30 Lessons for Living
Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans
More than one thousand extraordinary Americans share their stories and the wisdom they have gained on living, loving, and finding happiness.
After a chance encounter with an extraordinary ninety-year-old woman, renowned gerontologist Karl Pillemer began to wonder what older people know about life that the rest of us don't.
His quest led him to interview more than one thousand Americans over the age of sixty-five to seek their counsel on all the big issues- children, marriage, money, career, aging. Their moving stories and uncompromisingly honest answers often surprised him. And he found that he consistently heard advice that pointed to these thirty lessons for living. Here he weaves their personal recollections of difficulties overcome and lives well lived into a timeless book filled with the hard-won advice these older Americans wish someone had given them when they were young.
Like This I Believe, StoryCorps's Listening Is an Act of Love, and Tuesdays with Morrie, 30 Lessons for Living is a book to keep and to give. Offering clear advice toward a more fulfilling life, it is as useful as it is inspiring.
-Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People
"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")
"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 "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 syndicated 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