Life Is So Good

Life Is So Good

Book - 2000
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What makes a happy person, a happy life? In this remarkable book, George Dawson, a 101-year-old man who learned to read when he was 98, reflects on the philosophy he learned from his father--a belief that "life is so good"--as he offers valuable lessons in living and a fresh, firsthand view of America during the twentieth century. Born in 1898 in Marshall, Texas, the grandson of slaves, George Dawson tells how his father, despite hardships, always believed in seeing the richness in life and trained his children to do the same. As a boy, George had to go to work to help support the family, and so he did not attend school or learn to read; yet he describes how he learned to read the world and survive in it. "We make our own way," he says. "Trouble is out there, but a person can leave it alone and just do the right thing. Then, if trouble still finds you, you've done the best you can." At ninety-eight, George decided to learn to read and enrolled in a literacy program, becoming a celebrated student. "Every morning I get up and I wonder what I might learn that day. You just never know." In Life Is So Good, he shares wisdom on everything from parenting ("With children, you got to raise them. Some parents these days are growing children, not raising them") to attitude ("People worry too much. Life is good, just the way it is"). Richard Glaubman captures George Dawson's irresistible voice and view of the world, offering insights into humanity, history, and America--eyewitness impressions of segregation, changes in human relations, the wars and the presidents, inventions such as the car and the airplane, and much, much more. And throughout his story, George Dawson inspires the reader with the message that sustained him happily for more than a century: "Life is so good. I do believe it's getting better."
Publisher: New York : Random House, 2000.
ISBN: 9780375503962
037550396X
Branch Call Number: 976.4/DAWS
Characteristics: 260p. 24cm.
Additional Contributors: Glaubman, Richard

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bookwormjeph
Jan 07, 2014

I approached this book with a little trepidation thinking it would be a bit sugary after reading the blurb. I am happy to say I was mistaken. A gentle narrative that takes you along like a slow lazy sunday. And what a story. George is 103 and his life spanned three centuries. He is humble, insightful, compassionate with a wry sense of humour at his rather long and, what he considers to be, an uneventful one. It is anything but.

ChristchurchLib Dec 17, 2013

"A man who learned to read when he was ninety-eight recalls the early hardships of his life, shares his memories of segregation, and discusses his philosophical observations." Biography and Memoir December 2013 newsletter http://www.nextreads.com/Display2.aspx?SID=5acc8fc1-4e91-4ebe-906d-f8fc5e82a8e0&N=712601

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dthang
Jan 29, 2013

This is one of the most inspirational books you'll ever read. Do yourself a favour and read this book! ;)

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darlana
Sep 08, 2012

This book reminded me to be thankful of everything I have, not to judge others, not to complain, and how far you can get if you just shut up and work hard. It was an amazing and incredibly interesting book

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smworthy
Aug 22, 2012

I read this for a book club. Good book, but seemed to rush through several decades, while spending chapters on a single event/time.

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GLNovak
Jun 22, 2012

George Dawson lived a full life and never found the time to learn to read until he was 98 years old. He passed away in 2001 at the age of 103 years (born 1898). His outlook on life was always positive - work hard, be good to people, and steer clear of trouble. He never cared for coffee, preferring hot chocolate as a daily drink. The book is an easy-flowing account of his life and his philosophy that you accepted what came your way and took the good out of it. Hard work was its own reward. His appeal was such that over the course of his life he had and outlived four wives.

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