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You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life
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You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  3,496 ratings  ·  485 reviews
Mrs. Roosevelt expresses her philosophy of life by relating the experiences which have enabled her to cope with personal and public responsibilities.
Paperback, 211 pages
Published May 1st 2009 by Westminster John Knox Press (first published January 28th 1960)
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Average rating 3.99  · 
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Mar 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Any woman who would like to learn from an extraordinary woman.
I loved, loved, loved this book. I felt this book is a rare gem that few people know about. It was like listening to a wise grandma casting her pearls of wisdom that are still very applicable today. The thing I loved the most is that I think anyone could relate to Eleanor Roosevelt! She was an extraordinary woman, yet so ordinary(like you and me) at the same time.
This is one that I will definitely read again.
This is a great book that discusses what we should seek in a politician. Eleanor Roosevelt's control and calm is what I admire most. She was comfortable in her own skin by the time her husband and her best friend, Tommy, died, when she wrote this book. She was well situated financially, but it was more than that: she gives examples of people who never did learn, in all their years, how giving is more rewarding than taking, and sharing is what a good life is all about.

And she ought to know. Elea
Macy_Novels at Night
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Some old wisdom will never die. I enjoyed this book by Eleanor Roosevelt, the first that I have read. She was a classy lady, and it was nice to see that she is just like everyone else. She admitted to being ignorant to a lot that went on around her, and I admire her for her courage and ability to persevere. This book made me feel like I was getting some good advice from my grandmother, and although a lot of it was pretty basic, it possesses a lot of good advice to everyday living. I also enjoyed ...more
Melissa Yael Winston
In this book, Eleanor Roosevelt outlines eleven actions that each person must take in order to lead a fulfilling life. They are as follows:
1. Learning to Learn--This first key makes the others possible. A fulfilled person must be curious and must learn to use his or her mind as a tool to understand and influence the world. Roosevelt insists that beyond discipline and training, a sense that life is an adventure makes people not only willing but passionate to learn about themselves, their fellow h
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: essays
I suffered through the first couple "keys" in their entirety and then read the beginning pages of the others. This is soulless, formulaic self-help book bestowed to the helpless from Roosevelt's high perch. I am giving this book two stars instead of one because I do admire Eleanor Roosevelt. ...more
Aug 02, 2013 rated it liked it
I was surprised that I didn't enjoy this book more than I did. I found myself frequently saying YES! That's true! but what would have been quite controversial in 1962 seems rather mundane now. I found her writing style to be a bit arrogant or patronizing (which is hardly surprising given the life she led - she's earned the right to speak authoritatively but somehow, it just rubbed me the wrong way) and at times, the writing seemed very dated to me. I'd really like to read her autobiography - I t ...more
Nov 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Eleanor Roosevelt is definitely one of my biggest historical heroes, but I have to say that I would not necessarily recommend this book. The 21st century reader has to take everything with a grain of salt given the time period it was written in, which is only to be expected, however I felt that even the core messages of the chapters (which are largely still applicable today) are not written in a way that is particularly engaging or interesting-- and for a woman who did so much, one would think s ...more
Aug 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
WOW. Although written in 1960, this book still resounds with relevance today, and it should be required reading for every young adult who wants to know how to make the most of life. If students had to read this in high school, I believe that an entire generation would benefit and be better people as a result. Many of the values put forth in this book are ones that are prone to be forgotten in this day and age, but they should not be. Most likely this will be one of the 5 most influential books I ...more
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was a monotonous read. I hoped that it would be insightful, but I was disappointed. Either I’m not the intended audience or this book is dated. I had hoped that it would be more autobiographical, but it was lacking in that sense. It just felt dry and dull.
Mar 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
i've always adored eleanor roosevelt but i do so much more after this book. she is such a wise woman & has so many great things to say--i couldn't stop highlighting. so many great stories from her life experiences. it made me really think about what i have learned from living. i seriously think everyone should read this & the world would be a happier & better place, it made me want to be a better person after reading ...more
Heather Friedman
Sep 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It's unbelievable how accurate and still relevant many of Eleanor Roosevelt's observations and recommendations are. I enjoyed this little book of reflection and found it motivating and inspiring in how I can evolve and grow in little ways throughout my day. She is a fascinating woman and this was a great read on advice from parenting to how to be a better person, citizen, role model. ...more
Ying Ying
'You learn by living' is a book of big wisdoms. Eleanor's words are thought provoking. As soon as I finished reading chapter 1, I became more interested in the world around me.

This book is certainly going to be one of my favorites and one that I shall revisit in the future.
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everyone should read this book. What was relevant then is still relevant today. If you didn't look at the copyright date or know that Eleanor Roosevelt died in 1962 you would think it was written today. I wish had I read this book many years ago, before I got married and had children. There are many tips on discovering yourself and becoming the best you can be. There are also guides to raising children, community living and politics. I just finished reading it and I want to read it again. ...more
Nov 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
In just 11 chapters, Eleanor shares with us her own interpretation of the basic philosophy of life. She believes that her basic philosophy is best expressed in the choices one makes daily. She discusses fear, a stumbling block, the great crippler, is something we all face. She stated "Looking back, it strikes me that my childhood and my early youth were one long battle against fear." She realized that "the danger lies in refusing to face the fear, in not daring to come to grips with it. If you f ...more
Ana González suazo
Feb 01, 2015 rated it did not like it
Very disappointed. I was expecting so much more after reading the great reviews. She comes out snobby, and though her advice usually makes sense, it was not very practical. Some of her advice makes for great quotes, but that's the best I can say. It was a very boring, I had a hard time even getting through it. I assume she has other better books and thats why her reviews are so good. Might have to read something else to change my mind, but will probably have to wait some years before putting mys ...more
Nov 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A book to keep by your bedside and read a page or two before you go to sleep.
Inspirational, keeping us on the right path
Apr 03, 2019 rated it liked it
For me, this collection of essays was great in some places and less so in others. I appreciated the straightforward, open attitude that Eleanor Roosevelt had in life, especially the idea of being interested people and what THEY are interested in, looking at interactions as ways to connect and learn. At other times, I felt a disconnect as time has passed, because the world is not exactly what it was when Eleanor was writing. She framed women as primarily defined by their husbands and children, wh ...more
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Surely, in the light of history, it is more intelligent to hope rather than to fear, to try rather than not to try. For one thing we know beyond all doubt: Nothing has ever been achieved by the person who says, ‘It can’t be done.’”

