Books on Shady Characters, Fashionistas, and Harleys

Subway to California, Shopping for the Real You, and Harley-Davidson.


Shopping for the Real You: 10 Essential Steps to a Better Wardrobe for Every Woman by Andrea Pflaumer (2104, $19.95, 165 pp.)

Are you a fashionista, fashion-phobe, or an over-50 dresser with a love-hate relationship with your body and your wardrobe? Berkeley’s Andrea Plfaumer can help negotiate a truce. In her new book, Shopping for the Real You, Plfaumer shares the advice of her style-defining mentors and lessons learned from many years of battling her own love-hate fashion foibles. From finding the best colors and developing a sense of fashion to understanding body type and pushing the limits, this collection promises to help women get to their truer, authentic, stylish selves. Pflaumer, a longtime contributor to The East Bay Monthly and an arts reviewer for the San Francisco Examiner, seems to has a fine time leading all types down the fashion runway toward a polished look.


Subway to California by Joseph Di Prisco (A Vireo Book/Rare Bird Books, August 2014, $18.74, 386 pp.)

Berkeley writer Joseph Di Prisco—author of three novels, two poetry collections, and two nonfiction books on child and family development—turns to memoir writing in his latest, Subway to California. Prisco tells the wacky tale of his criminal-leaning family’s escape from Brooklyn to California in the ’60s and his own coming-of-age story. His is an interesting one, full of personal brushings with the FBI plus stints as a student activist and as an Italian restaurant manager and ultimately in the role of caretaker for his dementia-suffering dad. An attention-capturing cliffhanger starts off the rollicking ride: “When my father ran away, he said, ‘Go back to Grandma’s house and don’t take no shit from nobody.’ ”


Harley-Davidson: A History of the World’s Most Famous Motorcycle by Margie Siegal (Shire Publications, May 2014, $9.95, 64 pp.)

Oaklander Margie Siegal takes a historic, quirky, and technical look at America’s favorite motorcycle, the Harley-Davidson, in this fond remembrance of the chopper and its iconic rise. The pictures alone are worth a gander: Harley parades, vintage ads, lots of chrome. Siegal can discuss the technicalities without being boring and puts innovations in context. That said, a working knowledge of sidevalve engines and overhead valve twins can’t hurt in fully appreciating this paean to Harleys.

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