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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
With countless books offering advice and inspiration to graduates or grown-ups in need of a hug, finally there is a definitive guide to life from a successful man who knows what you need to hear. Bestselling author, Emmy Awardwinning television star, and honorary Ph.D. Al Franken has read all the books by the competition -- from Maria Shriver to Anna Quindlen -- and realized that "their readers were mine for the taking." Prepare to be taken: From your first job ("Oh, Are You Going to Hate Your First Job!") to marital bliss ("Oh, Just Looking at Your Spouse Will Make Your Skin Crawl!") to fulfillment in the "best years" of your life ("Oh, the Loneliness, the Loneliness!"), Franken draws on wisdom culled from his own failures and successes to prepare you for every vista and pothole along the road of life.
Franken makes the journey even more exciting by promising to deliver not only good advice but bad advice, too -- leaving it to the reader to identify which is which. From choosing a career ("There are many people who should not pursue their passion. And you might be one of them") to staying together ("Believe me, kids would rather have two parents screaming at each other than one happy parent calmly helping them with their homework"); from success on your own terms ("the allure of high-price real-estate and the magical thinking it engenders") to the inevitable drug addiction ("Admitting that you have a problem and getting help may be the first and second steps toward reaching a point in life when you can look back at the things you did while you were high on drugs and laugh at them") -- Franken's cup runneth over with heartfelt wisdom and experience (at no small expense to his wife, who must be the most forgiving spouse on the planet). Along the way, Franken offers helpful examples, guidelines, and lists (including a complete list of international dialing codes!) that readers can "clip out and save" to refer to in a pinch.
Every traveler embarking on the next stage in life's journey is bombarded with aphorisms, and Franken helps the wide-eyed wanderer wade through the sea of advice by offering even more advice: "When you encounter seemingly good advice that contradicts other seemingly good advice, ignore them both." With helpful chapter summaries to pinpoint key information for readers with no attention span, Oh, the Things I Know! is, as Franken says, not the only book you should ever read, but certainly the only advice book you'll ever need. "Some of you who read this will have miserable lives and be disappointments to your parents, your children, your spouse, and to yourself. And, to some extent, me," writes Dr. Al, and with good reason -- because after reading Oh, the Things I Know!, really, we think you should know better. (Elise Vogel)