05 December 2010
The Art of Conversation
Blyth, Catherine. The Art of Conversation: A Guided Tour of a Neglected Pleasure. New York: Gotham Books, 2009.
I did not pick up this book because I enjoy conversation. On the contrary, I picked up this book because I wanted to learn how to participate in conversation. I am a great conversation spectator; if you ever see me at a party or some other gathering, especially if it involves mostly people I do not know or am not super-comfortable around, you will probably find me sitting and listening to someone else's conversation. My brain just can't keep up with the verbal volley around me enough to throw in my own interesting quip or story.
This book, unfortunately, was not entitled "How to Make an Introverted Person into a Great Conversationalist." It was an interesting read, nonetheless. I learned a lot about different types of conversation and the importance of conversation in general. There's even a chapter about how to tell lies. (We'll save that discussion for another post.) Overall this book was interesting enough for me to read one chapter at each lunch break during a few weeks at work. It was not a book that I would stay up all night reading, but it was definitely worth checking out of the library, especially when my pile of unread books has grown dangerously low.