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Just Who Will You Be?: Big Question. Little Book. Answer Within. (ROUGHCUT) Hardcover – April 15, 2008

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; Reprint edition (April 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401323189
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401323189
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #769,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This slender inspirational book is a candid self-portrait of a woman in transition. A longtime NBC anchorwoman, Shriver was thrown into a tailspin when asked to resign after her husband, Arnold Schwarzenegger, was elected governor of California; she writes, My career was gone, and with it went the person I'd been for twenty-five years. With a combination of self-deprecation and chutzpah, Shriver describes herself as the consummate overachiever, a people-pleasing, legacy-carrying, perfection-seeking Good Girl, now realizing that asking ourselves not just what we want to be but who we want to be is important at every stage in our lives, not just when we're starting out in the world. That's because, in a way, we're starting out fresh in the world every single day. Reprinted in full in this book is the speech Shriver made at her nephew's high school graduation—a humorous meditation on fame, achievement and self-worth—that inspired the writing of this book. Shriver's earnest self-inquiry and her humility and readiness to regard herself as a 50-year-old work-in-progress make for a charming and genuinely inspiring read. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"Maria Shriver is wise, funny and caring--and it all comes through in her winning guide to life, JUST WHO WILL YOU BE? We're lucky to have her show us the way."—Tom Brokaw

"Maria teaches all of us in the graduate program of life to seek meaning through the joy of following your heart. Just the kind of advice a heart surgeon cherishes."—Mehmet Oz, M.D.

"Every graduate (of anything) ought to be given a copy of this book along with their diploma. There's wisdom, compassion and truth between these covers. For anyone--at any age."—Linda Ellerbee, Executive Producer, Nick News

"Maria Shriver is real, vulnerable, humble, honest (just like her book) and not afraid to say so. A lovely book by a lovely person."—Danielle Steel

"This honest, straight-talking, profound little book is worth a lifetime of reflection. It calls readers of all ages to think again and differently about who they've been in the past and who they want to be now. This book is a life-stopper, a truly universal piece. It's a must for everyone of any age."—Sister Joan Chittister

"Everything Maria Shriver does is a testament to how deeply she respects and cares about people; all people, all over the world. She really does. She is as charming and funny as she is brilliant and profoundly humane."—Anne Lamott

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

This book was very easy to read.
Linda Kline
When you live your own life and not an imitation of the life of someone else, THEN, it is possible to feel good about yourself.
Midwest Book Review
I really enjoyed this little book that is a thought provoking and fast read.
Susan Waid

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

122 of 130 people found the following review helpful By Norma Lehmeierhartie VINE VOICE on April 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
When I saw Just Who Will You Be? Big Question. Little Book. Answer Within, I grabbed it and read it on the spot in Barnes and Noble. I still bought the book and a copy for my friend's daughter, who is graduating college in May and is terrified of the prospect of "being in the real world."

Maria Shriver spoke at the high school graduating class of her nephew and the students and parents asked her to write a book based on the speech so they could more clearly remember what she said.

I'm glad she listened.

She discusses how a recent study found that kids today want fame more than anything else. (I read the survey and they overwhelmingly want to be actors or sports figures.) She tells the class that: "fame isn't a goal worthy of your life." Shriver describes why fame shouldn't be a goal, that fame can't give you meaning and purpose.

Instead, Shriver advises to follow your heart, discover who you are, who your authentic me really is.

The poem she read to the class is in the book and is powerful and true. Here is one stanza I really enjoyed:

You can be girly and strong
Have careers and go far
And when you get married
Not lose who you are

The stanza for the boys is equally as good.

Shriver acknowledges that we keep changing, growing and evolving as we age and that this is a good thing. She tells the reader about her experiences with growing and changing and they come straight from her heart and were very inspiring to me.

Ultimately, who you will be is based on getting in touch with your feelings and discovering your authentic self.

Finally, I related to this book because I've been feeling stuck lately. I published my first book a year ago.
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77 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Indy book lover on May 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I saw this book being discussed on the Oprah show and thought it sounded great. I ordered a book for both myself and my sister. We are both successful career women in our early 40's who are seriously questioning who we want to be in the second half of our lives. The book sounded perfect for us. I was quite disappointed. The bulk of the book is the actual speech that Maria wrote for a high school graduation class which includes a light-hearted, 25-page poem that definitlely seems targeted toward children. The Oprah interview was more substantive than the book itself!! I think this might be a good graduation gift for a high-schooler - but I don't think will hold the interest of someone older in life.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Judy Mines on October 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book truly touched me. It is from Maria's heart. From the outside looking in Maria Shriver has it all. She was born into a wealthy, well connected family, had a successful TV reporting career, is married and has children with Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is now the governor of California.

When Maria's husband became governor of California she had to leave her job at NBC news. About this time her nephew asked her to speak at his high school graduation. Maria was feeling very lost at this time. This book takes us through Maria's journey of how she figured out what to say and she found who she was along the way.

I loved that this book was all about "Who do you want to be" not what do you want to do. Maria shares that neither fame nor money will make you happy. Happiness comes from within.

Another book I really enjoyed was Being Here: Modern Day Tales of Enlightenment by Ariel & Shya Kane. It is a book of short stories about "Being". I highly recommend both of these books.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By kh82399ny on August 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I didn't know too much about Maria Shriver before reading this book except for the fact that she is the famous Kennedy-Mrs. Schwarzenegger-First lady of California that you see in the headlines from time to time. Then one day the title of her book "Just Who Will You Be" caught my eye. Umm, why would she be interested in who she is? Doesn't she have all the fame in the world already? So I picked it up and read it; more than one time actually. I am so glad I did! She writes very honestly & directly and it is truly inspiring!

Maria had been living a life of privilege, power and fame gained from her background as a Kennedy, profession as a renowned journalist, and from her marriage to movie-star-turned-governor husband Arnold Schwarzenegger. Being a public figure with a historical legacy, Maria identified herself as a professional- this was all she wanted to be when she grew up and she worked hard to succeed in her work life.

She then became a stay-at-home mom bringing up four kids; however she did not approve of herself for not "working as a professional Maria Shriver". I imagine it was frightening when she quit journalism to become a full-time mother, based on her high profile past that equated self-worth with personal achievement. With a sense of humor, Maria shares with readers the journey of discovering who she is and who she wants to be. She is not at all afraid of admitting she felt lost at times, when she'd been answering her quest with a resume, not what her heart truly desired.

Maria inspired me to be true to myself. It reminds me of an awesome book by Ariel and Shya Kane, Being Here: Modern Day Tales of Enlightenment that I love very much!
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