Ah, manners! The long forgotten art of behaving properly at any given situation like covering your nose and mouth before you sneeze, not interrupting the person who is talking or saying ‘thank you’ and ‘excuse me’ instead of “Huh?”, “Gimme!”, “What?” or “Move!”. Amy Alkon, also known as ‘The Advice Goddess’ for website LAweekly.com and several newspapers, has decided to put her vast knowledge of manners and findings in evolutionary psychology to good use and write a book which she aptly and humorously called Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck.
Alkon says that one of the main problems with lack of manners is that we live in “societies that are too big for our brains which lack constraints on bad behaviour” unlike small places in which we grew up. Don’t worry, Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck is not a book about which spoon should be used for eating desert or, as the author eloquently puts it, “about prissy codes of conduct to help you fit in to upper-class society (or at least passably fake it)”. Rather, it advises you on how to subtly tell your neighbour that it is not OK to play heavy-metal at 3 am or how to deal with people who are blocking your driveway or whether it is acceptable to ask people to take off their shoes before they come inside your house. About the latter, Alkon says: “If you can’t get your carpets cleaned, don’t have people over.”
A hysterically funny combination of Charles Darwin and Dorothy Parker, Amy Alkon even has some personal anecdotes to share with the readers. Back at the time when she was a novice writer living in New York in the 1990s, she started chatting to man in an AOL chat room who, out of all people, turned out to be Marlon Brando. Eventually, they continued talking on the phone and when she relocated to LA, they struck a close friendship. In the words of Barnes and Noble, “you can read this book either as empowering advice or just plain subversive fun.”
Get it from Amazon here
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