Monday, August 3, 2015


It seems that much of the time we read a how-to book, it is not the entire work that impacts us in special way. Rather it is some kernel of truth or inspiration that pops out for us to remember. If you enjoy reading advice books, there all sorts of titles on the shelves at the Monrovia Public Library. All of these easy-to-read books share the common trait of being encouraging and entertaining.

Katie Couric interviewed well-known personalities for The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons from Extraordinary Lives. Ken Burns, Maya Angelou and Michael J. Fox are among the people she talks to about such subjects as risk taking, perseverance, preparation and learning from our mistakes. 
In Ten Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Went Out into the Real World Maria Shriver took a college commencement speech she made and turned it into a book of advice, not only for those launching new lives after graduation, but also for all of us who need a reboot. This warm and funny book talks about how to make dreams into realities and how to balance our busy and chaotic lives. 
Tim Gunn, who made the surprising transition from professor to television star on Project Runway, offers sage mentoring advice in Gunn’s Golden Rules: Life’s Little Lessons for Making it Work. Emphasizing that hard work and good manners always trump cutting corners and acting like a prima donna, Gunn gives a positive road map to getting ahead in life. 

Marlo Thomas says that The Right Words at the Right Time are often just the inspiration that prompts us into action. And, sometimes those words are not always what we want to hear. Tom Brokaw talks about a professor who told him to quit gliding by and get his act together and Muhammed Ali tells about a teacher who said he was never going to have any success. What is interesting about the contributions of those well-known in politics, science and show business is that they remember just those words that helped them along.

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