Book Review on Gunn’s Golden Rules: Life’s Little Lessons for Making It Work

Book Review on Gunn’s Golden Rules: Life’s Little Lessons for Making It Work
March 6, 2012 Leslie Juvin-Acker

I picked up Tim Gunn’s book, Gunn’s Golden Rules: Life’s Little Lessons for Making It Work, for Kindle on a solitary weekend while Mr J was away on business; a book which proved to be a real page turner. While snuggled away in my bedroom, underneath my comforter, jammed in between the pillows, I giggled and smiled my way through Gunn’s book; a true delight to read.

I didn’t read any of the preliminary reviews or summaries of Gunn’s Golden Rules. I’ve always liked Tim Gunn’s “Make it work,” mantra and his style of coaching and leading young designers on the hit television show, Project Runway. So, armed with this basic knowledge, I dived into what was an personal look into Tim Gunn’s life, work, and lessons that anyone can take with them to lead a genuine and graceful life.

His frustration with today’s world, a group of people who seem more focused on individual success than social grace and collective respect, sets the foundation of Tim Gunn’s book. With each chapter, Gunn goes over general etiquette rules and situations and takes them a step further with common sense while intertwining the subjects with his own personal and professional life stories.

Readers are taken into Gunn’s world and life beginning with his childhood, what lead him into a world of fashion from sculpting, his teaching and leadership roles at Parson’s School of Design, and what lead to his position on the famously fun and dramatic television program, Project Runway, and how he continues to manage his relationships and his success.

Gunn goes behind the scenes to show readers the nitty gritty of the glitz and glamour world of fashion, showing us how ugly things can get in a business built around style and beauty. In his professional stories, he points out the outrageous (and hilariously outlandish) behavior of some of the most notable fashion personalities such as Vogue’s Anna Wintour and André Leon Talley and the pitiful behavior of his former students, some of whom are successful fashion designers, those of Project Runway contestants. Gunn also shows us the notable good that can and does happen in his work and how golden nuggets of grace and compassion are found in life despite all the challenges one faces in the fashion and education industries.

Not only do readers get VIP access into his professional stories, Tim Gunn shows readers how to be thoughtful, caring, and genuine towards others during life’s ups and downs. Gunn takes us into his home life, how he managed difficult issues with his own parents and family members, how he dealt with the heartbreaking loss of his father, and how he experienced and moved past personal crises and failed relationships. In every situation, Gunn points out that making it work involves “using what you have on hand to transform your situation.”

Younger professionals can be inspired by Tim Gunn’s story of success which goes to show that professional and personal success is not just a destination, but a journey of unknown lengths, pitstops, and (mis)adventures. At the end of the day, Gunn doesn’t just tell us fun and challenging stories, he teaches readers how to embrace and transform life with grace and elegance no matter our financial status, personal or professional beginnings, and life and personal situations.

Gunn’s Golden Rules reads fast, has plenty of interesting stories, is conversational and never stuffy, with plenty of take away value for everybody. You’ll laugh, cry, gasp, and giggle with this interesting book filled with insight and advice for those who want to “make it work” in life and work.

Pages: 272
Publisher: Gallery Books
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1439177716
Buy it on Amazon


[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]L.J. Acker is an American life and career coach based in Annecy, France. She offers free consultations and affordable international coaching by phone and Skype.  [/author_info] [/author]