Notes to Myself
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Notes to Myself

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  1,483 ratings  ·  118 reviews
Cogent and incisive short paragraphs, personal yet general, about living; feelings and experiences, behavior and relationships. These serve both as beginnings for the reader's exploration of his own experiences, and as thoughtful and insightful reminders about them.
Paperback, 148 pages
Published December 28th 1970 by Real People (first published 1970)
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Jun 16, 2007 Debbie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: very highly recommended
Hugh Prather is a huge inspiration and motivation in my life. I have read this book more than 7 times from cover to cover, and I still go back to it everytime i feel a need for the comfort of his words.

This book has a particular significance for me. My father passed it to me. His is a 1979 edition, which he 'stumbled' upon in a bookstore he can't recall. And his love for this slim book of wisdom finally caught on me when i read it after ending my first relationship. I had skimmed through it once...more
An old friend let me borrow this book before. I've only read it once, never read it since, but have still kept what i've learned from this book close to my heart. It's a collection of little sayings, ideas, or "notes" if you would, from the author. It's his notes to himself basically. It comes from such a raw, uncut perspective, that it's a work of art in it's own right. I wrote down a bunch of my favorite notes and refer to them from time to time for consolation. Some favorites include, "My tro...more
Robert Beveridge
Hugh Prather, Notes to Myself (Real People Press, 1970)

Ouch. This was an ugly experience. The worst part is, it didn't HAVE to be an ugly experience. Yet more evidence that, yes, it's all in the presentation.

Notes to Myself is a collection of observations and thoughts from Prather's journals. They range from the surprisingly insightful ("The principle seems to be: it is a fault if I am capable of it, a disease if I am not.") to the charmingly naïve ("What is the difference between `I want food'...more
When I picked up this book, I was expecting revelations that would make me think, challenge my preconceived notions about life, and become one of my favorites. The book has no page numbers, so I don't know exactly where I stopped reading, but I'm about halfway through. I can't read any more of this drivel. I had heard such great things about Hugh Prather and I'm sure some people find this kind of thing enlightening, but it's simply boring. Perhaps I'm more self-aware than some, but I have had ma...more
"Dislike is a function of need. I want something from you that you do not provide and so I dislike that condition and call you bad. The squirrel who lives behind my cabin becomes furious whenever I empty the garbage. I do not need his approval and his anger amuses me. But if he were my pet and I needed his cooperation then this same anger would irritate me. I do not like dislike a stone unless it is in my path, or a cloud unless it rains on me. If I feel in need of something from you then I hear...more
A collection of one man's thoughts through life. Some of it is really insightful, others are mediocre. The nice part is there are no page numbers and no chapters; so it is easy to pick up and put down.
May 12, 2008 Jackie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Jackie by: a friend in college
This is a total and complete comfort book to me--I read it when I'm down and in need of soothing as well as when I'm happy and want to reinforce how lucky I am.
Lynn Arnsdorf
I first read this book in college, somewhere between 74-78, and it was life changing back then. I have since returned it many many times to gain inspiration and/or thought provoking insight into human interactions. I have purchased Prather's "Notes on Love and Courage" and also "Spiritual Notes to Myself" and I find them all to be "go to" books for early morning coffee and devotions. Devotions to what, I don't know, but I get the sense that Prather struggles with spirituality as we all do...tota...more
If you like a good quote, you'll love this little book.

At once a memoir and a self-help book, author Hugh Prather gives us his memorable and meaningful ponderings on how to live life fully and truly - as a relational and reflective human being.

This book was published in 1970, and as one of the "Chicken Soup for the Soul"-generation, I never would have come across this little gem on my own. I read the title in a magazine article and bought it on a whim. As a rather reflective and cranial (ie, "in...more
Annmarie Kostyk
This is the second time I've read this book. It's an honest account of what someone's actually thinking and his reaction to his world. It really makes you think how different things are from the way you see and how they actually are.
I read this book as a teenager, and was visibly moved by its simplicity and wisdom. I didn't realize it then, but 'Notes to Myself' was my first introduction to the self-help genre which I detested for the most part of my adult life until a few years ago - it is now a staple diet in my reading menu. What I liked about Hugh Prather's memoir was that I could pick it up at bedtime, open any random page, reflect on his reflections, and resolve to make some changes in my life or simply my attitude to...more
Peter rock
it is an aptly named i read it in a half hour before my first "alateen" meeting my dad was driving us out to hackettstown n.j. he went to alanon and my mother was in "sunrise house" the detox rehab for drug and alcholic addiction.
"in the book hugh prather states that if he try to speak of his feelings that somewhere between his heart and his tongue and vocal chords something is lost in translation maybe a scream shows feeling better"
go to chapter 51 "the lighter game" peter rock campbell auth...more
I read this when I was 20. It made a huge impact on my thinking, but I can't remember why! I'll have to reread.
Hugh Prather Notes to Myself: My Struggle to Become a Person

I have finished this book several times over, yet i feel i still haven't fully comprehended this book.

