Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Stuff You Already Know ... And Everybody Should (Book Review)

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book, at no cost to me, for review purposes.

Stuff You Already Know ... And Everybody Should, by Gina DeLapa, is like an instruction book for life.   Think of it as All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten with a sharper edge.  It's a collection of advice in small doses, mostly single sentences but some longer than one page.

Here's the text from the back cover:
From new grads to savvy parents, whether you are climbing the corporate ladder or living out your legacy years, Stuff You Already Know… And Everybody Should is sure to provoke laughter, conversation, contemplation, and bold new action. 
A look at what’s inside:
Do right by your enemies—not to change them, but so they don’t change you. (#49) 
Beware the organization whose response to a burning building is to form a committee. (#322) 
Love those in your care with fierceness and gusto. As my dad once told me, “I’d kick a dragon’s a** for you.” (#420)
Part pep talk, part reflection, part friendly kick in the butt, Stuff You Already Know … And Everybody Should gives you 437 ways to make your life count. No matter what your season of life, these 437 nuggets and their accompanying stories will make you smile, make you think, and inspire you to live more fully than ever before.
The book has three overarching themes, as listed in the preface:
  1. Set yourself up for success.
  2. Take the high road.
  3. Glorify God with your life.
Don't let that third one turn you off if you're not a believer. The author writes,
"[H]owever you define yourself spiritually or otherwise, I invite you to filter these thoughts through the lens of your life, and to keep and pass along only what is helpful."

This can be a quick read, if you want to read straight through.  Or it can take longer if you choose to stop and consider some of the items.

Some of the items are thought-provoking, like "Beware the many faces of fear, including indecision, endless preparation, education, or information-gathering" (#2).

Some are well-known, such as "Don't grocery shop when you're hungry" (#64).  [I would add, Especially when the store displays the on-sale cookies just inside the entryway.]

Some are simply practical, like "Add the attachment before you write the email" (#206).  [How many times have I forgotten to attach a file?!]

Some are potentially life-saving:  "If you feel you can't go on, stop reading and call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.  In the U.S., their number is 1-800-273-8255" (#78).

One that has stuck in my mind is #266:  "Don't say, 'No problem' in response to something that was never understood to be a problem."  I hadn't realized just how often I use that expression, and this has made me very aware of it.

Just one caution.  The preface ends with this note:  "Please forgive the occasional Rated PG swear words.  Neither this book nor my life would be the same without them."  It's true that these words are PG and occasional.  I would still prefer the book without them.

For more information and to read an excerpt, go to StuffYouAlreadyKnow.com.


  1. This does sound like a good read. I bought my brother a book similar to this about college and roommates when he headed off to school. They can be fun and helpful at the same time:)
    I too agree that I wish more authors would eliminate the vocabulary words that are offensive to some, although I do use bad language from time to time, (I hate admitting it) I hate reading it in books as it makes me uncomfortable.

    1. Gina DeLapa has also written a College edition of "Stuff You Already Know." I haven't finished reading it, but the review will be coming soon.

      Yes, those offensive words appear only a handful of times in this book, but they seem so unnecessary to me.


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