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Leisureguy's Guide to Gourmet Shaving: Shaving Made Enjoyable, Second Edition Paperback – October 12, 2007

4.9 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

I bought this as a gift for my fiancé, along with a wet-shaving starting kit and a safety razor. He DEVOURED this book, and finds himself reading it again and again. He finally enjoys shaving. This book has helped him figure out so many things about wet shaving, and has recommended it to all of his friends and family. Truly a great source of information for any man -- Reader Reviews, Lulu.com, http://www.lulu.com/content/769757

I've done my share of searching, and there is no printed reference for wetshaving which comes close to Mr. Ham's volume. This book covers every aspect of the shaving experience with insight, expertise and aplomb: he offers product reviews, theoretical background and detail-oriented tips for the wetshaver. Anyone who is interested in wetshaving should purchase this book ASAP. I have been wetshaving for five months, but the tips contained in this volume have greatly improved my shaving experience. I can't recommend this strongly enough! -- Reader Reviews, Lulu.com, http://www.lulu.com/content/769757

Since I work for Lulu.com, I don't normally post reviews of content. It's difficult for any of us here to do so without some sort of bias due to our love for this place and the amazing folks who publish their works through us. But, I wanted to post something here about this book since 1) I found it while searching the web for wetshaving information, not while browsing content on Lulu and 2) I have enjoyed it enough to believe my bias isn't the only reason I feel positively towards it. Make sense?

I am a recent convert to wetshaving and am slowly but surely coming to absolutely love its benefits as well as the ritual. Shaving has never been enjoyable for me (been shaving for 19 years or so) and up until now has usually been a painful, bloody mess that left me with unsightly razor burn and nicks. I had reduced my frequency to about once a week with the cartridge razors and standard shaving cream. Sometime last year I did start using a brush and occasionally some shave oil which did improve things somewhat, but it was the addition of the safety razor and the time spent learning how to build a later, etc that brought the most benefit to date.

So in that vein, Mr. Ham's book has been a great resource for me to continue my learning. It is a quick and easy read that is to the point and clear. I enjoy the fact that he is open-minded and just as much into learning as I am. He lays out a bunch of options and suggestions and sends readers off to try them all to find the exact combination that works for him.

Another great thing about this book is its Endnotes. Throughout the book, Mr. Ham references books, websites, shaving products, etc. and quite religiously annotates them with references to his Endnotes. While not as convenient as Footnotes, the Endnote format allows him to expound further as needed on each note without ruining the look, feel, and flow of his book. The first time through the book, I didn't reference the notes at all, sticking to the context of the book as a whole. Now that I use the book as a reference, I will just put my finger on the Endnotes page so I can flip to it quickly when necessary.

Through these Endnotes and other information in the back of the book, Mr. Ham provides readers with a formidable launchpad for further learning. As a matter of fact, that pretty much sums up the book as a whole: A great foundational intro to wetshaving along with a nice push to many other sources to continue your journey. -- Reader Reviews, by Christopher Anderson, Lulu.com, http://www.lulu.com/content/769757

From the Author

After getting a year of user feedback and comments, I was pleased to return to the book to expand and improve it. Based on one Amazon review, I added a new chapter specifically on how to deal with skin problems (acne, razor bumps, and in-grown whiskers). Much of the feedback has come from readers who have been astonished to find that they enjoy shaving and that the shave that results is better.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 122 pages
  • Publisher: Lulu.com; 2 edition (October 12, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 143032807X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430328070
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,533,261 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent and well written guide to traditional wet shaving with a double edge safety razor. The author is clearly knowledgeable and well informed. His love of and enjoyment of the shaving ritual really comes through. All of the necessary shaving equipment is listed and reviewed in good detail. Time tested recommendations are made for the new wet shaver as well as more experienced shavers. The process of traditional wet shaving is explained in good detail and in a logical order. The books one drawback is also one of its strengths. In an effort to give as much information as possible the author provides links to many, many shaving resources scattered around the net. This is good for completeness but really requires you to read the book in front of a computer to get all the information. This also tends to lead to shorter less detailed explanations in the book itself with a reminder that you can go read the details on the net.

All in all this is an indispensable guide to shaving. Every man who hates his shave and walks around with three days growth MUST read this book. It will change your shave from a painful chore to something you really look forward to each day.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Right now, this is the essential primer on wetshaving.

While this is a short book, it covers the new hobby of wetshaving pretty well. Wetshaving includes the search for the perfect old-time shave using double edge or straight razors and a fresh-made lather whipped up by a shaving brush.

Somehow there are many, many products in this niche market and this book will guide you in choosing and using these products to get a great shave. In fact,the goal of this manual and reference is get you to look forward to your morning shave, rather than merely tolerating it.

As far as I know, this is the only unbiased book on wetshaving, as some others are associated with particular companies selling shaving products.
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Minor typos aside, this is an outstanding reference for traditional safety razor shaving techniques and know-how. Complete with web-links that are updated independent of the book - the information presented stays current. There is a growing online community of men (and women) who are finding the pleasure of traditional safety razor shaving and Michael's book and web-site are a focal point in this community. If you have to shave, you may as well try to enjoy it. Michael's book will help you do so.
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I found this to be a very good book. It's written in a very simple and uncomplicated way.

If you are new to wet shaving with a safety razor, as I am, you probably will have a lot of questions, as I did before reading this book.

If that is the case for you then this book will answer most of your questions and probably some that you hadn't thought of.

Michael Ham certainly covers what for me was the most fundamental question of shaving with a safety razor, razor burnt. He explains why it happens and how to prevent it. This point alone will improve your shaving experience and fully justified your buying his book. This in my opinion is the hart of the book, and of safety razor shaving, and Micheal does an excellent job on this point managing to turn a daunting task into a simple and even enjoyable task.

You will find that the concept of sensitive skin is more to do with lack of fundamental basic technic than genetics.

Micheal also gives an array of useful advice on most things about shaving like, brushes, creams, blades, razors, and while the list goes on he objectively reminds you that when it comes to these specifics what works for him will not necessarily work for you, but this information will help you to start your own quest for the right tools for you.

The book also has at the end an appendix with a list of forums, reference, vendors and internet links to videos and all sorts of useful information.

All in all, by the time you finish reading this book and going throw all, or at least some of the links, you will no longer be a beginner on wet shaving
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Format: Paperback
Absolutely the best book of its type. Required reading for anyone ready to ditch their cartridges and take up a safety razor. Ham's writing is insightful and incisive. A pleasure to read.
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Format: Paperback
The book covers pretty much all the bases, giving logical advice on wetshaving-related matters. The author often mentions various internet resources, including sellers; while some may view this as advertising, I think it is useful given that wetshaving is fairly uncommon and big chains do not carry all needed products.
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This book might have been titled, "All You Ever Wanted to Know About Shaving--And More!" It is comprehensive (maybe to a fault) and informative. I thoroughly enjoyed reading (and re-reading) the book, and I would recommend it to anyone with a strong thirst for an increased knowlege of the art of shaving.

The book offers interesting and useful ideas, like how to clean a razor and how to preserve the sharpness of the blade. I also liked the suggestion of storing one' collection of razors on a spice rack for display and easy access.

I did find the book to be needlessly repetitious. Many of the same points were made repeatedly in various chapters. A little editing by a professional editor before publication in triming down the repetitious statements would have been appropriate and appreciated.

I also would have welcomed one chapter on the history of shaving through the ages. How did those ancient Egyptians have those clean faces with no beards of mustaches?

Overall, I deeply appreciated the content, and the author's efforts.

Steve Riehle
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