The Right Words at the Right Time Paperback – 24 Mar 2004
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About the Author
Marlo Thomas graduated from the University of Southern California with a teaching degree. She is the author of six bestselling books: Free to Be You and Me"; Free to Be a Family"; The Right Words at the Right Time"; The Right Words at the Right Time, Volume 2: Your Turn!"; Thanks & Giving: All Year Long"; and her memoir, Growing Up Laughing: My Story and the Story of Funny". Ms. Thomas has won four Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, a Golden Globe, and a Grammy, and has been inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame for her work in television, including her starring role in the landmark series That Girl", which she also conceived and produced. She is the National Outreach Director for St. Jude Children s Research Hospital, which was founded by her father, Danny Thomas, in 1962.
In 2010, Ms. Thomas launched her website, MarloThomas.com, on The Huffington Post and AOL. She lives in New York with her husband, Phil Donahue.
Top Customer Reviews
The overall concept is to give 100 distinguished figures from various fields -- including sports, politics, and entertainment, as well as some of the less glamourous professions -- the chance to write about a moment when words changed their life for the better. Among those who participated in this charity project to raise money for a children's research hospital are such legends as Steven Spielberg and Paul McCartney, as well as household names from former President Jimmy Carter to the creator of the Simpsons, Matt Groening.
While the words may often be cliched - e.g. "If anything's worth doing, it's worth doing well" (Walter Cronkite) - it's not the words so much as their context and timing that gives them their impact.
Some might see this as a celebrity collection of Forrest Gumpisms. But although some of these short tales are too obvious or seem to be serving the purpose of self-glorification, most are sincerely written, reveal something interesting about the person, and may possibly provide you with your own inspirations.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
what's wrong with you?! You CLEARLY missed this point of this gem of a publication.
I was browsing around the bookstore at the local mall just passing time while my eye glasses were being repaired. I was standing near the bestsellers section, when for no particular reason, this book's cover caught my eye. I picked up a copy, glanced at it, flipped the pages, then discarded it back on the shelf and thought, uhgg, one of those chicken-soup, pseudo-inspirational, publications; you know, a book version of a "chick flick"...ah, no thanks. Then, and maybe it was the fact that I noticed the NY Times bestseller band at the top, or maybe the sincerity of Marlo's expression -- I don't know -- but I picked it up, again flipped through the selections until I found a contributor I recognized: Matt Groening. I read his, the another, then got to Mel Brooks..BAM..I was hooked. I've got to admit, the old widsom you can't judge a book by it's cover took on a literal truth in this case. When I glanced at the back cover and saw that all of the royalties of the book go to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, I was instantly sold and proceeded to register to buy it.
The idea for this book and it's ultimate objective are both obvious and genious. Bravo Marlo and Friends!
This isn't literature, no, it's light reading with most entires being 3 or 4 pages; the contributions are from a diverse collection of musicians, actors, activists, entertainers, doctors, CEOs, journalists, politicians, direcors, writers, politicians, artists, and other people who are well known because of the success they've attained.
But the entries from the likes of Sidney Portier, Jay Leno,
and Itzhak Perlman are golden nuggets; personal experiences
of pivitol points in these contributors lives and given up in the name of charity -- awesome!
There are lessons and wisdoms in this book you can bank on. To say this book is replete with inspiration and would be an understatement. Best of all, you can read an entry in like 2 minutes!
If you don't buy this book, it's your loss.
In the first volume of The Right Words at the Right Time, Marlo Thomas gathered 100 stories from well-known folks from a wide variety of fields: movies, science, politics, music, you name it. In the second volume, she collected the stories of the "average joe." And you find in both books that the "right words" were not necessarily profound. Most of the words were simple and sensible. Sometimes they were criticism. Sometimes they were even distinctly un-sensible. But they were the right words at the time.
You will discover that even if what you say is not profound, its effects can be. If you think about it, you'll remember the times that words have made a change in your life. What were they? Who said them? What was the effect? And when did you do the same for another person? All of these questions will come to you as you read. Because the stories reach right into the heart of some of the most meaningful experiences in our lives. We can't help but think and compare. And learn.
It is knowing that words can affect others that leads many of us who become clinical psychologists to that work. Much of the training is about being able to identify the right words and the right time and put them together. But as both volumes clearly show, anyone's words can be the right words at the right time.
I remember my dad saying "If something is worth doing, it's worth doing well" and that's in the book. Obviously those were words that came at the "right time" for me.
There's a lot in the book to think about. It's not a celebrity book by any means - its a people book. Words are very powerful and sometimes at the most unexpected times, they have such an impact on your life you never forget them. The same goes for this book.
It's to be enjoyed and then shared and remembered. Marlo Thomas has always gone for quality, not quantity. This one can sit proudly beside "Free to Be" - unless you send it to a friend.
Don't pass it by.
Frankly, I don't go out of my way to buy and read "self-help" books of inspiration through the words of others. It was this specific collection of people that made me gravitate towards it. There are so many people represented here whom I respect and/or am interested in: Cal Ripken Jr., Itzhak Perlman, Anna Quindlen, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, etc. I wanted to read the words and deeds that at one time or another helped them. No, I do not expect the effects to last my lifetime, I do not expect to be miraculously changed by the different stories, but it seems to me that at this particular moment in the world's history, perhaps reading of Uta Hagen's mother's opening night advice, Dennis Miller's thank you to Jay Leno or Senator John McCain's sense of patriotism will brighten a particularly dark mood. A suggestion: start with the wonderful "essay" by Mike Nichols.