Hoda Kotb was named co-anchor of the fourth hour of Today in August 2007. She has also been a Dateline NBC correspondent since April 1998 and is a New York Times bestselling author for her book, Hoda. The three-time Emmy winner also won the prestigious 2006 Peabody Award, the 2003 Gracie Award, and the 2002 Edward R. Murrow Award. She resides in New York City.
Ever asked it? With your nose pressed up against a mental crystal ball, your eyes squinting and your heart pounding, have you ever asked:
What will happen if I . . . ?
Fill in the blank: get a divorce, win the lottery, am diagnosed with cancer, quit my job, suddenly lose someone I love.
We’ve all wondered about a what-if and wished for time’s guidance. We want time to say to us, “Yep, you’ve made the right decision.” Or “Everything’s going to work out just fine.” But (hmph!) time won’t tell. Not until we take a first step. Time then takes over, slowly turning our what-ifs into realities. The days, months, and years eventually reveal, like a Polaroid, a clear picture of how significant events and decisions ultimately shape our lives.
From time to time, I’ll look back through the personal journals I’ve scribbled in throughout my life, the keepers of my raw thoughts and emotions. The words poured forth after my dad died, when I went through a divorce, and after I was diagnosed with breast cancer. There are so many what-ifs scribbled on those pages. I was desperate to know whether one day I would feel happy again, that I would find love again, that I would survive. How intriguing to look back at those past fears now that I have the benefit of hindsight. It made me think, What if I asked other people to take a look back at their greatest challenges with a decade’s worth of perspective? What an interesting concept for a book. Plenty of us, including me, have struggled to take a first step toward an uncertain future. We’ve all prayed for the patience required to heal our pain, one excruciating day at a time. We’ve all wondered, in our darkest hours, how life could possibly change for the better.
Ten Years Later is about the journey six extraordinary people take with time. Each has experienced a game-changing event—perhaps a life-threatening illness or a catastrophic personal loss. Some of the challenges will make you wonder how the person got through the next ten minutes. Others will make you think a lifetime wouldn’t be enough to overcome the damage done. Following the game changer, you’ll find out what steps (or missteps) each person took and how each has fared over the next ten years. Did her decision turn out to be wise? How did he navigate the pain? Has she truly changed? Throughout the book, Time curls its pointer finger, beckoning Curiosity, “Come with me. See where I took this life.”
In my own life, I’ve had numerous personal and professional game changers. Some broke my heart, others made me braver. One of the earliest game changers happened along an interstate. In 1987, I was driving around the Southeast in my mom’s car, looking for my first job out of college. I had a degree in communications from Virginia Tech and a twenty-minute videotape résumé. I bought a new green suit for the one interview I so ignorantly assumed it would take to land a television reporting job in Richmond, Virginia. Well, I was off by about six suits and a hundred TV market rankings. Richmond told me no. Memphis said no. Three nos from Birmingham. My résumé tape got ejected from VCR after VCR, and my one day on the road turned into eight, then nine, then ten. “No, sorry.” The maddening cycle of ejection, rejection, and dejection started in Virginia and continued all the way down through the Florida panhandle. A total of twenty-seven news directors told me no. I was devastated. My dream of working in TV news was now looking more like a career in public relations. I turned the car around and headed north back toward Virginia. And then, somewhere in Mississippi, I took a wrong turn. GPS systems and cell phones did not exist; I was officially lost. As I drove around looking for a way to get back on track, I noticed a billboard for WXVT featuring the CBS Eye. The station was located in Greenville, a TV market I hadn’t considered. I figured, What do I have to lose? I drove to Greenville, digging deep for one last shred of hope. That very day, Stan Sandroni was promoted from WXVT’s sports director to news director, and he agreed to see me. In went my résumé tape, and out came the words I so desperately wanted to hear.
“Hoda, I like what I see.”
