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I've Been Thinking . . .Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  2,879 ratings  ·  437 reviews

“[I've Been Thinking…] is beautiful...I felt your soul on these pages.” –Oprah Winfrey

“If you are feeling stuck, lost, or you just need a pick-me-up, this is the book for you. Shriver’s wisdom will fill you up.” —Hoda Kotb, coanchor, The Today Show

A book of reflections for those seeking wisdom, guidance, encouragement, and inspiration on
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published February 27th 2018 by Pamela Dorman Books
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4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,879 ratings  ·  437 reviews

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Elyse Walters
Apr 11, 2018 rated it liked it
If I say I didn’t enjoy listening to this audiobook - was bored and critical - does that make me a negative person? I guess it’s the chance I’m willing to take.

94% of the reviews on Amazon are 5 stars. I’m not one of them.

This was an Audiobook library freebie. I had no idea what I was getting into. Perhaps as a physical book - ‘without’ feeling knocked down and lectured to - I might have at least appreciated the quotes in the book.

I understand it’s a book about Maria Shriver sharing what she’
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Maria’s heart on every page.

Hopeful and optimistic without a Pollyanna attitude. Maria sees the world as it is, aspires to do better and challenges us to be our better selves. I’ve long been a fan of her journalistic integrity, something that is sadly missing these days, and her commitment to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s. Her mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, was one of the most admirable women of the 20th century and Maria has taken up the mantle beautifully.

As a daily devotional or as a frie
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
5 positive and affirmational stars to I’ve Been Thinking

I’m always looking for books on meditation, hoping I can cement my practice and keep it fresh because I fall out of doing it usually when I need it most. This book is a treasure! It’s full of quotes from Emerson to Buddha, Maya Angelou to Carl Jung. Maria Shriver shares what she prays for every morning. Everything is present-focused, positive, and self-accepting. While there is most definitely a Christian focus, there are many quotes and me
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful and inspiring book to help ignite reflection and clarity.

I’VE BEEN THINKING is a book of reflections and meditations on how to live a life full of meaning. It is written by MARIA SHRIVER who grew up in a family where people did meaningful things, like run for President, or started programs that changed peoples lives. As a prominent woman that juggles many roles, Shriver knows just how hectic and stressful everyday life can be. In this heartfelt book, Shriver offers up the less
Mar 12, 2018 rated it liked it
I hate to rain on all the 5-star ratings of this book. And, let me say, I admire Maria Shriver a great deal. That said, this is almost as superficial as a Hallmark card. Perhaps it was my expectation that there would be a deep dive, and draw from her life story. It does, barely. The forty (?) 'chapters' are brief blurbs of 'inspiration'. Each ends with a 'Dear God' prayer. I have no problem with a reverential appeal to god (who she advises in the prefix, can be any higher power than yourself. Bu ...more
Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book in a Goodreads giveaway. Thank you!

This book is a series of short essays on varied topics pertaining to living a good life filled with love, kindness and purpose, followed by a short prayer. Part of me wonders how it would come across to a nonbeliever or a reader whose beliefs are not Catholic Christian. But, generally these are heart-felt thoughts, honestly expressed.

The essays are short and thought-provoking, easy to read in short spurts. The book is a good way to take a f
Kathy Kientzle
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Maria is one of those go to authors for inspiration, insight and clear minded thinking. She writes with complete honesty and from her soul. This book is one I will read over and over again when I am looking for reminders for how to stay on the path of moving forward with courage, love and positivity.
Beautiful, calming, inspiring. I have never met this woman but feel I know her as a friend through her writings.
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A million ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐s! Maria for President! I don’t know about you guys but I don’t keep most of the books I read. Usually I trade them in for more books. 😁 I only keep the very, very best. This book is a keeper. ...more
Viviane Crystal
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Maria Shriver is totally correct in saying we are now living in times where more is needed. Men, women and children across this nation and world are tired of the prevailing negativity, yearning for that which makes life “good.” No, this is not a self-help book for Pollyanna-type persons but one in which one finds inner peace, purpose, love, and even joy.
Before each meditation in this book are quotations from notable people, those who’ve made a difference in the world but not been satisfied by ex
Natalie Johnson
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Quick read, thought-provoking, compelling, captivating, relatable, spiritually inviting, and applicable are words that easily come to mind while reading this book.

Dear God, I’ve been thinking: “Thank You for Maria.”
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I read a chapter every morning before work and I will miss it. I think I will start again :)
Nov 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best books I've read in a while. It is insightful, kind, generous, meditative, reflective - basically everything the title promises. It did not disappoint. I downloaded this from the library, but want to read it again (and again) and plan on purchasing it soon. I recommend the audio book - read by Maria Shriver. It was perfect. I believe I'll purchase a hard-cover version, however, such that I can refer to certain sections easily. I give 5-star ratings to books I purchase.

