Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Letters to My Son” as Want to Read:
Letters to My Son
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Letters to My Son

by
4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  207 ratings  ·  32 reviews
We all need advice growing up and facing the big stuff life gives us. We all need the voice of a parent or a good friend who has lived through joy and suffering and has thought deeply about it. Kent Nerburn is an extraordinary writer who can be that voice when we are lost and in need of guidance. Letters to My Son, written for his son, Nick, but true for all of us, shows u ...more
ebook, 0 pages
Published February 1st 2010 by New World Library (first published 1993)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Letters to My Son, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Letters to My Son

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 471)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Jen
I think all these quotes are from this book? I just found them unlabeled in a computer file...

"That is why we need travel. If we don't offer ourselves to the unknown, our senses dull. Our world becomes small and we lose our sense of wonder. Our eyes don't lift to the horizon; our ears don't hear the sounds around us. The edge is off our experience, and we pass our days in a routine that is both comfortable and limiting. We wake up one day and find that we have lost our dreams in order to protec
...more
Megan Huff
Nov 14, 2007 Megan Huff rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone and everyone
I got this book yesterday, and finished it today.

I went into SAVE Thrift store to pass some time before catching the bus home and I walked back to the book shelf just to look around. My eyes immediately fell on this book and for some reason, even though it is a book written by a man and aimed at boys/men I wanted to read it.

So I bought it and started reading it on the bus. Despite the fact that this is a book about the philosophies of becoming a man, about what dilemmas a man faces and what he c
...more
John Benson
I really liked this book of short essays that the author uses to tell his son about a variety of experiences he will probably encounter in life. I liked his positive views on what it means to be a man and how he works at helping his son understand the role of emotions in life. A very good and thoughtful book.
Minnie
I really enjoyed how poetic and insightful this book was. My favorite chapter was on "Travel" ...“That is why we need to travel. If we don’t offer ourself to the unknown, our senses dull. Our world becomes small and we lose our sense of wonder. Our eyes don’t lift to the horizon; our ears don’t hear the sounds around us. The edge is off our experience, and we pass our days in a routine that is both comfortable and limiting. We wake up one day and find that we have lost our dreams in order to pro ...more
Larry
I really enjoyed this book. The author is down to earth and keeps things concise and clear. The topics he picked to write about were all relevant ones which I find myself thinking about often. Sometimes it is just nice to hear another man's take on things such as spirituality, drugs, family/fatherhood, death, love, giving, etc. I like his references to Zen. I took a lot away from this book.
Adam
This really was fantastic, something I would like to revisit every now and then. I've bought copies as gifts.
Angela
I like the idea of the author writing a batch of letters, and saving them for critical junctures in a boy's life--rather than trying to strong-arm a high school graduate to digest the entire book in a sitting. Perhaps the parent interested in disseminating the wisdom of this thoughtful author will do the same--present the thoughts by chapter with plenty of time for reflection between doses.
The author tackles difficult and uncomfortable topics with equal grace and wisdom. Highly recommended.
Joykhamkawplant khamkawplant
This book is amazing!! It is one of the wisest book i've ever read in my life! it touches your heart. Absolutely beautiful. It feels great to know that someone out there shares the same knowledge and thoughts as you.
it gives you an insight of his life, experiences, emotions, thoughts, advice and basically everything else you could think of. It shows you every aspects of life and is truelly awe-inspiring. loved it.
Glenn
My dad bought this book when my grandfather died 22 years ago. And yesterday I found this book in my family's library, and yesterday was the 4th anniversary of my father death. It's like he sent me this book from heaven. Because I've been searching for a good read in my library for a long time. And yesterday I accidentally found it. I read it in one night. I don't know why but I'm proud of my father.
Braden
This book was given to me by a close family friend when I graduated High School and had a profound impact on me. It was the first time I was challenged to reflect on how I live my life in a way that encouraged me to be true to who I am in my pursuit of happiness. If you want to investigate what it means to "be a man" to yourself I highly recommend this book.
Greg
The first sections were pretty good, but it sure did fail near the end. Mostly because I don't follow the same rules that the author does. Suffice it to say that pontificating about love/sex/marriage from a prototypical christian position will not win over the readers who are not prototypical christians.

