The Best Advice I Ever Got : Lessons from Extraordinary Lives
by Katie Couric and Various

Overview - NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • For anyone who wants to see how today's best and brightest got it right, got it wrong, and came out on top.

What was the tipping point for Malcolm Gladwell? What unscripted event made Meryl Streep who she is?


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More About The Best Advice I Ever Got by Katie Couric; Various

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • For anyone who wants to see how today's best and brightest got it right, got it wrong, and came out on top.

What was the tipping point for Malcolm Gladwell? What unscripted event made Meryl Streep who she is? In this inspiration-packed book, Katie Couric reports from the front lines of the worlds of politics, entertainment, sports, philanthropy, the arts, and business—distilling the ingenious, hard-won insights of leaders and visionaries, who tell us all how to take chances, follow our passions, cope with criticism, and, perhaps most important, commit to something greater than ourselves.
Among the many voices to be heard here are financial guru Suze Orman on the benefits of doing what's right, not what's easy; director Steven Spielberg on listening rather than being listened to; quarterback Drew Brees on how his (literal) big break changed his life; and novelist Curtis Sittenfeld on the secrets of a great long-term relationship (she suggests marrying someone less neurotic than you); not to mention:
• Michael Bloomberg: "Eighty percent of success is showing up . . . early."
• Eric Stonestreet: "Remember that the old lady who's taking forever in line is someone's grandma."
• Joyce Carol Oates: "Read widely—what you want to read, and not what someone suggests that you should read."
• Jimmy Kimmel: "When in doubt, order the hamburger."
• Apolo Ohno: "It's not about the forty seconds; it's about the four years, the time it took to get there."
• Madeleine K. Albright: "Never play hide-and-seek with the truth."
Along the way, Couric reflects on the good advice—and the missteps—that have guided her from her early days as a desk assistant at ABC to her groundbreaking role as the first female anchor of the CBS Evening News. She reveals how the words of Thomas Jefferson helped her deal with her husband's tragic death from cancer, and what encouraged her to leave the security of NBC's Today show for a new adventure at CBS.
Delightful, empowering, and moving, The Best Advice I Ever Got is the perfect book for anyone who is thinking about the future, contemplating taking a risk, or daring to make a leap into the great unknown.

  • Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Gr
  • Date: Apr 2011

From the cover

My husband, Jay, used to tell people that I was born on a sunny day.
I thought it was the nicest compliment I ever received. I guess you could say I've always been one of those upbeat, glass-half-full people. Experts in the field of positive psychology might conclude that I'm "hardwired for happiness." When I was a little girl, the youngest of four, my sister Kiki's friends nicknamed me Smiley. Naturally outgoing and eager to please, I used to memorize photos in the yearbook and then approach various students at football games with salutations like "Hi! You're Barbara McLaughlin. I recognize you from the picture in my sister's yearbook!" Before you gag from the absolute adorableness of it all, to paraphrase that Pantene commercial, "Don't hate me because I'm happy." Trust me, I've been to the other side. My mom, a practitioner of common sense who was raised in Omaha, Nebraska, has often said that no one leaves this life unscathed. Indeed, dark clouds did come rolling in, and I've survived my share of window-rattling, life-shattering storms. But that comes later.
Growing up in Arlington, Virginia, I had a childhood that was more like Leave It to Beaver than Modern Family. Mine was an old-fashioned nuclear family, with a stay-at-home mom who, had she been born in a different time, would probably be an ad executive or a stockbroker (she bought many shares of Trojan condoms in the safe-sex early eighties), and a father who was thoughtful and intelligent, hardworking, a voracious reader, and a bit of a taskmaster who expected excellence from all four of his children. Add to that three older siblings, who paved the way for each one who followed, and a neighborhood teeming with kids who spent endless hours playing Red Light/Green Light and street baseball (with a tennis ball, since no gloves were used) and waging some pretty serious crab-apple fights, and you have an upbringing straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting.
Our recreational pursuits put many of the neighborhood kids on the injured reserve list. My own mishaps are, of course, the most vivid in my memory. Having just learned to ride bikes at age six, some of my neighborhood girlfriends and I decided to ride down the hilly sidewalk of Fortieth Street, single file, Indian style. It would have been an impressive showing of our newfound talents if only my best friend Sara Crosman had also learned to use the brakes. Instead, at the bottom of the hill her bike crashed into mine (I was leading the pack, I'm slightly embarrassed to admit) and threw me forward. My chin came down on the sidewalk, and the impact broke one of my proudest possessions: my new front tooth. My mom cried, her tears, I'm still convinced, more for financial than cosmetic concerns, and I spent many of my elementary school years sporting a silver tooth in class photos—a lovely addition to my horrifying inch-long bangs. When Chris Foley tripped me on the blacktop after I stuck my tongue out at him in third grade, it was a bit of a godsend. Two caps looked less fake than one.
So the memories of my youth are a collection of happy snapshots: cheerleading, running track, playing the piano, piling into our station wagon for an occasional vacation to the beach as we demolished the sandwiches my mom had made for lunch by 9 a.m., taking my sister Emily to New York to travel across the ocean to spend her junior year abroad while she was at Smith College, going to my brother Johnny's baseball and basketball games, watching my sister Kiki driving off in my dad's racing-green Sunbeam Alpine (his one midlife indulgence),
her pom-poms peeking out as she headed to a high school...

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