What On Earth Have I Done?: Stories, Observations, and Affirmations

Front Cover
Macmillan, Sep 18, 2007 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 308 pages
Robert Fulghum's new book begins with a question we've all asked ourselves: "What on Earth have I done?" As Fulghum finds out, the answer is never easy and, almost always, surprising. For the last couple of years, Fulghum has been traveling the world - from Seattle to the Moab Desert to Crete - looking for a few fellow travelers interested in thinking along with him as he delights in the unexpected: trick-or-treating with your grandchildren dressed like a large rabbit, pots of daffodils blooming in mid-November, a view of the earth from outer space, the mysterious night sounds of the desert, every man's trip to a department store to buy socks, the raucous all-night long feast that is Easter in Greece, the trials and tribulations of plumbing problems and the friendship one can strike up with someone who doesn't share the same language. What on Earth Have I Done? is an armchair tour of everyday life as seen by Robert Fulghum, one of America's great essayists, a man who has two feet planted firmly on the earth, one eye on the heavens and, at times, a tongue planted firmly in his cheek. Fulghum writes to his fellow travelers, with a sometimes light heart, about the deep and vexing mysteries of being alive and says, "This is my way of bringing the small boat of my life within speaking distance of yours. Hello..."
 

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User Review  - deldevries - LibraryThing

He's back after about 10 years without a book. And it was worth the wait. The audio book read by the author is special. Robert Fulghum catches you with the story and the emotion in his voice. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jrapala - LibraryThing

Yawn... A book of lessons for people that have never had a moment of self-reflection in their entire lives.This is the kind of book you find on the "Self-Help" shelf next to the magazines of your ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 1 Mother Questions
1
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 2 Solitude
6
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 3 Intersection I
9
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 4 View Property
11
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 5 The Longer View
16
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 6 Moon View
19
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 7 The Way It Has to Be
22
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 8 Otters
26
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 46 Asbestos Gelos
150
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 47 Being There
158
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 48 Olympics on a Smaller Scale
161
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 49 Irrational Actions and Incoherent Utterances Experienced During Oracular Ceremonies of Pr...
164
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 50 Not Even Chickens
167
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 51 Liturgical Laughter
170
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 52 Epictetus and Plumbing
175
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 53 In the Flow of the Mud and the Light
182

STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 9 The Chair Men
29
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 10 Watch Out for Trucks
32
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 11 Summers End
36
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 12 Cursed
40
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 13 Back and Forth and Back
44
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 14 Used Feet
46
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 15 Cheese Head Rules
50
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 16 First Grade and a Trilobite
53
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 17 Hopelessly Confused Sometimes A Story with Four Parts and No End
56
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 18 Just a Moment
61
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 19 Rockman
63
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 20 Freaky
65
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 21 Square
67
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 22 Halloween Hangover
69
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 23 Flashlight Advice
72
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 24 Fools and Fat Butts
74
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 25 Thanksgiving Spring for Babycakes
76
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 26 What Remainsa Letter to Friends
79
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 27 Sunday Morning
83
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 28 Players
86
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 29 Sidewalk News
92
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 30 Taking Chances
95
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 31 My Fault
100
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 32 Neighborly Solutions
103
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 33 Amateur Joy
106
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 34 Intersection II
109
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 35 Half a Conversation
111
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 36 Cowboys
115
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 37 About WaterPoem Left on the Pillow of a Houseguest Who Seemed Lost and Confused
120
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 38 The Train to Birmingham
122
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 39 Meditation on the Death of a Fly
126
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 40 Night Thoughts
130
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 41 Bling
133
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 42 Guest Towel
138
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 43 CharleyUpaTree
140
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 44 A New Year New Broom
145
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 45 Intersection III
149
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 54 Solstice with Nose Music
186
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 55 Winter Count
188
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 56 The Story of the Leopard in the Village and How Manolis Learned to Waltz
194
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 57 Megalo PaskhaApril 2004
201
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 58 The Invincible Ioannoulla
206
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 59 Two Weeks Later
211
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 60 Physics
215
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 61 The Story of the Exhibition of the Village Underwear or How Dimitri Went to War
218
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 62 Grasshopper Mind
224
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 63 BeeYoooTeeFool
227
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 64 Intersection IV
231
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 65 The List
233
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 66 Talking with a Child About Things
237
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 67 Recollection While on the Way to an Appointment with an Opthamologist and Seeing Boys ...
240
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 68 The Learning Curve
244
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 69 Headline Stories
246
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 70 Orange
249
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 71 Breakfast
254
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 72 The Last Stages of Life and Why a Limited Opportunity for Lion Hunting Shapes Mine
256
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 73 Sock Epiphany
259
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 74 Secret Agent X and Mothers Day
261
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 75 Bizarre Thoughts
264
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 76 Zoo Story
268
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 77 The Names That Remain
270
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 78 Brick
274
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 79 How to Paddle a Canoe or a Life
277
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 80 Blessing
282
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 81 The Meaning of Life
286
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 82 The Way of Water
293
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 83 Intersection Writing the Life
297
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 84 Unfinished Manifesto
299
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 85 Voluntary Exile
301
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 86 Instructions for Wayfarers
303
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS 87 Meanwhile
304
STORIES OBSERVATIONS AND AFFIRMATIONS The Essays
309
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About the author (2007)

ROBERT FULGHUM is the bestselling author of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten and numerous other books. He grew up in Waco, TX. He now divides his time among Seattle, Utah, and Crete.

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