Bronson, Po What Should I Do With My Life?

ISBN 13: 9780436205903

What Should I Do With My Life?

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9780436205903: What Should I Do With My Life?
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Po Bronson's new book tackles the biggest, most threatening, most obvious question that anyone has to face, 'what should I do with my life?' It is a problem, he explains, that is increasingly encountered not just by the young but by people who have half their lives or more behind them. With the intoxicating days of the 80s and 90s behind us and the world entering recession, many people are being forced to confront their real aims and desires. And the modern route to self, discovery, Bronson suggests, is to trade what you have for a completely different way of life. Bronson's book is a fascinating account of finding and following people who have uprooted their lives and fought with these questions in radical ways. From the investment banker who gave it all up to become a catfish farmer in Mississippi, to the chemical enginner from Walthamstow who decided to become a lawyer in his sixties, and the institutional investor who gave up his job and moved, disastrously, to Germany on a whim; these stories of individual dilemma and dramatic - and sometimes unsuccessful - gambles are bound up with Bronson's account of his own search for a calling.

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Review:

Po Bronson wanted to find out what to do with his life so he started interviewing people who were asking the same question. He wound up writing an excellent self-help book, called, naturally enough, What Should I Do With My Life?, consisting almost entirely of questions instead of slick answers. Here are over 50 short real-life stories of people who woke up and realised that "this is not a dress rehearsal". They took the trouble to ask what life is for, where their real gifts lie and what they really want to do with their lives.

The result is as fascinating and messy as life itself. Some of the people come out on top. They chuck out the routine grind with its dead-end expectations and find out what they are good at, follow their dream and find happiness. Others continue the struggle. They wade through days of confusion. They fight against society's shallow solutions. They battle with their doubts and fears. They kick against the trite expectations of family, friends, employers and lovers to keep up the search for their Holy Grail. Bronson has written up the stories with compassion, insight and sensitivity. But the tales avoid the usual sentimental feel-good factor that seems to be a requisite for self-help books. Instead we're shown the truth that following the impossible dream always has a price. Bronson mixes his sensitivity with a certain gritty reality and ironically this realism inspires other questing heroes much more than yet more syrupy positive thinking. This is a fresh, spiky book; an excellent kick start for anyone who wants to confront life's big questions. --Dwight Longenecker

Review:

'A remarkable piece of reportage - the finest evocation of Silicon Valley to emerge so far.' Times 'Bronson is a snappy writer... Like all the best reportage, this is research laced with anecdote and adrenalin.' Independent on Sunday

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