Life Beyond Measure: Letters to My Great-Granddaughter
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Life Beyond Measure: Letters to My Great-Granddaughter

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  296 ratings  ·  65 reviews
Sidney Poitier is one of the most revered actors in the history of Hollywood. He has overcome enormous obstacles in extraordinary times and is a role model for many Americans because of his convictions, bravery, and grace. Poitier reflects on his amazing life in Life Beyond Measure, offering inspirational advice and personal stories in the form of extended letters to his g...more
Hardcover, 285 pages
Published April 29th 2008 by HarperOne (first published January 1st 2008)
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Henrietta H
This book was beautiful from beginning to end. Sidney Poitier was honest about his short-comings, his failings, and his wonderful accomplishments humbly and, at the same time, steadfast. From his early beginnings on Cat Island to his life on stage and screen, he shared his letters to his great-granddaughter Ayele with us faithfully. He asked questions of her, and of us. The questions were not easy or simple ones, and they are far reaching in their answers.

The prose of this book was lyrical and b...more
Shonna Froebel
Of course, just listening to Sidney Poitier's voice is a pleasure, but this book is also a pleasure from the content. Several years ago I listened to the audio version of Measure of a Man by Poitier, also read by him, and this book extends my knowledge of him.
The book is organized by issues and thus is not written as a consecutive timeline, but rather moves back and forth, even referring back to earlier sections at times. It is written as a series of letters to his first great granddaughter givi...more
Belissa Etienne
Life Beyond Measure is a wonderful book. Throughout this book I learned and received alot of wisdom. In this book Sidney Poitier is writing a series of letters to his great granddaughter. I don't this book was only for his great granddaughter cause it can also help many other people as well. I think this book could also be used as a biography over his life. Because when he is making the letters he is also telling alot about his life. Sometimes I go back and just look at the highlighted points I...more
Joy H.
I've enjoyed listening to the audio version of this book. The Goodreads summary describes it all very well. I agree when it says: "_Life Beyond Measure_ is the perfect book to inspire readers to live the fullest life with integrity...".

I also agree with Publisher's Weekly when it says: "Written as a set of letters to his great granddaughter, _Life Beyond Measure_ is bursting at the seams with inspirational stories aimed to advise and motivate us all. His writing is deep, his views are that of a...more
Teofila
What a wonderful man.
Shippseattle
Sidney Poitier is one of the most revered actors in the history of Hollywood. He has overcome enormous obstacles in extraordinary times and is a r...more

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Sidney Poitier is one of the most revered actors in the history of Hollywood. He has overcome enormous obstacles in extraordinary times and is a role model for many Americans because of his convictions, bravery, and grace. Poitier reflects on his amazing life in Life Beyond Measure, offering inspirational advice and personal stories in...more
Lisa
"With knowledge you can grasp tight a belief: that you can be better, that the world can be better. With that, you can claim hope.
Hope is the eternal tool in the survival kit for mankind."

This and other quotes threaded in several letters to his granddaughter make up the bulk of Poitier's recollections on his 80 plus years. Lean on historical cinematic accounts that shaped his legendary screen career; heavy on advise. Not too bad if you can skim over some while searching for more gems of observat...more
Sean Peters
Hi

Another one of my collection of memoirs, and still have many to go.

I read memoirs, as a break from my exciting crime/thriller books.

Second book I have read of his and heavy going and slow.

memoirs the best were

Tony Curtis, Maureen O Hara, Ernest Borgnine.

Worst and there has mean a few.

Dick Van Dyke, very slow. I will think od more
India Celeste
I really enjoyed this book and didn't think that I would. Some parts were a little slower than others but I think for someone in their early 20s to read this like I was, it is a great book for the psyche. What I learned from this book is that other than the things we can't control in life, there are very few, if any, excuses not to try and improve our circumstances. I've never forgotten hearing him talk about his life pre-America and the hardships he endured once he got here. I have many flashba...more
Marthe Bijman
While I was reading Sidney Poitier’s memoir, it was as if he were talking to me in his velvety voice with his pristine pronunciation. Poitier (82), is a film industry icon for breaking the race barrier in film and theatre during the Civil Rights Era, and for his acting accomplishments. The memoir consists of letters to his great-granddaughter about life’s philosophical questions, interspersed with references to his film and diplomatic career. Through his dignified and candid writing we learn tha...more
Rich
I find Sidney Poitier’s life to be quite amazing. It is hard to comprehend how an illiterate 16-year old who spent his youth on a remote island in the Bahamas (without running water or electricity) could land in NYC alone at age 16 with $15 to his name and end up where he did.

It would have been conceptually impossible for anyone to rise above such humble beginnings but such was greatly compounded in the 50's when racial segregation was still practiced in the US. His story is very inspiring.

