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Thursday, 21 July 2016

Book Review: Life is Friends: A Complete Guide to the Lost Art of Connecting in Person

by: Jeanne Martinet
Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang, 2009
Genre: non-fiction, friendship

Goodreads Description:
How can it be that you receive dozens of personal e-mails or texts every day but have nothing to do come Saturday night? Or that you’re constantly juggling a jam-packed schedule while always feeling that something essential is missing? Who the heck took the social out of your social life?
Jeanne Martinet, the celebrated author of The Art of Mingling, solves these mysteries and more in Life Is Friends. With an attitude that’s savvy, sympathetic, and down-to-earth, Martinet gives you the game plan for relearning the lost art of socializing. Forget texting, IMing, Facebook, and Internet “relationships.” When it comes to building real friendships, she says, there’s simply no substitute for live, in-person hospitality.
Martinet offers a full gamut of strategies and techniques for socializing, from making that first connection with someone to maintaining a long-term relationship. And she focuses on entertainingwhether it’s a dinner party or an informal get-together, a cocktail party or a monthly card game—because sharing one’s home and lifestyle is the most important element in nurturing friendships.
Brimming with generous amounts of wit, all-too-true stories, and advice that’s both pithy and practical, Life Is Friends gets us back on the path to social success and satisfaction. So read what Martinet has to say. And then, go ahead: Invite people over.
 My Review:

There is no doubt some merit in the author's assertion that you can only truly make friends with others when you visit in one another's homes. On the other hand, there are people I've yet to meet in person whom I consider wonderful friends. Some I'd been friends with for years before ever meeting in person. But I get it; there's indeed something special in having people in your home that deepens, or can deepen, your relationships.

Martinet offers tips for hosting and guesting, including for overnight stays. Many of these are useful. However, I found  parts of the book vulgar, i.e. when she wrote about guests having sex with one another or with the host, and when she fished for an invitation to a swinging party. Perhaps I am too suburban and not sufficiently citified, but if that's what citification does to a person, I'm quite happy without it. Still, I'm sure that not every NYC-dweller shares Martinet's mores. I hope not anyway! 

My Rating: 2 out of 5 stars  

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