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Staff Picks: Books

Calling all Fashionistas!

 Let’s begin with a simple truth. I love fashion. I also love to shop; but like so many other fashionistas, I never gave any thought to where my clothes are coming from before they arrive on the hangers at the mall, or where they go long after they’ve been donated to the Goodwill. It’s no exaggeration to say the book Overdressed by Elizabeth L Cline completely changed the way I think about fashion. 


Overdressed shines a light on the recent phenomenon of “fast fashion,” a term coined to describe the low quality, cheaply priced trendy clothing stores like Forever 21 that have become such a large part of the landscape in the shopping world. In her book Cline examines why this shift has occurred while going further to explore the consequences playing out on a global scale.

This book is a fascinating critique of the fashion world, and I heartily recommend it to all of the fashionistas out there.  Looking for more sordid details on the unsustainable business practices of the fashion industry? Be sure to check out Magnifeco by Kate Black.

From Preschool to Prosperity

How can very young children help Michigan’s economy? Simple. Attend a high-quality preschool.

Really? Really!

Tim Bartik, who is an economist at the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research here in Kalamazoo, believes that our economic future can be improved by expanding high-quality early education programs and making sure that all children have the opportunity to participate. Dr. Bartik’s new book, From Preschool to Prosperity, is available as a free download here:

While economics might be a subject that can seem intimidating, if you care about kids in our community please take a look at this book. It’s short, readable, and so very important. Let’s keep working hard in Kalamazoo to make sure that all of our kids have the opportunity to reach their potential. 

Hear an interview with Dr. Bartik on WMUK’s WestSouthwest.