Acknowledgements & Reviews
Life’s struggles require hard work to overcome but also furnish opportunities for growth, according to this self-helper.
Cedolini, an educational psychologist, family therapist, and author of Occupational Stress and Job Burnout (1982),recollects events from his life and uses them as a peg for essays on psychological and moral issues. Thus, a boyhood incident, in which he locked his little brother, Billy, in a trunk and was in turn briefly locked in the chest by his father as punishment, prompts a commentary on the golden rule and the complexities of developing a moral compass. The author’s long efforts to overcome his mechanical ineptitude and learn how to rebuild cars under his uncle’s tutelage demonstrate the importance of perseverance and family support; Billy’s tragic death in a car crash at the age of 26 and Cedolini’s ensuing three-year depression afford lessons in overcoming grief by reconnecting to life. The author visits many topics on mental and behavioral health, including chapters on surviving major depression (antidepressants are often effective, he notes) and an incisive section on addictions, from opioids to sex and smartphones. (He calls them “an escape from dealing with reality and social discomfort” as well as a means of “avoiding the misery of thinking.”) He also has less-clinical chapters on living a successful life, with advice on everything from parenting—the Cedolini family rules included “If you open it, close it”and “If you turn it on, turn it off”—to maintaining a positive self-image and coping with difficult people at work. (Among the last is “the Sherman tank,” who employs bluster and bullying to advance an agenda and has to be resisted with calm firmness.)
Framing the book as a letter to his grandkids, the author writes in a voice that’s frank but reassuring, as if gramps were your ideal therapist. Much of the text consists of Cedolini’s shrewd dissections of the practicalities of how to get along with people—and especially how to not get along with them. (Among his catalog of things that erode friendships are “major disagreements, especially political or religious, hitting below the belt with hurtful comments, insinuations, or accusations…neglect, unkind and mindless mistakes, lopsided jabs at known vulnerabilities, and insatiable demands…overuse of another’s time or resources, fair-weather friending, rigid rules or narrow-mindedness, the need always to be right, or maintaining a game of one-upmanship…repetitive suggestions on how you should change your behavior, unending reminders, traditional backseat driving, and bullying.”) The author’s advice often comes in aphoristic prose that can be blunt (“Take responsibility for your actions and move on—work on improving yourself”), folksy (“If you don’t embrace the present with both arms, it will be as elusive as a pig slathered with fat”), elegant (“Reality teaches the wise to seek progress rather than perfection”), or lyrical (“Anonymously perform random acts of kindness; they will add to others’ sunshine and nourish your soul as well”). Throughout, Cedolini advances a positive, energizing message: Treat yourself and other people well, be realistic but not despairing about your problems, and don’t be afraid to take risks to overcome them. The sprawling book is a bit of a ramble, but readers will find much engaging food for thoughtful browsing here. A sweeping, insightful set of life lessons drawn from vast experience.
Miriam Nkere: Four out of four stars
The Classroom of Life: Tools and Skills to Overcome Obstacles and Adversity by Anthony J. Cedolini is a fascinating book focusing on self-improvement. It gives us the tools to overcome the adversity of life. To me, it is like a therapy session of healing from unbearable hurt, giving insights into living a life of love, happiness, reaching our dreams, dignity, and honor. Also, the author tells us how to improve our current situation and find joy.
The Classroom of Life: Tools and Skills to Overcome Obstacles and Adversity is full of data, and the content is organized properly into nine chapters. This book is a practical call to take control of your life. The author first introduced readers to 'A Life of Love And Happiness,' where he said that family is the key to happiness and success, and family is always first and foremost. Having a beautiful, loving wife and adorable children is like a fulfilled dream to the author. Then, he moves on to the meaning of life, and he tells us that personal satisfaction is the source of happiness and success. Thirdly, he talks about reaching your dreams, and he gives us tools needed for each bend in the road, making hay while the sun shines, walking tall, etc.
He flawlessly shared with us how to accomplish specific personal goals. Mr. Cedolini also made us know how to apply 'The Golden Rule' to our way of life. He informs us that hindrances and difficulties creep out daily in our lives. We are also bound to encounter love, temptation, bad relationships, and uncooperative people as stumbling blocks in life's journey. And without applying adequate measures to cope with these life trials, overcoming and being triumphant may not be achievable.
