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Life Is So Good

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  4,006 Ratings  ·  751 Reviews
One man’s extraordinary journey through the twentieth century and how he learned to read at age 98

“Things will be all right. People need to hear that. Life is good, just as it is. There isn’t anything I would change about my life.”—George Dawson

In this remarkable book, George Dawson, a slave’s grandson who learned to read at age 98 and lived to the age of 103, reflects o
ebook, 288 pages
Published May 9th 2000 by Random House (first published 2000)
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Feb 15, 2011 Homeschoolmama rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm re-reading this book. I read it 2 yrs ago.I'm needing a pick-me-up book now, and I know this one will do the job. I hope I like it as much this time as the first time I read this.
Jul 27, 2007 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A library patron recommended this to me. I hope to see her again soon, so I can thank her. This is such an inspirational book, I've recommended it to several more people. George Dawson was a simple man with an awesome attitude. The book is written in a coversational way. I felt like I was sitting in his livingroom listening to a grandparent. He had so many wonderful stories to tell, but above all teaches that us working hard and staying positive is the way to enjoy life-- because after all--what ...more
Andrew Lasher
Apr 26, 2010 Andrew Lasher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
Life Is So Good is a book that everyone deserves to read. It is a feel good journey through the life of George Dawson, an amazing man who learned to read at the age of 98. While most feel good novels give me a sick feeling in my stomach, this one is free of the saccharine.

The book gives us an honest look at what happened to George Dawson through a century of life, and not all of it was good. What makes this book different from others is that it doesn't focus on the good parts. We get an honest
I give this book five stars for being much more than a historically correct well-research book. It is none of that. But it is the story of an ordinary quiet man, Mr. George Dawson, who is living proof of what the world should be about and he did it all in his humble stride to serve as an inspiration to millions of people. Besides, it is a true story.

LIFE IS SO GOOD - George Dawson & Richard Glaubman

Richard Glaubman said this about starting the book:
"I have come to record a life of hardship a
Mar 17, 2009 Tad rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was terrible. There were VERY few redeeming characteristics for me to take away from this book. In a way though, I can almost understand why so many reviewers (all of whom were White) liked this biography so much. After all, he WAS on Oprah. And he’s so agreeable, quiet and docile which paved the way for him to survive for over 100 years. The book is technically an autobiography but there is a disconnection between the story of this man’s life and how the story is told. The co-author s ...more
Louise at The Reading Experiment
Sometimes, the people with the least in life actually have the most.

If you loved Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom, you will enjoy Life Is So Good.

It is the inspiring and heart-warming memoir of George Dawson.

Who? I hear you ask.

George Dawson is a seemingly ordinary 101 year-old man. If you haven’t read this book, you’ve probably never heard of him. That’s a pity, because George is quite remarkable.

He was born into poverty in 1898, the grandson of slaves. He grew up in the deep south of Ameri
Sep 28, 2009 Ann-maree rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An amazing book of personal insight and truth from some one who had lived through decades of amazing history. Eventho, some of the chapters jump around a bit, it keeps you intriged to find out what happens next. George is an inspiration to everyone he was born in 1898 in Marshall, Texas the grandson of slaves and he tells how his father, despite hardships, always believed in seeing the richness of life and trained his children to do the same.. What makes a happy person, have a happy life? This r ...more
Oct 04, 2014 Joel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: social, autobiography
George Dawson was what every person to strive to be. He was humble, intelligent, diligent, hard working, compassionate, savvy. He never quit. He saw the world through his logical eyes, from the perspective of a Black man from East Texas who was born in 1898. He was fine letting things be the way they are and seemed to know when it was time to try and change things a little. He was adventuresome. Always. Again, he never stopped, never quit trying new things, never quit learning. How he lived to 1 ...more
Lisa N
Feb 04, 2011 Lisa N rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was really drawn to this book--I grew up in the south after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and my grandfather never learned to read.

This is the memoir of George Dawson, grandson of slaves, who enrolled in a literacy program and learned to read when he was 98 years old. I became emotionally invested in this book on the first page. Ten-year-old George goes to town with his father, hoping to get a piece of stick candy, and ends up witnessing a lynching.

It was very eye-opening to he
May 27, 2015 Lori rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a life story. Years 1898- 2001 through the eyes of a colored man who lived through it all and came out being thankful instead of resentful. Very inspirational... this should be a required read for every high school student.
In this remarkable book, 103-year-old George Dawson, a slave's grandson who learned to read at age 98, reflects on his life and offers valuable lessons in living as well as a fresh, firsthand view of America during the twentieth century. Richard Glaubman captures Dawson's irresistible voice and view of the world, offering insights into humanity, history, hardships, and happiness. From segregation and civil rights, to the wars, presidents, and defining moments in history, George Dawson's descript ...more
Kathleen Payne
Jan 02, 2012 Kathleen Payne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Kathleen by: Christi
This was probably one of the best books I have read in my entire life. When I finished reading it, I could have turned around and read it again, except I had other books on my night stand that required my attention.

