Book Review – The Lifetime Learner’s Guide by Gary Hoover

This is hard to review. It’s a book, of course, but no book review does it justice. It needs more of a course review for something akin to Mrs. Haft’s Creative Writing class. The good and the bad and what works and why.

The author eschews speed reading. I’ve done the same and have written about reading slow and intentionally. As a writer, speed reading doesn’t work for me. Even for easy fiction or children’s chap-books, where you think the story could be scanned, I get tripped up and have to stop, wondering why the writer used that particular turn of phrase or that punctuation.

So, speed reading is out. For Hoover, though, curiosity is in. He spends several chapters on how to develop curiosity and about what questions to ask when wondering. This won’t appeal to everyone, but I like that he urges you to, say, go to your pantry, close your eyes, and grab the first box, can, or bottle your hand lands on. Now? Learn all you can about it. What company makes it? How? What cultures like it? How does it make life easier or better? Or harder? (I grabbed ‘Chinese Five Spice’ blend from McCormick’s Gourmet Spice collection. Time will tell if I buy more after learning about it…)

It’s a small book that can be read in an hour or so, but it’s no Saturday morning read over a cup of tea where you finish and think, “that was a nice little read.” If you ascribe to anything the author opines about, reading the book will just be a start. I suspect I’ll come back all the time, honing skills and asking questions.

That’s really what it is: a treatise on asking questions. He writes about what questions to ask and wonders about where to find answers. And how to build a framework for remembering and using those answers.

Cheers, and enjoy.

See here on Amazon. (I read it for free using Amazon Unlimited but intend to buy it for my library.

See the author’s Hooversworld website here. Like me, he ignores Internet wisdom to focus like a laser on your interests. A compendium of posts here on all subjects. Amen, brother!


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