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Miss Manners' Basic Training: Eating

Where her previous books promote etiquette in the name of social ease, Miss Manners’ Basic Training: Eating by Judith Martin has a because-I-said-so stuffiness that undermines Miss Manners’ civility crusade. And although Martin dishes up some notable surprises in Eating (munching asparagus with your fingers is acceptable; twirling spaghetti on a spoon is not), her writing is disorganized, and some of her counsel is superfluous: Anyone who needs to be admonished against talking with a full mouth or using nasal spray at the table will never open this book. For the moment, Miss Manners has lost track of her ”proper comportment” compass. B

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