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30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans Paperback – October 30, 2012
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--Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People
"The 'Wisest Americans' have a lot to teach the rest of us. Some of this advice is refreshing common sense. Much of it is truly surprising. It is always heartfelt and ever-endearing - equal parts information and inspiration. This is a book to keep by your bedside and return to often."
--Amy Dickinson, nationally sundicated advice columnist "Ask Amy"
"This is a fabulous book! Karl Pillemer has done an incredible job of bringing together the collective wisdom of hundreds of Americans into an entertaining, thought provoking, and practical book. Give it a read. You will find yourself getting out of bed in the morning with new enthusiasm."
--Matthew Kelly, author of The Rhythm of Life and Off Balance
"30 lessons for Living is an absolute gem! Thank you Karl Pillemer for taking the time to collect such a valuable trove of wisdom, and for sharing it with us in such a readable book. It's one that I'll recommend often. All of it is wonderful, but I particularly appreciated the lessons on honesty and saying yes to opportunities. Read this book - you'll get more out of life and have fewer regrets."
--Hal Urban, author of Life's Greatest Lessons
"If you want to hear the wisdom of the aged, this easy-to-read book, based on years of penetrating interviews by a prominent sociologist, tells you what they have learned about love, work, marriage, and parenting."
--Howard S. Friedman, Ph.D. & Leslie R. Martin, Ph.D., authors of The Longevity Project
Praise for 30 Lessons for Living
"For five years, Karl Pillemer sat down with more than 1,000 older Americans-most of them between the ages of 70 and 100-to talk about lessons for living well. In the resulting book, 30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice From the Wisest Americans,... Pillemer, a gerontologist at Cornell, has culled 30 life lessons from his "experts," ranging from the practical to the profound. How to raise children? How to think about dying? Think of this book as 1,000 borrowed grandparents weighing in on life's various challenges. A salty pragmatism runs throughout."
—The Daily Beast
"The author skillfully weaves a prevailing theme (e.g., parenting, aging fearlessly) with self-disclosing statements from interviewees to create a compelling, inspirational book."
—Library Journal (starred; one of the "Top Self-Help Books of 2011")
“[A]n invaluable source of help, if anyone is willing to listen while there is still time to take corrective action.” —The New York Times
“[Pillemer] has given a voice to the unheard — and turned some conventional thinking about aging on its head.” —The Washington Post
“Wouldn't it be great if we could get a "do-over" in life, like when you were a kid and a ball rolled into traffic? Karl Pillemer, a gerontologist at Cornell University, can't fix the mistakes of the past, but he does have some ideas on how we can have fewer regrets in the future.” —Chicago Tribune
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
As a liberal artist in my mid-thirties, I have to admit that while I was curious to see what the experts had to say, I was initially skeptical of how relevant I might find their advice to my own life. I suspected it might be outdated, preachy, too conservative for my taste, or too generic. On the contrary, I found the experts' words - as well as Pillemer's insightful synthesis - profound and often very moving. The book is a compelling, potent collection of guidance for how to live a meaningful life that's attuned to what really matters. The tone is never self-righteous. In fact, some of the most poignant advice stems from things the experts felt they got wrong, regrets they had, realizations in their final years about what was actually important. It's incredibly life-affirming to read about their successes as well as the lessons they learned through mistakes.
Pillemer organizes the book into six themes, including marriage, careers and happiness.Read more ›
There is an estimated $1 billion spent each year on self-improvements books in the U.S. And more advice columns, television experts, and websites - all preaching advice of one sort or another. Yet none of them speak from experience of having lived and learned. Karl Pillemer, the author and a gerontologist at Cornell, interviewed more than 1,000 older Americans between the ages of 70 to 100 in search of lessons for living. He spent over 5 years on the project and summarized his findings in this book.Read more ›
The book is broken down into several major themes having to do with such things as marriage, parenting, careers, health, and most generally how to achieve happiness. The lessons presented, with some exceptions--it's normal to have a favorite child--are not exactly earth-shattering. But the beauty of the book comes from the diversity of voices and individual expression that refract and enrich the observations from people who are remarkably aware and self-reflective.
Unfortunately, for stylistic reasons and because--at their age they know better--the thoughts and advice given here will be lost on youth. But for those who, like this writer, are on the cusp of seniorhood, the insights on lives well-lived are both instructive and heartening. This is a very good book for an individual reader contemplating life's "golden" years, even better if it can be shared across generations.
Buy this book.In a disposable culture, books like this can lead to personal and cultural changes that are so necessary to help appreciate what life has to offer.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
WEDDING GIFT!!! Actually, anyone getting serious about another and thinking about lifelong partnership ought to get this, read together and discuss!!!!!!!Published 1 month ago by margaret luttinger
Loved the stories and advice from people who have been there....done that.Published 3 months ago by SensibleStacey
Not only is this book easy to read, it is entertaining. The reviews prompted me to purchase this book, and I recommend it to anybody who wants 'plain talk' advice that they can use... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jess
I like this book, but I felt after reading this book, that I been there and done that.
In other words similar book that I have read said much the same. Read more
Not into self help books but this is a must. One I wish I had read many years ago. Nothing like wisdom.Published 5 months ago by Thea
I really enjoyed reading this book. It was full of good advice for living life.Published 6 months ago by Janet P. Sterling