“Wiser Next Week” by Kingston S. Lim is a commentary on how people read as much as it is a life-coaching book. The Subtitle, “Navigating the Life Experience with Guidance from Great Minds”, shares the goal of finding specific direction through great books.
“Wiser” is a new book reflecting our culture’s new attitudes toward books and readings. It is a compendium of stand-alone articles directing the reader to find good teachers in the wisdom of great writers.
The author begins with Thoreau’s story of the two boy and the jackknife. One digs the ore and manufactures his own knife. The other studies knife theory and receives a ready-made knife as a gift. The author begins with the thesis that one who knows the use of a tool is more beneficial that the one who merely knows tool theory. This book is intended as a tool to provoke particular action more than a way of thinking about a particular issue.
The book is efficiently written in short, mostly bullet point chapters around three dozen or so relevant topics. Each topic begins with quotes, digested instruction, then suggested readings from a very broad book list followed by a “Take Away”. These take a ways are general and can be customized by the reader’s need.
“Wiser” is not written to be read serially but flipped through by the reader to meet a particular need or interest. It better suited as an e-reader but is also easy to navigate by paper-loving dinosaurs like me. Each chapter is consistent with the topic that it addresses and will stand alone. The pieces are styled more like a social media post than a traditional non-fiction work. However, there is still plenty of good content.
Each topic flows into the next to form a book that can be read as a whole. I grieve that we as a people read less for enjoyment and shy away from deeper works. This style of book organization will meet the need of those in a hurry. The introduction also includes a link to a 15 page summary to further digest the material. With this summary is an online component and an email connection as well. Each chapter still suggests and leads the reader to a specific work for deeper digging.
I enjoyed this work and admire the tremendous time and effort that it too to do the research. I used the section, “On Goals and Persistence” for some discernment in a current project of mine and found the chapter both relevant and useful.
The author gave me an advance copy in exchange for this review. I welcome comments hope you are blessed by its reading.