Tag Archives: Book Review

Judging a Book by its Cover, PG-13

Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck, by Amy Alkon.

Good Manners






Yes, I have to admit it was the title that brought this book into my life. Someone, I won’t mention any names here… gave it to me and said it reminded them of me. “Well, it makes me wonder which part, the good manners part or the nice people part? Hmm.”

What began as a joke turned out to be an excellent, well written, enjoyable read. I couldn’t help but grin at Amy Alkon’s forward attitude and sense of humor. She had me hooked from the first chapter titled, I Don’t Care Where You Put the Fork (as long as you don’t stab anybody in the eye with it). This is obviously not a book about table manners, well maybe there was a paragraph or two.

Amy calls out real rudeness on many levels poking fun at others and even at herself, but also gives suggestions on how to resolve or respond to situations without the misfortune of having a turkey baster jammed in your neck.

Most of us encounter rudeness in some form or other nearly everyday and if truth be told, there’s a possibility that we may have responded to those rude ones with some rudeness of our own. There may have been a time or two this  happened to me. I blamed it on a spontaneous episode of tourettes. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

In this book Amy covers topics that concern:

Cell Phones – Why would anyone have their cell phone on speaker while in public, and think it’s okay? Then there are people who can’t make a simple single decision about what salad dressing to purchase without reading twenty-nine labels loudly into their phone invading every ones personal hearing space.

Internet – Amy begins by sharing a personal experience with a surprise ending, then talks about online identity, privacy (yours and everyone else’s) and how to treat other people online and what to do when they treat you badly. She makes some good points.

Neighbors – Have you ever had one that either seem oblivious to noise levels that travel to your property? Or maybe others who let their dog use your yard as a toilet, twice a day or more. Amy has a suggested solution that worked for her.

Communicating  Are you communicating or just pelting somebody with words? She suggests, listening, empathy and dignity.

Dating  I can’t even imagine dating in this era with today’s technology. Amy says it like it is, what’s acceptable and what isn’t.

Socializing – This chapter covers public manners and also includes a section on, how much and who to tip. There’s bathroom attendants, barista’s, buffets, coat checks, and many more. In the end Amy makes one point clear if we neglect to consider how our own social behavior will affect others, there could be and probably will be problems.

Going Places – The dos, don’ts, and how-t0-get-them-to-stop-doing-that in a variety of transportation arenas. This includes everything from sidewalks, subways, to police traffic stops, and airplanes. Sometimes a handy-dandy post-it note works with a clever phrase.  Frequently on a crowded public transportation systems a certain question may arise and that question is, “Is someone sexually assaulting me or just reaching for their cell phone in their pocket?” Hmm, what to do?

Serious illness – Amy covers this sensitive subject with some powerful suggestions on what to and not to say as your friend or family member is battling their disease. What can you do you if you say or do the wrong thing? How to be a friend to someone who is seriously ill? How to help a fiercely independent person feel okay about being helped?

Apologies  This chapter covers, how to and what to say when “I’m sorry” isn’t near enough.

I love a book that can make me laugh out loud as this one has. I give it five stars.









Leave a comment

Filed under book review

More Than A Tidbit, From One of the Greats!

More Than A Tidbit, From One of the Greats!.

Leave a comment

Filed under book review

More Than A Tidbit, From One of the Greats!


There isn’t much else on my mind these days besides research, morning, noon, and night. I’m either reading or writing or running scenes through my mind.

My past weeks work included reading several books on writing essays and reading memoirs by and about a diverse group of people.

Some, well most of these books were dry and unmemorable, except one. I read them with the expectation of how I used to read parenting books. I was always thrilled to take away even one tidbit of an idea to help me somehow in someway through a present struggle. It’s the same with writing books. Since every person is different and every story personal, there can’t be just one book that suits all authors and their individual questions. That must be why I have at least fifty writing books above my desk. You’d think I would be a better writer, but as I say, “I’m an infinite work in progress.”


The book I finished last night shocked me, inspired me, made me cry, and to my utter surprise made me laugh out loud more than once. And the best part was it made sense to me. Click, the light bulb went on! “YAY!” I love when that happens.

And to think this was the dreaded book I had saved until last, because the author and his gazillion novels scare the bejeebers out of me.


The book is titled, “Stephen King (a memoir of the craft)On Writing,” Published in the year 2000,

It’s the combination of his personal memoir along with the added bonus of not just one, but a treasure-trove of ideas for the serious writer to try. He says, “Most books about writing are filled with bullshit . .  . I figured the shorter the book, the less bullshit.”  He was point-on and managed to make it a quick read with logical usable information.

I agreed with  many of Stephen King’s writing opinions on the assorted topics and found this book to be an awesome read, (even if you are not a writer). I was only scared a tiny bit.

MY TAKE AWAY-suggestions by Stephen King

“If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.”  I agree with him.

Own “Strunk And White, The Elements of Style,” and use it! (I do)

Set a daily writing goal of at least 1000 words, working your way up.(S.K.’s is 5000)

Write at least six days a week

First draft with the door closed, no phone, no interruptions

Keep an Ideal Reader in mind (I.R.)(S.K.’s is his wife)

Focus on the importance of language

***This book will be returned to the library as soon as my copy of “On Writing,” arrives. The great examples of differences in the first draft and second draft with its edits are something I would like to have on my desk for future reference.


Any writers out there want to share their favorite writing books and why? Please email me.











Filed under book review, writing