Oh well. The first bits were good.
Amelia
May 09, 2012 Amelia rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: a fan of Kent Nerburn, I suppose
Recommended to Amelia by: I bought it for 15 cents at Goodwill
Shelves: own, available
I wasn't impressed. He generalizes when he should probably specify his own opinion, and somehow that really grated on me after a while. It would have been a different book if he had just written it from his own point of view instead of trying to extrapolate world views from his own opinions, and it would have been worth a read then.
Abe
This is a very insightful book that is perfect for a 20-something young man. I especially appreciated the sections on material possessions and giving unselfishly. Overall, it's as good as secular advice gets. This book will bring you to the threshold of faith, but you have to take the leap yourself.
Richard
A very simple book that all fathers should write to their sons. Wisdom imparted to his son that I wish I had written to my sons. But it is not too late. I can still share those things with my sons and grandsons. My first book read on my Kindle App for my iPad.
Frodo
I've enjoyed reading Nerburn's work. I will recommend this to my own son and son-in-law as they are both father's of sons. Nerburn provides much to reflect upon as a father and offers a nudge to fathers to express some of their wisdom with their sons.
Leonard
I found this book at a time when I was struggling with many family issues. The profound wisdom contained in this book truly made some difficult decisions easy to make. While it is meant to provide guidance to a boy it is appropriate for all.
Nathan Langford
Wise and practical advice. An honesty and candor for people that speaks to wanting your children's lives to be richer and better by contemplating his thoughts. I wish I had written this book.
William
This book was very helpful to me at a time when I needed advice from an absent father. Unfortunately, it includes some of the downsides of fatherly wisdom--most importantly, predicate thinking.
Cristy
I recommend this to each and every parent out there. This book is a gift from the heart to the heart and mind of every reader. Loved loved loved this quick little gem.
Bonnie
Mar 21, 2011 Bonnie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Gave this book to Harry in 2003
Recommended to Bonnie by: no idea
Having raised a son in a home without a father, I was particularly intersted in reading this (odd choice, I know) book. I found it very tender and inspirational.
Tim Tendick
Every man should examine what he thinks it means to be a man. This book has that and a bunch more interesting stuff to talk about.
Kimberlee
Wonderful insights and advice for not just boys and their faters but for all parents and handling the larger questions of life.
Jason Jerus
A regular on my bedside table. Always offering a fresh reminder on life's essentials told through a very personal voice.
Nikoleta
Много приятна книжка. Особено ми харесаха разсъжденията за работата, вещите, споделянето, парите.
Erica
Most recent read. Good wisdom from a father to his son. But really thought-provoking for anyone.
Lauren
Wisdom passed along from father to son - enjoyed it as both a father and a son.
Alan Houghton
An amazing book with great insight. Inspirational.
Douglas
Now that my son is older I plan to reread.
Rob Dhillon
One can always be a better father.
Kgostis
One of my favorite books of all time
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 15 16 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Gurus, the Young Man, and Elder Paisios
  • Brave on the Rocks: If You Don't Go, You Don't See
  • Waging Modern War: Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Future of Conflict
  • Faith and Doubt
  • The Orthodox Way
  • The Art of Manliness: Classic Skills and Manners for the Modern Man
  • To Hell or Barbados: The ethnic cleansing of Ireland
  • The Mountain of Silence: A Search for Orthodox Spirituality
  • Compassion and Self Hate: An Alternative to Despair
  • It Works
  • Breathe: Creating Space for God in a Hectic Life
  • The Territorial Imperative: A Personal Inquiry Into the Animals Origins of Property and Nations (Kodansha Globe)
  • The Life of St. Anthony
  • Who Killed Daniel Pearl?
  • Shyness: What It Is, What To Do About It
  • Things As They Really Are
  • The Lord Is My Shepherd: Healing Wisdom of the Twenty-third Psalm
  • Pure in Heart
Neither Wolf nor Dog: On Forgotten Roads with an Indian Elder The Wolf at Twilight: An Indian Elder's Journey through a Land of Ghosts and Shadows The Wisdom of the Native Americans: Including The Soul of an Indian and Other Writings of Ohiyesa and the Great Speeches of Red Jacket, Chief Joseph, and Chief Seattle Chief Joseph & the Flight of the Nez Perce: The Untold Story of an American Tragedy The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo: A Child, an Elder, and the Light from an Ancient Sky

Share This Book