Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life” as Want to Read:
You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  2,591 ratings  ·  353 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)
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 You Learn by Living, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about You Learn by Living

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,591 ratings  ·  353 reviews

Sort order
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
Kari Ann Sweeney
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
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 wi
Kim Driscoll
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thankful to have come across this treasure through my book club. I plan to give it to my adult children...and every high school graduate in preparation for life! Filled with real life applicable truth that stands the test of time. I already need to read it again!
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.
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Timeless, and timely. Appreciated the ideas within, the touches of historical background, and the writing.
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is going next to my copy of Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s A Gift From the Sea. It isn’t quite as calming as Lindbergh’s book but the practicality of the advice in Roosevelt’s book brought the other book to mind. I admit that I only skimmed the last two chapters about political involvement and preparing for public service but other than that, there’s so much to think about and I really enjoyed it.
Oct 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Eleanor Roosevelt clearly was a woman with a great spirit, passionate for making herself and her world better. In her book, she shared those things that you would want a mentor to share. It would make a great gift for a graduate or young adult.

She found each person, conversation and experience a teacher, thus never being bored and certainly never being boring.

My favorite quotes from it include:
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear
Jun 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Eleanor Roosevelt was an extraordinary woman. I feel fortunate to have gotten to know her a little more through her book. This book is broken into eleven key chapters.
1 - Learning to Learn
2 - Fear: The Great Enemy
3 - The Uses of Time
4 - The Difficult Art of Maturity
5 - Readjustment is Endless
6 - Learning to be Useful
7 - The Right to be an Individual
8 - How to Get the Best out of People
9 - Facing Responsibility
10 - How Everyone can Take Part in Politics
11 - Learning to be a Public Servant

The over
Dec 10, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book after reading a few quotes from it somewhere. It is an immensely quotable book and follows an anecdote, platitude, repeat format. Unlike what I expected, the anecdotes where not from Eleanor’s personal life, but from the lives and observations of people she’s met over the years. (The fault seems to be in my expectations. Perhaps I should have read her biography instead.)

A few things to note.

1. This book is not timeless. It includes many references to current situations betw
Jan 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Dionne by: Kelli Wick
"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'"

I loved this book, it was amazing. A friend was reading it and was inspired, and so she bought the book for me as well. Eleanor gives a lot of great advice. Some of what she said I've heard other places, but the way she said things inspired me.

The chapter on fear was w
Biniam Biniam
May 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
At the end of You Learn by Living, Eleanor Roosevelt writes that she feels that her book advice for personal growth and fulfillment boils down to a handful of principles. It is always helpful to successfully complete smaller steps that carry you gradually towards a larger goal. There are more clearly defined objectives, it will be defined between steps achieved and made visible. that motivates incredible
Jul 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is a treasure-trove of quotable wisdom. Clearly, it's an auto-biographical account, so you have to take some with a grain of salt, and I even rolled my eyes at some points. But it was a fascinating look into the life of an unarguably great women. It's a very short, easy read.
Jun 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Some great bits of wisdom if you overlook the sexist bias of the times.
Dec 13, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The overtones of her political progressiveness were a bit hard to swallow. But that being said, I did appreciate the fact that she faced her many fears and conquered them.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Living a meaningful life 1 4 Mar 03, 2016 08:38AM  
  • Our Eleanor: A Scrapbook Look at Eleanor Roosevelt's Remarkable Life
  • The Face: Cartography of the Void
  • Assimilate or Go Home: Notes from a Failed Missionary on Rediscovering Faith
  • The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy and Women's Work
  • Roots and Sky: A Journey Home in Four Seasons
  • Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting
  • Coming Clean:  A Story of Faith
  • Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me
  • The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap: A Memoir of Friendship, Community, and the Uncommon Pleasure of a Good Book
  • One Special Summer
  • Day of Honey: A Memoir of Food, Love, and War
  • Necessary Dreams: Ambition in Women's Changing Lives
  • You Want Women to Vote, Lizzie Stanton?
  • Wild Feminine: Finding Power, Spirit, & Joy in the Root of the Female Body
  • Eleanor, Quiet No More
  • Speaking Truth to Power
  • The Hills Beyond
  • Writers Dreaming: 26 Writers Talk About Their Dreams and the Creative Process
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
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” 6398 likes
“It's your life-but only if you make it so.” 278 likes
More quotes…