Maria Shriver's warmth, humor, and wisdom are evident on every page of this little book. Inspired by her commencement speech at the College of the Holy Cross, the book contains stories and insights that will be helpful, entertaining, and encouraging to graduates at every stage of life. The lessons themselves--"be willing to fail," "stand your ethical ground," "marriage is a hell of a lot of hard work"--are nothing new. What makes them interesting are the life stories that accompany them and Shriver's personable, friendly style. Reading this book feels like having a cup of coffee with a wise and funny friend. Tales of her first television experiences are surprising and hilarious, and she takes balancing motherhood and career to new levels--imagine postponing an interview with Fidel Castro to get your daughter to her first day of kindergarten! Each chapter is easy to read and ends with a focused lesson--kind of a bullet point from her original speech--that encourages readers to be ultimately true to themselves and their dreams, while cutting through harmful illusions. The last chapter, on laughter, is one to read again and again. Shriver maintains that without laughter not much else matters, and in life's toughest times it's laughter that gets us through. For anyone starting a new adventure--graduation, marriage, parenthood, career shift, or a milestone birthday--Ten Things I Wish I'd Known
brings wisdom, laughter, practical suggestions, and a down-to-earth manner together into one fabulous gift. --Jill Lightner
From Publishers Weekly
Following the success of her 1999 bestseller What's Heaven?, in which she explained death to children, the NBC anchor woman expands on a commencement speech she delivered two years ago at Holy Cross College in Worcester, Mass., to share some of her life lessons with young people starting their careers. Although this slim gift book is positioned as a graduation gift, Shriver's natural audience is more likely to be busy working mothers like herself, and celebrity watchers who are curious about her thoughts on managing marriage, motherhood and career (Shriver and husband Arnold Schwarzenegger have four children). In lessons that are mostly about work and character, she shares simple notions that are fundamentally sound and that many adults will agree with: pursue your passion; consider no job to be beneath you; be willing to fail; realize that behavior has consequences; find a mentor. Unfortunately, the warmth and humor Shriver may have projected in person are forced on the page. Although she tries to build rapport with amusing stories of early faux pas and setbacks in her journalism career, readers may have trouble relating to her main predicamentAlack of appreciation from people who might have wondered if a beautiful, rich kid actually wanted a jobAas well as her idea of disappointment: not being as successful as Oprah or Diane Sawyer. Even so, Shriver's strength of character, her genuine admiration for her parents and her love for her family shine through. (Apr.)
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