Andrews McMeel Publishing
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There is a whole world out there of adorable little books that you can give as gifts to people you don’t really know (or who you do know, but there just have everything). Usually when you walk into places like Urban Outfitters and the like, there are oodles of these itsy-bitsy books to choose from. Some can be quite insipid, but if they’re well-made, then they’re totally worth it. In “Life 101,” author Geoffrey Day-Lewis lists 101 quotes about life to live by. These are primarily things we’ve all heard from our folks and friends growing up; things like “If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all,” (well, don’t go crazy…) or “Look both ways before crossing the street.” He adds some key notes like “Choose your housemates carefully” and “Grow old gracefully.” Each short piece of advice is accompanied by a photo or playful arrangement of the text, and you can run through the whole list in the span of a commercial break. The staged photos are really quite wonderful and would make great posters. They’re far more inspirational than those dumb framed cubicle numbers that say things like “Teamwork” and have a picture of a dolphin or something. “Life 101” is the good kind of cutsey book to give as a gift when you are fresh out of candles or can’t bring a bottle of wine.