I lo
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I would highly recommend this book. It's a series of "reflections, prayers, and meditations on a meaningful life" that Maria has written that seem to be directed toward the challenges with which I'm facing at this stage of my life. It's also an easy read as each section is just a few pages, so you can dip in and out of it at any time. Wish I'd bought this one instead of borrowing it from the library as I would have enjoyed having it as part of my personal library.
Doreena Silva
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was such an awesome awe inspiring & inspirational book which will find a place with my bible!
I had to highlight & tab so many pages to refer back to at times when I meditate and pray.
I was lucky enough to attend a book event that Ms. Shriver spoke at about the book, so I was really looking forward to reading it. It is a book you can either read all at once or read in bits to absorb and relish it
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I quickly read the book which gives short essays on different aspects of everyday life and the different journeys we all face at some time. Now that it is read I am going back chapter by chapter and apply it to my life. Reading it causes reflections of my own life and the prayers are heartfelt. It seems like a perfect book to pick up for the new year.
Apr 14, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Disappointingly repetitious, full of platitudes, and poorly edited.
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book! Planning on reading it again in the new year.
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, non-fiction
4.5 stars. "I've Been Thinking" is a glimpse into how Maria Shriver is able to make the most out of life. This book is the literary equivalent to having a huge cup of tea with a really good friend. It is thoroughly comfortable and satisfying.

I think it's always important to keep in mind that books like this about people's ways of finding themselves in the world may not work for everyone. Shriver is up front with this in this book: her way may not be the right way for everyone but it works for he
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned, 2018
not my cup of tea
Connie N.
Jun 07, 2018 rated it liked it
This is really a collection of articles that Maria Shriver has published in her weekly (?) newspaper column. They cover all sorts of thoughts, from belief in God to politics, from family to personal growth. Although I believe this book was written from a place of caring and consideration, I kept thinking that Shriver is actually quite removed from the "regular folk." She grew up in a wealthy and famous family, and she moved into a public and political marriage. I appreciate the fact that she's n ...more
Monika Larsson
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a beautiful, insightful book written by am incredible woman. I'm not religious but can appreciate all the prayers and all of her idea and outlook on life in general. Have hope.
Kimberly Fondaw
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thank you for allowing me my digital review copy to read! Could not come at a better time. So uplifting, and the chapters are short, but at the end of each one I have reflected on how this can make my life more positive and richer. There are 3 chapters that have had a profound effect, “The Power of the Mind”, women and Alzheimer’s have been brought to the forefront by Maria. I have been lucky enough to hear her speak at the Alzheimer’s Forum twice. Wow.
“Power of Motherhood”, tears. I have gone
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to have received an advanced copy of this book, and I have to say, it was a blessing to have been able to read it! Maria Schriver has always been an inspiration to me; her positive, thought provoking speeches have always moved me. This book has short chapters that can be used as a go-to book for motivation and compassionate anecdotes. This is one to have on your coffee table, and to give as gifts to your friends and family. Oh, and get your highlighter out - you are going to w ...more
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inspiration
Lodged somewhat blandly, a few pearls of wisdom can be pried out with a highlighter. It doesn’t feel like there’s anything new here, Maria’s writing feels plain, but soothing to read nonetheless. That said, I don’t think the book was meant to be inhaled in two days like I did. Perhaps small daily doses is the key here. The title does include the words “Refections, Prayers, and Meditations”, so perhaps my hasty pace made the writing style seem a bit stale.

There’s a couple great reminders for anyo
Jen Brodehl
5 Stars- I love Maria Shriver so it was easy for me to also love her book. There’s something for everyone in here. So much inspiration along with things to think about and actions to take. I bookmarked a lot and will definitely refer back to this one. A wonderful book that’s worth reading!
Pam Cipkowski
I am being nice by giving this three stars...because Maria Shriver is so nice. I can see why this book has spent so long on the bestseller list and why I had to wait two months before it came up on the hold list for me at the library. It’s pure fluff. Dime store fodder for the Lake Forest socialites pushing their jogging strollers and lunching with their besties after yoga. Maybe I didn’t do it justice, reading it as quickly as I did, because this would really be best read as a sort of devotiona ...more
Dec 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
One may think Maria Shriver lives a privileged existence. While she may have been born into wealth, she has devoted her life in service of others.

She shares little stories and anecdotes picked up throughout her 60 years on this earth.

There's plenty here that we should already know (such as: don't care what others think, dealing with grief happens on your own timeline) but it's a fresh reminder that even those who are well-off financially such as herself still have all the same normal insecurit
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
A collection of inspirational essays on the vagaries of life, such as letting go, the power of thank you, and mental health issues. I was uplifted. Shriver writes in a conversational tone, invoking her various life experiences and insights. There is a healthy dose of spirituality in her approach, as she is devoutly religious although no longer Catholic. She doesn’t wallow in her own problems, but uses them once in a while to make a point. I especially liked her commentaries on current world situ ...more
Kathleen Kraft
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thank you for allowing me to read an advance copy. I too admire Maria and her family and really looked forward to the book. I enjoyed the book- she has a great slightly deprecating sense of humor. I enjoyed the spiritual and self care perspective. In fact self care is a theme in this book. Self care, standing up for yourself, reflection are all good ideas and key themes. It is obvious Maria was working through some challenging personal times. The chapters individually are wonderful- as a whole i ...more
Jamie Sorenson
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book makes you wish you had more friends like Maria. She is a class act. I thought for sure she might talk more of her divorce instead she only eludes to when her life unraveled. I’ve always known that she was wise and intelligent but I didn’t know how deeply spiritual she was. I gained a lot of respect for her because she works so hard to be a good person and do the right thing as you learn in this book. This book is full of all kinds of nuggets of wisdom. My favorite chapter was “The Powe ...more
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Maria Owings Shriver is an American journalist, activist, author of six best-selling books, and former First Lady of California.

“Forgiveness is letting go of the need to feel like a victim. Work on it. You’ll lighten your load—the load of negativity you carry around.” 3 likes
“Let’s not look back in anger, or forward in fear, but around in awareness.” —James Thurber” 2 likes
More quotes…