cover image Ten Things I Wish I'd Known: Before I Went Out Into the Real World

Ten Things I Wish I'd Known: Before I Went Out Into the Real World

Maria Shriver. Warner Books Inc, $19.95 (144pp) ISBN 978-0-446-52612-8

Following the success of her 1999 bestseller What's Heaven?, in which she explained death to children, the NBC anchor woman expands on a commencement speech she delivered two years ago at Holy Cross College in Worcester, Mass., to share some of her life lessons with young people starting their careers. Although this slim gift book is positioned as a graduation gift, Shriver's natural audience is more likely to be busy working mothers like herself, and celebrity watchers who are curious about her thoughts on managing marriage, motherhood and career (Shriver and husband Arnold Schwarzenegger have four children). In lessons that are mostly about work and character, she shares simple notions that are fundamentally sound and that many adults will agree with: pursue your passion; consider no job to be beneath you; be willing to fail; realize that behavior has consequences; find a mentor. Unfortunately, the warmth and humor Shriver may have projected in person are forced on the page. Although she tries to build rapport with amusing stories of early faux pas and setbacks in her journalism career, readers may have trouble relating to her main predicament--lack of appreciation from people who might have wondered if a beautiful, rich kid actually wanted a job--as well as her idea of disappointment: not being as successful as Oprah or Diane Sawyer. Even so, Shriver's strength of character, her genuine admiration for her parents and her love for her family shine through. (Apr.)