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You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life
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You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  2,154 Ratings  ·  294 Reviews
Mrs. Roosevelt expresses her philosophy of life by relating the experiences which have enabled her to cope with personal and public responsibilities.
Paperback, 211 pages
Published May 1st 2009 by Westminster John Knox Press (first published January 28th 1960)
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Heather
Mar 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Any woman who would like to learn from an extraordinary woman.
I loved, loved, loved this book. I felt this book is a rare gem that few people know about. It was like listening to a wise grandma casting her pearls of wisdom that are still very applicable today. The thing I loved the most is that I think anyone could relate to Eleanor Roosevelt! She was an extraordinary woman, yet so ordinary(like you and me) at the same time.
This is one that I will definitely read again.
Trish
This is a great book that discusses what we should seek in a politician. Eleanor Roosevelt's control and calm is what I admire most. She was comfortable in her own skin by the time her husband and her best friend, Tommy, died, when she wrote this book. She was well situated financially, but it was more than that: she gives examples of people who never did learn, in all their years, how giving is more rewarding than taking, and sharing is what a good life is all about.

And she ought to know. Elea
...more
Melissa Yael Winston
In this book, Eleanor Roosevelt outlines eleven actions that each person must take in order to lead a fulfilling life. They are as follows:
1. Learning to Learn--This first key makes the others possible. A fulfilled person must be curious and must learn to use his or her mind as a tool to understand and influence the world. Roosevelt insists that beyond discipline and training, a sense that life is an adventure makes people not only willing but passionate to learn about themselves, their fellow h
...more
Sarah
Aug 02, 2013 rated it liked it
I was surprised that I didn't enjoy this book more than I did. I found myself frequently saying YES! That's true! but what would have been quite controversial in 1962 seems rather mundane now. I found her writing style to be a bit arrogant or patronizing (which is hardly surprising given the life she led - she's earned the right to speak authoritatively but somehow, it just rubbed me the wrong way) and at times, the writing seemed very dated to me. I'd really like to read her autobiography - I t ...more
Josilyn
Aug 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
WOW. Although written in 1960, this book still resounds with relevance today, and it should be required reading for every young adult who wants to know how to make the most of life. If students had to read this in high school, I believe that an entire generation would benefit and be better people as a result. Many of the values put forth in this book are ones that are prone to be forgotten in this day and age, but they should not be. Most likely this will be one of the 5 most influential books I ...more
Marisa
Nov 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Eleanor Roosevelt is definitely one of my biggest historical heroes, but I have to say that I would not necessarily recommend this book. The 21st century reader has to take everything with a grain of salt given the time period it was written in, which is only to be expected, however I felt that even the core messages of the chapters (which are largely still applicable today) are not written in a way that is particularly engaging or interesting-- and for a woman who did so much, one would think s ...more
emilee
Mar 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
i've always adored eleanor roosevelt but i do so much more after this book. she is such a wise woman & has so many great things to say--i couldn't stop highlighting. so many great stories from her life experiences. it made me really think about what i have learned from living. i seriously think everyone should read this & the world would be a happier & better place, it made me want to be a better person after reading
Heather Friedman
Sep 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It's unbelievable how accurate and still relevant many of Eleanor Roosevelt's observations and recommendations are. I enjoyed this little book of reflection and found it motivating and inspiring in how I can evolve and grow in little ways throughout my day. She is a fascinating woman and this was a great read on advice from parenting to how to be a better person, citizen, role model.
Carol
Nov 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
In just 11 chapters, Eleanor shares with us her own interpretation of the basic philosophy of life. She believes that her basic philosophy is best expressed in the choices one makes daily. She discusses fear, a stumbling block, the great crippler, is something we all face. She stated "Looking back, it strikes me that my childhood and my early youth were one long battle against fear." She realized that "the danger lies in refusing to face the fear, in not daring to come to grips with it. If you f ...more
Danica
Nov 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A book to keep by your bedside and read a page or two before you go to sleep.
Inspirational, keeping us on the right path
Trice
kind of a facts of life sort of thing, very practical - most of it not hugely surprising, but nice to have that voice with its background of experience and hearing what kind of advice she'd give. also a quick take toward the end on both the price of and need for participation in politics, from the local up to the international, from 'mere' voting up to representation and bill writing.

In some ways the way she thinks about and talks of the various parts of life reminded me of my grandmother, thou
...more
Carey
Jan 26, 2016 rated it liked it
This book is basically a memoir of Eleanor's beliefs and ideas that she had during her life. It's not an autobiography which is what our bookclub was looking for our selection. Maybe we should've looked more closely at the book before choosing it. It did provide many ideas that are still relevant today; such as... The importance of education, reading, choices, happiness, politics, and being a life-long learner. My favorite quote is this... "Whatever period of life we are in is good only to the e ...more
Miz Lizzie
Aug 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
So interesting on so many different levels. The book serves as a self-help manual, a memoir, a textbook on good citizenship and how to become a public servant, a source of small meaningful stories and inspirational tidbits, and a historical document. Written at the end of her life, Eleanor Roosevelt embraced her role as Elder and Public Servant to write a book summarizing the greatest lessons of her life to share with others. In brief, make deliberate effort to overcome your fears, small and lar ...more
Kirstin
Feb 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
From an academic standpoint I would give this book a 3 stars. She is constantly stating her opinion as absolute statements--some of which I didn't entirely agree. She doesn't defend her opinions and sentiments very well sometimes and for that I just thought the academic aspects of the book were "okay".

