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Billed as a "Girl's Guide to the Good Life," Swell is a lively reference that is both practical and a gas to read. Entries range from hangover cures to transforming junk mail into party invitations to snagging a prime table in a packed restaurant. Need tips on tipping? This book will help you score points with everyone from the shampoo girl to the valet. It will also outline how to hail a cab with a four-finger whistle and gracefully take a seat--in a micromini, no less--without showing more than gams. If that's not enough, the authors even detail how to pack your entire life (or at least the important stuff) into a four-inch lipstick tote.
Cynthia Rowley, a fashion designer, and Ilene Rosenzweig, a style editor for The New York Times, blend imaginative advice with humor and grace without sounding like self-conscious hipsters or society snobs. They couldn't care less where a soup spoon should be placed, but they share exactly what you need to know about wine, gifts, clothing, gambling, and even cigars. They also devote an entire hilarious chapter to the topic of love and its various side effects. Ideal for those on a tight schedule and a shoestring budget, Swell offers proof that living the good life depends more on creativity and attitude than a hefty bankroll. After all, "there are two words that a swell should never utter: 'I'm bored.'" --Shawn Carkonen
Cynthia Rowley;Ilene Rosenzweig
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