Monday, April 26, 2010


About the book
In A Good Talk, Daniel Menaker one of America's most accomplished and personable literary figures, helps navigate the shallows, reefs, and open seas of conversation.  After discussing the origins of language and social talk, this concise and often hilariouus take on the most exclusively human of all activities (alonng with calculus) explains how good conversations work.  Focusing on first encounters and a single recorded exchange, the author shows that such talks have four stages: Survey, Discovery, Risk, and Roles.  He then addressed the deeper concerns that underlie conversations and their common social dilemmas and opportunities, from insults to instant messaging, from dating to dinner-ordering, from the value of humor to the handling of hubris.

Finally, A Good Talk - which is above all a really good read - connsiders the physical benefits of conversation and its indispensable place in our social, moral and political lives.  It's a book to enjoy, learn from, and - yes- talk about.

About the Author

Daniel Menaker has written for many publications including the New York Times, The New Yorker, and, and he has authored several works of fiction - two o them New York Times notable books.  Well known inn the literary community for his career in magazine and book publishing, he is widely read and well versed in psychological theories and practices.  You can visit his website at

My Review

I actually feel quite terrible about this but I wasn't able to get past the first chapter of this book.  When I had originally seen this book available to review I was very excited to get a copy and dive in, unfortunately the book did not turn out to be what I expected.  I found it very serious and I didn't get to the part where there were humorous parts.  It didn't hold my attention.  I do believe that the topic is very interesting and studying language is a very important topic.  I believe with all of the forms of electronic communication people have lost the ability to have small talk and even lost social graces. 

I would like to thank Hatchette Book Group for providing me a complimentary copy of this book to read for my honest review.

# Hardcover: 230 pages

# Publisher: Twelve - Hatchette Book Group
# Language: English
# First Edition: January 2010
# ISBN 978-0-446-54002-5

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