Gracious: A Practical Primer on Charm, Tact, and Unsinkable Strength by Kelly Williams Brown

Gracious: A Practical Primer on Charm, Tact, and Unsinkable Strength

From New York Times bestselling author of Adulting: How to Become a Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps Kelly Williams Brown comes a funny, charming guide to modern civility in these—yes, we'll say it—rather uncivil times.Graciousness is practicing the arts of kindness, thoughtfulness, good manners, humanity, and basic decency. As a bonus, it makes your life and even the world...

Title:Gracious: A Practical Primer on Charm, Tact, and Unsinkable Strength
Author:
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ISBN:1623367972
Number of Pages:256 pages

Gracious: A Practical Primer on Charm, Tact, and Unsinkable Strength Reviews

  • Andrea

    Wonderful! The author had a really fun, unofficial way of finding gracious people to interview plus she comes off as not snooty but down to earth and relatable...self-deprecating even. The book is fun to read and filled with little tidbits of delightful information.

  • Cynthia Smith

    I thought she had some good points. The occasional light profanity however, was not necessary to prove a point.

  • Christie

    Maybe I'm revealing that I haven't learned how to be gracious. But at least I'm not engaging in some fancy BSing. I don't think this was a terrible book. It just was too disjointed for me, and sometimes it was hard to tell where one set of principles/checklists stopped and another began. There were also lots of footnotes and separate sections and quotes that kept distracting me from reading (because I must read all words on the page, even if it requires me to stop in the middle of a sentence bec

    Maybe I'm revealing that I haven't learned how to be gracious. But at least I'm not engaging in some fancy BSing. I don't think this was a terrible book. It just was too disjointed for me, and sometimes it was hard to tell where one set of principles/checklists stopped and another began. There were also lots of footnotes and separate sections and quotes that kept distracting me from reading (because I must read all words on the page, even if it requires me to stop in the middle of a sentence because I worry I will forget to read that one extra little thing). I came away with the idea that graciousness sometimes can be either not sticking up for yourself, taking an easy way out, BSing, or some combination of the three. Maybe that's the way things should be, but I feel like I'm always trying to escape reverting to that kind of behavior.

    But I will say there were some gems in there. Like thinking in terms of "us" and moving towards something more beneficial for both parties involved. Or ignoring things people are saying or doing that just aren't helping you. Maybe these seem like obvious pieces of advice, but they fit in the book well and provided me with something to think a little more deeply on.

  • RaeAnna Rekemeyer

    I am always in awe of Kelly Williams Brown's ability to deal with weighty, important issues with an incredible sense of humor. Her second book may even exceed my high expectations. I can't wait to see what she puts her own to next.

  • Robbins Library

    "The heart of graciousness is compassion. It's attention to those around you, whether they are your favorite person in the world or that person trying to get by you on the sidewalk."

    Do you admire the people in your life who are calm, serene, kind, competent, gracious? How did they get to be that way? What are their secrets? In Gracious, Kelly Williams Brown interviews many of the most gracious people in her life to learn about their personal philosophies, outlooks on life, and strategies for bei

    "The heart of graciousness is compassion. It's attention to those around you, whether they are your favorite person in the world or that person trying to get by you on the sidewalk."

    Do you admire the people in your life who are calm, serene, kind, competent, gracious? How did they get to be that way? What are their secrets? In Gracious, Kelly Williams Brown interviews many of the most gracious people in her life to learn about their personal philosophies, outlooks on life, and strategies for being gracious in all situations (even when they don't feel like it). Whether you want to be a better friend, better partner, or just the kind of person who can offer more than tap water when someone drops by unexpectedly, there is something in this book for you. Wise and funny.