My wrong turn turned out to be one of the best mistakes I’ve ever made. Stan hired me after nearly thirty other people would not. Gutting out the challenge of rejection paid off. That chance meeting would prove to be a game changer in my life.
Ten Years Later profiles six people who’ve faced a series of life’s game changers and challenges—abuse, illness, addiction, grief, job loss. These people didn’t just fight their way through adversity, they forged better lives because of the battle. Their journeys are measured in the very small steps that painstakingly result in change and the big, bold leaps of faith that launch dreams. The book is meant to inspire you, wow you, motivate you, and move you—and maybe even do all those things within the same chapter. In the pages ahead, the courageous people who share their life stories have done so in hopes of enriching yours—now or ten years later.
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Hoda and Jane nailed it again with stories that make you stop and think and simply be grateful for all you have. TEN YEARS LATER is stirring and truly an inspirational book, and I would highly recommend as a gift for anyone needing a bit of inspiration or those whom you admire as it is filled with life lessons and rich stories. Bravo ladies.....I am ready for 20 YEARS LATER....bring it on!
This book is about six people who transformed their lives by over coming adversity stems from different situations that occur in their lives and changing their circumstances for the better good. After 10 years Hoda revisited the six people to find out how they were doing, and to her surprising all the people had a successful and happy ending. You will see that advesity bring out creativity, empathy, love and williness to strive to do better in people. I think the stories in the book are relatable because alot of people can identify with aleast one person story in the book. The people in the book changed their situations around because of other people in their lives, who needed them to be around for a long long time because they did not have the strength to do it on their own. The stories in the book will definitely make you shed some tears because I did. The stories are so touching and moving but you feel better due to the good outcome.
These are a few of the heartfelt stories in the book. Amy Barnes was an over weight woman who weigh almost 500 pounds, and was in an abusive relationship . She when on to lost over 340 pounds,and became a body builder and personal trianer. Linsey Beck survived a rare cancer in her early twenties and founded Fertile Hope Reproductive Preservation for cancer patients. Roxanne Quimby who lost three watressing jobs and was driving down the road and seen a man selling honey, and told him she can help packaged it and sell it and went on to build a multi million dollars company Burt's bees. Ron Clifford who pull a women from the tower escaping the september 11th attack only to find out his sister Ruth ,and four year oldniece Juliana had been on United flight 175 the second plane to hit the tower.Read more ›
Everyone should read this book! It is inspirational and worth every minute spent on reading it. The kindle version allows you to blow up the print so it is a very, very easy read! Bring the tissues as it will tug at your heart strings.
This book is a great idea, looking into the lives of someone 10 years later. BUT the stories go on and on and on and on! There are far more details than you would ever need. They add nothing to the story and actually had me saying, is this story ever going to end!? When I got to the ending I barely cared. I enjoy Hoda on t.v. but this book is a dud for me.
The people who were the subjects of this book had some pretty incredible life stories (which is why I rated this with 2 stars instead of 1), but the writing style and editing in this book were pretty poor. A lot of the paragraphs were redundant, and there was no logical flow to the writing in many instances. On top of that, the stories were MUCH longer than they needed to be, and became profoundly uninteresting while I slogged through them.
Update July 17, 2013: I was just reading about the incredible Badwater Ultramarathon in Death Valley National Park, Calif. July 15, 2013 where runners raced 135 miles in 120 degree heat. It reminded me of the amazing Diane Van Deren story in Hoda's book; just had to go to my Kindle for a re-read! What a great story. Thank you, Hoda for sharing all these wonderful stories! Original review below: Six compelling stories, each true, each unique. Once into a story, it was hard to put the book down. Each anecdote is a stand-alone - some more appealing than others and some better written than others. I had to put aside my aversion to the use of the word, like or overuse, I should say - more than 200 times. While I realize most were the result of direct quotes, an ellipses or change of phrase now and then would have overcome that tedium! All-in-all, a good read, quite worthwhile, and one story I read twice, just had to!