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True Prep: It's a Whole New Old World Hardcover – September 7, 2010

2.8 out of 5 stars 153 customer reviews

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"Grace & Style: The Art of Pretending You Have It"
Read the new book by bestselling author Grace Helbig. More by Grace Helbig.

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Look Inside True Prep
True Prep: Casual Friday. Saturday.
Casual Friday. Saturday.
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True Prep: Henry's Head
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From Publishers Weekly

Thirty years after The Official Preppy Handbook was published comes this new how-to, updated to incorporate such 21st-century givens as gay marriage, dad's new wife, and rehab, all while underscoring the importance of tradition, which ought to be as reliable as those monogrammed L.L. Bean canvas totes. From what to keep in the pantry (box of raisins, food dye for Easter eggs, etc.) to how to not talk about money, the terse advice and blue-blood humor throughout make this a good stocking stuffer for all those 20-somethings who may have no idea what they've inherited with their Sperry top-siders. And tried-and-true Izod fans, who were around the first time, will appreciate the novelty that much more. Especially worthwhile are Edmund White's contribution on "Where do gay preppies go," a "real" prep's response to Gossip Girl, the spot-on Edith Wharton quotes throughout, and the drawings of Randy Glass. Illus.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf (September 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307593983
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307593986
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (153 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Writer and broadcaster Lisa Birnbach wrote The Official Preppy Handbook and the forthcoming TRUE PREP. Celebrated for her keen eye for culture, Birnbach is a media favorite and has lectured at numerous universities around the country.

After graduating from Brown University, Birnbach worked at The Village Voice, where she co-wrote the ''Scenes'' column. Her first book, The Official Preppy Handbook, became a runaway bestseller (38 weeks at #1 on the NYT bestseller list!) and a tongue-in-cheek reference guide for a generation. She began writing for such high-profile publications as Glamour, TV Guide and Rolling Stone. She also went on a college lecture tour and put her vast knowledge of college life to use when she wrote Lisa Birnbach's College Book, offering the inside scoop on campuses. She has since been the writer and co-writer of 20 books and has written for Parade, New York, The New Yorker, The New York Times, and Travel & Leisure.

Other points of interest: Lisa has been a Dewar's profile, been serenaded by John Denver (in a limousine), Meat Loaf (on a tour bus), Penn Jillette (in the Salt Lake City airport), and Wayne Newton (eat your hearts out). She was the Las Vegas bureau chief of Spy magazine, and she's also been the "keynote speaker" at many a convention and annual meeting.

She has appeared on many national television shows, including The Today Show, Oprah, Late Night with David Letterman, Conan O'Brien, Charlie Rose, Good Morning America, and Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher. From 1999- 2002 Lisa was a correspondent on The Early Show, with a weekly segment called, "Yikes! I'm a Grownup!" Until 2007, she hosted the syndicated radio program, ''The Lisa Birnbach Show,'' which won the 2007 Gracie awards for ''Outstanding Talk Show'' and ''Outstanding Comedy Show.''

And though she doesn't believe in "parenting," (see p. 10 of True Prep), Lisa is the mother of three children who live with her in New York.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Official Preppy Handbook ("OPH") was, by its own terms, inclusive, "[l]ooking, acting, and ultimately being Prep is not restricted to an elite minority lucky enough to attend prestigious private schools......[y]ou don't even have to be a registered Republican. In a true democracy everyone can be upper class....[i]t's only fair." Of course, by its own terms, this is farce; not everyone can be upper class, but what the OPH did was satirically "break the code" of the "preppy" tribe. In the name of humor, certain characteristics were exaggerated (pink and green being the most obvious), but as with all good satire, it was built on kernels of truth. Further, in some cases, the OPH gave good advice - especially with respect to matters sartorial. Published in an age when Disco was still going and polyester still held sway with large swathes of the American population, the OPH gave reliable advice on classic clothing, natural fibers, appropriate shoes, ties, belts, outerwear, etc. It's easy to forget how the OPH and the preppy trend of the early 80s helped save middle-America from the fashion monstrosities of the 70s.

So thirty years later, along comes "True Prep." What a disaster. My first thoughts consist of 1) the excellence of the OPH must owe a huge debt to Jonathan Roberts, Carol McD. Wallace, Mason Wiley et al. because Lisa Birnbach could not have written a majority of the OPH and then turn out True Prep, and/or 2) Chip Kidd must have held huge sway with Lisa Birnbach and caused her to override her better judgment, and/or 3) Lisa Birnbach has grown incredibly cynical and has simply chosen to jump on the preppy resurgence and cash in while the getting's good.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book does for the Official Preppy Handbook what Jar-Jar Binks did for Star Wars.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I wanted to give it more stars but...I was just so disappointed. I guess I shouldn't be comparing this book to The Official Preppy Handbook but i couldn't help it. The old book was so much fun and tongue-in-cheek but this book read more like a magazine cataloging products for prep-wannabees to buy in order to pretend to be preppy rather than a comical look at present-day preppies. With the old book i remember reading about the people and being like 'yeah i know someone exactly like that!' i was expecting this book to be just like the old one but updated to reflect life in 2010.

When i read about the people in this book i was like....... 'what's so *uniquely preppy* about this? everyone i know and even people i don't know but see on tv are like this whether they are 'preppy' or not.' Just one example: The chapter on food was weird, the idea that preppies are now all about being foodies is dead on but then you have the 'what's in the pantry' list and it looks it belongs in the book from the 80's not this book. All the preppies i know shop at Wholefoods and buy organic expensive health food... Maybe I'm wrong. I suppose Southern California preppies aren't the same as East Coast ones? I just didn't have as much fun reading this book as i did the old one, this new book seemed confused both in it's content, message and point.

And... Tory Burch...? Really?

9/20/10 - I am reducing my rating of 3 stars down to 1 just because I am so annoyed at the sheer ignorance of some of her articles. She has one article about a preppy man who has decided to convert to Islam (oh yes Muslims can be WASPs too... Wait, doesn't WASP stand for White, Anglo-Saxon PROTESTANT?
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A Kid's Review on September 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I cannot express how disappointing this book was. It was so bad, I tossed it before I finished the second chapter. I was looking to see what changes to the original handbook had been made - I wasn't looking for a trip "down memory lane". I almost wish I had spent the 225$US for the original that is now a classic and priced like one! What a waste of time and money!!!
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Format: Hardcover
The book is ruined by political correctness....an earlier reviewer had it right: the blue blood has run out.
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By R P on September 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The first one was fun. This one loses the thread. Prepdom is a quirky and unusual culture, not merely a sartorial style. And it's a culture that frankly can't be found much outside of New England and New York. The last book got that, had its fun with it. It recognized who was part of the culture and who wasn't and what was fun about the culture. Who is part of it and who isn't, is as clear, within prepdom, as in, say, the Hassidic community. You absolutely cannot just dress the part. But whereas the last book was designed for a small readership so it could be specific (and was a surprise hit), this book was intended to be huge and to that end has been fashioned to be all inclusive. Sadly, though, if you try to invent a version of "true preppiness" that includes everyone, it becomes meaningless and kind of silly. The book winds up just telling people where to shop.

It's like a book about being Hawaiian that tries to include everyone who has ever worn a lei. Watered down and pointless.

Oh, well.
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