A hilariously uncensored etiquette diatribe.

READ REVIEW

KEEP THE CHANGE

A CLUELESS TIPPER'S QUEST TO BECOME THE GURU OF GRATUITY

The author of Waiter Rant (2007) follows up with this similarly energetic insider’s look at tipping.

During his nine years as a waiter, Dublanica started an anonymous blog, waiterrant.net, which led to the publication of his eponymous bestseller. After revealing his identity—and crusading, in the style of an angry stand-up comic, against bad customers—he now turns his attention (and heckling) to bad tippers. By traveling around the country talking to workers in various service industries, from strippers to chauffeurs, he simultaneously educates himself and readers. Tipping, he qualifies upfront, is “an informal economy within a formal one,” a charge that often feels superfluous. But the numbers speak for themselves. It’s estimated, writes Dublanica, “that all the tipped workers in the United States pull down somewhere between $53.1 and 66.6 billion a year in gratuities.” More than half of this goes to waiters, which is fitting considering that the word “tip” translates into “drink money” or something similar in at least ten languages. After discussing what you should leave for servers, Dublanica moves on to, among others, hotel doormen (“just about everything calls for a simple single or two”), coffee baristas (“a dollar a drink,” an interview notes, “just like a bartender”) and hair dressers and aestheticians (“everyone at a salon should get tipped 15-20 percent for the service they provide”). That same percentage, he’s told by a Papa John’s employee, should be tipped to delivery people: “Fifteen to twenty percent of the bill or the cost of a gallon of gas—whatever’s higher.” Workers in all sectors concur that the worst kind of people are “exact-changers”—i.e., those who proffer barely enough to cover the cost of what they’re buying and say, “Keep the change.” As in Waiter Rant, Dublanica makes a point of detailing the ways in which poorly tipped employees may seek revenge.

A hilariously uncensored etiquette diatribe.

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-06-178728-7

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Ecco/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 3, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2010

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Dramatic, immersive, and wanting—much like desire itself.

THREE WOMEN

Based on eight years of reporting and thousands of hours of interaction, a journalist chronicles the inner worlds of three women’s erotic desires.

In her dramatic debut about “what longing in America looks like,” Taddeo, who has contributed to Esquire, Elle, and other publications, follows the sex lives of three American women. On the surface, each woman’s story could be a soap opera. There’s Maggie, a teenager engaged in a secret relationship with her high school teacher; Lina, a housewife consumed by a torrid affair with an old flame; and Sloane, a wealthy restaurateur encouraged by her husband to sleep with other people while he watches. Instead of sensationalizing, the author illuminates Maggie’s, Lina’s, and Sloane’s erotic experiences in the context of their human complexities and personal histories, revealing deeper wounds and emotional yearnings. Lina’s infidelity was driven by a decade of her husband’s romantic and sexual refusal despite marriage counseling and Lina's pleading. Sloane’s Fifty Shades of Grey–like lifestyle seems far less exotic when readers learn that she has felt pressured to perform for her husband's pleasure. Taddeo’s coverage is at its most nuanced when she chronicles Maggie’s decision to go to the authorities a few years after her traumatic tryst. Recounting the subsequent trial against Maggie’s abuser, the author honors the triumph of Maggie’s courageous vulnerability as well as the devastating ramifications of her community’s disbelief. Unfortunately, this book on “female desire” conspicuously omits any meaningful discussion of social identities beyond gender and class; only in the epilogue does Taddeo mention race and its impacts on women's experiences with sex and longing. Such oversight brings a palpable white gaze to the narrative. Compounded by the author’s occasionally lackluster prose, the book’s flaws compete with its meaningful contribution to #MeToo–era reporting.

Dramatic, immersive, and wanting—much like desire itself.

Pub Date: July 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4516-4229-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Avid Reader Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Not an easy read but an essential one.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2019

  • New York Times Bestseller

HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST

Title notwithstanding, this latest from the National Book Award–winning author is no guidebook to getting woke.

In fact, the word “woke” appears nowhere within its pages. Rather, it is a combination memoir and extension of Atlantic columnist Kendi’s towering Stamped From the Beginning (2016) that leads readers through a taxonomy of racist thought to anti-racist action. Never wavering from the thesis introduced in his previous book, that “racism is a powerful collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity and are substantiated by racist ideas,” the author posits a seemingly simple binary: “Antiracism is a powerful collection of antiracist policies that lead to racial equity and are substantiated by antiracist ideas.” The author, founding director of American University’s Antiracist Research and Policy Center, chronicles how he grew from a childhood steeped in black liberation Christianity to his doctoral studies, identifying and dispelling the layers of racist thought under which he had operated. “Internalized racism,” he writes, “is the real Black on Black Crime.” Kendi methodically examines racism through numerous lenses: power, biology, ethnicity, body, culture, and so forth, all the way to the intersectional constructs of gender racism and queer racism (the only section of the book that feels rushed). Each chapter examines one facet of racism, the authorial camera alternately zooming in on an episode from Kendi’s life that exemplifies it—e.g., as a teen, he wore light-colored contact lenses, wanting “to be Black but…not…to look Black”—and then panning to the history that informs it (the antebellum hierarchy that valued light skin over dark). The author then reframes those received ideas with inexorable logic: “Either racist policy or Black inferiority explains why White people are wealthier, healthier, and more powerful than Black people today.” If Kendi is justifiably hard on America, he’s just as hard on himself. When he began college, “anti-Black racist ideas covered my freshman eyes like my orange contacts.” This unsparing honesty helps readers, both white and people of color, navigate this difficult intellectual territory.

Not an easy read but an essential one.

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-50928-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: One World/Random House

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more