Eleanor Roosevelt is like the calming grandmother I need to help me make it through the Trump administration. She uses this book to impart some wisdom she’s learned over the years, but really it all amounts to something like:
- Don’t be afraid to take risks. You will l
Feb 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
Overall, a good book, interesting read. E. Roosevelt summarizes her nuggets of wisdom in 11 different sections: Learning to Learn • Fear—the Great Enemy • The Uses of Time • The Difficult Art of Maturity • Readjustment is Endless • Learning to Be Useful• the Right to Be an Individual • How to Get the Best Out of People •Facing Responsibility • How Everyone Can Take Part in Politics • Learning to Be a Public Servant.

I think my favorite chapters were about maturity and adjustment. Roosevelt talks
kind of a facts of life sort of thing, very practical - most of it not hugely surprising, but nice to have that voice with its background of experience and hearing what kind of advice she'd give. also a quick take toward the end on both the price of and need for participation in politics, from the local up to the international, from 'mere' voting up to representation and bill writing.

In some ways the way she thinks about and talks of the various parts of life reminded me of my grandmother, thou
Miz Lizzie
Aug 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
So interesting on so many different levels. The book serves as a self-help manual, a memoir, a textbook on good citizenship and how to become a public servant, a source of small meaningful stories and inspirational tidbits, and a historical document. Written at the end of her life, Eleanor Roosevelt embraced her role as Elder and Public Servant to write a book summarizing the greatest lessons of her life to share with others. In brief, make deliberate effort to overcome your fears, small and lar ...more
Jan 26, 2016 rated it liked it
This book is basically a memoir of Eleanor's beliefs and ideas that she had during her life. It's not an autobiography which is what our bookclub was looking for our selection. Maybe we should've looked more closely at the book before choosing it. It did provide many ideas that are still relevant today; such as... The importance of education, reading, choices, happiness, politics, and being a life-long learner. My favorite quote is this... "Whatever period of life we are in is good only to the e ...more
Feb 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
From an academic standpoint I would give this book a 3 stars. She is constantly stating her opinion as absolute statements--some of which I didn't entirely agree. She doesn't defend her opinions and sentiments very well sometimes and for that I just thought the academic aspects of the book were "okay".

From a personal standpoint, I thought the book was a 5 stars. Perhaps because the book is a little outdated, I felt like I was reading counsel from my grandmother. She is a moral person and speaks
Jun 21, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This book was ok. I didn't find it super life changing or anything. Its a pretty simple basic book, targets to the point where we should learn as much as we can, and face our fears, and try new things. Thats what I like about Eleanor Roosevelt. What I've read about her, it seems as if she was a shy girl, but as she got older, she wanted to learn as much as she could and do new things and stop being afraid of things. Basically she lived her life. ...more
Pearls of wisdom from Mrs. Roosevelt and it was interesting reading this soon after reading her book, IT'S UP TO THE WOMEN, which was published nearly 30 years before as the two come from different stages in her life and read as such.

YOU LEARN BY LIVING gives the reader a keen look at her noted foibles and how she has come through ups and downs in her life experiences - how they each have shaped her into the women she was at the time of this book; she states that each person's life path makes t
Kari Ann Sweeney
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Eleanor Roosevelt has long been a favorite of mine. My mom gave me a quote of hers when I was in the 5th grade and it quite literally helped me survive that awkward time in my life. (Thanks Mom & Eleanor)
❤️”No one can make you feel inferior without your consent"
Such simple words, yet they pack such a punch. This book, written over 50 years ago, is full of those seemingly obvious philosophies on life, yet she frames them in a manner that is relate able. Of course no one is witho
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have always wanted to read an Eleanor Roosevelt book, but this far exceeded my expectations. I will be purchasing a hard copy and making this required reading for my children before graduating from our home school. It's interesting, because I know Mrs. Roosevelt was considered a feminist, and yet, she expressed such a profound love and high honor for being about the truly beautiful feminine work of family, raising children, and service to our neighbor that I only found a couple paragraphs in t ...more
Sep 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rachel Svendsen
I read this book after it was mentioned in My Year with Eleanor I put Noelle's book aside because I wanted to read something by Eleanor first. There were chapters in this book that I loved. They were full of encouraging wisdom. The chapters on politics were less helpful to me, but it was nice to read her perspective on things. ...more
Bessy C.
Sep 17, 2020 rated it liked it
It has inspirational quotes and great advice for life. It encourages me and I feel identified in some situations of her life, but honestly, the writing style is not my favorite.

It's just not my kind of book.
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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was an American political leader who used her influence as an active First Lady from 1933 to 1945 to promote the New Deal policies of her husband, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, as well as taking a prominent role as an advocate for civil rights. After her husband's death in 1945, she continued to be an internationally prominent author and speaker for the New Deal coalition ...more

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