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Live What You Love: Notes from an Unusual Life Hardcover – October 1, 2005

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The Next Happy: Let Go of the Life You Planned and Find a New Way Forward
When the best option is to let go of the life you planned for yourself and find a new path, a world of possibilities can surprisingly open up.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Many find inspiration in people who give up the big job, big house and big bucks to follow their hearts' desires, but the Blanchards have not only followed their dreams, they've turned their dream-chasing into a cottage industry. Their first book, A Trip to the Beach, about their experiences moving from Vermont to the Caribbean island of Anguilla and opening a restaurant, inspired a legion of people to also follow their bliss. Other books followed, At Blanchard's Table and Cook What You Love, as have radio interviews and an appearance on the Today show. In the latest installment, they share random experiences that illuminate their philosophy, which can be boiled down to: Only do the things you love. Don't expect any grander insight than that from this little book; it's full of common sense, go-with-your gut wisdom, affirmations, aphorisms and lighter than light humor. "No experience is required to gain experience." "Write the headlines of your favorite life stories so far." "Breathe deep. Jump in. Swim, or just float, on the waves of life, of laughter, of love." Some readers may be put off by the self-congratulatory nature of the book, but the book's arranged so it's easy to flip back and forth and cherry pick the passages of import.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

From the authors ofA Trip to the Beach (2001) comes another slim but encouraging manifesto brimming with humorous anecdotes, pithy reflections, and wise counsel. Summering in Vermont and spending their winters operating a thriving restaurant in the Caribbean, this power couple seems to have achieved all their dreams by operating by the one simple principle that serves as their guide: "If we don't love it, we don't do it." In order to share this deceptively simplistic recipe for personal and professional fulfillment and success, the Blanchards open up their hearts and relay their unique experiences in a series of intimate stories that will appeal to fans of inspirational literature a la Robert Fulghum. Margaret Flanagan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling (October 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402728425
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402728426
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,102,531 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I finished this book in two hours.
E. Chan
For all I know, the Blanchards may be two of the most generous, philanthropic people around but that never comes across in the book.
Amazon Customer
Their journey is lesson for all of us.
4 horses

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

75 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I was disappointed. The Blanchards sound like very nice, fun, hard-working people who embrace change and roll with the punches. They see opportunities and they seize those opportunities. I admire that and would probably like them in person.

The book, however, annoyed me. Aside from its Trump-like self-congratulatory tone and phoney sounding dialogue, there was a bigger issue that I could not get past.

The book talks about how the Blanchards live out their dreams after coming back from the brink of financial ruin, following the long-term hospitalization of their very prematurely born son. They do this by "following their hearts." I don't dispute the importance of that, but maybe the fact that the hospital decided to pick up the tab for the Blanchards had just a LITTLE something to do with it.

I was so happy for the Blanchards when I read about the hospital's kindness to them. I could not wait to read about how the Blanchards would be inspired by that act and someday do something kind for someone else... how they would incorporate that kindness into their lives and business ventures. What goes around, comes around, right? Maybe they'd donate a percentage of book profits toward medical research? Or do restaurant promotions to support families with sick children? I was disappointed that there is never any mention of them doing anything to help anyone but themselves.

Then, there's the "financial struggles." At times, they are legitimate. But then, when they miss Vermont and want to get back somehow, it sounds as though the Blanchards scrimp and save to buy a piece of property in hopes of "someday" building a small house they could retreat to for 2-3 months a year.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. S. Breunig on May 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Three and a half stars really, curse you amazon for your integer rating system.

Look, this book is a good read. Is it revolutionary in new ideas? No. Is it blithe and trite? No. This book is simply a pointed collection of simply-written life-stories from the authors. The stories all contain some angle on how they chose the feel-good, fun-loving alternative as opposed to the mundane, bill-paying one and what a fabulous idea that was for them. They keep some perspective though and freely admit to problems they faced as a result, agony in certain decisions, and errors in judgment.

Will you change your life because of this book? I struggle with that thought. The book is so simple, so easy-to-read, it screams out "beach reading!" at every page that it is hard for me to fathom altering my decision-making style. And yet, I find myself thinking of the characters (well, real people) and while their carefree spirit may not end up guiding me it certainly infects me and nudges me.

Live What You Love is a great book to give at graduations (and other such ceremonies) because its not your usual "Great Man" biography or cookie-cutter "Life Rules" books. It is simply the story of how one couple stuck together and made some brave moves. Plus it's short. And as a grad, I prefer my life-lesson books to be brief.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Peter Porcupine on June 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover
"Life is to be lived and to be loved", writes Blanchard, which befittingly defines the doctrine of Bob and Melinda's lives, as well as the invaluable message conveyed in "Live What You Love". In an uniquely inspirational companion book to their first triumph, "A Trip to The Beach", Bob and Melinda Blanchard reflect on their extraordinary and anomalous lives full of successes and failures.

The book shares some of their salutary words of wisdom learned from a remarkable life to help you begin to live a life you love. Organized into a series of random intriguing personal short stories, you are provided with tonic quotes and an end to each chapter with a checklist for you to begin striving towards your own aspirations. This book is to be held and carried indefinitely, not rushed through like a novel. It's designed to be read over and over again, consoling a reader like a Tony Robbins or Joel Osteen book.

We've all heard the admonition of, "follow your dreams", but what does it really mean? Where do we begin? I have a steady job and am receiving AARP applications in the mail, is it too late? For anyone who might still hold an unconventional long cherished dream that doesn`t snugly fit into the sequence of an "average American lifestyle", Bob and Melinda do more than tell us how, they show us. To read "A Trip to The Beach" and "Live What You Love" consecutively will have you reflecting on where you are currently and wondering why you haven't begun to fertilize a lifelong dream kept in your backseat.

As Blanchard sums it up, "Our Life is a series of positive acts with purpose.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By OOK on September 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
I picked up this book with no real expectations, but with a need within myself for some change and inspiration. This book delivered just what I needed. It inspired me to follow my dreams, heart, feeling or w/e else you would like to call it. I have been following a typical lifestyle of working for living and not enjoying life, not doing what I love. Even though I do admit that I am not all that sure what it is that I truly love and want to do, this book inspired me to try, experience and not be afraid to fail. The true story behind the book only makes it that much better. Quick read, in one day. Highly recommended.
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