Year of the Bookwormz: 2011

52 weeks. 2 friends. 1 challenge.

Book #48: LibraryLove November 24, 2010

The Fabulous Girl’s Guide to Decorum by Kim Izzo and Ceri Marsh

Book description~ Etiquette is In. A new generation of FGs (Fabulous Girls) are coming up with a personal style that includes grace under fire and consideration for others. This detailed guide includes modern advice on timeless situations (birthdays, marriage, funerals) as well as more contemporary conundrums, such as office gossip and living together.

With the holiday season in full swing, I have even LESS time to devote to reading than I would like. I’ve come too far and I simply will not rest until I’ve met my goal of 52 books. This review will be short and sweet because I need to jump right in to the next book.

I stumbled upon this title at a little tea shop I visited with friends months ago. In sorting through my books to find the most manageable (no chunksters!), I decided it was short and just what I needed. I put down the 600+ pager5 I was reading and will save that for January because I’m in the homestretch!

“People are rude and inconsiderate to each other every day and in every circumstance, and what’s worse, they don’t seem to realize it. Perhaps they just don’t know any better. As every well-mannered person knows, to correct someone else’s breach of etiquette is itself an infraction. Manners are an integral part of good citizenship. Consideration for others and not only for one’s own wants and needs is necessary if a person is to be a valuable member of her world. When people of varying cultures and economic brackets must, increasingly, live side by side, etiquette becomes a modern requisite. Pleasant manners are just plain more appealing than bad manners. Behaving in a thoughtful way helps both morally and aesthetically to make the world a better place.”

Watch out Miss Manners, Izzo and Marsh are your Canadian competition! Cornering the ‘etiquette market’ with their series of fun and funky books, Izzo and Marsh have a great thing going! What perfect timing to brush up on your manners, as the party and social landscape ramps up for another holiday season. The holidays mean traveling or attending gatherings with inlaws, mixed families, friends, co-workers, and a possible run-in with someone you aren’t so fond of. With alcohol usually a factor, things can get a bit dicey at times if you aren’t on your best behavior. No better time to head into this year’s party season with this quick reference guide. A wonderfully cheeky and light-hearted palette-cleaner,  Decorum is a fun read that definitely puts you in the spirit of socializing, even if just to observe others’ manners or even lack therof!

Miss Manners is still a classic, but Izzo and Marsh do a great job of bringing the idea of navigating the social and professional landscape to our generation’s more modern sensibility. The book is quite broad in scope, covering the following general topics, just to name a few: society, friendship, couples, intimacy, weddings, divorce, home, entertaining. The book then goes into more detail on such areas as coping with an office backstabber, taxi and door-holding protocol, hosting the perfect dinner party, top 10 things to always carry in your purse, and saving face when a male buddy has become too attached. Sure, most of these things apply more to a bit younger of an audience, ladies who are just getting themselves out there and starting to date as adults. But, we can all use a little Manners 101. Rudeness is everywhere and wouldn’t it be nice to make a little effort to try and be a little nicer, especially to strangers? Or if you’re out holiday shopping with crowds and long lines? It’s easy to get pressurized and be short or snub the salesperson while on your phone chatting. But if the roles were reversed, wouldn’t you appreciate someone giving you 2 minutes of their attention while cashing out at a store? I know I would and now it’s one of the things I always make sure I do, end my phone call before I get inline at a store.

One criticism is that I wish they’d come out with an updated edition, as many things that plague our social scene now were left out. How rude is it to see a couple at a romantic dinner and one of them is on their crackberry the entire time? Or when someone comes to talk to you at your desk, and you continue to click away typing an email giving them only half your attention? Maybe including a chapter on etiquette in using technology would be nice to see in the next edition. But, I’m loving these girls’ wit and charm and hope to get my hands on the other books in their series, entitled The Fabulous Girl’s Guide to Life and The Fabulous Girl’s Code Red: Grace Under Pressure



4/5 stars

Feeling the pressure….48 down 4 to go!

In progress, The Extraodinary Secrets of April, May & June




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