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This I Believe II: More Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women

3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,071 Ratings  ·  157 Reviews
A new collection of inspiring personal philosophies from another noteworthy group of people

This second collection of This I Believe essays gathers seventyfive essayists—ranging from famous to previously unknown—completing the thought that begins the book’s title. With contributors who run the gamut from cellist Yo-Yo Ma to ordinary folks like a diner waitress, an Iraq War
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 30th 2008 by Henry Holt and Co. (first published 2008)
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Jul 05, 2010 Lisa rated it really liked it
Each year the high school at which I teach selects one book for all students and faculty to read. This is the book that was chosen for summer 2010. It consists of 75 personal essays, each no more than 500 words long. Some of the contributors are famous and some are 'average' citizens. Some are young (a 14 year old boy) and some are old (Studs Turkel was in his 90s when he wrote his essay). Each tells about a core belief and how/why the individual came to have that belief. Some stories are heart- ...more
Mary Bruno
Nov 08, 2010 Mary Bruno rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the type of book you can pick up, read one or a few essays and then put it down again. The essays can be moving, thought provoking and funny. So far I have several dog-eared pages. I have listened to the NPR segment on the radio and I have always enjoyed it. I thought it might be difficult to read the essays rather than listen to the authors read them (as on NPR). I thought listening to them in my voice might make them less meaningful but this is certainly not the case. A great read. I t ...more
Rob Young
May 26, 2015 Rob Young rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Received this book as a graduation present and read between 1 and 5 of them per night. This is an excellent compilation of the personal philosophies of the contributors involved, many of which are thought provoking and inspiring. It was like having several different commencement speakers.

While the book does not have quite the caliber of people represented here as in the first book (the biggest names in this book include Studs Terkel, Yo Yo Ma, and Tony Hawk vs the first books' Bill Gates, Colin
I've had this book forever (two years) but it's stayed on my to-be-read stack. My mother is about to have heart surgery so I needed something uplifting and brief to read. This I Believe 2 fit the bill.

It was a good collection and I'm looking forward to using some of the essays in my classroom. in conjunction with essays from Jack Canfield's books. Since my students have to write essays for state testing, I think it's only fair that they read quality essays.

The main problem I see with this series
Dec 30, 2015 Cindy rated it really liked it
Another volume with the personal manifestos of both famous and ordinary people. NPR restarted this series that originally premiered in the 50s and it's as relevant today as it was then. The essays cover a wide range of philosophies and views - as one of the essayists from the first volume stated "You have a multiplicity of voices and it's a celebration of that multiplicity."

Quotes to remember:

We hardly need to be reminded that we are living in an age of confusion. A lot of us have traded in our
I got this book in a package of random books, and I didn't know anything about the project when I picked it up to see what it was about. When I started reading the essays, I couldn't stop. While I didn't necessarily agree with each author's viewpoint, it was fascinating to read about unique and individual philosophies, and how these beliefs developed. I also love the fact that the associated website gathers together thousands of other stories, with recordings and pictures of the authors, in addi ...more
Jul 02, 2014 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A terrific collection of personal philosophies and reflections!

Each essay, not longer than 500 words, offers a glimpse into real lives, real struggles and real joys. As the second collection of essays from the NPR "This I Believe" project, this continues the legacy begun by Edward R. Murrow in the 1950's. Although it only ran on NPR for four years, the "community conversation" continues on through podcasts and the website,

There is no doubt that there is at least one piece i
James Klagge
This is not a book I would have chosen on my own to read. It was selected by Virginia Tech as the "Common Book" for 2011-2012. Over the last 10-15 years VT has had a common book, and each one has lasted one or two years. They ask faculty to incorporate them in classes where possible. Of course that requires reading the book in advance, which I have not always managed to do. The first year the book was "Einstein's Dream", which perhaps was appropriate for the purpose, but did not engage me or off ...more
May 23, 2009 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book changed my life, in that I've always hated NPR (and by extension my university's tech support line for making me listen to it when I'm on hold), but apparently this essay series grew out of an NPR feature in which people read them aloud.

