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In the front of the book there's a "U.S. Almanac 1985" that lists the years of's (like Halley's Comet Year), the U.S. populations, size of U.S., number of births and deaths, houses with tv sets, top crop, top movie, top spectator sport, etc. Then the book goes threw the year, day by day, and tells you at least one thing that happed on that day. Tucked on some pages there ar Fun Facts '85, Happy Birthday products, Inauguration Trivia, Inventions of 1985, Year of the Ox information, Top 10 Singles, '85 Awards Board, Hurricanes of 1985, Endangered Species of '85, and much more. This book would be great for anyone born in this year. I am 15 years old and I still look at it! I am sure the other books are just as good. (I know the '88 book is, since my brother was born in '88 and I have looked at it!)
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I tried to read through the comics themselves and figure out the original plot (provided by Ms. Martinet) but couldn't figure them out. Good thing she did something even better. Reminds me of an old television show "Mad Movies" that I loved.
Can't gush more. Thank you!
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Other reviews give this book low marks for encouraging lying, which I suppose it does. But then again, if you always tell the truth about everything to everyone, why on earth would you need anything this book has to say? For those of us who lack the ability to regularly dish out potentially painful truths ('To be honest, I don't want to go out to dinner with you because I find you incredibly irritating and your table manners are Cro-Magnon'), this book can be a lifesaver.
Martinet provides a wide range of strategies for extricating yourself from awkward situations that require no theatre training to pull off. She also gives you ways to prevent the need to dodge, such as the preemptive strike. Her anecdotes of these strategies in action, both working and backfiring, provide great humor and make this a quick read. I heartily recommend this book for anyone who's looking for a gentle way to avoid dreadful dinner parties and overwhelming acquaintances.
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For example, the ADVANCED mingling techniques in the book suggest physically bumping into people, purposely mistaking them for someone else, using foreign accents, and wearing conversation pieces (such as a feather hat). The author also instructs one for offensive escape maneuvers to preform the following: spill something on that person; step on the person's foot, or otherwise hurt him. Unless these techniques sound realistic to you (and are really possible in your world of mingling), you would be better served looking elsewhere for a more serious effort on the topic.
In a perhaps strange twist, the text blatantly provokes the reader to lie in most situations. If I may quote directly from the book: "Being willing and able to tell a fib is the cornerstone of the art of mingling, the basis from which all techniques in this book are taught." Finally, the book is badly dated, with a whole chapter dedicated solely to mingling in the nineties.
Sadly, the author's joke here is entirely on the reader.
The book opens aptly enough with "Overcoming Minglephobia". Ms. Martinet offers several solutions to help overcome the initial fright of walking in to a bustling room of partygoers. Most everyone has heard of the "Naked Room" synopsis, but over half a dozen more ideas are offered to help ease yourself into the room with a smile on your face.
So, now you're in, what's next? Tools and rules for continuing conversation is the section everyone can relate to. From a list of the Do's and Don'ts of conversation, to an A-Z index of sample opening lines, the information provided in this chapter pays for the book itself.
As the book progresses, the art of escape and fancy footwork are explained. Haven't we all forgotten someone's name, or worse yet called them by someone else's? Dealing with faux pas is covered in-depth, which makes it a must read for anyone who has gotten tongue tied, or is a klutz, those who get caught gossiping, and those that often find their foot in their mouth.
The consistant theme throughout this book is having fun. If you try to "fake it till you make it", you may find yourself having a good time without trying to do so.
Although some of the suggestions by the author seem off the cuff, and perhaps offensive (like trying out your conversation skills on a NERD first), the overall nature of this book is meant to be witty and useful. Accomplishing this task, the book rates 4 out of 5 stars.
The Art of Mingling by Jeanne Martinet is a very beneficial book if read by an individual who had "minglephobia". In the book the author discusses many techniques to get a person started in a room full of strangers. She teaches and describes several scenarios to appeal to different people. She also gives some very helpful hints and examples for anyone on how to enter a room full of strangers and still feel comfortable. However some of the suggestions she made were a little strange, such as the idea of entering a room full of strangers and pretending to have your best friend by your side, imaginary of course. You would really get a good start there if people saw you talking to your imaginary friend. Many other points she made in the book were very good, such as whether or not to shake and how soon. She also gave a few example lines you could use for one liners to get the conversation started. " But where do you go from there?" you might ask. Ms. Martinet follows up with a chapter on how to continue the conversation once started. The reading of this chapter should be a must for everyone. She discusses about career talk whether or not to do it. Not! Career talk should never be discuss unless in situations like she discussed where you know about the career the person may be in or unless you are very interested in it, because if neither, you're on a dead end street for conversation. So save the career talk for work. Another thing the book has that is quite interesting is the use of the alphabet to strike up a conversation by choosing a letter of the alphabet and then a topic that starts with that letter. Great idea! As you move further into the book she tells you how to get out of a bad conversation smoothly without appearing to be a bad guy. This also is a must! Everyone has been in a situation where the conversation started off good, and then the next thing you know the person your talking to is telling you about their prostate. Yuck! Somebody throw a life preserver! The authors gives some terrific points on knowing the signs of a good conversation going bad and how to get out quick. She further goes on in the book to describe the advanced stages of mingling once you've got the basics down, such as "the art of piggybacking". This is very insulting to the average person. If you can't make your way around the room alone mingling, then you need to start back at the first chapter. Hanging on someone's shirt tale can often earn you the reputation as being a follower at a party, (someone everyone is annoyed by at the party). Towards the end of the book she talks about mingling in the nineties. She also gave some nineties topics to choose from when starting a conversation. She also gave some nineties buzzwords that everyone should be aware of. After you have read this book, you should be able to walk into any room with the confidence that you are going to make it and that everyone is there to see you. You should also feel as though you can talk to anyone and no longer have to mingle with the wallpaper. This book is not only entertaining but very informative. The reading of this book should be a must for anyone wishing for tips on good social skills.
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Filled with such mind-shattering advice as: 1. You can either call, write, or apologize immediatley (duh, what did she want, via telepathy?) 2. You should watch out around whom you're speaking,
and lots of other things that the typical 4 year old knows better than to do.
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I thought that attending social functions and parties is to get to know and let people know who "you" are. Some of the advice that she offers, that I can not heed, is to pretend that you are someone else when entering a social gathering. If you go to the party as someone else, then "you" never really attended the party. She also suggests using a different accent when you go to a party. This is a disaster waiting to happen. What if you decide to have, say, an Austrailian accent and there happens to be an Austrailian in attendance at the party? If you haven't done your reserch, your busted, not to mention that you just slapped another culture in the face for your own amusement. She also says that you should first try out your mingling tatics on a group of "nerds"or "dweebs" (I'd hate to be the first group she visits)when you first enter a party. Need I say more on how shallow and self centered this tatic is? The "so called" nerds and dweebs are probably mingling together because they have common interests and are having a good time. They don't need anyone jumping in to try out their new material on them.
Having shared my opinon on the bad points of this book, Ms. Martinet does offer some good advice and a different perspective for people who like to mingle and are looking for different ways to join in a conversation. Like most self help books, we need to take the information that fits our personality and formulate our own strategies to enhance our own "mingling prowess". If you are intersted in building your mingling skills and can filter out the useful information from what I would consider the chunks of social "don'ts" in this book, then I can give it my recomandation.