If This Isn't Nice, What Is?

If This Isn't Nice, What Is?

Advice to the Young : the Graduation Speeches

Book - 2014
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After the publication of his novel Slaughterhouse-Five (Delacorte, 1959) brought him worldwide acclaim in 1969, Kurt Vonnegut became one of America's most popular graduation speakers. There were years when public speaking was his main source of income and he put a great deal of thought and preparation into the things he said and also in his presentations. We are performing animals' is one of Vonnegut's trademark sayings, and he took it to heart when he found himself speaking to graduates.'
Publisher: New York :, Seven Stories Press,, 2014
Edition: First Seven Stories Press Edition
ISBN: 9781609805913
Branch Call Number: 815.54 VON NVD
Characteristics: 123 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Wakefield, Dan
Alternative Title: If this is not nice, what is


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Jun 21, 2015

I have not really read much vonnegut. I enjoy a good essay and ran across this collection of graduation speeches which he had given over the years.
First, Vonnegut does not seem to be much of a public speaker. His fiction may be great, but his speeches read pretty stiff.
The best advice he gives is reflected in the title, and has the flavor of stopping to smell roses. He suggests, when things are good, that you pause to enjoy and think "If this isn't nice, what is?" I think this is a great suggestion, and actually find myself doing just that.
Vonnegut speaks, often, about surrounding yourself with people to get through life. He feels as if we have lost the clans and villages that served as extended family.
It's a short read, with tidbits to ponder.

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