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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (564 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lisa Birnbach, Chip Kidd Narrator: Lisa Birnbach Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2010 ISBN: 9780307879417
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“Wake up, Muffy. We’re back.”

From Lisa Birnbach, the author of The Official Preppy Handbook—and designer Chip Kidd—comes a whole new take on the prep world that Birnbach turned into an international bestselling phenomenon thirty years ago.

True Prep is a contemporary look at how the old guard of natural-fiber-loving, dog-worshipping, G&T-soaked preppies adapt to the new order of things. Birnbach considers the prep attitude towards money (ambivalent), schools (good investment), wardrobe (now your clothes fit), work (some careers will never be prep), decorating (ask mommy), scandal (including rehab and prison), and food and drink (with some classic recipes for both). She also looks at weekends (and what to do to get asked back), entertaining, sports (including sailing and shopping), weddings, etiquette, the Internet and electronic gadgetry, political correctness, reality TV, and polar fleece. And last but not least: a do-it-yourself eulogy.

With more than 200 original illustrations and photographs, True Prep promises to be a whole new, old sensation.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Birnbach is back with True Prep, an updated field guide to the preppy lifestyle in 2010. You know, things like rehab (the new boarding school) and texting (not at the dinner table). There’s vital information on how to keep that sporty tan in an era when overexposure to the sun is frowned upon, without resorting to Snooki-type tanning salons. Jura Koncius, The Washington Post
  • True Prep . . . is a slyly written and debatably satirical take on what it means to be “preppy” in today’s age . . . It makes a great gift for your favorite Sperry-wearing Yalie, or someone that just enjoys a quick read and an easy laugh. Benjamin Clymer, Forbes.com
  • [T]his book touches many bases. And it’s funny without exactly being satirical. The authors take their mission sort of seriously and approach the prep ethos with obvious affection . . . True Prep makes a point of flaunting the sexual, racial, ethnic and class diversity that were in short supply the first time around . . . Janet Maslin, The New York Times
  • True Prep is a hilarious send-up of the frills and foibles of the elite and privileged. It’s satire, of course, but it’s cringe-inducingly on target at times. Lylah M. Alphonse, The Boston Globe
     
  • [T]here’s something very interesting going on in True Prep . . . One need no longer be white, Protestant, heterosexual—or even accomplished at tennis—to be a preppy . . . [T]here’s a sense in the book that the contemporary iteration of preppiness has far more to do with savoir faire than pedigree . . . [T]o dig beneath the surface of this thing that’s been labeled ‘prep’ is to arrive at a surprising and perhaps even counterintuitive theory about the whole gestalt. Perhaps preppiness is less about demographics and style than it is about living decently in an often indecent world . . . [P]reppiness at its core is ultimately about self-respect. It’s about pulling your pants up . . . It’s about knowing that you don’t necessarily need to have money to have class. And what better time to be reminded of all this than now? Meghan Daum, Los Angeles Times
  • The first thing you notice about True Prep . . . is its design. Chip Kidd, a celebrated graphic designer, has made this book a visual pleasure, with precise illustrations, vivid photographs and a colour palette that would make Kate Spade swoon. Paging through this book, which considers the current state of the North American “preppy” style, the words “gift material” come to mind. This isn’t to undersell the writing. Ms Birnbach has a sly wit, an editor’s eye and an excellent vocabulary. Every sentence is quotable. Really . . . True Prep is frivolous, but comprehensively, amusingly, and intelligently so. All too few books fit that description. Like its predecessor, this is a fond and inventive satire for the ages. The Economist
  • Birnbach . . . and Kidd, well-known as book-jacket designer, novelist, and natty dresser, have produced a book as witty as, and more thorough than, the original . . . The most important change from The Official Preppy Handbook to True Prep is the more capacious sense of who is preppy . . .  True Prep is as noisily inclusive as The Preppy Handbook was quietly exclusive . . . Mark Oppenheimer, Slate
  • [W]hat was once a rarefied blue-blood clique has become a bona fide social phenomenon . . . The basic prep values—politeness, sportiness, and adherence to tradition—have, however, remained the same. Jennifer Wright, New York Post
     
  • Lisa Birnbach and Chip Kidd’s long-awaited sequel to The Official Preppy Handbook is good for a laugh, no matter how many pastel polo shirts you own. Parade magazine

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lilia | 2/12/2014

    " Fun read. Just not as funny as the first time around. Still, nice stroll down 80's memory lane. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maureen Flatley | 2/6/2014

    " Lisa Birnbach and Chip Kidd's hilarious and timely follow up to the Official Preppy Handbook is a must read. I couldn't put it down....it was just a riot. It does include, however, a fantastic list of recommended "preppy" reading which just happens to include dozens of my favorite books. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Adriana | 1/21/2014

    " I was very disappointed by this sequel to the original Preppy Handbook. Birnbach has lost her touch and instead of cheeky and irreverent, True Prep is more like a how to manual for yuppies who want to be preppy. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lia | 1/20/2014

    " Cute, not-too-totally-unbearably-smug but pretty one-note and it got boring. Thumbed through most of it "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 1/14/2014

    " Funny update of The Preppy handbook "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Laura | 1/10/2014

