The Art of Civilized Conversation

Any handbook that presumes to teach its reader the basic tenets of conversation will risk coming across as insulting. True enough, there are considerable swaths of this (stocking-size) tome that offer advice like “When you greet someone, smile as you address him or her.” But for all the bromides, Shepherd provides a clear, step-by-step guide to elemental discourse. Miss Manners fans will surely give it their most decorous applause.