 2008
Format: Hardcover
How this address book of shops in London was ever printed is a mystery. Tips like, try the High Street as well as designer stores, brighten up an old sofa with a new throw, plastic surgery worked for me! The clear message is to be chic you must shop in London. If you are unsure, check out the picture of the author on the inside jacket. If that is what you call stylish... happy reading.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 5 Jan 2010
Format: Hardcover
I do agree with some other reviewers that the title of this book is a little misleading. The book is the authors slightly personal journal of how to keep a beautiful home, look your best, balance life and work and a few other topics. This book is physically beautiful, from its pale pink hardback cover to the high quality paper used inside I enjoy it as soon as I pick it up. I dont live in the UK and I dont have much money either but I didnt find any of the advice in the book to be snobby or unrealistic. As with most books it is the job of the reader to filter the information and once take from it what they feel makes sense to them. I think the book is well written and the author has the ability to create vivid imagery and a sensation of luxury and class. I love the way she descibes how to make any house beautiful using books, flowers, wine, and the importance of hot water and good quality soap. More than anything its the way the information is portrayed that makes the book a success (in my opinion).

-If you are expecting advice on how to live a more simple frugal life like olden times then have a look at "Grandma's Ways for Modern Days".
-If you are looking for advice on old fashioned good manners grace and charm than "the Magic Key to Charm" is a nice choice.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Abbi Rouse on 29 Jan 2008
Format: Hardcover
It's not a bad book, I happily read it through in a few sittings, but my jaw did drop occasionally. Like at the section on presents that seems to start at around the £500 mark and go up to splashing half a billion on a private island for a weekend!

For a book supposedly about things one's mother should tell one, I was also suprised at the vast amount on being a grandmother, and yet the brisk line about being a mother.

And there are too many sections where "cheap treats" are listed as things the rest of us save up for. And shops listed as "budget" that I find beyond mine!

I enjoyed the prose, but I think she would have been better writing an autobiography about a rich and glamorous life the rest of us can only dream of. Instead we have a how-to book making assumptions that the rest of us only lack the glamour, not the vast riches necessary to attain it.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A. C. G. Nester-Smith on 12 Nov 2007
Format: Hardcover
A lovely book, full of practical tips and advice covering issues from how to eat asparagus to how to clean cashmere. It is a world apart from the endless tomes of advice for girls currently littering the shelves. This book is a truly elegant read that marries genuine words of life wisdom with real humanity, kindness and humour. Advice is delivered in a wise and helpful way, rather than in any sense hectoring. Lessons in style and elegant living that will resonate with women of every age.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Ms. J. R. Pickering on 9 Nov 2007
Format: Hardcover
I dipped into this book and found myself still reading an hour later! I loved her justifications for eating chocolate, tips on how to choose the perfect scent and ideas for finding the present for the person who has everything... Definitely recommended!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mand on 25 Jan 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book has good intentions - merely a middle aged woman wanting to share good advice and life experiences. However, unless you are another middle aged woman with a healthy bank balance, this book will not help you at all.
This is disappointing enough in the first section, but if you stick to it and read further, you then get to the chapter about relationships. Oh dear. Who needs a lecture about single mothers, happy families and the likes? I gave up at that point, as it felt like having my ears bent by an old fashioned Auntie who is completely disconnected from the the 'normal' world. Not what I wanted.

In short, this book will not be everyone's (Ritz) cup of tea. Try The Little Black Book of Style by Nina Garcia instead.
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