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Women, Work & the Art of Savoir Faire: Business Sense & Sensibility Paperback – Oct 26 2010

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Women, Work & the Art of Savoir Faire: Business Sense & Sensibility + French Women for All Seasons: A Year of Secrets, Recipes, and Pleasure + French Women Don't Get Facelifts: The Secret of Aging with Style & Attitude
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; Reprint edition (Oct. 26 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416589201
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416589204
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 14.1 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #160,747 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Belle Vache on Jan. 4 2011
Format: Paperback
This book was such a joy to read. Not your typical business book. Author writes in a story telling mode, and it almost feels like you are having a conversation with her over coffee. In terms of content, the author covers all bases of being a successful and respected business woman and at the same time taking moments to slow down and enjoy the journey to personal and professional success. It's such a delight to hear a womans perspective on a man's business world. I most definately recommend this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stardust on Dec 25 2010
Format: Paperback
I'm currently reading this book, and got hooked on the first page right away. The author begins her story and provides a generous helping of advice and guidance for the reader. Ideally suited for anyone willing to know how to navigate work and the business of life. Well written, a very enjoyable read, tempered with personal take on her business life, and choices-- its a must read for everyone who needs a good dose of advice and help.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 73 reviews
66 of 77 people found the following review helpful
French Women Stay Skinny While Working and Living Well Oct. 2 2009
By Diana F. Von Behren - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Ooh la la . . . Mirielle Guliano, the tiny, compact style dynamo that demonstrated just why "French Women Don't Get Fat" and then kept them skinny and dressed them chicly in "French Women for All Seasons: A Year of Secrets, Recipes, & Pleasure (Vintage)" does her devoir again and transports her divinely put together femme into the corporate boardroom detailing an elegant and fashionable path to career success in her new book, "Women, Work and the Art of Savoir Faire." A clever woman of a certain age, Madame Guiliano has neatly transitioned from her role as spokesperson CEO for market-share-leader champagne company Veuve Clicquot to an entrepreneur selling an America-friendly French lifestyle via speaking appearances, books and an Internet presence complete with video clips displaying such things as the proper way to open a bottle of champagne, creating a romantic table for two, tying that all important fashion accent--the scarf and making two French secret food weapons: homemade yogurt and savory leeks. Smart and savvy Mirielle has lived fairly long and very well; her trademark anecdotes illuminate this latest memoir with the same common sense simplicity that worked so well in her first two books.

Mirielle's tips are the all important ones. She concentrates her efforts on what she know works through the filter of her own experience. As a woman in a man's world, she breaks a seemingly intrinsic rule that should have been abolished over fifty years ago, but for some reason--perhaps some vestige of female insecurity or the jealousy gene--still exists, that being that women in powerful positions rarely mentor their up and coming protégés. Guliano decides to take on this role within the pages of her book, but also suggests finding a role model willing to share his/her know-how about and familiarity with their mutual place of work.

Women already in business may find some of Mirielle's advise a bit obvious: she tells us the value of good communication skills, discusses the value of dressing well without showing too much and confesses the truth that as a woman, working harder and most likely longer is key to gaining respect from the Boy's Club. Remember that Madame Guliano has paid her dues, worked at a top position and now has segued into her new life of author and lifestyle coach. She has lived the life and walked the walk and this memoir/how to may not be comparable to one of Lee Iaccoca or Jack Walsh's business commentaries but nonetheless it does stand out as a summarization of key items that will work in a corporate environment simply because they are classics.

As in "French Women Don't Get Fat" and "French Women for All Seasons." Mirielle emphasizes simple techniques that win every time. We all know these things; Mirielle compiles them for us and affirms them with personal testimony.

As food and wine played a paramount role in her last two books, this book would not be complete without a section on business dining which I found to be the most enjoyable portion of the overall read. Mirielle explains the necessity of proper table etiquette with tips on how to shine during that interview lunch or dinner where your potential boss scrutinizes your dining behavior as to how it fits in with corporate image. She delivers three menus for those at home dinner parties--all of which contain the essential simplicity in preparation and sophisticated arousal of the taste buds. For those who dine out all the time due to their schedules, Mirielle offers her 50 Percent Solution to eating to avoid weight gain--I tried this at lunch the other day and it worked very well--she utilizes a Zeno's Paradox technique where she divides her food continuously in half and then just eats the half. As the brain takes the time to focus on the infinite act of bisection, the stomach has enough time to trigger the brain as to when it actually is full. I ate less than half of my food and felt comfortably satisfied. Mirielle has come up with a thinking person's guide to portion control.

She ends her book with advise about understanding that the old feminist boast about being able to `have it all' is nothing but myth. Taking on too much equates with being stressed to the max where no portion of your life receives the full attention that it deserves. Just said.

Guiliano is one smart cookie--well, half of a half of a half of a cookie. She created a brand for herself while she worked for Clicquot Inc. and now she has enhanced that brand to promote her books and speaking engagements. As it's been quite a while since I checked out her website, I was quite blown away by the content that has been added since the publishing of her first book, "French Women Don't Get Fat." Indeed, Mirielle formulated her working persona and has now morphed that character into the star of her own lucrative niche. She embodies the idea of savoir-faire transforming into joie de vivre.

