- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1 edition (June 3, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1250030714
- ISBN-13: 978-1250030719
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 203 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #179,459 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck Paperback – June 3, 2014
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“Alkon not only tells readers what good manners are but also provides useful suggestions for politely calling offenders’ attention to their rudeness. And she does this in a ferociously funny style--it’s worth a read for the laughs alone. There is nothing here of the proper arrangement of table setting, nor of how to address a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury; rather Alkon deals with modern problems in interpersonal relationships, such as how civilized people should act when standing in lines, on airplanes, online, and elsewhere. In addition, she officers very dependable, sensible, caring advice to those whose friends or family are coping with terminal illness. VERDICT: Solid psychology and a wealth of helpful knowledge and rapier wit fill these pages. Highly recommended.” ―Library Journal (starred review)
“This book is a gem. Hysterically funny and grounded in science, Amy Alkon explains why so many people are rude and how it's possible to be courteous, even if you're foul-mouthed and clueless about etiquette.” ―Dr. Adam Grant, Wharton School professor and New York Times-bestselling author of Give and Take
“I can say without reservation that Good Manners For Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck is hilarious, consistently entertaining, and, above all, wise. It's Emily Post as a beach read.” ―Charlotte Allen, The Weekly Standard
“She is chatty, at times outrageous, but full of ideas about living politely in a society that she says has become too big for our brains to handle. As for Oscar Wilde, at the end of his life is said to have commented: ‘The world was my oyster, but I used the wrong fork.'” ―Moira Hodgson, The Wall Street Journal
“If you're frequently left gasping by the jaw-dropping social ineptitude of your fellow human beings, or you're guilty of being a rude jackass yourself from time to time, this is the book for you. Alkon doesn't suffer fools lightly, but she also has the gentle wisdom to know that each of us plays the role of the fool sometimes. Armed with fascinating science, great humor, and a preternatural bullshit detector for a mind, she shoots from the hip – and you'll be damn glad she does, too.” ―Dr. Jesse Bering, Associate Professor of Science Communication and author of Perv
“Contradiction is part of what makes Ms. Alkon so captivating. Perhaps the biggest contradiction: The hisser can also be utterly lovely.” ―Brooks Barnes, The New York Times
“Although the subject matter should be enough to hold your attention, it is primarily Amy's ability to turn a phrase that makes the book such a good ride. Her section headings (e.g., 'Dating is War,' 'Murder-Suicide and Other Forms of Diplomacy,' 'The Tragedy of the Asshole in the Commons') make it impossible to put the book down and get back to work without reading just one more section. I highly recommend this book.” ―Dr. Frank McAndrew, Evolutionary Psychology journal
“In this comprehensive, science-based, easy-to-read, and hilarious book, Alkon looks at where our rudeness comes from and provides tangible ways for all of us to deal with it.” ―Dr. Jennifer Verdolin, Psychology Today
“One of '11 Smart Books You Should Read This Summer'” ―Sam McNerney, 250Words.com
“This crazy redhead is on to something. Her pink Rambler story alone is worth the price of the book.” ―Elmore Leonard on I See Rude People
“Amy Alkon is intellectually promiscuous―and funny as hell.” ―Howard Bloom, paleopsychologist and author of The Lucifer Principle on I See Rude People
“Seriously great book. Alkon is smart and savvy and funny as hell. Where Hannibal the Cannibal only ate the rude, Alkon stands up to them with the sort of glorious panache that sometimes makes you want to stand and cheer.” ―David Middleton, January Magazine on I See Rude People
“Alkon turns reporting on findings in evolutionary psychology into an art form. She scans the research horizon for fascinating new results. Though relentless in her skepticism, she is keenly attuned to findings that are both solid and suggestive. (The world lost a great analyst when Alkon turned away from academic research.) In her hands, all this research turns into practical advice for how ordinary people can live better lives. Alkon may be, as the LA Weekly put it, 'Miss Manners With Fangs,' but she is perhaps better characterized as the offspring of Charles Darwin and Dorothy Parker. We academics can all take a lesson from her ability to redefine academic turf in terms 'the ordinary person' can both understand and enjoy.” ―Dr. Barbara Oakley, Oakland University on Amy Alkon
About the Author
Amy Alkon does “applied behavioral science,” translating scientific research into highly practical advice. Alkon writes The Science Advice Goddess, an award-winning, syndicated column that runs in newspapers across the United States and Canada. She is also the author of I See Rude People. She has been on Good Morning America, The Today Show, NPR, CNN, MTV, and does a weekly science podcast. She has written for Psychology Today, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times Magazine, the New York Daily News, among others, and has given a TED talk. She is the President of the Applied Evolutionary Psychology Society. She lives in Venice, California. Follow Amy on Twitter: @amyalkon
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This is not a book about etiquette but on rudeness in general. Alkon is a versatile writer and uses her own (militant) approach to deal with rude people and rudeness in general. Her recipe is a a very yummy cocktail made of good doses of common sense, good upbringing ways of behaving, sprinkled with some reflections on human behaviour from Behavioural and Evolutionary Psychology, and spiced up with a very witty slap on your face sort of writing.The result is sweet and sour and has hidden cherries in it.