Very very interesting stuff. Famous (e.g., Mary Chapin Carpenter, Yo Yo Ma, Helen Prejean) and non-famous (most of them) people writing 500 words or less on their most important beliefs/values. I think the genius of it is that they advise people to avoi
Aug 27, 2009 Valerie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Valerie by: Les Forster
My favorite essays from this collection; Sticking My Nose in the World's Business.

Failure is a Good Thing. by Jon Caroll

Doing Things My own Way; Bela Feck

Dancing All the Dances As Long as I can; Robert Fulghum

Peace Begins With One Person; Ivory Harlow

And a few others...The essay by Ivory Harlow, reminded me of a time when I was a waitress
Fatema Al Fardan
Jan 16, 2015 Fatema Al Fardan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 - It was good.

I love the fact that it's a collection of 2-pages-essay. I literally could read it anywhere! The stories are short and of great value. I could relate and empathize, unlike some other books I read like Chicken Soup, this book captures a belief in one essay and speaks of personal experience. It makes each essay more vivid. I liked most of the essays, their authors' got their points' across.

I personally loved the essay about the physiologist who finds inspiration in her clients,
Oct 30, 2014 Akina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have really enjoyed this book by seeing a collection of other people's way of thinking and perspective of life. Especially "I will take my voice back" was touching for me. Even though I do not know how being an "addiction" be like, I got to feel and know his pain. However, I thought it is interesting that by showing his reality to public, he sustains himself. I like the way that he completely revises himself without hiding his reality.
This was enjoyable. It was a refreshing and well-represented sampling of American personal beliefs. I especially enjoyed three essays. One was of how an otherwise selfish, overworked, and unkind bachelor found love, service and concern for others by caring for his new dog. Another was of a man's belief in fatherhood as he and his wife (who couldn't have any children of their own) adopted a newborn from China. Finally, one was of a woman who is her family's self-designated 'celebrator'. She talke ...more
Aug 21, 2012 Shameem rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great collection of This I Believe essays to follow up volume 1. To be completely honest, I was more deeply moved by more of the essays in the first volume, but that is a merely a comparison between great and even greater. This I Believe 2 has its fair share of powerful tidbits of experience to offer from the wonderful people who took the time to contribute. I was once again left humbled and astonished by the wisdom and insight shared by This I Believe essayists.

I really don't have the w
Apr 29, 2009 Arryn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't enjoy this book nearly as much as the first one. It's a collection of short essays by people from all walks of life, including a few well-known authors, celebrities, etc. Each essay is a personal credo, elaborating on one idea or principle that its author lives by. I folded the corners down on the essays that hit me the hardest, and I found I simply wasn't drawn to very many in this volume (as opposed to the first volume, which captivated me nearly all the way through). I read this book ...more
Apr 23, 2016 Nichola rated it liked it
As with many collections some of the essays were easy for me to connect to, and others seemed just ok. There are some famous contributors with a healthy mix of everyday people, and it made me think how did they choose which to include from the large archive they had. Some felt really deeply considered, and others were more crafted.
Brian Sison
I'm only partially through the first collection, but this volume fell into my lap. I really enjoy the This I Believe series. It fascinates me to hear how people choose to sum up their lives' beliefs in 500 words or less. Some are cliche and generic. Some are inspiring and motivational. Some are off the wall, verging on hilarious. The only detriment is how it appears some of the essays were chosen based on the author as opposed to the merit of the essay. A smattering of celbrities are included a ...more
Aug 06, 2012 Mitch rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biographical
This book is interesting. It's a follow-up book of 500-word essays written by all sorts of people about what they believe. It was apparently quite a phenomena at one time; I can't say I heard of it and only stumbled across it accidentally. The book has been used in classes, Sunday schools, in prisons, etc...all in aid of helping people understand what is important to one another.

