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Would It Kill You to Stop Doing That? A Modern Guide to Manners by Henry Alford

Would It Kill You to Stop Doing That? A Modern Guide to Manners by Henry Alford

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.”

She says:
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.