The author begins every chapter with thought-provoking quotes that are very inspiring for better understanding and clarity. My favorite quote is by John Luther, and it reads: “Good character is more to be praised than outstanding talent. Most talents are, to some extent, a gift. Good character, by contrast, is not given to us. We have to build it piece by piece—by thought, choice, courage, and determination.” Another quote by Gerald Jampolsky was also inspiring, and he said, "Forgiveness is the way to true wealth and happiness."
Honestly, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Mr. Cedolini wrote in a simple language that made my reading enjoyable and coherent. I did not dislike anything about the book because it is life-transforming. The editing of this book is very much remarkable and exceptionally done, as there are no typographical or grammatical errors in the 579-page book.
I highly recommend this book to readers going through difficult times, family issues, loss of loved ones, and want to overcome and improve their lives. It is my pleasure to rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. It delivers on its promise to get your life back on a life journey with the needed skills to be successful.
Literary Titan Rating: 5 STARS
The Classroom of Life is an illuminating and informative self-help book that delivers sage advice coupled with candid and grounded life lessons. The profound lessons conveyed within Anthony Cedolini’s book will appeal to young adult readers or anyone that finds themselves facing the many obstacles that life throws at them. I found this book to be intellectually invigorating because it is filled with wisdom, not only from the author but also from venerated people throughout time. Their wise quotes are delivered in bite sizes and with context so that young adults will be able to understand and apply those quotes and information to their own lives, which I think is vital for young people. Telling people what they should and shouldn’t do only serves as an abstract lesson, Anthony Cedolini is able to deliver thoughtful and practical advice that is actionable. What I appreciated most about this motivational guide is that the information is delivered colloquially with understanding and care, making everything very easy to take in and understand. This could have easily been a dry discourse on life, but Anthony Cedolini’s writing instead shares meaningful life lessons in an engaging and satisfying way.
This is an educational book that is bursting with poignant and stirring anecdotes and filled with wonderfully detailed observations on life. Anthony Cedolini translates his life experiences into conversational yet captivating prose. The Classroom of Life is written with a precision and depth of understanding that is often lacking in other self helps books. Readers are given personal glimpses into Anthony Cedolini life that serve to deliver various and thoughtful lessons. We’re given useful tips that readers will be able to implement in their own life; for example, creating a family creed. The Classroom of Life is an inspirational and deeply thoughtful book that has the potential to change your life for the better.
Read the interview with Literary Titan. Click here.
Review Rating: 5 STARS
Professionally Reviewed By K.C. Finn for Readers’ Favorite (June 21st, 2021)
The Classroom of Life: Tools and Skills to Overcome Obstacles and Adversity is a work of non-fiction in the inspirational,
reflective, and self-help sub-genres, and was penned by author Anthony J. Cedolini. The work is intended for the general
reading audience from young adults upward and collects together important life experiences, lessons, and advice from the
author on overcoming the many issues and difficulties that we face during the course of our lives. From stress, grief, and
anger through to problem-solving, achieving balance, and reflecting back on ourselves, this is a work that seeks to
educate, heal, and inspire from cover to cover.
Author Anthony J. Cedolini has crafted a highly relatable work of memoir and advice with plenty of sage guidance, pathos,
humor, and heart to offer its readers. One of the features which I found particularly impressive about this piece was its
overall style and attitude into which Dr. Cedolini certainly pours his heart and soul. The narration is so honest and gentle
that it feels like you’re getting every story from a wise old friend, and one whom you can trust to give you support moving
forward. I especially enjoyed the section on Dignity and Honor, a concept that is surprisingly absent from a lot of books of
this nature, and one which felt very moving and affirming to me personally. Overall, I would highly recommend The
Classroom of Life: Tools and Skills to Overcome Obstacles and Adversity to readers at at any stage of their lives who are
looking for a voice to relate to and reflect with as they tackle whatever burdens them.
Reviewed by Marwan Balaa—5 STARS
For many years now, I have often reflected on ailments in our society, from bigotry to stereotyping, from irrational hate to acting on that hate, frequently amplified by our social media. It seems to me that the days of passivity and mutual respect are no longer to be found. Too bad indeed because such ideas result in less cooperation and more importantly loss of the ideals that make us human.
