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Rules for the Unruly: Living an Unconventional Life Paperback – April 10, 2001

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; First Printing, Front Cover Bent edition (April 10, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743216032
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743216036
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #863,075 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Gr. 10-12. Decades after graduating, Winik, author of The Lunch Box Chronicles (1998), was invited to return to her high school and address the recipients of an award for academic excellence. She did so with trepidation, feeling unqualified to give advice, but the talk went so well that she developed it into a book for high-schoolers. As in her previous books (all written for adults), she describes some of her experiences, including unwanted pregnancies and life-threatening drug addiction, with a candor and sensitivity that keep the stories from becoming sentimental. This is definitely for mature teens (some parents, teachers, and YAs will find the language and subject matter abrasive and explicit), but Winik speaks to teens without the slightest hint of condescension, and her advice about living an extraordinary life is alternately moving, powerful, and hilarious. John Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


Arthur Golden author of Memoirs of a Geisha Marion Winik has made a career of breaking rules, and here she's gone and done it again. Books of advice just aren't supposed to be this much fun.

Ally Sheedy This is a magical, moving, funny book -- as helpful to this almost-40-year-old as it will be for any "young" adult. I love it and keep returning to it for practical guidance. Thank you, Marion!

Henry Winkler Marion Winik's ability to see the human condition resonates in every one of us. She's the clearest communicator I know.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Mary G. Longorio VINE VOICE on March 31, 2001
Format: Paperback
I am a die-hard fan of Marion Winik. From my first exposure to her work in Texas Monthly magazine, I was hooked. So, I was taken aback when I was directed to the self help section for her latest title. Self help? Marion Winik pokes fun at self help books, she doesn't write them. Don't let catagory fool you. Once you pick up this book, you won't want put it down. Winik gives seven rules to live your life by, among them "mistakes need not be fatal", people are more important than possessions", and my favorite, "learn to use a semicolon". Drawing from her own colorful life, she shares an insight that is encouraging as well as forgiving. She does not shy away from expressing regret or acknowledging a mistake,laughing at the follies or excesses of youth. The best teachers are those who have learned from their own experiences, the best writers are those who are able to share their ideas and feelings. She accomplishes both. What makes this such an effective "self help" book is the tone. It is like sitting down and chatting with an old friend, remembering shared feelings and experiences, laughing at inexperience, cringing at now obvious mistakes, sharing sorrows. There are no worksheets, no big lists of questions probing your inner self. Rather, this book imparts a gentle wisdom that has been hard earned from personal experiences,and from observing friends and loved ones. Maybe it is the fact she is a fellow Texan that draws me to her writing, or we are the same age, share common cultural landmarks, or even that we both visited the very same tattoo parlor in Austin, Texas. Most likely, it is the fact that even when addressing the difficult issues in life, Marion Winik uses gentle humor and compassion to make her point. Part self guidance, part autobiography, this is a wonderful book.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
Last year I read Maria Shriver's 'Ten Things I Wish I'd Known Before I Went Out into the Real World'. I got good things out of it, but I didn't feel like it was speaking specifically to me because I've always felt like such an oddball. Then I found this book. The advice runs along a similar theme, but Winik's life is so unusual, and she herself so charmingly and hilariously candid about her experiences, that I felt I was reading a kindred spirit's words. I raced through the book in one sitting, disturbing onlookers with my knee-slapping guffaws. Winik's various lessons, illustrated with autobiographical stories, made me feel vindicated and gave me hope for the future at a point when I was beginning to feel lonely and worn down. This would make a great graduation gift for the young bohemian in your life, but it's also a lift if you've already taken the road less travelled and got stranded at the truck stop of doubt.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By "iglar" on May 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
Marion Winik has been a favorite of mine since "First Comes Love" which I devoured, gave to a friend, and missed terribly until I found more copies (one to keep & re-read, & others for new friends). From a wise woman, who has learned through lots of passionate living, this book brings more generous self-disclosure illustrating her "Rules" for other "Unrulies" like her. Having lived within more conventional bounds myself, I take great vicarious pleasure in Winik's adventures; I have nothing but admiration for the learning that she acquired. As a reader half a century beyond my teen years, I can't imagine anyone of any age not gaining from this book and appreciating this remarkable author. And on Mothers' Day, 2001, I especially appreciate her chapter titled "Be Gentle With Your Parents." Here's another Winik book I want to give to all my friends.
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