Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Two Books About Communication That Are Very, Very Different

You're a busy, intelligent, modern woman. You stay on top of work e-mail. You "like" all the baby photos your sister posts on Facebook. You found your dream job through LinkedIn. But when your crush texts you "Sup?" every few days, yet never asks you out, what the hell does that mean?
These days, dating is more confusing than ever. Friending? Following? Liking? Poking? Linking? LOLing? WTF? In an era when FaceTime is no longer the same as face-toface, it's no wonder you can't tell if he's into you or just really into his iPhone.

This hilarious and essential guide from the founders of HeTexted.com--with totally straightforward guy sight from the HeTexted Bros--will help you autocorrect your digital dating life, from decoding your Facebook friendships, to reading the intentions behind guys' perplexing texts, to deciding when--if ever--you should text him first. It's He's Just Not That Into You for the digital age and "What to Expect When You're Expecting . . . a second date"--all in one invaluable package.

The author of the much-admired Tolstoy and the Purple Chair goes on a quest through the history of letters and her own personal correspondence to discover and celebrate what is special about the handwritten letter.

Witty, moving, enlightening, and inspiring, Signed, Sealed, Delivered begins with Nina Sankovitch's discovery of a trove of hundred year- old letters. The letters are in an old steamer trunk she finds in her backyard and include missives written by a Princeton freshman to his mother in the early 1900s. Nina's own son is heading off to Harvard, and she hopes that he will write to her, as the Princeton student wrote to his mother and as Nina wrote to hers. But times have changed. Before Nina can persuade her child of the value of letters, she must first understand for herself exactly what it is about letters that make them so significant--and just why she wants to receive letters from her son. Sankovitch sets off on a quest through the history of letter writing--from the ancient Egyptians to the medieval lovers Abelard and Heloise, from the letters received by President Lincoln after his son's death to the correspondence of Edith Wharton and Henry James.

Sankovitch uncovers and defines the specific qualities that make letters so special, examining not only historical letters but also the letters in epistolary novels, her husband's love letters, and dozens more sources, including her son's brief reports from college on the weather and his allowance.

In this beautifully written book, Nina Sankovitch reminds us that letters offer proof and legacy of what is most important in life: love and connection. In the end, she finds, the letters we write are even more important than the ones we wait for.

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