70 Reviews: 7. On Shopping by India Knight (Pocket Penguins) #review

41940942_2070022899676741_6529584972758515712_nI’m thoroughly enjoying my trawl through my Penguin boxset, and no. 7 is such a joy to read. I’ve been under canvas for much of the summer, relying on shower blocks to maintain a slim sense of personal hygiene and wearing eight items of clothing on rotation, so this was the perfect book to bring me back from bordering on the feral.

Knight’s writing makes her sound like the female friend we all need – funny, forthright (see her thoughts on waxing ‘down there’) and knowledgeable about the mysteries of the make-up bag. I think I need to make it clear at this point: I am not someone who knows her way around contouring. I had a brief period of thinness, where clothes generally hung like they’re meant to, a period where I experimented with hair dyes, and a much, much longer period of really not giving a shit. I’m still in that period and I find it very liberating. But there is a residual liking of nice, well-cut clothes lurking in my personality, and so I appreciated Knight’s joyous descriptions of clothes she has loved. Plus, any book that can make me nostalgic for C&A is worth its bath salts.

I switched off a little during the make-up chapter. I can see that there’s an artistry to putting on a face – I can just think of a lot of things I’d rather be doing in that moment. But the rest of it was a delight and I laughed aloud a lot. Her way of gaining revenge on haughty (but ineffective) saleswomen actually made me snort.

Knight offers a lot of good advice here, if you’re looking for it, and I’m taking with me two things: Even though I no longer have a waist, I should not buy baggy clothes* and, secondly, other mums use Playmobil and Lego as a form of passive-aggressive control over their offspring. This jolly volume isn’t perhaps my usual taste in reading, but I loved it anyway.

*I have a wardrobe bulging with baggy clothes


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