There have been times in protagonist Peter Herman's life that he wishes he had never written the book that made him famous. Marriage Is a Canoe
, his self-help manual – masquerading as a memoir of the summer he spent with his grandparents when he was thirteen – certainly helped him earn the kind of comfortable life he continues to lead forty years after its original publication. But he's now more often embarrassed than flattered by strangers' accolades and admiration; four decades of living, not to mention his own long but imperfect marriage, have led him to believe that his words on marriage written as a young man were more naïve than sage.
But that doesn't mean that generations of readers don't still rely on Peter's book as a manual for marriage – or what they wish marriage could be. One of these readers is thirty-something Emily Babson, who...
Beyond the Book
Each chapter of Peter Herman's fictional self-help book, Marriage Is a Canoe
, ends with an aphorism such as "Compromise keeps your canoe steady. Compromise and you'll never go in circles."
Publications categorized as self-help or personal development books have been among the very best-selling books for decades. Here are some quotes from some of the best-selling self-help books of all time – which would you rely on to chart the course of your life?
Think and Grow Rich
by Napoleon Hill (originally published in 1937): "You are the master of your...