From Publishers Weekly
When it comes to changing a tire, scrambling eggs, telling a joke or doing laundry, Ettus is no expert. (Shes just the president of a brand-management firm.) But for this guide, she tracked down people who are, and asked their advice on everyday tasks. So former White House social secretary Letitia Baldrige explains how to shake hands; make-up guru Bobbi Brown teaches how to apply lipstick; New York Times Company chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. gives tips on reading a newspaper; and three-time U.S. Open winner Jennifer Capriati instructs readers on hitting a tennis ball. For better or for worse, Ettus seems to have allowed each contributor to insert some personality into his or her offering. Accordingly, the explanation on how to make a bed, from Tracey R. Henderson, the Holiday Inn Select Executive Housekeeper of the Year 2003, ends with a hokey "Show someone else the job youve done so that they can pat you on the back," while the lesson on tying a bow tie, from Tucker Carlson, co-host of CNNs Crossfire and an avid bow tie enthusiast, concludes, "Consider whether you really want to do this.... When you wear a bow tie, people will make assumptions about you." The result is a guide thats alternately lighthearted and serious, a coffee-table book of the most practical sort. 30 line drawings.
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Let's face it: most of us are never going to be in a position to get advice from Arthur Sulzberger, Bob Vila, Donald Trump, Larry King, Howie Mandel, and Suze Orman, now are we? That's why we need this book. These experts and 94 more show you how to read a newspaper (New York Times publisher Sulzberger), tell a joke (comedian Mandel), save money (financial guru Orman), and, well, pretty much anything else you can think of. Not sure how to tie your necktie? It's in here. Can't quite get the hang of just hanging out? Dr. Dean Ornish has some advice on relaxing. Some of the advice here is practical (making a bed, ironing a shirt, doing laundry), and some of it is of a more abstract nature (delivering bad news, making an educated guess, remembering names). The authors call the book "Cliff Notes to life," and that about sums it up. It's more fun than Cliff Notes, though. David Pitt
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