During the Civil Rights era in S.F. CA, I grew up next door to a wonderful black man, Art Lyons who was our "adopted grandpa". Art was born in the late 1800's and he couldn't read or write and probably only had a 4th grade education. During his lifetime he had a wealth of experiences
Aug 03, 2010 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has been on our shelves for several years and, upon picking it up, I learned that Scott's Aunt Margie gave it to his father for Christmas in 2000 (the year it was published). It is a beautiful story of a man - grandson to slaves in the Southern US - who lived to be over 100. A would-be writer from the Pacific Northwest travelled to Texas over a long period to interview him and hear his story. He hoped, but never knew for sure whether he'd be able, to write a biography. If you like Mitc ...more
Gail Holm
Oct 03, 2015 Gail Holm rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the mind-boggling story of a black man born into the Jim Crow South who learned to read when he was 98 years old. His life touched three centuries. His memories, experiences and perspective on life make this book a fascinating read, although the style is a little awkward. The narrative is supposedly in Dawson's own words, but was written down by a white man who became interested in Dawson's life. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and was inspired by the George Dawson's characte ...more
Elizabeth Brewer
I loved this book. some books seem to reach into my heart and give me the courage to believe I can be better. I loved reading about George. he was born the same year as my great aunt Annette. I loved hearing her stories about when she saw her first car, or what it was like being married to a professional baseball player. history came alive talking to her. I loved hearing the simple way that George describes his life.

"Be happy for what you have. Help somebody else instead of worrying. It will ma
Nov 23, 2013 Maryla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It all seems so simple to hear George Dawson tell it. Don't worry so much. Stay busy. Work hard. Be honest. Don't hold grudges. Love your family. Eat what you want. Be a good person.
I took a long time reading this book and I'll miss George now that I'm done. I'm so glad I got to meet him, if only through Richard Glaubman.
Erin Schaick
Mar 23, 2016 Erin Schaick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is such a sweet story. George Dawson, born in 1898, learned to read at age 98. As an African American who grew up in the South, he tells the story of his incredible life to Richard Glaubman and describes the many changes of the United States. Despite his race and inability to enter most restaurants by the front door, he traveled all over the US, Mexico, and Canada, and reached his adorable goal of seeing snow for the first time. From presidents to "riding the rails" to raising children to h ...more
Jan 27, 2014 Valerie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is excellent. One reviewer said the book was good but not riveting. This is true, but it is not meant to be riveting. It is a book that humbles you, makes you think, makes you appreciate life and appreciate the lives of others. After reading this book I could better understand my 81-year-old mother's life experiences. She left home at 14 to work but never talked about how she felt about having to do this. This book helped open up a dialogue with her about that experience. This may be l ...more
Mel Ostrov
Feb 25, 2015 Mel Ostrov rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
103 Years of Wisdom

George Dawson was truly an amazing person -- not only because this grandson of a slave led a full, happy life to the wondrous age of 103, but also for always retaining a remarkable personal attitude that allowed him to withstand all offensive challenges. He was able to create a fulfilling existence even while completely illiterate up to age 98, when he began a successful course of reading and writing. The fact that his mother died at age 100 suggests that his longevity could
Nov 15, 2013 Teresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, non-fiction
True story about a man who went to an adult education program to attend school for the first time in his life to learn to read at 98 years old. And, he did.

The book is memorable for so many reasons - for the real life stories of having lived for a century, for the civil rights first hand experiences, for the love of family, and for the willingness to be open minded to change at the end of the book. I will never forget some segments - the 12 year old working at a mill, the first attempt at jumpi
Feb 07, 2013 Robyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is absolutely fantastic. An autobiography (written with the help of another author) that tells the amazing life of an 101 year old African American. It was so neat to hear the life of one who lived through the entire 20th century, and who, despite being the ongoing victim of unfairness and sometimes downright hatred through racism, has an amazing attitude of gratefulness, wisdom and insight. This man was illiterate for 98 years, at which point he started school and finally got the chan ...more
"Some men were still holding Pete tight from behind so that he couldn't even budge. But if Pete knew he was gonna die, the fear had left his face. Though Pete was just a boy, he must of been four to five inches taller than Norris. He just looked down at Norris, looked him in the eye. Most always we was supposed to look down at the ground when a white man was talking, and this seemed to set Norris off even more."

