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Things I Want My Daughters to Know: A Small Book About the Big Issues in Life
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Things I Want My Daughters to Know: A Small Book About the Big Issues in Life

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  308 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
From a beloved lifestyle philosopher and mother, a small book of wisdom about the big questions of life, from "Be careful what you give up" to "When you've made your point, sit down".

"My mother gave me milk; I have tried to give my daughters milk and honey. Milk is our basic need; honey is the fun, the happiness, the joy."

Thus Alexandra Stoddard introduces her new book of
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published October 5th 2004 by William Morrow (first published October 2004)
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Mar 30, 2008 Sienna rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2008
Okay. My mom got this for me - she found it at Anthropologie and couldn't resist. I have become increasingly sappy with each passing year, crying at NZ Post ads, so I really appreciate the sentiment. My mom is basically the greatest mother ever and also one of my best friends, so I had to read it. Right?


1. I don't know why this book was printed in green and blue, but it is totally unnecessary and, as far as I can tell, unrelated to anything except perhaps Stoddard's apparently awesome in
Jul 09, 2012 Brittany rated it did not like it
My mom bought me this book for my 18th birthday so I really wanted to like it. It was supposed to be something to help me into the world of adulthood. Unfortunately....Andrea Stoddard rambles on for the entire book about things that, for the most part, sound silly and unimportant. I know that this is not the kind of book my mother intended to give me. There are things in the book that I completely disagree with, such as the "Five-Hour Rule" which says that you should never stay in someone's comp ...more
Mar 19, 2009 Rickeclectic rated it liked it
Recommends it for: the younger generation, parents
Shelves: oddsnends
Glanced through this short book at a used goods store and decided it was worth a couple of bucks used. It is one of those self-help positive living books probably for women, written by a woman. It has (I think) 55 little sayings and a one or two page discussion on each. I liked a lot of the sayings, they were things I have said to my daughter or others at times. The essays vary a lot. Most are not great writing, but they are straightforward and useful things in many cases. Some of the more usefu ...more
Apr 17, 2009 Erin rated it did not like it
Shelves: not-finished
I HATED THIS BOOK! Okay, I didn't finish it, so maybe the good part is in the last 2/3...? I think the chapter titles are nice. They are profound statements. If they were all the book contains, then I'd rate it four stars. But the incessant blah blah blah-ing of creating a life of beauty and meaning made me want to puke. Don't get me wrong - I'd love a beautiful life... but this lady just seemed a little out of touch with me and my life. I want to be generous with my time and resources, be true ...more
Dec 21, 2007 Mairead rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-heart
My mom gave me this book when I moved to Seattle. I keep it out so that I can read it anytime. Its lovely, well written, and moving in its simplicity. I didn't find the tone patronizing but rather a polite offering of lessons learned. Take-them or leave-them, it is a beautiful book.

We all have lessons that we want our children to know, whether they believe in the lesson or not. I appreciated this mother's honesty and wisdom.
Jul 08, 2009 Manju rated it it was ok
The ideas proposed by this books are all very nice and thought-provoking. But the description associated with each idea or I should say chapter, was too lengthy and really winding. Each idea can be translated into today's woman or girl's life but you have to think it from your angle and how it applies to you and what you would do with that idea.
Jul 01, 2007 Michele rated it it was amazing
A Reasonable, Mature Voice. Great Gift Book
I picked up this book because of the title. I have daughters. There are 'things' I want them to know. Upon reading the Foreword, I grew a little nervous. The tone seemed rather patronizing, and I felt like I was about to get a lesson in what a rotten mother I am. The author writes: "No mother can have a relationship with her children without some heartaches and significant differences of opinion. With my own daughters I embrace our differences as well a
Feb 11, 2010 Heather rated it liked it
There were chapters in this book that I absolutely loved and found extremely insightful. There were others that I found hollow and misguided. Overall, I liked Stoddard's approach and thought she had quite a bit of wisdom to share. My favorite of the fifty-five chapters include "You Don't Have to Prove anything to Anyone"; "Be Grateful but Don't Expect Gratitude"; "Pain is Inevitable, Suffering is a Choice"; "Give Anonymously"; "Don't Be on Time, Be Early"; "Listen to the Wisdom of Your Children" ...more
John Kelley
Jan 06, 2013 John Kelley rated it liked it
It was ok. We can all use a few life affirmations to remind us now and then of our purpose and self-worth. I didn't agree with all of her posits, and the spiritualism she talked about seemed to be faith-lite to me. I'm not usually one to go in for such books, but I got it for Christmas and it's a pretty quick read. None of the segments is more than about 3 or 4 pages. Not sure I would read any of her other stuff, but I know several people who would love this, and so I'll pass it on and recommend ...more
Mar 22, 2009 Laura rated it did not like it
Ugh. Don't bother. I don't really want to seek life advice from a woman who says you shouldn't let in-laws stay at your house or visit for more than 5 hours at a stretch. As a mother to daughters, I was intrigued about what a mature woman has learned during her lifetime and wants to make sure she passes on her wisdom to her daughter, but this book didn't do it for me. The good stuff is all common sense and the bad stuff - maybe she has loopy in-laws and should write a book on how to get along wi ...more
Andrada Radu
Apr 08, 2013 Andrada Radu rated it liked it
I usually don't read this kind of books. This one is not really revealing anything I haven't realized so far, but its positive tone makes it a quick and relaxing read (for moments when you're too tired to read something more complex or profound). I wouldn't say it is very well written, many ideas are repeated on and on and sometimes the author seems to contradict herself. But all in all, it's not necessarily a waste of time.
Dec 19, 2015 Maurya rated it it was ok
This book is Ok - to me it is more a tips and tricks, I didn't think it covered big issues. If you want big issues, read Nancy Kline, Living with Time To Think - The Goddaughter Letters. This book is an easy read though.

