Modern Manners (Dorothea Johnson and Liv Tyler)

Modern Manners: Tools to Take You to the Top, co-authored by Dorothea Johnson and Liv Tyler, covers all branches of the etiquette tree. Beautifully illustrated with cleverly mixed typeface, Modern Manners explains the proper way to execute everything from introductions to cell phone use. The entire book has an easy, conversational tone to it, and includes handy visuals for reference. Dorothea and Liv address the importance of greetings (always stand if possible), share tips for remembering names, and methods for successfully driving a conversation.

Shifting to the business world, the authors also address standards of a resume and smart ways to navigate an interview. They give sample “thank you” notes for following up, and even give visuals for each level of formality in business attire. There is also an entire section on phone etiquette (answering, voice mail, and texting) that would prove valuable for any reader.

In the social media section, Johnson and Tyler cover several popular technology resources along with the specific pitfalls and “netiquette” advised for each. They summarize by writing about the importance of using technology to the fullest while also striking a balance between technology and actual live and in person relationships.

Regardless of the specific division of customs being covered, Modern Manners focuses on the importance of putting first the needs and comfort of the other people involved. That alone makes this book stand out in today’s contemporary society!

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this honest review.

Modern Manners: Tools to Take You to the Top
By Dorothea Johnson, Liv Tyler

The Rosie Project (Graeme Simsion)

Of all the books I have consumed this year, The Rosie Project is by far one of my favorites. Don Tillman, genetic scientist and absurdly adorable social oddball that he is, sets out to find himself a wife. He does this by the only process he finds acceptable for anything in life: scientific discovery...which results in a hilarious chain of events proving to him that not everything can be measured in data. 

Don Tillman's story of falling in love is the delightful portrayal of what happens when Asperger's meets romance. This one is going to make a fantastic movie! 

The Rosie Project: A Novel
By Graeme Simsion

Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury)

Ever have those books that have been sitting on your "To-Read" list for, like, forever? The classics, that book everybody was talking about two years ago but now it feels like you're the only one that hasn't read it? For me, Fahrenheit 451 was that book. 

I mean, I went to library school for crying out loud. There is literally no excuse for my not having read this novel. I am surprised they gave me an MLIS without this on my list, as a matter of fact. 

So what's it all about? Well, it's a book about books...the role of books and knowledge and freedom of information in society. It's a book about censorship and how that works out for the world. It's about a dude named Guy Montag. 

Guy Montag is Fireman #451, just an ordinary fireman in futuristic American society. The thing is, in this time period that means firemen set fires instead of putting them out. More specifically, he sets fire to books. For that is what the firemen do in the year 2300-whatever...they exist to seek out and burn books. Books, they are told, make people unhappy because they make people think, and thinking makes people unhappy. Therefore, to preserve happiness and for the betterment of society, the books are banned and then burned. 

The "happiness" of society looks something like this: absurdly frequent suicide rates, immense depression, children killing their siblings, widespread substance abuse, a government that lies to its citizens about war, global nuclear anarchy, mothers who say their kids would just as soon kick them as kiss them, rampant abuse of animals, and people who refer to "the walls" (large TVs) as "the family."   

But then one night Guy Montag meets someone who somehow challenges him to think beyond the sad little box this dystopia has put him in. Eventually he transforms from Guy the book-burning fireman to a reading rebel who finds himself on the adventure of a lifetime, becoming the great defender of the very things he once had sought to destroy. 

Fahrenheit 451 is officially on my list of favorite novels, and wow it would be exciting to teach this work to a high school literature class. Also, Ray Bradbury? He must have been an actual, bonafide genius for penning this work way back in the yesteryear of 1953.    

Fahrenheit 451: A Novel
By Ray Bradbury