Thursday, January 14, 2010

What I know: Uncommon wisdom and universal truths from 10-year-olds and 100-year-olds - Roger Emerson Fishman

Have you ever spent time with a parent, grandparent or elderly friend, and were amazed by their stories of the past, the lessons they've learned throughout their long life, and the pearls of wisdom they are happy to share with you? When I think back of all the times I hung out with my grandmothers as a child, while they talked on and on and on about any topic (gardening, baking, life as a young wife, tricks to scraping by with little money, the antics of my grandfather), I just wish I could bottle it and give it as a gift to my kids. This is exactly what inspired Roger Emerson Fishman to write this book.

Roger was extremely close with his grandfather. In fact, Roger even wears the same style of glasses that his grandfather wore. Sadly, Roger's grandfather passed when he was 11 years old, and his father passed two years later, with all those precious tidbits of knowledge gone with them. So when Roger had a son of his own with wife Courtney Thorne-Smith, he decided he needed to leave a legacy for him when he grew older. What better way than to capture a spectrum of truths from 100 year olds and from 10 year olds from all over the country. Obviously, anyone who has lived a century has seen it all, and has things to teach us. But those 10 year olds have got alot on their mind as well (I have one that is always trying to impart his opinions on me). The end result was this precious collection that will make you smile, and make you ponder life, no matter what your age.

Roger organizes his book into 10 categories: Believing in Yourself, Integrity, Friendship, Parenting, The Joy of Giving, Preparing for Life, Personal Choice, Perseverance, Change and Longevity. He highlights a special 100 year old for each chapter...the assistant to Harry Houdini, a Major League Baseball player, an Activist, an entrepreneur.

"Work harder than everybody else.
When your mother sends you to the store, don't walk - run! I ran
everywhere...most of the time with older boys chasing me. I ran so much I
developed speed and became a base-stealer in the big leagues. If
you're always practicing more than anyone else, you'll always be a step

Then we get a few words of wisdom from 10-year-olds in each category. Their logic is innocent and simple, but often are words to live by.

"The best way to make a great friend is to pick
out your best lunch snack and share it with him."

Roger's voice is extremely pleasant. He's down-to-earth, sincere, and passionate about his mission. His love for his family, his wife and son Jack, are palpable and radiate off the page. This is the perfect book to keep around the house for an attitude adjustment, or as a gift.

The great news is that the author has agreed to offer a signed copy to one of my readers. Just leave a comment with your e-mail address...if you are a follower, you will be entered next Wednesday, January 20th. I will announce the winner on January 21st. My thanks go out to the author, Roger, and his colleague Joe, for the opportunity to review this treasure of a book. I will leave you with the book trailer, which will give you a better sense of its Zen spirit:

4.5 out of 5 stars


Jackie (Farm Lane Books) said...

That sounds like a fantastic book! One thing I love about the Japanese culture (and probably a few others) is that they have a real respect for the elderly. They appreciate that the older you are, the more you know. I really feel as though we don't respect the elderly enough in our culture, so it is great that a book is celebrating them.

JoAnn said...

This sounds wonderful!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Please enter me! I'm a follower!

nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

bermudaonion said...

Your post gave me chills. My dad is 90 years old and my son is 22 and sometimes it makes me sad to think that my son will only remember my dad as an old man. (Just typing that brought tears to my eyes.) This makes me think I should document some things about my dad as a younger man. Please enter me in your giveaway. milou2ster(at)

Serena said...

Interesting. I don't need to be entered, but I posted the giveaway in my sidebar for you!

Craftymoose Crafts said...

This book sounds wonderful and uplifting. I do believe we have much to learn from those 100 year olds and the 10-year-olds have a unique perspective.

Kathleen said...

The books sounds wonderful. I love to keep books like this laying around so I can read a few small selections from it and let it sink in a bit at a time. I wish I could capture everything my parents, grandparents, and older sisters have taught me through the years!

Iliana said...

This sounds like a lovely book, Sandy! My grandma is 95 and she's just the best. Sadly I didn't know my other grandparents but at least I had her taking care of me when I went to spend my summers with her and I have so many sweet memories of the special foods she always made for me and all the stories she's always shared. Now, I'm glad I've been able to take care of her a bit when she's been sick. I just hope and pray I'll have her in my life for more years yet.

Kim Frazier said...

I do miss my grandparents and all those endless stories that I now would appreciate! I need to remember this when Dad goes into his story telling mode. Enter me in this fine drawing please!

Anonymous said...

I would love to win this. It looks wonderful.
stacybooks at yahoo

Anonymous said...

I too wish I could talk with my grandparents once again. What a lovely sounding book. Please enter me in your giveaway.

409cope said...

Sounds like suvh a nice book. I wish my grandma was still here to talk to. cardshark42(at)hotmail(dot)com

Kimberly said...

This sounds like such a lovely book! My Grammy was my most favorite person in the world and the stories she told were priceless! She also used to play the piano for me until I fell asleep.

Alice said...

I love books like this one, Sandy! If it's open internationally, I'd love to participate.

teh (dot) alice (at) gmail (dot) com

Zibilee said...

This looks like an awesome read, and I'd love the chance to win it in your giveaway! Glad to hear it is such a heartwarming read and that you enjoyed it so much,


I am also a follower of your blog!

Nancye said...

I would like to win this book.

I am a follower

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net