50 Essential Etiquette Lessons

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 27 Aug 2019

Member Reviews

A great basic overview of modern etiquette

Many thanks to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for my ARC. All opinions are my own.
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Simplistic. Trivial.  Might be of use to someone who has been stranded on a desert island for 20 years and suddenly finds themselves in corporate life. Or to someone who has just left a cult and has had no exposure to society. Otherwise, if you don't know this stuff even after high school, you obviously were not paying attention. 
Skip it!
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Thank you netgalley for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I thought this book brought up a lot of good pointers on etiquette that may seem obvious but many do not do. From table manners to dressing for work, we all could benefit from the reminder of having good manners.
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While I've known quite a few people who really need lessons in etiquette to keep from blowing up their own careers, I am also saddened that even etiquette can be dumbed down to just a few sentences each, with intent perhaps to appeal to those who can't be bothered to read for more than a minute.  For what we have here is a VERY simplified set of guideliness (not lessons) in how to deal with social situations.  E.g., don't text while someone is talking to you, don't put your hands in your pocket and stare at the floor during parties/dining, don't ask very personal and invasive questions, etc.  The relevance here, of course, is that with social media, we often can know more about a person than they realize (Facebook alone will tell you what band they love, their favorite movie, the last guy they dated, etc.) and so it is important to not look like a stalker.

These are super basics - each tip is with large type and only 1-2 pages at most.  Some are painfully obvious I would think to even someone raised under a rock would intuitively know. There isn't a lot of explaining of the etiquette and why not following that guideline could result in problems. There's just enough there to be bare bones and easy to digest and remember.  

I think if you are looking for a VERY quick and VERY easy (at times shallow) set of tips that you can double check quickly and easily, this may work just fine. Where this book is at its best is that it takes into account smart phones and the info that can be found on the net - so it is very relevant in that regard. But as with all things, sometimes it is just as important to understand the 'why' as it is the 'what' - to make sure that you don't continue to make similar embarrassing faux pas.  Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.
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If you have never once had a Etiquette lesson or really do not know much about Etiquette this book is a great starter. The author keeps it simple easy to understand and interesting enough for those wondering why etiquette is needed.
Thank you for the advance copy of Katherine Furman 50 Essential Etiquette Lessons.
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"50 Essential Etiquette Lessons" is a quick read that would be good for many of today's youth to read. It would also be a good refresher for many on today's world. 


I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy free of charge. This is my honest and unbiased opinion of it.
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50 Essential Etiquette Lessons is an accessible, easily read guide to some basic rules for polite interaction today. Due out 10th Sep 2019 from Callisto on their Althea Press imprint, it's 195 pages and will be available in paperback and ebook formats.

I grew up in the dark ages before the internet (yes, really). Mail was generally hand written and posted and delivered by hand. Thank you notes were de rigueur and dress codes were a lot more rigid than they are now. In many ways, the social barriers being removed and the heightened casual freedom is a good thing, but we've become remiss in etiquette and it shows. If society is to function, we must maintain standards of behavior which allow people to interact without being abrasive/annoying/abusive to one another. I feel like our standards have not just slipped, but descended catastrophically in the last few years. That's a lot to expect from a book, but at least it's a step in the right direction.

This is a handy, layman accessible book of essential etiquette and behavior lessons for modern people. It purports to help readers navigate social occasions without embarrassment or mishaps. The book follows a logical format which moves from general explanations of manners and politeness to specific interactions and how to avoid common pitfalls.

The introduction, about 10% of the page content, with a short explanation of etiquette and some general vocabulary (and why manners are important), also has handy recommendations for using the book and incorporating the lessons into daily life.

The following chapters contain important lessons for day to day life, grouped by category. There are subchapters on interacting with people for the first time (making a good impression), why gossip is bad, building mutual respect, general politeness, appropriate greetings, not wasting people's time, and others. There are chapters on office etiquette (so incredibly important, vital even!), texts chats and email etiquette, eating out and social occasions, dating and social life, and special occasions (including extending condolences, funeral etiquette, and how to navigate breakups and divorces). The end of the book includes an FAQ on faux pas and how to deal with unplanned unpleasantness. The author doesn't shy away from the gritty realities of non-functioning toilets, dealing with coworkers with bad breath, and when it's ok to eat stinky foods for lunch in the break room (hint: it's not ok).

It's unclear from the publishing info available online, but the eARC I received has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references. I hope the ebook release version does also. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. Presumably that feature will carry through to the final release version.

The author has a breezy and appealing writing style with a lot of good, logical, no-nonsense advice. The book is slanted toward the younger adult reader (the author uses 'Millenials'), but there are nuggets of usable info in there, compassionately rendered for everyone, irregardless of age. I really liked the example letter of condolence and thought it was perfectly and compassionately written.

Timely appropriate advice, especially for young people, and young professionals. Five stars.
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50 Essential Etiquette Lessons by Katherine Flannery is the perfect etiquette book for the modern age. This short book is overflowing with  practical tips and straightforward advice that will help young professionals step up their A game. I would consider myself an "elder millenial," (I'm almost as old as person can be and still be considered part of that generation), and I found lots of tips in the pages of this brief book that I could apply to my own professional setting. 

Navigating a professional landscape and interacting with others can be both complex and nuanced. In the past, I've found myself asking questions such as: When is it appropriate to send a thank you card- would a thank you e-mail be acceptable? Should I bring a gift if someone invites me to dinner- or is that old fashioned? How should I dress when attending a seminar that is deemed, "business casual?" Flannery answers all of these questions and many more. 

I was particularly interested in the section that dealt with the use of technology. Her chapter about how to appropriately address an e-mail, (For example, is "Dear So-and-So," too formal of a salutation?) was particularly helpful to me because I write hundreds of e-mails for work on a regular basis.  

I have worked at churches and nonprofits in large cities as well as in small towns. From my own experience, I can state that sometimes etiquette can be tricky.  This book would have been particularly beneficial to me when I was doing my first internship. Plus- it's short and can be read in under two hours! 50 Essential Etiquette Lessons is the perfect reference book for any young professional who would like to step up their game in today's world.   

Note: I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and options are my own.
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I should have known it would be the basics from the title, but I guess I thought with 50 lessons there would be a few things I did not think were common knowledge. However, common knowledge is not so common depending on where and how you were raised. I always felt I was awkward and not the best at etiquette, manners, politeness....but then I entered the workplace! This would be a great book to put in the hands of teenagers and young adults who either need a refresher or a guide from scratch. Love the format and the style. Highly recommend.
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