The book's first chapter is terrific, with a reflection on what drives people to be rude. In the chapters that follow she deals with manners and rudeness in different areas of life: communication, neighbourhood relations, Internet, dating and relationships, driving, using public transport, eating in and eating out, apologising, dealing with friends and family with terminal or life-threatening illnesses. The book's last chapter is a chant to those who care, to care more, to see the others as us, to integrate the alienated, to be polite because that connects you with other humans beings, even though you don't know them.
The core of the book is "what really matters isn’t how you set the table or serve the turkey but whether you’re nice to people while you’re doing it". Also, treat others the way you want to be treated. Be Civil. Have empathy. That is it, in a nutshell the core of manners everywhere.
Alkon does not only shares her irritation (which is sometimes very much mine), and does not contain her inner cookie monster (I also have one), but she is also very sound and inquisitive, and there is a mix of serious and funny stuff that makes the book really palatable for any taste. What I like the most about the book is Alkon's relentless belief in the goodness of humanity, on making a difference, and how caring and passionate she is. I share with her my hatred for seat-hogs for example. I thought it was just me :)
Most of what Alkon says is (or should be) common knowledge, so if you don't have manners ore grew up in a family that does not brought up with rules on how to treat other people, you will get more feed from this book that if the contrary is the case.The book is good for very young people, as modern parents have a tendency not to have discipline and to justify the piggishness of their little piggies.
However, I found really great her advice on how to give an apology, how to deal with very sick friends and how to create a community in your neighbourhood. There is some ideas and practical tips about how to deal with hot-potato sort of situations or convey your clear loud message without offending the other person. I also like her advice to email and phone etiquette and how to deal with seat-hogs.
Some of the advice Alkon gives is just applicable to the USA, like restaurant tipping tips and how to proceed when a Police Patrol stops you. They are useful if you are going to travel to the USA, though.
Despite the book being really likeable, there are a few things that rest power to it. Here a few:
> The book shows lack of focus at times, mixing in the same bag things I consider way different even if they are connected: manners, being a caring friend, etiquette, having tact, behaving ethically, liking the internet a lot, or writing reviews on Yelp.
> Etiquette and manners are not universal. Culture and Language do matter, even if we share being Westerners. However, the essence of good manners does not change much. I think the book needed a bit of more reflection on that, or an approach that also includes that. Some of the behaviours she mentions might be considered rude in another part of the world, and some etiquette musts are not etiquette elsewhere. Despite living in a globalised world people tend to live in their own bubbles and consider their own bubble the word. Wake up to the matrix.
> There are too many references to her blogs, her newspaper column, her TV interviews, her radio shows, her famous friends and her boyfriend that are a bit tiring. They are OK in a blog or column. In a book, not so much so.
> Her writing is likeable and enthusiastic but I expected a more polished text and a text that reads less like a blog.
> Alkon preaches a bit and then does not follow what she preaches. For example, her book has as a main aim to be a reminder of how we are all imperfect, we all make mistakes, to have empathy, and to connect with other human beings. What she does? She takes any opportunity to humiliate and name publicly, in person or in her blog/column, some rude people. Althought some recurrent pigs need to be reminder that they are pigs, many of the examples she gives in her book are not of recurrent pigs, just a mistake made somebody. Well, to me if you are rudder than the rude, you are utterly rude not a person with manners. Isn't that easy to see? If you preach empathy and show as if you have none, you are part of the problem.
> Excuses she gives for her being constantly unpunctual, that she is trying, that she is even reading books on it. You just need to get your alarm working and get up or get moving when it sounds, sweetie. For what she says, she is still wasting other people's time consistently. That is utterly rude to me. Is she going to use her anal humiliation approach to combating her rude self?
> She might have manners but she swears too often.
> The formatting of the book in Kindle is generous in the margins, so that makes more pages than they should.
> The index in the Kindle edition does not refer to the Kindle, just to the hard-copy, so it is worthless for Kindle readers..
Have you ever had a thought on rude people that you had a hard time putting into words effectively?
Amy Alkon has articulated and elucidated on those rude individuals who most of us would either ignore or take a large blunt instrument to in this very entertaining volume.
Every time I sat down to read a bit of Good Manners, I was always treated to something that makes sense, has been diligently researched, and is presented in a witty, entertaining fashion.
GOOD MANNERS FOR NICE PEOPLE WHO SOMETIMES SAY F*CK is available in ebook and paperback, and as an audio book as well.
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