I wanted to like this book more than I did, and if I’m being honest with myself and you I would have DNF’ed this one about half way through if it wasn’t the book I had chosen for Read Harder Task 24: a Self-Improvement book. This is one of the tasks that actually felt like a challenge. I have read, perhaps, zero books in the past which classify as self-help. Sure, I’ve read lots of memoirs, lots of non-fiction, but really no self-help. That’s not to say that I don’t see the value just that I’ve chosen to go for that information in other formats. This non-traditional type of book seemed like a good fit to both my new year’s resolution of looking and acting more like a grown up in my day to day life (earrings at work! Sometimes!) and my quest to continue broadening my reading.
And it did meet the minimum requirements for both of those things. But not much beyond that.
The book is structured with interludes about a fictional Fabulous Girl and then the authors breaking down various topics of modern life. But it really wasn’t a book about manners; so much as it was a book about what kinds of behavior should be expected from one another, particularly if we endeavor to be a certain type of woman in an urban society. I did find the work-related section at the beginning interesting, particularly the section about becoming your former co-workers supervisor. This is something that may be happening to me in the coming year as my immediate superior may be retiring and I would inherit some of her supervisory work.
However, this being published 15 years ago did show. Any reference to cell phones or email is painfully outdated. Also, there is a definite snooty vibe to a lot of the sections, some serious contradictions, and a generally not very LGTBQ friendly.