Today’s must-reads from around the Internet.
Yesterday we rounded up the year’s best #menswear reads on the Internet.
But, as gentlemen of letters, we wouldn’t dare overlook the printed word. As it turns out, there were plenty of great menswear-centric books that hit the shelves this year—from dictionaries on denim to proclamations of dandyism. And we’ve rounded up the best of the bunch.
Everyone needs a good summer hideaway.
It could be the family lake house, a weekend rental on the Cape or just a really summery corner of your sixth-floor walkup.
But to really make it feel right, you’ve got to have the right vibe—which, granted, is a little different if you’re summering near the sea versus a woodsy lake or river. So we’ve gone ahead and found some handsome appointments and setting-appropriate curios to properly equip your abode.
There’s nothing better than a good summer read—especially when it doesn’t require much actual reading.
You don’t need all of that flowery prose cluttering up your perfectly good beach weekend or scenic train ride upstate. What you need is a handsome book full of glossy pages you can breezily flip through at will. Whether it’s clever infographics with easily digestible tidbits, photos of interesting cultural phenomenon or just Paz de la Huerta wearing a lot of different wigs, there are plenty of new books out this season that make for ideal summer lounging companions.
Every Wednesday from here on out, we’re giving you a piece of our minds. Actually, more like five pieces. It’s a chance to get a deeper look into what makes the minds behind Kempt tick—you know, beyond the usual Internet handsomeness we’re serving up daily. So welcome to our most personal weekly feature: The Kempt Five.
Dinner plans: you’ve got ’em.
Tapas with friends. Family-style Italian feasts. Surf-and-turf date nights. Late-night tacos. Bottomless mimosa power brunches. All of which have one thing in common: other people.
Which, one could argue, is the entire point of eating. Hell, entire books have been written on this subject. But those who fear the company of no one are missing out on a truly noble and gratifying experience.
Which is why every once in a blue supermoon, it’s a good idea to dine alone. Not because you have to, but because you can. And just because you’ve chosen to spend the night in your own good company doesn’t mean microwavable burritos on your couch—in fact, we believe it should prompt the opposite.
We’d like to take a break from our regularly scheduled programming to remind you that the printed word is still alive and well—and to congratulate one of our own. Shawn Donnelly, our resident sports guru (especially on the matter of European soccer) can now add “published author” to his already gleaming resume of “Kempt contributor” and “all-around stand-up guy,” among other things.
His newly released book, Go Get That Scholarship!, written with Nate Mast, the director of basketball operations at Southern Illinois University, is a guide for high schoolers looking for a shot at playing college ball (also: a good stocking stuffer for the Hoosiers fanatic in your life). Of the book’s many nuggets of wisdom, our favorite is one from Kansas coach Bill Self, who explains why he doesn’t want to scout a player on his best day, but rather on a day when the cards aren’t falling his way. It’s a test of character that any modern man can take to heart.
Sometimes it’s hard to believe that the literary lion-in-winter that is Tom Wolfe hasn’t been a dapper octogenarian his entire life. So on the occasion of his new book Back to Blood releasing today, Vanity Fair previewed an excerpt and dug up a photo of him from nearly 50 years ago (1966)—and he, miraculously, is wearing the same exact white three-piece suit he’s never seen without (we’re convinced he even sleeps in it). It’s a testament to having an unwavering sense of personal style—and to sticking with what works. It’s still working, sir. Bravo.
Here’s a handsome addition to any well-appointed bookshelf or coffee table in need: the madras-wrapped Ivy Style.
In addition to its obvious clothbound charm, the book is filled with a wealth of information on the habitudes of the trad—published by Yale Press, naturally (and released just this week). The book serves as a companion catalog to an ongoing exhibit at New York’s Fashion Institute, but should serve you just as well if a trip to NYC by year’s end isn’t in the cards. Contributors include the exhibit’s curator, Patricia Mears; Esquire’s G. Bruce Boyer; and Christian Chensvold of the blog Ivy Style (no relation). And with the holiday season around the corner, it might be wise to earmark this for any bookish Ivy League enthusiasts in your life.
Or any collectors of plaid books.
Fact: the book is always better than the movie. Lesser-known fact: the ebook is even better than the book (for portability reasons, mostly). Which is why we couldn’t be happier to see Ian Fleming’s 14-book James Bond oeuvre being digitized (possibly as we speak) and released by Amazon today for your Kindle. There’s just no substitute for the written nuances that are often lost in the movies (or Sean Connery’s tomfoolery), nor the in-depth research reflected in Fleming’s writing. If you don’t have a Kindle on hand, you’ll want to notify your Q to make the proper arrangements. Unless your Miss Moneypenny already has.
Fact: the book is always better than the movie. Lesser-known fact: the ebook is even better than the book (for portability reasons, mostly).
Which is why we couldn’t be happier to see Ian Fleming’s 14-book James Bond oeuvre being digitized (possibly as we speak) and released by Amazon today for your Kindle. There’s just no substitute for the written nuances that are often lost in the movies (or Sean Connery’s tomfoolery), nor the in-depth research reflected in Fleming’s writing. If you don’t have a Kindle on hand, you’ll want to notify your Q to make the proper arrangements.
Unless your Miss Moneypenny already has.
Actor. Brat Packer. Lover of mannequins. And these days… travel writer. Andrew McCarthy’s second act has taken him to such far-flung places as Kilimanjaro, Bhutan and… San Francisco, where we (and our brothers at UrbanDaddy San Francisco) caught up with him on tour for his new book, The Longest Way Home.
Wes Anderson leaves no detail underdone.
To that end, Criterion recently culled his magnum opus on a family of eccentrics in turmoil, The Royal Tenenbaums, for each character’s literary legacy. They’ve found everything from a book of plays by Margot, to Eli Cash’s Old Custer, to the front-page news of Richie’s mid-tennis-match meltdown. And in typical Andersonian fashion, they’re thoughtfully designed Easter eggs worth a closer look.
We’re big fans of Field Notes—and their fierce allegiance to the analog age—so we were more than pleased to hear from 10engines that they’ve entered the publishing business. Their first book, A Drive into the Gap, is centered around baseball, a father, a son and their unlikely connection to legendary ballplayer Roberto Clemente. And, in typical fashion, it’s designed to slip easily into a pocket or beach bag. For a few extra clams, you can pick up the bundle: the book and a couple baseball-themed memo books. There’s also an ebook version, but that would defeat the purpose.
This clever diptych comes from our favorite new Tumblr of the day, Matchbook, which pairs the designs of classic novel covers to surprisingly similar bikini designs. It’s only a matter of time before it spurs a book club. (Count us in.)
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