Esquire’s The Meaning of Life: Wisdom, Humor, and Damn Good Advice from 64 Extraordinary Lives


When we read Esquire, we turn right to the “What I’ve Learned” column: to-the-point, full-of-insight interviews with notable artists, writers, actors, athletes, celebrities, entrepreneurs, musicians, scientists, thinkers. Now Esquire’s published a book of 64 of “the best of” from the column that turns out to be the perfect bathroom read: short and illuminating. Here’s some favorite bits we found there:

The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up. —Mohammed Ali

Get yourself in trouble. If you get yourself in trouble, you don’t have the answers. And if you don’t have the answers, your solution will more likely be personal because no one else’s solutions will seem appropriate. You’ll have to come up with your own. — Chuck Close

Food is much better off the hand than the fork.–Mario Batali

I could write about failure only because I could deal with it. Most of my work before “Death of a Salesman,” 98 percent of it was a failure. By the time “Willie Loman” came along, I knew how he felt. —Arthur Miller

You practice and you get better. It’s very simple. —Philip Glass

This book is also one of those one-size-fits-all house gifts…appreciated by just about everyone.

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