30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans
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30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans

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by Karl Pillemer
     
 

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“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 syndicated advice columnist "Ask Amy"

After a chance encounter with a remarkable ninety-year-old woman, renowned gerontologist Karl Pillemer decided to find out what

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Overview

“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 syndicated advice columnist "Ask Amy"

After a chance encounter with a remarkable ninety-year-old woman, renowned gerontologist Karl Pillemer decided to find out what older people know about life that the rest of us don’t. His quest led him to speak with a thousand Americans over the age of sixty-five—many of whom can remember the Depression and World War II. While some of their tales reaffirmed timeless wisdom, others surprised Pillemer with the unexpected. Now with a new preface by Jane Brody, 30 Lessons for Living distills their moving stories and hard-won advice. To learn how to live without regret, persevere through hard times, find fulfillment, and age fearlessly and well, there is no one better to ask than the people who have done it themselves.

This beautiful paperback edition features deckled edges and french flaps — a perfect gift for any occasion.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Thank you, Dr. Pillemer, for gathering all this wisdom in one book before it is lost. I can't imagine anyone whose life will not be enriched by this book." 

—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

Publishers Weekly
As he dispenses concrete, practical advice on how to make the most of our lives, Cornell gerontologist Pillemer turns for answers to our elders—those he believes are the experts, with the enormous advantage of life experience, whose limits have been tested by illness, danger, failure, oppression, and loss. His approximately 1,000 Americans age 65 and older from around the country and many walks of life share personal memories to explain what is important for a long, happy marriage: for instance, marrying someone a lot like yourself, trying to give more than you want to get out of the relationship, and learning how to fight are key. The seniors agree that you shouldn’t choose a career based only on potential earnings; that you should do everything necessary to avoid a permanent rift with a child, even if it requires compromise on a parent’s part; travel while you can, even if it means making financial sacrifices; and view aging as a quest and tidy up the loose ends of life before you go. Giving familiar advice a new spin by mining the rich resource of older Americans, Pillemer offers a refreshing, smart wakeup call about getting your priorities straight and living right. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Who better to teach lessons on living, asks Pillemer (human ecology, Cornell Univ.; director, Cornell Inst. for Translational Research on Aging), than the thousands of Americans over the age of 65 who have successfully navigated the territories of marriage, career, money, and aging? By conducting innumerable interviews, Pillemer found that their advice upends contemporary wisdom: they suggest marrying a person like oneself, choosing a career for intrinsic rewards, and spending more time with one's children. The author skillfully weaves a prevailing theme (e.g., parenting, aging fearlessly) with self-disclosing statements from interviewees to create a compelling, inspirational book. One of the best of its kind.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780452298484
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/30/2012
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
78,715
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

What People are saying about this

Harold Kushner
Thank you, Dr. Pillemer, for gathering all this wisdom in one book before it is lost. I can't imagine anyone whose life will not be enriched by this book. (Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People)
From the Publisher
"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")

Howard S. Friedman & Leslie R. Martin
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)
Matthew Kelly
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)
Amy Dickinson
The "Wisest Americans" have a lot to teach the rest of us. Some of this advice is refreshingly commonsense. 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 syndicated advice columnist "Ask Amy")
Hal Urban
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)

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Meet the Author

KARL PILLEMER, PH.D., is the founder and director of the Cornell Institute for Translational Research on Aging. 

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