Recommended by Soon Har in Adult Services…
Soon Har’s synopsis:
Alford is a writer for The New Yorker and Vanity Fair who tries to figure out what makes good manners in these days of emails, Facebook, text messaging and “post-apocalyptic public restrooms.” He travels to Japan — “the Fort Knox of the World Manners Reserve,” interviews Miss Manners, and practices being an etiquette coach. He encounters rudeness in Japan, and the most codified behavior in … prison. He concludes that good manners are maybe “your ability to take on another person’s point of view regardless of your own.”
It is shocking to me that Alford takes more than half the book to discover that good manners are essentially about considering someone besides yourself! The problem with a book like Alford’s is that it is not likely to be read by those who really need it, and indeed this is not a “how-to” book about what to do in which situation. Rather, it is supposed to be more entertaining than enlightening, a humorous take on grace and civility. Unfortunately the funniest thing about the book may be the title, which leads one to wonder if good manners and hilarity are mutually exclusive.