30 Lessons for Living

30 Lessons for Living

Tried and True Advice From the Wisest Americans

Book - 2011
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Draws on a renowned gerontologist's extensive discussions with hundreds of senior-aged Americans to reveal wisdom gleaned from their experiences on topics ranging from families and finances to careers and aging.
Publisher: New York : Hudson Street Press, 2011
ISBN: 9781594630842
Branch Call Number: 305.26 PIL
Characteristics: xiii, 271 p. ; 24 cm
Alternative Title: Thirty lessons for living


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Oct 14, 2016

Decent, but the anonymity of the anecdotes make it a little less appealing. It's nice to know who exactly the "wisest Americans" are. For a happy read, I recommend it.

May 28, 2012

Great insights. Worth a read.

May 21, 2012

Pillemer interviewed over 1,000 Americans between the ages of 65 and 110, from all walks of life, to learn the most important lessons about living successfully. He called the subjects “experts” in living. They are not academic experts or sociologists but people who have been there, have experienced long lives and can reflect on what worked and what didn’t. Many had experienced the Great Depression and World War II.

The results of the interviews are distilled the into 6 major themes - marriage, work and career, parenting, aging, living without regrets, choosing happiness - with 5 lessons in each.

Some of the ideas are obvious, some less so. In many areas there was almost total consensus among the “experts”. The importance of choosing the right partner, being honest and living by the “Golden Rule” were emphasized. Money and material possessions are much less important than relationships, experiences and enjoying life’s simple daily pleasures. Perhaps the most important lesson, also a consensus, is the importance of Time. Life is short. We should not waste it on things that don’t matter or on worrying about things we can’t affect.

The book is very well organized and well written. Each chapter concludes with a summary of the five lessons presented in it. The text is clear and concise, making the book very readable.

One could say that this is just another self-help book with lots of good advice, most of which we have heard before in one form or another. However, the fact that the advice is a result of the reflections of a large group of real people looking back on real lives makes it more compelling. The book is worth reading and can stimulate some valuable contemplation on our own values and life-choices.


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