Thursday, January 7, 2010

J.Crew's Book Provides the Gift of Laughter

First, J.Crew taught us the rules for what every man should know (refer to the "J.Crew's Book: Rules Of Engagement" post), now they are teaching us how to laugh (okay, that last part was a bit of a stretch). J.Crew has come out with another book for its customers to buy. The following is a book review from the LA Times (click here) that thinks the book is worth getting.
J.Crew Books compiles a hilarious list of missed gifts and mis-gifts
By Adam Tschorn
December 31, 2009

It's the last day of 2009, and I'm sitting here in the Image section cubicle farm laughing to myself, thanks to the book "What I Didn't Get for Christmas."

It's the second title to come out of apparel retailer J.Crew's foray into the field of publishing, and it ended up on my desk after I called the company to find out more information about its first book -- a hilarious (though unfortunately not currently available) tome titled "What a Man Should Know" by Max Blagg.

By Partners & Spade (a team that includes Andy Spade, founder of the Jack Spade line of men's utility Rage_Xmas bags and accessories), it sounds like an odd, and slightly depressing idea for a book -- anecdotes about memorable holiday presents that never were (or horribly ill-received gifts that were under the tree), by random people you've mostly never heard of before.

There's one missed gift/mis-gift per page, and none are more than a few paragraphs long. Each is accompanied by a crudely drawn Hugo Guinness illustration on the facing page. Some of the laugh-out-loud recollections involved a balance beam (clad in her gymnastic shoes, Amanda Brooks took the wraps off a ... grand piano), a G.I. Joe Mobile Support Vehicle, and the gift of wrong jeans ("to say what kind they were would damn them unfairly," writes Jeff Kling).

It might be kind of a downer to find in your stocking on Christmas morning, but since it's currently on sale at J.Crew's website for $9.99 (down from $20), it's worth salting away to throw out on the coffee table next year. With any luck,it will serve as a conversation starter for your own friends' tales of Christmas gifting gone awry.
I am not sure if I would get J.Crew's What I Didn't Get for Christmas Book (Item 25472; $20.00, now $9.99). According to J.Crew:
Give laughter. The second book in a series sold exclusively by J.Crew, What I Didn't Get for Christmas tells the stories of love, loss and what was never meant to be on Christmas morning (was it Santa, Mom or Dad who didn't get the message?). A collaboration with Partners & Spade and illustrated by Hugo Guinness, it's the perfect stocking stuffer or "oh, you shouldn't have but I'm glad you did" gift to give and get. One size.
Although I find the topics interesting, I am certain that if I gave this book to my husband, he would not read it. Lastly, since the book is part of a "series", should we be expecting J.Crew to create additional volumes or is this just a two-book series? ;)

What are your thoughts about this book? Do you think it is a smart move on J.Crew's part to offer this? Do you think you will purchase this book?


  1. I ordered this after seeing the LA Times review - I loved all the books in the Kate Spade Lifestyle Books line (many of which were co-written with Andy), and they're so darling.

    For just $10 bucks, and to feed into my "I LOVE CHRISTMAS" obsession, I figured what the hey! It's supposed to arrive UPS later today, so I'm excited to see what kinds of short stories it includes.

  2. Sounds as though it's in the vein of David Sedaris-like and he is fun-ny.

  3. I glanced through this book at my B&M right before Christmas and found it mildly amusing. I'm not sure that it is worth $10 +shipping charges but if I could find it at my B&M on sale I might be inclined to pick up a copy for next year.

  4. I love these types of quirky books! Thanks for posting!


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