This book is Hugh Prather's thoughts, his struggle to become a 'person'. It has shaken my thought process.

I would suggest this book to people who read to provoke their thoughts.
Aditi Sethi
a very inspiring read.... good for those moments when do are introspecting lol
Philosophical, Intellectual, Non-Fiction
Reading Notes To Myself is one of those rare experiences that comes only once in a great while. The editor who discovered the book said, "When I first read Prather's manuscript it was late at night and I was tired, but by the time I finished it, I felt rested and alive. Since then I've reread it many times and it says even more to me now." The book serves as a beginning for the reader's exploration of his or her own life and as a treasury of thoughtful and insightful reminders.
Brajesh Singh
This book has affected the standard of my life. It has burgeoned the level of my thinking. When i was on first page I thought that reading this book is like listening to the preachings of a third class Sage. But when i read further my thinking changed. Great masterpiece by Hugh Prather. A must read for every one.

On the cover of this book Bernie S. Siegel has expressed his view about this book saying " Read It As If You Wrote It And Use It As A Road Map and heal your Life"
This guy reminds me of someone you meet at a cocktail party who likes to listen to himself talk. And if you let him talk about himself long enough, he will talk himself in circles and contradict everything. A lot of little one-liner axioms, mostly about flower-power and love (hey, it was 1970!). I thought this would be a coming of age book for a 32 y/o, but there is no catharsis, the search doesn't end here. I'd like to read more from him, but this one wasn't for me.
Nik Smith

It's crazy how much I'm not into self-improvement books, but this book blew me out of the water. I loved every bit of it and the part I loved most is that he's an average guy. He's not a scholar, just a thinker. He really seems to disprove ancient philosophy such has Plato's Phaedo. But yet he seems to grasp a lot of Oscar Wilde's mentality and put it in Layman's terms. Great book and I really think anybody would really enjoy it.
Henri Junttila
Fantastic, quick read. It felt like reading someone's journal, albeit an edited journal. It was Hugh (the author) talking about what worked for him, and he had observed in life, and I resonated with a large chunk of it. I found myself highlighting so much that I was worried I'd reach the limit.

I loved it, because it was honest, open, and vulnerable. It showed me that we're not so different from each other.
it's a really short book, but it took me so long to read. not something i could breeze through, because there was lots of little gems of knowledge and common sense that i liked taking time to think about.

it was written in short passages, kind of like reading somebody's daily blog or something.

i liked it. it was kinda "touchy feely" though, so somebody like my dad probably wouldn't like it very much. :)
Debra Albonaimi
I originally read this book in the 70's and was surprised to come across it again at a tag sale.
It is exactly as the title implies. It is a collections of Hugh's notes to himself; it is a social commentary about feelings, experiences, behaviours and relationships. It is about those interactions that make us or undo us; whichever is necessary and the blessing(s)contained in each instance
Found this little gem a couple of months ago and thought that someday I'd really like to read it. Well, that day has come and thank goodness that I picked this one up. Very inspiring words of simple wisdom. Humbling and exciting to read. Each thought has a thousand lessons to remember. I've already written on it and highlighted here and there.
So far very good!
At first I thought this was just another pop self help type of book and rather light weight at that. But as I read through it, there were some incredible gems - moods have no loyalty; they should be heard but never danced to - and some insights that made me look more closely at myself. It's a very quick read and something I will probably read repeatedly.
Feb 19, 2008 Angie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Angie by: devon sundt
A friend gave me a well-worn copy of this book when I was in high school, and it was probably one of the greatest gifts I've ever received. This book is my go-to whenever I'm feeling bad, because it reminds me what it means to be human. It's the kind of book you can flip open to any page, read it, and smile. Everyone should read this book.
Apr 23, 2008 jennifer rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: wanna be therapists
Recommended to jennifer by: a client
Shelves: clinical-prose
hugh prather unveils his inner struggles in a gestalt-like therapeutic exercise. his writings remind us that the struggle to find the meaning in life is usually fought on the battle-field of the mind and played out in one's perspectives about oneself. esoteric and wordy unless you can just appreciate his attempt to flush it all out.
Yoshay L. Lindblom
I read through the book at one go because i simply couldn't put it away. For me it was like I was talking to myself - like a series of thoughts that we all reflect upon sometimes, thoughts that carry a myriad of variations both tragic and uplifting; both enlightening and eye-opening. I am certain i will be reading it again.
Olga Avila
Although I read this classic little gem in less than five hours, its definitely a book I will read a few more times and refer back to it repeatedly. Wonderful wisdom to ponder page by page and a book that will put you in a reflective mood within the first few pages. By far, one of the best books I've read in the recent months.
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“All my life, I have made it complicated, but it is so simple. I love when I love. And when I love, I am myself.” 42 likes
“I don't need a "reason" to be happy. I don't have to consult the future to know how happy I feel now.” 27 likes
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