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My Mother's Rules: A Practical Guide to Becoming an Emotional Genius Paperback – January 26, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Agate Bolden (January 26, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932841229
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932841220
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Easy-reading prose and a no-nonsense approach will carry readers through this collection of anecdotes and rules for healthier living from first time author and Divorce Court star/judge Toler. As the title implies, Toler draws heavily on lessons learned from her mother, some of which, such as the revelation that Toler's mother "lies, both often and well, if she feels the truth will get in someone's way," will surprise. And while the stories of Toler's upbringing have their merit, the book's strength lies in the sober, no-nonsense advice: "The Peanut Gallery Rule" asks whether "you would still be doing what you're doing if other folks could see," while Toler's suggestion to "Globalize Your Pain Quotient" makes most quotidian frustrations seem petty. The rules, many of which are accompanied by their own mini-vignette, are explained at the end of each thematic chapter and are all re-listed at the end of the book for easy browsing. Readers looking for real-world direction could do much worse.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Lynn Toler received her BA from Harvard and her JD from the University of Pennsylvania before spending ten years as a practicing attorney, and then seven years as administrative judge of Cleveland Heights Municipal Court. In 2001, she hosted the TV show Power of Attorney, and beginning September 2006, she is the new star of the syndicated hit Divorce Court.

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Customer Reviews

Lynn Toler is a wonderful person and a great HELPFUL Judge..
Mildred T. Kennedy
This is the best book that I have read this summer(and I do a lot of reading), and is is certainly on my Top 10 for the year.
S. Robertson
She tells it like it is and reminds you again and again that life is hard and you have to get your act together to make it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Patrice J. Baugh on January 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
I watch/tape Judge Lynn Toler on Divorce Court everyday because I thouroughly admire the wisdom, the sincerity, the life experience, the caring she has for the couples before her and yet, she is NOT afraid to give the the 'straight, no chaser' truth as she realizes its the only way to 'set them free' to healing and change. Judge Toler is very refined in her looks and demeanor and speech, yet when you read this book you will be amazed as to what she had to overcome and the fact that she is where she is today is truly a miracle and a testament to her "mothers rules" that are a wealth of common sense!!!! Thank you Judge Toler for being soooo brave and HONEST!!!!!! Judge Toler has taken a HUGE RISK to share what she has all in order to help others to overcome emotional distress as she has had to.
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful By CAROLYN CORNELIUS on March 20, 2007
Format: Paperback
My Mother's Rules provides a straightforward approach to a collection of anecdotes and rules for healthier living from, first time author and Divorce Court star/judge, Lynn Toler. As the title implies, Toler draws heavily on lessons learned from her mother. She describes her mother's struggles and the strengths she displayed in dealing with horrible conditions resulting from her poverty and an abusive background. Lynn lets us in on her chaotic upbringing with many personal real life stories to show us how not only her mother used the rules, but how she is where she is now because she applied the rules to her life's challenges. As a judge, Lynn found that many people got into trouble because they let their emotions rule them instead of handling their emotions. Her mother's rules are about the proper emotion, what it is and how to find it.

The book outlines a systematic way to address and deal with your emotions in a constructive way to yield positive results. While the stories of Toler's upbringing have their value, the book's strength lies in the logical down-to-earth advice. The rules, many of which are accompanied by their own mini-vignette, are explained at the end of each thematic chapter. Toler states these rules are the cornerstone to a healthy outlook on life. Toler directs the reader to look in the mirror and inspires the reader to become a better person. She provides instructions on how to live according to the rules. I found that some of the "case in point" however, was not always on point.

As much as I admire Toler and was excited to read this book, I found this was a difficult book to read. It reads more like an autobiography - a walk down memory lane of her childhood and her pursuit to the bench.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Lockwood on June 13, 2008
Format: Paperback
I borrowed My Mother's Rules: A Practical Guide to Becoming an Emotional Genius, from a good friend of mine. Halfway through the book, I already knew that I needed my own copy to give to another friend of mine that was going through some tough times and looking for advice. I knew that this inspirational story would put things into perspective. Lynn Toler's rocky journey to becoming the successful adult that she is today, seems to be nothing short of a miracle when you read about her early childhood. Once you see the very practical rules for dealing with life that her mother taught, it all comes into focus. The story of the Toler family is one that each and every person can relate to in some way. My own family background couldn't be more different, and yet the book is written in a way that made me identify with every page. Lynn's style of writing is so easy to read that you feel more like you are having a conversation with a good friend than reading a book. This is coming from someone that had not finished any book in around 4 years. I typically read a page or two and then fall asleep. This one I looked forward to finding another 10 minutes of free time to read a little more any chance I could. I found myself quoting Toni Toler, the rules, and telling people in my circle how to apply some of the common sense I'd found in the book to all kinds of situations.

While a lot of the situations in the book were helpful to me in understanding other people, there were also points that applied to my own life and issues that I was struggling to understand as a mother, daughter, and sister within my own family. The book was a huge help to me at the time that I read it, and gave me much to think about over the months afterwards.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers on May 1, 2007
Format: Paperback
Judge Lynn Toler has spent the past decade and more listening to the problems of others. Currently, she is the judge on the syndicated TV show Divorce Court. She attributes her mother's wisdom as the source of her ability to assess situations and make a fair ruling for all involved. Her book is not only a tribute to the teachings of her mother, but a resource for those needing a bit of insight on how to deal with the ups and downs of life.

MY MOTHER'S RULES: A Practical Guide to Becoming an Emotional Genius is a guide for those wanting to learn to control their emotions, even under the worst of conditions. This insight is shown in abundance in Toler's book. She shares her belief that important lessons can be learned from anything. Some of the rules focus on working through problems, identifying and dealing with your weaknesses, realizing that everyone has bad times, believing in self, and living with/laughing at your failings. Others focus on the family, education, interactions with others, and even parenting. My favorite was the portion that deals with self worth. Basically, she says that no one can define you or tell you what you are and are not capable of, when it comes to your life, dreams, and goals. I loved that piece of advice, and also the first-wave rule dealing with anger avoidance and learning how to let things pass without causing unnecessary irritation.

What I liked most about MY MOTHER'S RULES was the honest, down-home feel of Toler's words. She follows each rule with a story example and breaks down the scenario in terms which are easy to understand. Some of the stories are sad, while others are more positive, or simply common sense, but all are insightful.
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