I thought it was really funny when I opened a box from Raincoast Books and discovered Kelly Williams Brown’s Gracious ($26.99, Raincoast Books, Rodale Books) inside. I wasn’t sure if I should be offended that someone thought I needed a book to brush up on “charm, tact and unsinkable strength” or be impressed she knew me so well.

I went with the latter, and opened up the book to learn grace.

I couldn’t read it.

I didn’t like Brown’s style of writing in this book.

I didn’t even read past – or even through – the introduction titled “In which we explore how flower arrangement can (maybe, possibly) save the world.”

And while I may not have grace – in any superficial way – I do have the other skills Brown seems to think highly of – manners, which “encompass sincere compassion, kindness, and respect…as a standard operating procedure” and “the ability to be truly present to the humans around you.”

I didn’t need the book after all.


A copy of this book was provided by Raincoast Books for a honest review.