He wa...more
Jodi
Sidney Poitier is amazing. Despite having no formal education, he is eloquent in his writing. He's a brilliant actor but that came about by accident. In this series of letters he wrote for his great-granddaughter, he talks about various aspects of his life, where he got his own moral compass, the kinds of deep thoughts he has. Since he was 80 when she was born, he figured she wouldn't have a lot of her own memories of him but he didn't want it to be left to others to tell her about him. I enjoye...more
Ann
I learned a lot about who Mr. Poitier was and thought these letters were so endearing.
Mom Shaw
I have always like Sidney Poitier and his films make you think... I enjoyed this book, about his life history basically and it gave me great encouragement to write my own book. I don't have the novelty of being famous and that helping me sell my book but to hear his simple life stories and people and events that changed and molded him I makes it clear that we are all molded and become a product of what we are surrounded by. He is a wonderful reader for the book, I listened to it and would recomm...more
Ray
Excellent book! Full of wisdom and life lessons.
Sandi Grandberry
I really expected to like this book. I met Syndey Poitier in an Airport in Maryland. He accidentally put his neck scarf in my bucket when we went through security. He offered me a hug, but I had some kind of "I don't want to be a silly fan" moment and didn't let him hug me. I do love his work, and he is amazing on a live interview, but his book is a little too much about what he is going to say and less about what he has to say. I have gotten a little futher into the book and it is a little bett...more
Julie
I especially enjoyed the descriptions of Poitier's life on Cat Island as a child. The lack of technology (no running water, no electricity) makes the reader think about what we can do without in modern developed society. He had a wonderful childhood despite the lack of conveniences and the island was self-sufficient for the most part. It was clear that his family & upbringing had a strong positive impact on the wonderful man he became. A great read, and what a treasured gift for his great-gr...more
Bruce
It was an OK book. I liked his first book, "The Measure of A Man", better. There were moments in the book when it was very interesting, but most of the book was more philosophical, and while I like the way Sydney expresses himself he would not be someone I would immediately go to for philosophy. I liked the parts where he described what he had to overcome to achieve in life and what he learned from his experiences. His essays on metaphysical subjects were not of much interest or information.
Nandi Crawford
Jul 21, 2009 Nandi Crawford marked it as to-read
Recommends it for: anyone who is a fan of Sidney Poitier's or just want a good read
I bought a copy as a Mother's Day gift to my mother, but it didn't arrive on time to be such. However, when she DID get it, I was told she loved it on sight so that made me feel good and I see the copy by her bedside so I know she's reading it. From what little I have read, the book is very good. Basically some insights of his life to tell his young great granddaughter when she gets of age. It reminded me of his previous books, but I enjoy his offerings now matter how he does it.
Nafis Faizi
“This has all been to reveal to you, my dearest great-granddaughter, that in our travels to become who we are and who we were meant to be in the grand scheme of things –whether we see ourselves as outsiders or belongers, or as shy or private, or as outgoing, gregarious extraverts ----what really counts above all is that we do see ourselves. By seeing and knowing ourselves, we are given dominion over our lives – the capacity to steer our own ships, for better and for worse."
Doris
It was good, gave a look into the life of a charming and captivating man. It did tend towards the repetitive sometimes, and there were many cliches woven through the text, but overall a good thought-provoking book.

I especially liked the last few letters. One in particular states that there are bad wars and good wars, and the good are fought "in the name of children, in the name of the poor" and in the name of the oppressed everywhere.
Shannon
Men such as Sidney Poitier are so rare it is easy to realize with very little time that he is a man with which all others will be compared. I am amazed at his fortitude, his values, his honor, and his history. His wisdom should be etched in stone and his books should be read by everyone. Correction: everyone should listen to his books. This man's voice is so rich and deep and eloquent you will wish your life was narrated with it.
Linda Rogers
Should have written solely to his Great Granddaughter.
Some very oh hum parts to the book. Interesting background for those
who want to know where he came from and what he went thru before
becoming a great actor and artist. I think he is a dignified person and deserving of all the respect a human needs.....but I wish the book was more to an audience....he sure loves his great granddaugher. Thats a nice thing.
Joanna
Listening to the audiobook (read by the author) is absolutely the best way to enjoy this book. Poitier has a fabulous voice and hearing the nuances of his memories through his own telling and the personalization of these letters. I enjoyed learning more about Poitier's life. I had no knowledge of his background or any of his history beyond having seen him in movies. Highly recommended listening experience.
Ann
Aug 10, 2008 Ann rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Ann by: joyce thomas
PLEASE read this book. what an amazing man.. profetic.. so humbling and what he went thru for where he is.. anyone with kids, grandkids.. you need to read this . He writes about his life at 81 to his first great grand daugher./// to document your life,family, thoughts, memories is an amazing way to document your life for future generations.
Another great book for a book club
Esther
Really enjoyed the candid letters he wrote to his great grand daughter. I loved that he basically shared with her his concerns and life he lived. Not shy to share with her really important things that she will come across in life. And personally addressing the letters to her as though he was speaking to her. I felt like his grand daughter as I read this book!
Dee
I thought this book was great, in the sense that his great-granddaughter will have much of the history of her family revealed, and the opportunity to get to know her great-grandfather that much more intimately even if they do not have the chance to get to spend much time together as she grows. I wish I had the same letters from my grandparents!
Pam
Sydney Pointer has had an an amazing life journey and I enjoyed learning of some of his experiences. While I have tremendous respect for his talent and all he has accomplished in his life, I found much of his commentary to be just politically correct fluff. That being said I am in awe of what he has overcome to achieve success.
Kristen Morris
I'm not very much of a biography reader, but I was charmed by this one. A collection of letters written by Mr. Poitier to his granddaughter they offer insight and guidance on topics such as love, bravery, courage and faith. A worthwhile read and insight into a truly great man.
Ellen
Another nice book from Mr Poitier. This one in the form of letters, as titled to his great-granddaughter. His story in this one is similar to his other book, however with some life instructions and lessons he wanted to pass on to further generations. Glad I read it.
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Sidney Poitier is a Bahamian American actor, film director, author, and diplomat.
More about Sidney Poitier...
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