From a personal standpoint, I thought the book was a 5 stars. Perhaps because the book is a little outdated, I felt like I was reading counsel from my grandmother. She is a moral person and speaks
...more
Ana González suazo
Feb 01, 2015 rated it did not like it
Very disappointed. I was expecting so much more after reading the great reviews. She comes out snobby, and though her advice usually makes sense, it was not very practical. Some of her advice makes for great quotes, but that's the best I can say. It was a very boring, I had a hard time even getting through it. I assume she has other better books and thats why her reviews are so good. Might have to read something else to change my mind, but will probably have to wait some years before putting mys ...more
Lindsay
Jun 21, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This book was ok. I didn't find it super life changing or anything. Its a pretty simple basic book, targets to the point where we should learn as much as we can, and face our fears, and try new things. Thats what I like about Eleanor Roosevelt. What I've read about her, it seems as if she was a shy girl, but as she got older, she wanted to learn as much as she could and do new things and stop being afraid of things. Basically she lived her life.
Maria
Oct 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Eleanor Roosevelt clearly was a woman with a great spirit, passionate for making herself and her world better. In her book, she shared those things that you would want a mentor to share. It would make a great gift for a graduate or young adult.

She found each person, conversation and experience a teacher, thus never being bored and certainly never being boring.

My favorite quotes from it include:
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear
...more
Amanda
Jun 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Eleanor Roosevelt was an extraordinary woman. I feel fortunate to have gotten to know her a little more through her book. This book is broken into eleven key chapters.
1 - Learning to Learn
2 - Fear: The Great Enemy
3 - The Uses of Time
4 - The Difficult Art of Maturity
5 - Readjustment is Endless
6 - Learning to be Useful
7 - The Right to be an Individual
8 - How to Get the Best out of People
9 - Facing Responsibility
10 - How Everyone can Take Part in Politics
11 - Learning to be a Public Servant

The over
...more
Becky
Dec 10, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book after reading a few quotes from it somewhere. It is an immensely quotable book and follows an anecdote, platitude, repeat format. Unlike what I expected, the anecdotes where not from Eleanor’s personal life, but from the lives and observations of people she’s met over the years. (The fault seems to be in my expectations. Perhaps I should have read her biography instead.)

A few things to note.

1. This book is not timeless. It includes many references to current situations betw
...more
Dionne
Jan 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Dionne by: Kelli Wick
"Surely, in the light of history, it is more intelligent to hope rather than to fear, to try rather than not to try. For one thing we know beyond all doubt: Nothing has ever been achieved by the person who says, 'It can't be done'"

I loved this book, it was amazing. A friend was reading it and was inspired, and so she bought the book for me as well. Eleanor gives a lot of great advice. Some of what she said I've heard other places, but the way she said things inspired me.

The chapter on fear was w
...more
Biniam Biniam
May 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
At the end of You Learn by Living, Eleanor Roosevelt writes that she feels that her book advice for personal growth and fulfillment boils down to a handful of principles. It is always helpful to successfully complete smaller steps that carry you gradually towards a larger goal. There are more clearly defined objectives, it will be defined between steps achieved and made visible. that motivates incredible
Heidi
Jul 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is a treasure-trove of quotable wisdom. Clearly, it's an auto-biographical account, so you have to take some with a grain of salt, and I even rolled my eyes at some points. But it was a fascinating look into the life of an unarguably great women. It's a very short, easy read.
Michelle
Jun 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Some great bits of wisdom if you overlook the sexist bias of the times.
Kelli
Dec 13, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The overtones of her political progressiveness were a bit hard to swallow. But that being said, I did appreciate the fact that she faced her many fears and conquered them.
Sean O
Oct 18, 2016 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned-books
Can't even. Full of dippy platitudes and reminisces of rich upbringing. I might pick it up again, but not today.
Kayla
May 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book introduces no revolutionary ideas or concepts (a fact Roosevelt acknowledges in the afterword), however it is full of wise reminders of our duty to ourselves and our fellow man. According to my handy Kindle stats, I highlighted 62 passages (in a mere 212 page book) if that gives a sense for how much this book resonated with me.

The lesson above all that I've continued to dwell on is that we are responsible for our own growth. We should teach children and ourselves the power that comes w
...more
Susan
Mar 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Eleanor Roosevelt was so wise! In this book, she gives 11 keys to living a successful life. It is slightly old-fashioned, but so practical and much of what she has to say is still relevant today. Her 11 keys are:
1. Learning to learn
2. Fear, the Great Enemy
3. Uses of Time
4. The Difficult Art of Maturity
5. Readjustment is Endless
6. Learning to be Useful
7. The Right to be an Individual
8. How to get the best out of people
9. Facing Responsibility
10. How everyone can take part in politics
11. Learning
...more
Amy
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
I really really enjoyed Ms Rosevelt's perspective of the world and how she approaches giving advice. She recognizes her own shortcomings with such honesty. Her attitude about learning and growing in all situations is so admirable and something that took her far in life. I especially liked it when she talked about what she learned from her husband and her position as First Lady. The final chapters about civic responsibility and public service were honesty and of particular interest to me given ou ...more
Kayla
Jun 01, 2018 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the beginning of this book, but at least half felt less relevant and even boring, which is unfortunate. There was definitely some class differences- she was talking about knowing what you want when your decorator comes or how sometimes the parties she went to were really dull. I’ll turn on my highlights when I get the chance, because there really were some great parts in the beginning.
Megan Helmer
Feb 10, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars - she wrote this in 1960 so yes, it’s simple but it’s also written in a very timeless manner. All of these principles can easily be applied to life and society today and I appreciated that.
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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was an American political leader who used her influence as an active First Lady from 1933 to 1945 to promote the New Deal policies of her husband, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, as well as taking a prominent role as an advocate for civil rights. After her husband's death in 1945, she continued to be an internationally prominent author and speaker for the New Deal coalition ...more
More about Eleanor Roosevelt
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” 6348 likes
“It's your life-but only if you make it so.” 278 likes
More quotes…