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Clif's Book World

Adventures from reading books captured within short reviews.

What Should I Do with the Rest of My Life?: True Stories of Finding Success, Passion, and New Meaning in the Second Half ofLife

What Should I Do with the Rest of My Life?: True Stories of Finding Success, Passion, and New Meaning in the Second Half of Life - Bruce Frankel I'm on the leading edge of the "baby boom" which is now going to create a "retirement boom" in the coming years as time marches on. There's going to be a lot of talent and energy in this coming wave. Is it all going to be expended on the golf course and at the bingo parlor? I hope not.

Thus it is interesting to read the short biographies in this book of thirteen men and women who later in life discovered a new calling, success or purpose. It was inspirational to see how these people's lives certainly didn't end with retirement. They provide a demonstration of how the skills of the "retired" can be repurposed to become positive contributors to the world in which we life.

The subtitle of this book is more descriptive of the book's contents than the main title that makes it sound like a "self-help" book. If this book functions as a self help book it will be because of what the reader brings to the stories. The book is made up of thirteen short stories of people who didn't conclude that the game was over when they neared retirement age. Instead they started the second half of their lives doing exceptional things. Perhaps not everybody can be blessed with the health and energy needed to achieve great things. Nevertheless, there's plenty of room for all of us to consider our options and seek options that are opened up by the new circumstances of retirement.

The value in reading these stories is in the general spirit shown by those who's stories are being told. The reader shouldn't expect to to find examples of activities to use as patterns for ones self. The stories tend to be unique to the circumstances and talents of these individuals. At least for me I found the stories interesting, but not recipes that I want to follow.

I found the writing of good quality and the manner in which the stories are revealed to the reader well done. But it wasn't the sort of book with which I can closely identify. Thus let me explain what my star rating system means:
Three Stars -- I liked it.
Four Stars -- I really liked it.
Five Stars -- I was emotionally moved by it
One or Two Stars -- You can guess.
I read this book to participate in a book discussion group organized by Next Chapter Kansas City which is an organization with the goal to provide individuals age 50+ opportunities for learning, employment and meaningful community engagement. It's an organization with which my wife is very much involved.