I enjoyed reading these intimate mini-portraits of people but frankly, didn't pick up much that I found useful. I'm no
Jun 07, 2014 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: work
This is Brockport's Freshman Reads book, so I thought I would check it out. It's a fairly quick read. People of all ages and from all walks of life, share what principles guide their daily living. Read it for some inspirational stories, or just read it to start thinking about your own personal beliefs.
Apr 10, 2013 Loretta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second "This I Believe" book I have read. These short essays are based on the radio show of the same name. The subtitle is "The Remarkable Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women" tells it all. The essayists range from high school students to astronauts flying over our earth, from the working man to famous singers, writers, artists. Here are some of the beliefs: I believe in failure. I believe in what I learn at the grocery store. I believe in my dog. I believe in sticking my nose i ...more
Jul 23, 2014 Marvin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an enjoyable read and very thought provoking and interesting. Our human belief system is very remarkable and provides people with the power to accomplish amazing things, or to persevere against enormous odds. Well worth the read.
Rachel Jones
Sep 29, 2015 Rachel Jones rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this volume of inspiring personal essays to be just as enjoyable as the first. Each author read their own essay brilliantly as I listened to it audio style in the car. I found myself everywhere from laughing my head off, to tears, to inspiring goosebumps in between stoplights and carpools. A great read, but even better listen.
Gary Baker
Jan 24, 2014 Gary Baker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I actually read this before reading the first This I Believe book, and it was my introduction into this very enjoyable series of short essays of people's 500-word belief statements. This is an easy-read book especially if you don't have much time for reading, as it is only 3 pages per essay. Mixes some famous people and not, on a variety of belief topics. Not as focused on religious and spiritual beliefs as the first book.
Don Weidinger
Jun 22, 2013 Don Weidinger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1950’s--opinions cheap and virtues in short supply, media thrives by feeding fear, I love my awful life after Katrina, to know each other-not despise, suffer to strengthen, strength over comfort, mistakes to discovery, Duncan restarts life, have a good day check-out sincerity, how choose to live life and faith, when you care you love, laugh at self, heartfelt memories, molecules in middle choose good, prison to love God and neighbor as self, hitchhiker, truth in and out, swim in turbulence-dance ...more
Mar 30, 2014 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Inspiring, engaging, heartbreaking, uplifting. All ranges of emotion play into these essays, and it left me wondering profoundly...what do I believe?
Christine Hamblen
These essays remain insightful, diverse, and breathtaking at times. If you're looking for inspiration, there is something for everyone here.
Mar 30, 2013 Jo rated it really liked it
I liked Volume 1 so much I got Volume 2. I listened to this as an audiobook. I think with this one its a better choice, than reading it. It's based on the NPR series of the same name. It's a compilation of three minute essays from individuals writing about what they believe in, and, in the audiobook, each person reads their own essay. Some people are famous, some are not. Some are from the old show in the 1950's and some from the modern day version. The essays are open and honest, not preachy. I ...more
Cyndi Moskal
Jan 17, 2015 Cyndi Moskal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book as much as the first. It is inspiring and humbling and comforting to read these windows into so many lives.
Aasim Waheed
Feb 29, 2016 Aasim Waheed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Way better than "Chicken Soup for the Soul". Read/Listen to "This is Believe" and be inspired.

My rating: 8/10
Sep 07, 2014 Lori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As an NPR listener, I was especially intrigued by this collection of essays and I've enjoyed reading them. Like any collection, some essays are more compelling than others and writing quality varies. But, this vast assortment of perspectives on what people believe is fascinating and thought-provoking. Whether I agreed with a particular essayist or not, i appreciated the opportunity to more thoroughly understand others' beliefs. I look forward to discussing this material with my book club!
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Jay Allison is one of public radio's most honored producers. He has produced hundreds of nationally broadcast documentaries and features for radio and television. His work has earned him the duPont-Columbia and five Peabody Awards, and he was the 1996 recipient of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's Edward R. Murrow Award for outstanding contributions to public radio, the industry's highest ...more
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