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Extended Audio Sample The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons from Extraordinary Lives Audiobook, by Katie Couric Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.49 out of 53.49 out of 53.49 out of 53.49 out of 53.49 out of 5 3.49 (39 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Katie Couric Narrator: Katie Couric Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2011 ISBN: 9780307943309
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What was the tipping point for Malcolm Gladwell? What unscripted event made Meryl Streep who she is? How did Mario Batali cook up his recipe for success? 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).

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. This book is for all of us, young or old, who want to see how today’s best and brightest got it right, got it wrong, and came out on top.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This book will make an ideal graduation gift as well as an inspirational guide to self-improvement. It can’t miss.”

    Library Journal

  • “Exceptional by any standard.”

    Barnes & Noble, editorial review

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ashley | 2/18/2014

    " 3.5 stars. Some awesome advice, but a bit redundant at times. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Wendy | 2/5/2014

    " Not a good audio book- it nearly put me to sleep on the road! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura | 1/30/2014

    " A must read for people as they start new chapters of their lives. Also for people looking for what's next. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melissa | 1/24/2014

    " I think this book was a great break from what I traditionally read. It was truly inspiring to read life advice from the likes of Gloria Steinem, Steven Spielberg, Vera Wang, Meryl Streep, Maya Angelou... to Chelsea Handler, Beyonce, and Matthew McConaughey. Yes, some were much more profound than others, but the overall concept of the book - to have people from all over the world submit what advice they would give as a commencement address - was intriguing. I found that it took me a little while to get through this book since I wanted to absorb each entry. It is a great read for those who want to become re-inspired on their path. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Shannon | 1/18/2014

    " I listened to this book on CD and got most of the way through disc 2 (there are six total) before I gave up and returned it to the library. It's not bad, per se. Certainly the authors are well-meaning, and I can't help but like Katie Couric. But this book is loaded with more cliches and triteness than I can possibly describe. I liked a handful of essays - Bill Cosby's made me laugh, and Christina Applegate's made me nod along - but mostly is was just typical Hallmark card stuff: do what you love, don't sweat the small stuff, don't be afraid to fail - things that we all have heard a million times before. So, no, it wasn't terrible. And I'm betting that, if I'd listened long enough, something might have resonated with me, but I'm not convinced, and life is too short...which is something else I'd probably hear from this book, too. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristi | 1/17/2014

    " Great advice on how to live a successful life. Katie Couric has put together stories and advice from successful people on how they approach life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Winnie | 1/17/2014

    " I didn't care for the book in the beginning mainly because the advice was so typical but then there were a few that surfaced that were well worth reading. I particularly like the chapters by Fareed Zakaria and Anna Quindlen. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Teresa | 1/16/2014

    " I really loved this book, I know the advice in it was simple, but if you are having a bad day, you must pick this book up, I promise you will feel better. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jen | 1/15/2014

    " A lot of repetitive topics, but it was ok. A quick read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Colleen | 1/13/2014

    " A quick, enjoyable read with interesting, sometimes inspiring words of wisdom from a number of notable people. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristen | 1/9/2014

    " Katie Couric shares a collection of (mostly) famous people and their advice to us common folk. The problem is the advice was not so much fun. Things like, "know yourself," "work hard," " be fair." I was hoping for more off the wall advice-or fun advice. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Morgan Balchin | 12/30/2013

    " One of my favorite books of all time! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Missy Hancock | 12/23/2013

    " REALLY is the some of the best advice I ever got! ;) Loved it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mollie | 12/10/2013

    " Sometimes you just need uplifting advice. This book nails it. I enjoyed it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sara | 12/5/2013

    " This is one of those books that I just couldn't put down. I bought it and read it all that first night. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Monica | 11/16/2013

    " A few very good essays, some quite interesting. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Crodosta | 10/14/2013

    " I found this book extremely boring and was unable to finish it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alberta | 2/7/2013

    " Good book, somewhat light reading but food for thought and very entertaining. A nice book for vacation reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Angel | 2/5/2013

    " I loved this book. It was very inspiring and she had people from all walks of life that were represented. It truly takes this kind of continued encouragement to become who you were meant to be. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Pat | 6/23/2012

    " Great collection of essays and anecdotes. I really enjoyed reading it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Allison Schwyn | 6/16/2012

    " At a time in my life where I could pick a million different paths to walk down, this book brings inspiration and hope for the future. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary Ann | 5/27/2012

    " Loved this book. What an inspiration. I still go back to read it whenever I'm having a rough time in my life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane Baker | 4/26/2012

    " Really good. I wish I had a good memory! I just know that once I close the book I'm going to forget all these wonderful pearls of wisdom on how to live your life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 The | 1/6/2012

    " This is basically just a collection of advice/essays from various people, collected into sections, each with an intro by Couric. Some of the entries are crap, but there's also some really good stuff, and her intros are interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robin Vander | 10/8/2011

    " Very interesting. Loved the many types of people from actors to business people to authors....lots of wonderful advice. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Liz | 8/28/2011

    " It is cool to hear advice from such a wide range of people. This book is insightful and inspiring. You can pick it up and put it down, which is nice too. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessica | 7/21/2011

    " This book is a very quick read and most appropriate for high school/college graduates. Not so much for 40+ year olds... The basic advice is "Don't give in to fear." See? Didn't need to read a 254 page book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rickina | 7/6/2011

    " Sure some of the advice is cheesy but there are still some quirks to this book. You get stories from Katie herself as well as other celebrities which make them seem more human. It's a great book for high school and recent college graduates. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 5/23/2011

    " Lots of great advice--a great book for graduation time. Really enjoyed this one. I really enjoyed the audio version, since Katie Couric narrates much of it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer Arnold | 5/23/2011

    " Some really great advice! Good for a graduation present, as well as a reminder of some of the advice we've forgotten as we go through the journey of life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ron | 5/17/2011

    " This is a good light read. Some of the content is repackaged and most of the advice will not be new to the reader but it never hurts to periodically remind yourself of good ideas. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 5/13/2011

    " I good read with good tidbits of advice. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Michele | 5/13/2011

    " A compilation of 1-2 page statement from famous people on their advice for a good/meaningful/productive life. Each chapter has a topic, i.e. with some opening remarks from Katie. A few gems, but they are few and far between. I wouldn't recommend it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dragana | 5/11/2011

    " pleasant, uplifting, non-sensational, exactly what you'd expect "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eileen | 5/8/2011

    " If statements like "work hard, and be nice" are earth-shattering epiphanies, than this book is for you. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joe | 5/5/2011

    " extraordinary lives, extraordinary little bits of wisdom a must read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ashley | 4/28/2011

    " 3.5 stars. Some awesome advice, but a bit redundant at times. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mary | 4/28/2011

    " 141 essays from truly successful people. I didn't read them all --just some of the ones who interested me like Mario Batali, Anna Quindlen, Apolo Ohno, Barbara Walters, Ina Garten, Vera Wang, Melinda Gates. A little "cute" - but brilliant marketing - just in time for graduations "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicholas | 4/25/2011

    " a great compilation of anecdotal advice that sometimes seems repetitive, but never trite. "

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About the Author
Author Katie CouricKatie Couric is the anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, a 60 Minutes correspondent, and anchor of CBS News prime-time specials. She has covered most of the major breaking news events over the past fifteen years, including the historic presidential election of 2008, the September 11 attacks, the Columbine tragedy, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the funeral of Princess Diana.