Rosie Barton is a contributing London-based writer.

Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris

It’s mid-September and we find ourselves questioning how did this happen – closer now to Christmas than to Easter. As the days begin to shorten and the Ladies Ponds drop a few very noticeable degrees, our minds turn to our wardrobes and we do a Sheryl Fraser and find all we need is a light jacket. With that sartorial conundrum sorted, who needs fashion week? (Which you may or may not have noticed is flooding your newsfeeds and Insta stories – shameless plug, @becausemagazine for all the fashion content you could possibly need.) With all this hustle and bustle going on some of you might have forgotten that it is, in fact, international “Collect Rocks Day” today, a commemorative day that couldn’t have come at a better time – providing a much-needed distraction from the rocky government proceedings (who are albeit illustrating the phrase, stuck between a rock and a hard place, to an excellent level of accuracy). 

And so, whilst the BA strikes continue (probably due to their refusal to clean up after tiny horses) and fashion takes over the other kind of runway, this weeks book recommendation, for those not avidly polishing their rocks, is David Sedaris’ Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. You’re quite right in thinking this was chosen for its title’s reference to the sartorial, however this book actually has nothing to do with fashion, unless you count the episode when Sedaris’s mother loses a loafer in the snow only to replace it with a hat and a scarf (quite John Galliano, if you ask me). No, in fact, this book will provide a welcome relief from all things fashion, politics, British Airways and rock-related

Not new by any means, it’s Sedaris’ 2004 work, a time when I too was dressed in a lot of corduroy (mainly a red corduroy cape which I used to don the second I got home from school and pair with a hairnet – things haven’t really changed). This collection of 22 biographical essays center around the comedy of the human existence, retelling snippets of Sedaris childhood and adult life with a self-deprecating wit – think never bitter, always hilarious. He has been dubbed The American Humourist, a title he complains ‘suggests cardigan sweaters’ – a woeful image indeed! But he is far from sweater-vest wearing stuffiness, with his laconic tales, from the domestic to the bizarre, as bold in his statements as he is funny in his delivery, pointing more to a man who would don an eccentric jacket and felt hat. (Afterall it was “Felt Hat Day” yesterday). 

Click here to discover Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris.

How To Fail with Elizabeth Day, Ep 1 Series 1. Phoebe Waller Bridge

As the live performances of Fleabag have now come to a close and we thank god for the NT Live screenings of the play – wishing that we could have been one of those lucky queuers who received a free G & T from Andrew Scott and Waller Bridge herself – while clinging to the one good thing left this week, National Talk Like a Pirate Day, suggest this as a remedy: a sort of spoonful-of-sugar, if you will.

A shining gem in the world of Podcast, the cherry on the cake, the crux of the biscuit, the hat of the Beefeater, the tail of the donkey... Elizabeth Day’s Podcast How to Fail, which is also now brilliantly in book form, talks openly and honestly about our failures, how and why they unfold and what we can learn from them. This episode, the very first one, features none other than the saviour to us all, giver of unbridled joy, wit and comic genius only paralleled by her blonde namesake – otherwise known as Regina Flangee – the one and only (drumroll please), Phoebe Waller Bridge

Listen to Phoebe and Elizabeth discuss female friendship, emotional vulnerability and openness of women's expression, as well as whether an alabaster forehead really is the key feature for success. This is an episode which has left ingrained in my mind the exclamation “MY APPLE CRUMBLE” for various reasons involving Meryl Streep and a tale of very human failings when it comes to the garble that leaves most of our mouths when confronted with stardom. Anything featuring these two women – or rather icons – needs little outlining of its brilliance, so listen on your way to work, between fashion shows or whilst intermittently impersonating a pirate…

Click here to tune into How To Fail with Elizabeth Day.

Also on Because Magazine:

Chloe Isidora shares with us how she made a life-changing career pivot...

+ Catch up on last week’s recommendations that'll definitely get you thinking.

+ Simon Doonan serves us all the drag-culture realness.