- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Twelve; 1 edition (January 2, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0446196037
- ISBN-13: 978-0446196031
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 32 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,548,142 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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How to Live: A Search for Wisdom from Old People (While They Are Still on This Earth) 1st Edition
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HOW TO LIVE is less zany than other work by Alford but it is just as wonderful. In this terrific book he interviews our elders to find out what they've learned on their journey on the planet. It's a great idea for a book. And the follow through is even more impressive.
The author also opens up and invites the reader into life in the Alford family. Anyone who ever wondered where the writer found his witty and subversive voice now knows---the culprit is his mother!
I recommend this book to anyone in need of a hearty laugh with some pearls of wisdom tossed in. Which would be everyone on the planet.
I was wrong. And here is why:
1. It is obvious that the author set out to discover wisdom from certain old people; but then it appears he could only manage to get a few of them to be interviewed. Briefly. It is such a labor to see the author struggle to 'extract' wisdom from such thin materials.
2. The family drama between his mother and his stepfather only has very loose connection with what the author was set out to do. And there was certain details revealing that his mother was quite aware of his project of writing this book and she was consious of being quoted.
3. There is no consistent 'wisdom' found by the author. Neither do I. Instead we met a couple of "would be" interesting figures, but then the chapter ends with no fresh material since the author could not or would not dig deeper.
I am currently reading another book purchased on Amazon: The Snowball - Warren Buffett and the Business of Life. Now THAT is a book to learn from an old folk - a 900 page book with full co-operation from Buffett, his family members and business partners and associates, hundreds of hours of recorded interviews, full of details and anecdotes. Every page turned I learn something, and as a reader, I thank the author Alice Schroeder for making Buffett trusting her and for writing a book to make reading such an enjoyable ride.