My Life in Books

3 books that inspired fashion icon and Canada Reads panellist Jeanne Beker

The fashion journalist and Canada Reads panellist shares some of the books she came across at different points in her career.
Fashion journalist and entrepreneur Jeanne Beker is a panellist on Canada Reads, defending Forgiveness by Mark Sakamoto. (CBC)

Jeanne Beker is a multi-hyphenate — journalist, entrepreneur and author— perhaps best known for her three-decade run as the host of Fashion Television. She has contributed to the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail and authored five books, including the 2010 autobiography Finding Myself in Fashion. In 2014, Beker was appointed to the Order of Canada. She is currently the style editor for the Shopping Channel.

Beker successfully defended Forgiveness by Mark Sakamoto. The memoir was the winner of Canada Reads 2018.

Below, the fashion icon shares some of the inspiring books she came across throughout her life that have inspired her.

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

A Moveable Feast chronicles the years Ernest Hemingway spent working as an expatriate journalist and writer in 1920s Paris. (CENTRAL PRESS/GETTY IMAGES/Scribner's)

"Around the time that I moved to Paris, someone gave me a copy of A Moveable Feast. I fell in love with Hemingway and his style of writing. It was to the point, with short sentences. I just loved the pictures he painted. I became so intrigued with Paris."

The Energy of Slaves by Leonard Cohen

The Energy of Slaves, published in 1972, is a collection of poetry by Leonard Cohen. (The Viking Press)

"This was the first of his books that I read. I fell in love with his way of writing about the world and his take on romance, lust and life."

Gods and Kings​ by Dana Thomas

Dana Thomas, a fashion and culture journalist, is the author of Gods and Kings: The Rise and Fall of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano. (Michael Roberts/Maconochie Photography/Penguin Random House)

"By the time I started covering fashion in the mid 1980s, felt compelled to read up on a lot of the great fashion designers. Gods and Kings: The Rise and Fall of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano was a brilliant book that talks about — as author Dana Thomas calls it — the golden era of fashion that I was lucky enough to cover and witness. It was brilliantly researched. Dana Thomas is a great writer."

Jeanne Beker's comments have been edited and condensed.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.