  • Juhi

    AH just finished! I couldn't recommend this book more to every single I person I know. Here are a few of my favorite quotes to give y'all an idea of this book's goodness:

    "If you find that there's one behavior in others that drives you up the wall, well... just remember that we tend to get most angry when we see our own defects reflected back to us." (12)

    "Capacity is what you're trying to increase in your life. Your capacity, your abilities to be compassionate and to love. So if you disengage fro

    AH just finished! I couldn't recommend this book more to every single I person I know. Here are a few of my favorite quotes to give y'all an idea of this book's goodness:

    "If you find that there's one behavior in others that drives you up the wall, well... just remember that we tend to get most angry when we see our own defects reflected back to us." (12)

    "Capacity is what you're trying to increase in your life. Your capacity, your abilities to be compassionate and to love. So if you disengage from every uncomfortable person or situation in your life, you have lost that chance." (22)

    "When we look at people, we have the option -we have the choice- to look at them through the worst things they've done or how they've hurt us, or we can look at them as their mother or God might look at them- as a beautiful child doing their best they can given their backstory- and to live in forgiveness and not in judgment." (57)

    "You don't get to choose what, when, or how the trouble looks, but you do get to choose who you are through these moments, tiny or enormous." (66)

    "You should still look at every request through the lens on the other person's needs and desires and figure out a way to make a pitch that gets both of you what you want." (79)

    "For the past five years, she has been working on treating herself like her soulmate. She tries to make decisions for herself out of love, never fear or pride; that even when she doesn't feel like it, she works hard to bestow upon herself the affection, goodwill, and support that she would her own beloved." (102)

    "When you meet someone who knows exactly who they are and what they're about, it is so lovely. They are so anchored not to things or situations or people but to their own serenity." (113)

    "...Because of this, it is a good and proper thing to create that beauty where you can. Bring lovely order out of chaos. Celebrate whatever it is that when you gaze upon it, makes you smile." (123)

    "Nice is what makes you feel powerful and strong and like the things on your body are not accidents but purposeful choices." (191)

    "We get to move forward in time and space scattering patience and kindness and compassion behind us like flower seed, while knowing that we may never see that flower open its face to the sun." (226)

    And those are just a few of the gems in this book! Brown is laugh out loud FUNNY and very aware of larger issues of capitalism and patriarchy that have vested interests in an archaic version of grace. She offers practical advice for being gracious in the subway and at the airport, to difficult colleagues and to problematic remarks, in the home, for hosting, for personal style, and for showing grace to ourselves too. I've marked up my copy so much already, and I will continue to return to it when I need reminders and insight! I recommend this to ANY friend who wants to grow and will probably be giving this as a gift for a while to come~

    ---

    In the introduction, Brown defines being gracious as "assigning and extending humanity to everyone you meet, creating beauty where you can, and showing love even -especially- when you don't feel like it". As the book continues, she gives out so much practical advice for staying graceful in times of conflict and for showing grace to the people around you (including yourself), and she shares the stories and wisdom of so many gracious women along the way.

    She manages to quantify and categorize an ephemeral quality that I admire SO much in others and that I've been striving to apply in my life. The lists and definitions and personal anecdotes have helped me create concrete goals of what it means to be gracious while simultaneously providing me with steps to get there. She reminds us that's all about practice, that all we really can control is how we react to what's going on around us, that difficult people and circumstances offer important opportunities to practice grace, and that when we are comfortable with ourselves we help others find ease and grace of their own too.

    I never could get into those old little pocketbook guidelines to grace and courtesy because they were always written for rich white people centuries ago, but her book is the version I've always wanted to read. She shows a sensitivity to gender, race, and class that is often absent in etiquette discourse, and she offers some great tips for staying graceful in all sorts of circumstances.

    I'm only about halfway in so far, and I'm excited for the rest!

  • Melanie Kilsby

    Voice is very eradicate and hard to follow.

    With such great premise and promise, I was hoping for more. Some great topics could have been organized better for all readers. However, the fonts used were sweet. Wonderful quotes throughout the book fell flat with some of the content. Considering the books' concept, the author's use of swear words, including saying the Lord's name in vain, I found inappropriate, not polite in any manner with little tact for the wide range of readers. The book does men

    Voice is very eradicate and hard to follow.

    With such great premise and promise, I was hoping for more. Some great topics could have been organized better for all readers. However, the fonts used were sweet. Wonderful quotes throughout the book fell flat with some of the content. Considering the books' concept, the author's use of swear words, including saying the Lord's name in vain, I found inappropriate, not polite in any manner with little tact for the wide range of readers. The book does mention some earlier historical works that I might pick to browse through instead.

    I absolutely LOVED the premise of this book and was really hoping this would be a good fit. Unfortunately it wasn't :(

  • Blue Cypress Books

    Such a wonderful book! I found her ideas so helpful for business (retail can be so terribly trying!) and have handed it out as "homework" for my employees.

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