How to be Cool…by Thomas W. Hodgkinson: a book review


When I first picked up this book I was sceptical. Did I really want an author to tell me how to be cool?

How to be cool
However, little did I know that in the space of 250 pages I was about to have a feast of fascinating ideas and stories with no instruction manual in sight.

This is a book about people who dared to be different.

Hodgkinson triumphs at seamlessly creating a work of 150 micro-biographies and essays of idols and ideals to create one giant kaleidoscopic image of ‘cool’. The variety and scope offered while never straying from the titular theme means that we see a well-rounded portrait of ‘cool’ in action.


From Lord Byron, to Coco Chanel, to Sofia Coppola, the reader is guaranteed to learn both entertaining and eyebrow raising anecdotes about their favourite idols.


While the book convinced me that being cool was overrated and doesn’t necessarily equate to happiness, each page seemed to glow with little inspiring gems of information. The book is not just a window into the scandalous lives of celebrities, but a book about their pioneering creations and ideas – post-romance, postmodernism, and the anti-celebrity to name a few. We also see how ‘cool’ became an influential concept and an image to aspire to. And it is this, in my opinion, which transforms this book from simply entertaining to enlightening.


A book that inspires and gets you talking is always a good read.


Image courtesy of Pixabay


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