Thursday, July 21, 2016

A Book Review-Eleanor Roosevelt's You Learn by Living

Overview From Barnes and Noble

One of the most beloved figures of the twentieth century, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt remains a role model for a life well lived. At the age of seventy-six, Roosevelt penned this simple guide to living a fuller life. You Learn by Living is a powerful volume of enduring commonsense ideas and heartfelt values. Offering her own philosophy on living, Eleanor takes readers on a path to compassion, confidence, maturity, civic stewardship, and more. Her keys to a fulfilling life?

  • Learning to Learn 
  • Fear—the Great Enemy
  • The Uses of Time
  • The Difficult Art of Maturity
  • Readjustment is Endless
  • Learning to Be Useful
  • The Right to Be an Individual 
  • How to Get the Best Out of People
  • Facing Responsibility 
  • How Everyone Can Take Part in Politics
  • Learning to Be a Public Servant
Informed by her personal experiences as a daughter, wife, parent, and diplomat, this book is a window into Eleanor Roosevelt herself and a trove of timeless wisdom that resonates in any era.

I think I expected to like this book more than I did. I am not really sure why I didn't find this to be as great a book as some of those whose reviews I read. But I liked some of the things she had to say. Some of the people she quoted. I would like to read more about Eleanor Roosevelt as a person. This book didn't shed much light on her life.

Some of my favorites quotes from the book are:

"There is no human being from whom we cannot learn something if we are interested enough to dig deep."

"Fear has always seemed to me to be the worst stumbling block which anyone has to face"

"You can do anything you have to do" Louis Howe

"Actually you can finish any task much quicker if you concentrate on if for fifteen minutes than if you give it divided attention for thirty"

"Unless time is good for something, it is good for nothing"

"The most unhappy people in the world are those who face the days without knowing what to do with their time"

I'm giving this book ** stars. It was okay! Maybe I should give it a 2+. A little better than just okay. But not quite at the 'this is a good book' level. 


  1. Hadn't heard of this one. I think I'll pass on it unless it is offered for free and I have lots of time on my hands :)


    1. I don't think you will miss anything here Betty!

  2. Hi Paula - I'm sure she had some very salient points ... they might be 'dull' in this day and age - but oh so true and such good maxims to follow ... that concentrate one is most definitely true ... cheers Hilary

    1. She had good points. And you are right...a bit dull for this day and age!! I agree with the concentrate one too. Hard to abide by at times!

  3. Probably my own misperceptions, but I thought by the title hers would be a more personal account. I especially like the first quote you cited!

    1. I thought so too Myra. But it really wasn't much about her. Just her thoughts on living a better life!

  4. How disappointing when you expect great things from a book and it doesn't deliver.

  5. Well, at least there's certainly truth in her title. We do learn by living.

  6. Sounds like another self help type book. Which isn't a bad thing. Ah well.

    1. I didn't really think of it as a self-help book but I guess it could be!


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