Saturday, August 24, 2019

50 Essential Etiquette Lessons

50 Essential Etiquette Lessons is an accessible, easily read guide to some basic rules for polite interaction today. Due out 10th Sep 2019 from Callisto on their Althea Press imprint, it's 195 pages and will be available in paperback and ebook formats.

I grew up in the dark ages before the internet (yes, really). Mail was generally hand written and posted and delivered by hand. Thank you notes were de rigueur and dress codes were a lot more rigid than they are now. In many ways, the social barriers being removed and the heightened casual freedom is a good thing, but we've become remiss in etiquette and it shows. If society is to function, we must maintain standards of behavior which allow people to interact without being abrasive/annoying/abusive to one another. I feel like our standards have not just slipped, but descended catastrophically in the last few years. That's a lot to expect from a book, but at least it's a step in the right direction.

This is a handy, layman accessible book of essential etiquette and behavior lessons for modern people. It purports to help readers navigate social occasions without embarrassment or mishaps.  The book follows a logical format which moves from general explanations of manners and politeness to specific interactions and how to avoid common pitfalls.

The introduction, about 10% of the page content, with a short explanation of etiquette and some general vocabulary (and why manners are important), also has handy recommendations for using the book and incorporating the lessons into daily life.

The following chapters contain important lessons for day to day life, grouped by category. There are subchapters on interacting with people for the first time (making a good impression), why gossip is bad, building mutual respect, general politeness, appropriate greetings, not wasting people's time, and others. There are chapters on office etiquette (so incredibly important, vital even!),  texts chats and email etiquette, eating out and social occasions, dating and social life, and special occasions (including extending condolences, funeral etiquette, and how to navigate breakups and divorces). The end of the book includes an FAQ on faux pas and how to deal with unplanned unpleasantness. The author doesn't shy away from the gritty realities of non-functioning toilets, dealing with coworkers with bad breath, and when it's ok to eat stinky foods for lunch in the break room (hint: it's not ok).

It's unclear from the publishing info available online, but the eARC I received has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references. I hope the ebook release version does also. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. Presumably that feature will carry through to the final release version.

The author has a breezy and appealing writing style with a lot of good, logical, no-nonsense advice. The book is slanted toward the younger adult reader (the author uses 'Millenials'), but there are nuggets of usable info in there, compassionately rendered for everyone, irregardless of age. I really liked the example letter of condolence and thought it was perfectly and compassionately written.

Timely appropriate advice, especially for young people, and younger professionals. Five stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

No comments:

Post a Comment