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If I'd Known Then: Women in Their 20s and 30s Write Letters to Their Younger Selves (What I Know Now) Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 21, 2008


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Product Details

  • Series: What I Know Now
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (April 21, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0738211206
  • ASIN: B001L5T2DY
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,980,547 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Spragins's ingenious book is the rare self-help volume that young women would elect to read and decidedly enjoy. The author profiles 35 highly accomplished women and asks them to write a letter of counsel or encouragement addressed to their younger selves. The result is a collection of life directives that are highly personal and disarmingly honest. The contributors—who include actress Jessica Alba, activist Zainab Salbi and comic book artist Ariel Schrag—are stars in their own right, but their letters reveal that even winners have problems—the same fears, concerns and shortcomings as anyone else. And in many cases they are still struggling—which raises the question: how wise can women in their 20s and 30s (no matter how accomplished) be? Very, it turns out. These artists, athletes and entrepreneurs compassionately address bad relationships, bullies, eating disorders and crises of faith without ever sounding jaded or condescending. This book offers sound advice and is highly recommended for women just starting out. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Boston Globe
“Younger women will be inspired by the advice, but women of all ages will love the fascinating insights into some truly remarkable lives”


Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star
“Advice applies to everyday, ordinary women--at any stage of life”


Richmond Style Weekly
“With candid discussions of body image, alcoholism, death, insecurity and trying to succeed in the face of seemingly impossible circumstances, this is a great conversation starter for girls.”

More About the Author

Ellyn Spragins leads Letters To My Younger Self Seminars and Workshops around the world for women's leadership networks and leadership development programs. She has presented at Microsoft, Genentch, Goldman Sachs and Johnson & Johnson and many other corporations. Her books, speeches, seminars and products inspire women to discover their inner wisdom and share it with each other.

She is the author of What I Know Now About Success, published in the spring of 2010 and If I'd Known Then: Women In Their 20s and 30s Write Letters to Their Younger Selves, published by Da Capo Press in May 2008. Previously she authored What I Know Now: Letters To My Younger Self, a New York Times bestseller and Books For A Better Life finalist, published in April 2006.

Previously she was a columnist at The New York Times, writing Love & Money for the Sunday business section, and Editor-At-Large at Fortune Small Business. She also was Vice President of Editorial Development at Oxygen Media and a contributing editor to Newsweek. While at Newsweek, she won the National Press Club's Consumer Journalism Award in 1997 and the Clarion Award in 1998.

Spragins has been an editor at Smart Money, BusinessWeek and Inc., and a reporter at Forbes. Her articles have appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine, Working Woman, Bloomberg Personal, Worth, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Ladies Home Journal and Town & Country. She has also made numerous television and radio appearances.

Spragins graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in English and economics from Barnard College, which awarded her the Estelle M. Allison Prize for Excellence in Literature. She lives with her husband, John Witty, and two children in Pennington, New Jersey.
Learn more at www.letterstomyyoungerself.com.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By K. Brown on June 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The by-product of a good book is one that keeps you thinking of the subject long after you finish. "If I'd Known Then" does that by stimulating the inner conversation we all need to have with ourselves. The everyday wisdom you'll find solicits the reminders we all need to constantly remember - about life and love, success and failure.

It's not about the book, but about what you do with it. And since you'll get out of it what you put into it, I suggest you take the author quite literally and encourage the young women in your life to write a letter to themselves. They'll wish they had and be glad they did.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Melanie Hicks Tozzi on May 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
There are few things in life that can transend everyday distractions long enough to actually inspire me - but this book did. As a 30 year old myself, I felt a mirrored twinge of heartbreak, longing, confusion and self exploration that is written so poignantly by these women. I recommend it to anyone and everyone who wants a little reminder of how you became who you are today.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Maria Eisenhour on March 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a gift. However I did read snippits. Very iteresting how one sees a different view of their live, in just years. I HIGHLY SUGGEST this book for a 20 to 30 year old.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ross on September 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This has become one of my absolutely favorite books - and is frequently a gift purchase for friends and family now. It's letters from women in thier 20s and 30s are poignant and honest. It really makes you think, but isn't written in the "chicken soup for the soul" sappy way ;) Just real women sharing real stories.

Excellent read for men or women of any age!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tricia Tunstall on May 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a lovely book - readable, touching, and insightful. The letters from young women (young to me, anyway!) to their younger selves are surprisingly wise. Ellyn Spragins has managed to create a cohesive style even while making sure the individual voices of these very different women come through loud and clear. This book is a wonderful read for women and men, old, young and middle-aged.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Janet B. on May 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This wonderful book is a series of letters from smart, successful, accomplished women (some bona fide stars) in their 20s and 30s who are writing letters of advice to themselves at a younger age--often during their middle or high school years. Who knew that Sasha Cohen or Jessica Alba or Danica McKellar ever had a moment of insecurity or disappointment or feelings of utter failure? The letters are brave and honest and inspiring.
As a mother of girl who is about to be a teenager, I look forward to sharing this book with my daughter- in the hope that the sense of perspective these woman have on those years will help her grow up strong and happy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jule Bird on May 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
If I'd Known Then is a perfect addition to the What I Know Now series. While advice may come from 20 and 30 year old women, their words of wisdom are universal: they show no age or gender boundaries. As an undergraduate I chose to share some of the stories with my graduating peers. These friends of mine have been very worried about graduating college and insecure as to what comes next. After reading these stories aloud to them we laughed, cried, and realized that there is no pressure to discover the answers. Without outwardly giving advice (this is what you should do), If I'd Known Then helps you reach your own personal conclusions. This is the kind of book that makes you want to think, reflect, and most importantly grow. The book is a remarkable achievement and will undoubtedly impact readers for a long time.
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