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What I Know Now About Success: Letters From Extraordinary Women to Their Younger Selves Hardcover – Apr 27 2010

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (April 27 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738213535
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738213538
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 14.3 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,270,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


Baltimore Daily Record, 5/3/10
“a good read for the bad times and makes a great gift for the graduating teenager who may need advice, looking back.”

About the Author

Ellyn Spragins, a former New York Times writer, established the What I Know Now? series and seminars. She lives in Pennington, New Jersey, with her family.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa3b31084) out of 5 stars 10 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7bf3834) out of 5 stars Time traveling successful women May 27 2010
By Arctic Voice Earl - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Ellyn Spragins has truly found a niche in asking some well-known, powerful women to write a letter to themselves back at a key point, a fork in the road, or a time of major challenges.

I'll bet most of us have thought now and then ---"Oh if I could only go back in time and share some wisdom/support to my younger self." Until full time travel becomes real, that remains a dream. But we can learn from these letters as we plow our way forward.

This is her third book in the series of "What I know now," and one which arrives when a generation of girls graduates. Also, as a number of women in mid-career now face layoffs due to the slumping economy.

Here are a few examples of inner resolve and strength in the face of serious obstacles:
1. Suzanne Somers of "Three's Company" tv fame reveals a very troubled childhood, including an alcoholic father, and being a single mother at age 18. She climbs up, works hard and then the tv fame --until she just mentions the idea of a possible raise in salary.
She writes: "True Success means accepting yourself as you are."

2. For sports junkies: Hannah Storm of ESPN fame writes back to herself "Stop worrying. It's useless." She talks about making progress in a highly-male sports industry.
Also leaning on God and her faith as well.

3. And again in sports, Rutgers women's basketball coach Vivian Stringer who handled a a racial slur against the team by radio talk show host Don Imus. Time for a real strength of character. She writes herself to integrate her work with her family. Reportedly, on road trips she would sometimes ride in the car with her family, right behind the bus carrying the team.

Other women who participated include Barbara Walters, Soledad O'Brien, Christine Todd Whitman, and Suze Orman.

I'm still waiting for Spragins to do such a book on men writing themselves at an early age.
But actually there are lessons and realistic inspirations in the book which can apply to almost everyone.

Enjoy and keep those letters coming.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7bf3810) out of 5 stars Motivational and inspiring! April 27 2010
By Ellen T. Frisina - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is Ellyn Spragin's second book and it's as amazingly motivational and inspiring as the first. As a Communications professor, I suggest that all my students read "Success" -- it is a strong way to realize that your dreams come true not with luck but with hard work and positive thinking! We all wish we could go back in time and tweak things that happened to us -- but this book shows that whatever happens, happens for a good reason. Whether you need a pick-me-up, a validation, or just a smile, this book will provide! The timing is perfect for you to buy this book for those you know graduating from college into the "real world"...they will truly appreciate and learn from Ms. Spragins' collection of awesome people!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa8a83edc) out of 5 stars What I Know Now About Success May 13 2010
By Kate Wood - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love these What I Know Now gems from Ellyn Spragins. Every once in a while I turn to them for a little reminding and refreshment: Ellyn's vivid snapshots and the no-nonsense, honest and sometimes humorous advice style. I've picked up some good tips and internalized them. I always remember Olympia Dukakis remembering herself at the kitchen table feeling forlorn. Her letter to her younger self made a strong impression on me. I read mostly non-fiction and a lot about women so the series is right up my alley.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa8a83ee8) out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyed! Jan. 26 2016
By Mary Gramlich - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thinking in the past tense at times is never a good idea however with this book and the suggestions all the contributors make have less to do with regret and all about taking what you might have done and turning it into I will do.

The short, descriptive advice or story is a great idea for exploring what happened and how that could play out in today. There is some dated information but overall it is a great read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7b09b88) out of 5 stars Excellent book for women Nov. 16 2011
By Julie - Published on
Verified Purchase
I only wish I had been able to read this book back in the seventies, when I was struggling with my self-esteem. I needed permission to put myself before husband and family at that time. I needed role-models, which this book has given. Excellent little read.