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Miss Manners' Guide to Domestic Tranquility:
The world gets more confusing every day, and now even our family life can be unbearably complicated. There's one person who knows how to keep her poise in any social situation, and, fortunately for the rest of us, she has condensed her household wisdom into Miss Manners' Guide to Domestic Tranquility. Including questions from her column's readers, her delicately witty answers, and original essays on topics like "Child Rearing" and "Sabotaging Festivity" (one of these is a good thing, the other bad), the Guide is well-organized enough to use as a reference but also entertaining enough to browse on the way to grandma's house.
Miss Manners' style navigates the passage between refined and precious with ease, and is consistently endearing. She has correctly divined that the only way modern Americans will pay attention to etiquette advice is to couch it in gently humorous language, yet her seriousness pervades each sentence. Her advice on subjects ranging from resolving family feuds to surviving reunions to paying relatives for professional services is straightforward, unambiguous, and as pleasant as a flawless tea party. If you have a family, consider Miss Manners' Guide to Domestic Tranquility your instruction manual. --Rob Lightner [via]