Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Letters to My Son: A Father's Wisdom on Manhood, Life, and Love” as Want to Read:
Letters to My Son: A Father's Wisdom on Manhood, Life, and Love
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Letters to My Son: A Father's Wisdom on Manhood, Life, and Love

by
4.19  ·  Rating details ·  326 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
In an attempt to gather what wisdom he could to guide his son into adulthood, Kent Nerburn published a powerful collection of essays that touched the hearts of parents and children everywhere. In this beautiful revised edition, Nerburn refines his advice and expands his thoughts.
Paperback, 240 pages
Published January 19th 1999 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

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Jen
Mar 23, 2010 rated it liked it
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 rated it it was amazing
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
Ivan
Reading the "letter" on sex (Chapter 25) was like reading about the birds and the bees from your dad.

No, your grandpa.

No, your friend's grandpa.

Who writes for Encyclopedia Britannica.

In the 1950s.

In fact, despite the rare keen observation, most of Nerburn's essays come off as pretentious and banal: not a great combination when trying to impart wisdom and inspire learning.

At least his letters/chapters are mostly brief if not unhelpful. Still, if Nerburn were my father, I would have just told
...more
Minnie
Oct 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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.
John Benson
Nov 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Nate Royal
Oct 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Personally I loved this book. Full of wisdom. From someone who lost there father at a young age this book touched my heart. Special book.
Chiraz Ben a
Mar 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked this book a lot. So much wisdom distilled in one little book. Though it's addressed to his son, obviously a male, most of the ideas are actually quite universal, timeless, and gender-independent.
I listened to the audiobook version, and even at x1.75 speed which did not feel too fast. It was only after I had finished it that I noticed that the reader was actually Mr. Nerbern's son, the one to whom the book was written for! That made it all the more meaningful.

Simply a great book.
Aaron Terrazas
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Some parts outdated, but also some parts timeless.
Annette Cooper
Aug 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing Book!

I got this book for my son as it's a summer reading for his senior year in an all male school. After reading the book, he came to me with a astonished look on his face. He said that the book supplies young males with an incredible insight on life. He said that it is one of the best books that he has ever read. It supplies young men with a lot of factual information on various different topics from love to lovemaking to fatherhood to respecting elders to death and to overall reflecti
...more
Glenn
Aug 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Angela
Mar 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 649-parenting
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
Oct 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
Abe
Oct 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: at-home
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.
Braden
Nov 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
Amelia
May 09, 2012 rated it did not like it
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.
Greg
Jun 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
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.
Mercedes Aspa
Jan 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Real love for this book. One of my favourite book.
The author told to us like he was talking to his Own son, he really shared with us his experience, his doubts and his fear in life and encourage us to follow our dreams, do crazy things, make ourself happy etc...
truly love this book..
Dennis
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a book that I will be looking at again as my eight year old grows. I hope to be able to distill the messages here for him and, more importantly, emulate the author's thoughts on being a responsible, mature man.
Zhou Xiaozhu
Sep 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I learned some wisdoms from my father, but his untimely death at my age of 16 left vast emptiness in fatherhood. As a father of two myself, I feel I need to look upon some teachings of fatherhood wisdom in order to be a good father. This is a good book I recommend, along with 'tell my sons'.
Frodo
Nov 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.
Richard
Jun 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
Douglas
Apr 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Now that my son is older I plan to reread.
Nathan Langford
Nov 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Zihao
May 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
A wise book.
Rob Dhillon
Jul 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
One can always be a better father.
Bonnie
Mar 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Lauren
Dec 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Wisdom passed along from father to son - enjoyed it as both a father and a son.
Nikoleta
Много приятна книжка. Особено ми харесаха разсъжденията за работата, вещите, споделянето, парите.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
BEP090P32016: A Mans Journery 6 8 Nov 30, 2016 09:33PM  
  • 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
  • Should You Leave?: A Psychiatrist Explores Intimacy and Autonomy--and the Nature of Advice
  • Breathe: Creating Space for God in a Hectic Life
  • Faith and Doubt
  • Who Killed Daniel Pearl?
  • Pure in Heart
  • The Orthodox Way
  • Inside Therapy: Illuminating Writings About Therapists, Patients, and Psychotherapy
  • True Happiness [With 1 Card]
  • To Hell or Barbados: The Ethnic Cleansing of Ireland
  • Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot
  • It Works: The Original Edition: The Famous Little Red Book That Makes Your Dreams Come True
  • Things As They Really Are
  • Beachcombing at Miramar: The Quest for an Authentic Life
  • The Mountain of Silence: A Search for Orthodox Spirituality
  • The Territorial Imperative: A Personal Inquiry Into the Animal Origins of Property and Nations
“This is why we need to 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 protect our days.” 5 likes
More quotes…