George Dawson was 101 years old when, together with Richard Glaubman, he agreed to
Priscila Wilke
Dec 18, 2011 Priscila Wilke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: friends, my family, everyone
Recommended to Priscila by: My husband
I read this book two weeks ago. I thank to my mother-in-law who lent us (to my husband and I) the book. I have read other criticisms, few said this book isn't great. For me, a reader whose mother tongue is not English, I found it greatly interesting and easy to read. Somebody said that G. Dawson spends his life aimlessly. If it was because he was traveling and then coming back home, I would not think his life was with no point to go. He actually remembers me a lot of my own father, who also left ...more
Jun 23, 2013 Jeannie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an uplifting and historically-educational book. Despite the many injustices the author has endured throughout his life, he has always maintained a positive attitude that undoubtedly contributed to his longevity. His priorities were usually high and correct, his aspirations much the same. I enjoyed his appreciation for family, animals, and for the most part, other people, even if they were not tolerant of him. I love that he was brought up so well by parents of love, hard work and hope, w ...more
Raymond C.
Sep 25, 2012 Raymond C. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
VLife Is So Good
By: George Dawson
272 pages

Life Is So Good is about the life of an African-American who learned to read at the age of 98. In the beginning of the book, George recalls when he was a young boy when he witnessed the lynching of Pete. Pete was accused of impregnating a white girl by the white folk of Marshall, Texas. After 6 months, when the white girl that Pete was accused of impregnating gave birth, it turned out to be a white boy, but no one payed attention to that. Wh
Devon G
Oct 24, 2012 Devon G rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Genre: Biography
Author: George Dawson & Richard Glaub

George Dawson was a modern African-American that lived up to age 103 (until his later death after publish in 2001). This book tells the adventures of his life and what he lived through, explained and written by himself in the form of an autobiography. George Dawson lived through many memorable events in history, like World War I, World War II, Segregation, and the life of Martin Luther King. George was born to a poor father near Ma
Shonna Froebel
Dec 23, 2012 Shonna Froebel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Richard Glaubman, a schoolteacher, became intrigued when he heard about George Dawson, a man who learned to read at the age of 98. When Richard met George, he became even more interested and decided to tell George's story, with George's help. Born in 1898, George had very interesting stories to tell about his life and the events he witnessed. From watching a man he knew get accused of a crime he didn't commit and get lynched for it, when he was ten, to signing a contract with a white man when he ...more
I'd give this book 3 1/2 stars. It is interesting... but not riveting. His overly simplistic lifestyle has brought him much happiness because he doesn't think long term or stress about anything. In fact, he lives day to day in all respects. Very few people could maintain a lifestyle where they work to merely have enough money to get by each day.

I will say that it was fascinating to hear about major points in American history from the first person perspective of a black man. He has certainly lea
Mar 02, 2009 Denise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
By far the best book I have read so far this year. I got this as a gift from my friend, Kim. I could see instantly why she liked it. You fall in love with George's sweet spirit immediately, and root for him all the way until the end. What a great example of endurance and positivity.

Lines I loved:

She took a genuine interest in the story at a time when a discouraging word would have had immense power.

When the cabin was still dark, I did love to just look into the fire. It warmed me inside and out
Aug 10, 2012 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
George Dawson is more than 100 years old as he reflects back on his life. He worked on his family’s farm at an incredibly young age. At 12 he was sent to live on another farm so he could help make money to support his family. He has such a sincere and wonderful view of life. The man who wrote the book with him, Glaubman, has “book learning,” but he doesn’t know everything George knows about the way the world works, etc.

He always wanted to learn how to read, but instead he worked so his younger
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

George Dawson was called "America's favorite poster child for literacy" after learning to read at the age of 98. Dawson was a grandson and great-grandson of African-American slaves. After turning 21, he traveled extensively throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico; in 1928, after nine years of travel and work, he r
More about George Dawson...

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“Children killing children. That's a terrible thing."
"What do you think has gone wrong?"
"It's not just the children. It's the grown-ups too. Some people are growing children, not raising children, and there's a big difference."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, people grow hogs. You give them a place to live, give them all the food they need to keep growing, and make sure that they don't get sick on you. With children you got to raise them. Of course, you feed and clothe them. But a parent has to take the time to teach them right and wrong. A parent has to discipline them. And a parent got to be there to listen to them, help them with their problems. I think most people do their best, but there are some parents these days that are growing children, not raising children.
"It's a sad thing. These children have everything they need to grow up, but they are missing something inside. They must hurt awful bad and no one has shown them the way to live. Buying them their food or even fancy clothes or a car ain't going to help if a child is hurting inside. We all need the same things.”
“Life is so good, and it gets better every day.” 12 likes
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