It was standing room only on a brisk November evening at Greenlight Books in Brooklyn as fans of Six-Word Memoirs gathered to celebrate the release of The Best Advice in Six Words. Laughter dominated the night as local Advice contributors famous and “obscure” shared their Six Words of wisdom with the bustling crowd. But the heartfelt moments proved the most memorable as a handful of contributors shared the stories behind their advice.
Orange is the New Black star Taylor Schilling (page 100) warmly surprised the group as she revealed how her advice —“Right now you’re okay, I promise.“ — has carried her through some of life’s tougher moments. And no backstory was needed as author Piper Kerman (page 100), the woman who inspired Schilling’s character, shared her six words of advice: “You learn more from your failures.”
Taylor’s OITNB colleague, Joel Garland (page 44), proved just as charming in person as he is on screen. His six words, “Go where you have been invited,” is advice originally given to him by a former professor. Garland explained is about not questioning yourself when you walk into a place where you feel inferior (because you’re not), as well as never feeling you’re better then anyone else in a given room (you’re not).
Yoga teacher Kate Reil (page 84) captured the ears and hearts of all as she explained how a simple exchange with a loved one stays with you for an eternity: “Texts with Dad: now is beautiful.”
Writer Mary Beth Williams (page 98) proved that Six Words of Advice can be a game-changer and a life-saver: “Seriously, get that mole checked out.“
An award-winning journalist, bestselling author and Esquire advice columnist, A.J. Jacobs (page, 42) has spent his career researching issues and ideas. No matter how many degrees or data the experts offer to make their cases, says Jacobs, they are often wrong. Or, stated in six words: “I guarantee you: certainty is impossible.
And Sonya Cheuse paid tribute to her beloved father, longtime NPR contributor and author Alan Cheuse (page 8), whose untimely death earlier this year made his six words of advice even more poignant:“Live, write, dream, all at once.”
Our thanks to Greenlight Bookstore for hosting this incredible event, as well as Daniela Rapp of St. Martin’s Press and Larry Smith’s longtime agent, David Patterson, for sharing this celebration with us. The Best Advice in Six Words is available in stores and online now and coming soon to a city near you — be sure to join us if you can. Our Six Words about these gatherings: “Advice events are a ‘must attend.’”