Skip to main content

Book Review: 30 Lessons for Living by Karl Pillemer


What is the key to living a fulfilling life? What choices can you make now to ensure you have no regrets later in life? Karl Pillemer, Ph.D., has interviewed more than 1,000 Americans over the age of 65 (who he calls the "experts") to get the answers to these questions. He presents his findings in 30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans.

He doesn't tell the life stories of the participants, but rather the lessons they offered when looking back on their lives. The lessons span several areas:
  1. Lessons for a Happy Marriage
  2. Lessons for a Successful and Fulfilling Career
  3. Lessons for a Lifetime of Parenting
  4. Lessons for Aging Fearlessly and Well
  5. Lessons for Living a Life without Regrets
  6. Lessons for Living like an Expert
These topics may sound like an outline for a typical self-help book, but 30 Lessons for Living is far from that. While some of the advice is very familiar, it's the way it's presented that's different. Hearing a 79 year old woman talk, in her own words, of her regret for not having spent enough time with her kids is much more meaningful than reading a standard self-help book that says you should spend more time with your kids. The lessons resonate in a much stronger way.

While some of the lessons were pretty obvious, some were much more interesting and meaningful. For example, one of the lessons is to travel more ~ at a young age while you still can. As one expert said:
If you have to make a decision whether you want to remodel your kitchen or take a trip--well, I say, choose the trip! And travel when you're young because your health allows you to do things that you can't do when you get older. Material things, you can wait on those. (page 183)
One of the points that was especially poignant for me is the reality that we actually spend more time as parents of adult children than we do as parents of young children. And the relationship we build with our young children obviously has a huge impact on what sort of relationship we will have with them as adults. I never really thought about this before and it will definitely be in my thoughts as I raise my children.

I highly recommend 30 Lessons for Living if you're looking for a book that will have a positive impact on the way you live your life, without being too preachy. It would make a great book club selection for those groups that read nonfiction. And I it appeals to a wide range of ages. Younger readers will get more out of it, since they have more time to put the advice into practice. But I will say that my mother, who is in her mid-60s, enjoyed it as well. And since she's almost old enough to be an expert herself, she was able to corroborate many of the lessons included in the book.

My Rating: 5/5

Read a guest post by Karl A. Pillemer

For more information on the The Legacy Project, please:
Like The Legacy Project on Facebook 
Follow author Karl Pillemer on Twitter

This review was written based on a copy of 30 Lessons for Living that I received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Comments

  1. This sounds really cool. Learning from the lives of other people and the discoveries/mistakes they've made is profound.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Popular posts from this blog

Getting back to blogging

It seems that blogging has dropped to the bottom of my list for the past year, and was pretty low for the year or two prior to that. I love to read, and am continuing to do so, but as my regular readers know I haven't been around much. My last blog post was almost a year ago!!

There are many things that have taken me away from blogging. Work has been much more challenging and interesting these past few years, but that means I really don't want to get back on the computer when I get home at night - or on the weekends.

Family life has been more busy with kids having multiple activities in the evenings, leaving little time to just hang out and write about the books that I read.

I will admit to a bit of a Facebook addiction, which means way too much time spent scrolling through my newsfeed instead of doing something more productive. This is one of the things I'm working on and hoping that this will free up some time for getting back to the blog.

Overall, life is good. Work is …

Freedom to Read Giveaway Hop

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Mundie Moms are hosting the Freedom to Read Giveaway Hop in honor of Independence Day in the United States, and I've decided to participate.

To stick with the theme of Independence Day, I'm doing what I did last year for this hop:

I'm giving away a book of your choice that is written by an author from the United States.
It can be any genre as long as the author is from the United States. You choose the book (up to $15), and I'll order it and have it mailed to you from Book Depository.

The contest ends on Thursday, July 5th at midnight Eastern Time. The winner will be notified by e-mail. If they do not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

Happy 4th of July! I hope you have a safe and fun holiday!

Enter here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Now check out all of the other giveaways you can enter at the links below!

Freedom Giveaway Hop

Simply Stacie and I Am A Reader, Not A Writer are hosting the Freedom Giveaway Hop in honor of Independence Day in the United States, and I've decided to participate.

To stick with the theme of Independence Day:

I'm giving away a book of your choice that is written by an author from the United States.
It can be any genre as long as the author is from the United States. You choose the book (up to $15), and I'll order it and have it mailed to you from the vendor of my choice.

To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment below telling me your favorite U.S. author (this doesn't have to be the author of the book you choose if you're the winner). Include your email address so I can contact you if you win. This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian mailing addresses only. I've decided to open this up to international entries as long as Book Depository ships to your address.

For extra entries:
Leave a separate comment if you follow My Book Retreat through Google Frie…