Bottom line? In "Women, Work and the Art of Savoir Faire," Mirielle Guiliano tackles the business world with her simple and savvy French style and adopted American know-how while staying skinny and enjoying a balanced life. Recommended.
Diana Faillace Von Behren
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Accomplished Woman With Good Advice For Others Dec 17 2009
By Elisa 20 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I admit that I opened this book with a slightly negative bias. I'm beginning to weary of authors who aggressively brand themselves these days. What used to seem original now often feels formulaic and pretentious.

Mirelle Guiliano understands her adopted country and knows how to impress us. On the one hand, she used her elegance and sophistication to good effect when she began with Veuve Clicquot and, yes, American women are rather intrigued by (apparently) effortless French style. On the other, "me + French = wonderful" can grow tiresome WHATEVER nationality is involved in the equation. While I'm sure peppering her conversation with French phrases is charming in real life (although she reminds us she is "equally" proficient with both languages) in a book it gets tiresome very quickly, c'est vrai.

But, ignoring the calculating branding (including the branding of nationality) and a bit of...hmmm...maybe too much self-assurance to be completely relatable, Mme. Guiliano really does have excellent advice for women. Particularly in American culture which can tend to the casual (especially with the younger generation entering the workplace) or the uninspired (note numerous political leaders who could all benefit from this book), specific advice about fashion--and more specifically, style--is very helpful.

I know some other reviewers have dismissed much of her business advice as common sense and maybe it is. But I found reading this book--especially the first half--surprisingly interesting and helpful. Yes, perhaps these are things I could write a paper about (mentors, proper approach to your work and workplace, actively LOOKING for opportunity and being prepared to take it when you see it, etc.) but I was reminded about actually APPLYING them to my personal life.

Time and again I made notes in the margins about something I should remember in MY workplace--and I'm not even in a business, but in a service industry. I think these reminders will be useful and will correct a few bad habits (of attitude) that you can forget to be aware of after a while at the same job.

She speaks from hard-won experience, has excellent advice well worth the length of a book (rather than, as many of these things, a magazine article), and her story is genuinely inspiring. "Women, Work, and the Art of Savoir Faire" is a good read at any stage of your career. For some reason, I found it hard to put down--odd, for a business book. Whether she wrote it herself or had (unacknowledged) help, the writing style is clear and engaging. I recommend this whether you're starting out at the beginning of your career or, like me, in the middle and need to ... reevaluate it--and yourself.
51 of 61 people found the following review helpful
Stating the Obvious May Be Helpful for Some Oct. 1 2009
By Terri J. Rice - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
This book begins well. Mireille Guiliano lets you know that she has the portfolio to be able to hand out advice. As a French woman in New York, her accent and obvious ability to speak French and English well, made her a desirable candidate for a terrific job, selling French champagne to the American public. And she excelled.

A lot of Guiliano's advice seems facile but in this day when some hopeful job applicants don't know to change out of their jeans and flip flops and strapless tops for an interview; it is time to go back to basics : "Don't overdo your eyes with make up." Or, "The quality that sets people apart in business is the ability to communicate orally, in large and small settings." Or, "Before going to bed, decide mentally or physically what you are going to wear in the morning."

This book would be a great boon for a young person without any experience in life or the job market, someone who needs to be told the obvious by a woman who was willing to write it all down in book form.

For the woman who has been in the work world for some time, this book will be clearly stating the obvious. And at the risk of getting nothing but negative feedback, I did tire of Mireille Guiliano tooting her own horn throughout the entire book. And goodness gracious, if you are not French, well then, just stand to the back, please, and make way for that marvelous lot of people, The French!
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
a fun read, more fun than most business books! Nov. 2 2009
By Shannon B Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I have never read any of Mirielle's previous books, but this one has piqued my curiousity for the others. Her writing style is conversational and engaging, and she intermingles anecdotes from her own life with solid advice. While I work in the semiconductor industry and that's a far cry from the Luxury Goods segment, her advice to women workers is sound. I enjoyed reading about her career path. You know what I thought was inspirational? She advises you to follow your passion, noting that passions change, and in addition, live your life in balance - work alongside play. Refreshing viewpoint from a business book, that one. If only we could all vacation like the French! Also, I like the emphasis on being who you are and comfortable in your own skin.

I was actually inspired by the wardrobe section to go through my closet, to remove anything that didn't make me look and feel great. I am inspired, when I go back to work next week after some time off, to follow her advice on dressing better for your job. And while I never appreciated the sentiment when it came from my mom, I believe the author when she says that seductive clothing has no place in the workplace.

One of my favorite chapters was on etiquette. I would love this author to write an entire book on etiquette. She confirmed something I knew to be true - the handwritten note or thank you card is really important. She also confirmed where your napkin should be when you get up, and how you should arrange your fork & knife. I did these things myself but saw so much variation in others that I wasn't sure if it was all in my own head.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
For A Beginner - Rather Self-Serving Aug. 11 2010
By Sharon Michaels - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I believe this book should have been called, "Get Yourself Ready To Do Business." It definitely is not for a seasoned businesswoman. Frankly, if women in business didn't already know this information we wouldn't be in business very long. Women, Work & The Art of Savoir Fare is aimed at the beginner audience - a more impressionable group of women just starting out.

Maybe it's just me, but I quickly grew tired of reading about the author's many successes. Don't get me wrong, I admire empowered and successful women but enough self-praise is enough already. I felt as if I was reading a glorified autobiography. In my opinion, this book is self-serving and not a genuine how-to for the reader. I found it very tiresome to read.

I can't recommend a book that I couldn't even finish.

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