    " What a waste of reading time! I thought the first book was hysterical, and the Wall St Journal gave this a good review, so I gave it a shot. The book takes itself waaaayyyy too seriously, doesn't have the catchy diagrams (or as many pictures) as the first book, and now that the prep universe is more inclusive, a lot of the elitism is gone (not that I look for elitism in a book, but come on - it's the Preppy Handbook). Anyway, now that the club is pretty much open to anyone, it's a lot less interesting. This book is missing the snarky humor that characterized the first one - I wouldn't recommend this to anyone. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laurie | 1/6/2014

    " Girls: This is a must read. So fun, and I really did LOL! Lisa Birnbach has such a dry wit; I promise you will find yourself, or something you wear or do, somewhere in this book. Molly, thanks so much for a VERY EXCELLENT gift! I loved it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carleton | 1/5/2014

    " Not as good as the original - though few things a prep's world are. Entertaining read though I would have liked to see more of the 18-35 demographic represented. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marykris | 1/1/2014

    " I enjoyed this book although not as much as the original. Mostly because I didn't take it seriously and I thought it was pretty tounge and cheek. I would recommend it if you are looking for a good laugh and a poke at prep culture. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 ej cullen | 12/31/2013

    " Read this during time-outs of the Auburn/Oregon game. Gives you some idea of its boring frivolity. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Katherine | 12/7/2013

    " I'm not sure this needed to be written... The original pretty much had it all covered. This was entertaining though, even if I'm not entirely on board with all of the determinations as to what's preppy. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Bianca | 12/4/2013

    " My curiosity was piqued by the original, which I have not read, but now don't really care to. This didn't seem so much like a book as it did endless lists, and some attempts at humor. Attempts. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Audrey Sonntag | 11/27/2013

    " So it's not a real book... but it's dryly humorous. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jen On the Edge | 11/2/2013

    " Mildly amusing, but not as good as the first one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brad | 10/25/2013

    " Not as good as the original "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Private Grave | 10/9/2013

    " Why did I bother reading this? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Judith | 7/6/2013

    " A little peep into the privileged, isolated world of preppies. A cultural anthropologist should take a crack at them. This book is written by an insider so there is some bias attached. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Johanna | 5/23/2013

    " I never actually laughed out loud, but it was amusing "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristen | 10/13/2012

    " A little bit fun mixed with a bit of keeping up with the Jones' but never ever keeping up with people like the Kardashians, Pookie would not approve "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Abby Biggs | 8/17/2012

    " Waaaaaay to liberal. Obama is SO not preppy. I was very disappointed in what I got. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erin | 6/7/2012

    " Hilarious! B/c it's all true :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan McManus | 5/25/2012

    " Funny and amusing. Quick read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patrick | 4/29/2012

    " Light-weight parody with a couple of laugh-out-loud moments. Mildly amusing for the two percent of the American population that will get it. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Linda | 4/12/2012

    " Yuck. Waste of time. The original seemed rather tongue in cheek, but she really seems to take this crap seriously. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael Borshuk | 3/22/2012

    " Whimsical, lighthearted fare. Some genuine belly laughs. Could never match the inexplicable charm of its predecessor--a book I've read a dozen times maybe--which was just unironic enough to actually constitute a working handbook. Good fun nevertheless. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leslie | 3/7/2012

    " Hilarious. I read the first preppy book when it came out. This one is chock full of factoids about preppies and teaches you how to be one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barb | 11/12/2011

    " Not as good as the original (30 years ago!), but still amusing. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Maureen | 11/11/2011

    " I read the original Preppy Handbook in about the 8th or 9th grade. That was funny and relatively full of irony. This was just stupid. The joke no longer works. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rick | 8/4/2011

    " Though I hate to admit it now, the first book by this author, The Official Preppy Handbook, had a great deal of influence on my life in the '80s. I hope this book, while a fun read, will not. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Hank | 3/27/2011

    " Well-thought, nicely designed and nevertheless a TOTAL LETDOWN to those of us who remember (and had our minds blown by) the original. Oh well. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Michelle | 3/26/2011

    " "Here is a great crest you can wear on your pinkie." oh Sweet Briar!!!! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Adriana | 3/5/2011

    " I was very disappointed by this sequel to the original Preppy Handbook. Birnbach has lost her touch and instead of cheeky and irreverent, True Prep is more like a how to manual for yuppies who want to be preppy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael | 2/21/2011

    " Whimsical, lighthearted fare. Some genuine belly laughs. Could never match the inexplicable charm of its predecessor--a book I've read a dozen times maybe--which was just unironic enough to actually constitute a working handbook. Good fun nevertheless. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 1/29/2011

    " Enjoyable book, as enjoyable as the first one so many years ago. Worth buying? Nah, use the library. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 pri | 1/28/2011

    " definitely a bit of fun. especially if you live in the midst of much monogramed boat bags and rules about shoes... not to be taken seriously though (at least from my pov). "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Betsy | 1/11/2011

    " Not nearly up to the original in humor or originality. In fact, it seemed contrived, like Lisa Birnbach needed some money and so she just revived the old concept. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 ej | 1/10/2011

    " Read this during time-outs of the Auburn/Oregon game. Gives you some idea of its boring frivolity. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 1/7/2011

    " Very fun. I have a new appreciation for my canvas black dog bag.
    And P, ILYLAAS. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jacke | 12/12/2010

    " I loved this book for a light read, but it's a little close to home! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 12/12/2010

    " I LOLed. I know this means I can't be preppy, but I'm okay with that. "

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About the Author
Lisa Birnbach still wears her father’s tennis sweater, her grandmother’s pearls, and flies coach. In the last thirty years she’s been busy in old media, but she managed to meet Chip Kidd through Facebook.