This book should be called “700 Reasons Why I’m So Cool.” While the points may be valid, almost every single one is followed by a 10-page addendum demonstrating the author’s awesome parenting skills, or flawless marital relationship. What’s worse, he tries to make it seem like he is being hard on himself, like when he tells some tear-jerking story about how he gave one of his sons his jacket on a cold night and not the other son, and son number two becomes emotionally scarred, and blah blah blah.
Keep organized – Ask yourself what you could be doing more often that would actually make a positive difference in your life. The book actually contains a handy chart!
Don’t be a product of your environment – Control your own moods and tendencies. Don’t be a Debbie Downer because there’s a cloud during your picnic, etc.
Keep your teeth sharp and your saw…sawing – Okay, this wasn’t in there, but this is exactly the type of diction the old man uses. All kinds of cheesy extended metaphors that he finds to be ultra clever
Definitely an airplane read. It can be kind of cheesy, and overly simplified, but I guess these are the types of thoughts you need to turn to when you get home and find your boyfriend has put your bottle of Turnbull in the freezer.
Very magazine-style. There are lots of segments that can be skimmed (i.e.: The Four Seasons Of Love!), but I guess that’s the point, right? I must admit, I didn’t read every word. But the whole Martian/Venusian thing gets pretty old. Gray definitely thought of every single cutsie outer space scenario there is.
This is probably the best of all of the books in this guide. It’s as old as the hills (published in 1937), and pretty basic, but it gives you a pretty concise paradigm for how to act, which can come in handy when you’re in the heat of an argument.
You know that commercial for computer learning software where the lady with the Buster Brown haircut says her 3-year-old daughter is better on the computer than she is? This book is kind of like the social-learning-device equivalent of that software. This book is for people who’d have to take a bubble bath and drink a bottle of wine before they could ask their neighbor for a cup of sugar. I mean re-me-di-al stuff.
Fine gets cute, with lots of catch phrases, and alliteration. One chapter is actually entitled “Prevent Pregnant Pauses With Preparation.” The book comes complete with little suggestion boxes you can cut out and put in your wallet before a stressful social event, and cartoons of inviting body language. Lots of exclamation points.
I guess Fine mentions some plausible pitfalls that a socially competent person fall into: Being a One-Upper, an Interrupter, or the Adviser. Fine suggests people just want you to listen and be compassionate, and they’ll probably like you.