Reading Dr. Cedolini’s book leaves me with a renewed look at human relations. The work is a huge project, destined to instill old-school philosophy in this ever rapidly changing world of ours. It is written with wisdom, great care, and most importantly, compassion. It is directed to the younger generation in his family but leaves one wishing one were part of that family. Well, here it is, in a book, digesting and distilling years of insight, written adroitly, filled with meaningful quotes, and yet without being stuffy. It is a very easy read and a pleasure to digest. It’s the wisdom that, for one reason or another, myself included, has not been attained while walking the paths of life. I only wish I had been exposed to its wisdom at a younger age. The message of this book should be taught in schools. It should be part of required school reading. I find it to be very useful to any parents who truly care about the world they are leaving to their offspring. How lucky for Dr. Cedolini’s family to have been made aware, at a young age, how to stratify and prioritize ideas and behaviors to achieve success, peace, and serenity. Congratulations Dr. Cedolini and thank you for having the patience, the wisdom, and taking the time to pass on your pearls to your readers.
Reviewed by Christian Sia—5 STARS
“This book is one of the best things I have read about life, growth, and facing challenging moments and its title is as apt as the content is inspiring. The Classroom of Life: Tools and Skills to Overcome Obstacles and Adversity is one of those books that should be wrapped as a gift for both the young and the old who easily feel overwhelmed by life.”
Reviewed by Divine Zape—5 STARS
“It is filled with metaphors and allegories, and I particularly enjoyed how Dr. Cedolini writes about the road trips of life. One immediately gets the impression that they are having a great conversation with someone who has lived intensely and who has learned the best lessons of life. This book will change the way that most of us see life and diversity. It is insightful, inspiring, and filled with wisdom.”
Reviewed by Vincent Dublado—5 STARS
“The Classroom of Life” is truly a virtual classroom worth attending, especially when you are having trouble navigating the school of hard knocks.....referencing life experience as a response to real-world challenges carries great significance and motivation for the learner. When Cedolini writes that problems are ubiquitous, it reminds me of Isaac Bashevis Singer when he wrote that basic human problems are eternal. Yes, there will always be problems as long as we are living.”
Reviewed by K.C. Finn—5 STARS
“The Classroom of Life” is a work of nonfiction in the inspirational, reflective, and self-help sub-genres penned by author, Anthony J. Cedolini…..I found most impressive about this piece was its overall style and attitude which Dr. Cedolini pours his heart and soul…..so honest and gentle ...like you are getting every story from a wise old friend, and one whom you can trust to give you support. I especially enjoyed the section on Dignity and Honor, surprisingly absent from books of this nature. Overall, I would highly recommend The Classroom of Life: Tools and Skills to Overcome Obstacles and Adversity to readers at any stage of their lives who are looking for a voice to relate to and reflect with as they tackle whatever burdens them.
Reviewed by Grace Masso—5 STARS
“The Classroom of Life: Tools and Skills to Overcome Obstacles and Adversity by Dr. Anthony Cedolini equips the reader with the necessary tools to face challenges and difficulties that life presents, including the pain of just being human. Readers will find inspiring stories, quotes from some of the influential personalities who have walked the same or similar paths, and his own personal thoughts. This book contains the wisdom designed for use in different situations, addressing a variety of questions and providing insight that readers will need in various moments and situations in life….it has words of comfort and insight that offer a new perspective, and wisdom….This book is a wonderful gift that provides succinct and meaningful answers to questions on love and happiness, the meaning of life, inner peace and freedom, understanding pleasures, and a lot more. It is composed in elegant prose. I enjoyed the author’s ability to use symbolic language and allegories to render the messages in the book even more meaningful for readers.….It is the companion that not only young readers need to face the uncertain journey ahead but one that will enable adults to redefine who they are, reconnect with their purpose, and find answers to yet unanswered questions. There is a nugget of wisdom for everyone in this book and the liveliness in Dr. Anthony Cedolini's voice makes it more enjoyable”
The Classroom of Life is available on Amazon