(I read this as it was on my friend Cindy's bookshelf, while I am here visiting. Thanks Cin.)
Mara Gaulzetti
Jun 21, 2011 Mara Gaulzetti rated it really liked it
My mother gave me this book on the morning of my wedding. It is a sweet book, and each chapter covers a different idea. It is well written and succinct and I have enjoyed every minute spent reading this book. I love the different quotes the author uses to illustrate her point as well. It is just the type of book my mom would give me, which makes me like it more.
May 12, 2013 Kathryn rated it liked it
I thoroughly enjoy all and everything by Alexandra Stoddard and have for many, many years. Her collection of quotes at the beginning and end of each chapter are always so poignant. Since I am a mother of a grown daughter I read this differently than if I were younger.
Nov 13, 2011 Lorraine rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary
A quick read of a book that was composed of 2-3 page compositions of sage advice a mother would want her daughter to know going out into the world. Although I like the premise of the book, I felt the author needed to explore each "lesson" more. I DID love the way each chapter was sprinkled with great quotes.
Jun 05, 2008 Lora rated it liked it
It was fun to ponder the ideas and advice in this book. Interesting how your specific life situation can play into how you look at things. My 16 year old daughter picked up this book and figured I planted it specifically for her to get a hint. I didn't. But I would love to discuss it with her!
Mar 10, 2012 Rachel rated it did not like it
I came across this book in Anthropologie, and it seemed so promising. I have every reason to want some great advice to pass on to my girls. I ended up skimming chapter titles because the advice was so uninspiring and dull.
Feb 11, 2008 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
I find these essays optimistic and empowering when I need a quick boost of encouragement. I read from it on a regular basis. I met the author at an dinner and was able to sit next to her enjoy her grace and enthusiasm for living.
Jul 25, 2010 Cristina1961 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: health
Great book to read and discuss with late middle school age girls many lesson to held build self confidence and ability to make good decision for themselves. Most chapters only 2 pages long.
Kimberly Floyd-miles
Jul 30, 2013 Kimberly Floyd-miles rated it it was amazing
So true. So well written. A book I cherish, wish I read while pregnant with my 1st 20+ yrs ago. But a return to fav now. A wise woman.
Wendy Larman
Jun 29, 2014 Wendy Larman is currently reading it
This really is big picture topics for later in life. But I'm reading it to see where I stand on the topics.
Jul 24, 2011 Rebekah rated it it was ok
This book was given to me by my mom. A nice little book about how to handle some of life important issues when you're on your own.
Jul 19, 2008 Kelley rated it really liked it
A great book to give your daughter at graduation from high school or college, filled with wisdom from a Mother.
Sep 29, 2011 MariaK rated it it was ok
This was OK, nothing special. A little boring at times. The author could have said the same things in 20 pages.
Jun 21, 2010 Kelly rated it really liked it
I gained a lot of wisdom from this book. I am now a big proponent of "The Five Hour Rule" and have adopted many of Alexandra Stoddard's life suggestions/revelations into my life. Great book to gift!
Sep 11, 2011 Ghadah rated it it was amazing
A book that answers all your questions about life, feeds your curiosity about happiness and enables you to live a much satisfying life.
Mar 17, 2009 Julie rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This is a nice little book to read and give to a young woman.
Erum Al-Howaish
Jul 12, 2011 Erum Al-Howaish rated it it was amazing
I think this book must be taught in girls' schools, a must read for all ladies!
KC Lynn
Apr 28, 2011 KC Lynn rated it liked it
A gift from my sister, Kelly.
Apr 10, 2008 Alexis rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book of how to approach life and lessons I would like to teach my daughters. Inspiring and simple to read format.
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ALEXANDRA STODDARD is a philosopher of contemporary living and author of many best selling books, including the classic Living a Beautiful Life: 500 Ways to Add Elegance, Order, Beauty and Joy to Every Day of Your Life, Choosing Happiness: Keys to a Joyful Life, Things I Want My Daughters to Know: A Small Book About the Big Issues in Life, and You Are Your Choices: 50 Ways to Live the Good Life. A ...more
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