Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Scantily Clad Truths
Essays on Life with Clothes (and without)
by Leslie C. Halpern

Cautious Optimist Publishing
2018 / ISBN 9780999376331

Reviewed by Carolyn Howard-Johnson


From Bill Cosby to “Homeless and Sexy”

Veteran Journalist Shares Memories

True to journalistic ethics, here, a disclaimer. I started out in journalism. Printers ink has colored my thumbs (and given me asthma) since I first wrote kitschy columns for my high school newspaper, and I loved fashion and New York even in its grittier days when I was a publicist for the firm that developed the “10 Best Dressed List” and ogled the samples of Christian Dior samples in the stockpile of “props” the business kept for photo shoot emergencies.

Perhaps this disclaimer explains why I was hooked from the first moment I heard the title of Leslie C. Halpern’s slim book Scantily Clad Truths. Add that to the amazing list of media outlets Halpern has written for, and this provocative teaser on the back cover of the book: “What really happened when this young entertainment journalist in a sexy gold dress rode the elevator with Bill Cosby?” and I was ready to have some fun.

It turns out Scantily Clad was not quite what I expected. It was much more. Call it a memoir of a journalist presented in a permanent collection of her best material. Bit by bit, a reader becomes familiar with Halpern. Her exceptional sense of detail. Her humor. Her occasional bravery about drawing conclusions about life as she explores life-altering anecdotes. And, yes. They somehow all have something to do with clothing from Mary Lou’s red lace panties to Homeless and Sexy’s no-shirt-at-all.

Because Halpern had to select only the columns and essays that fit with her theme, it made me wonder how many more books are to come. Halpern’s work is easy to read, refreshing. Most of us probably need her gentle take on life and humor in these political times.

Reviewed by Carolyn Howard Johnson is the author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally Series of Books for writers.
Reviewed 2018