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I am generally dismissive of these expanded commencement addresses that clog the shelves every graduation season, but I can't seem to get this one out of my mind. Despite the lofty title of Dean of the College of Education at Harvard, Ryan's contribution to the genre is plain-spoken, funny, honest, and honestly helpful. He focuses on asking yourself a series of broad questions regularly to enhance your character, your quality of life, and your contribution to the world. You can read it in about two hours. This book is great for anyone in transition: moving, retiring, starting a new job. I highly recommend it. I can't stop thinking about it.
Wait, What? And Life's Other Essential Questions by James E. Ryan ($19.99, HarperOne), recommended by Fountain Books, Richmond, VA.