• Wait, What?

  • And Life's Other Essential Questions
  • By: James E. Ryan
  • Narrated by: James E. Ryan
  • Length: 2 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 04-04-17
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: HarperAudio
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.4 (1,311 ratings)

Regular price: $15.96

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Publisher's Summary

Joining the ranks of Tina Seelig's What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20, Clayton Christensen's How Will You Measure Your Life, Mary Karr's Now Go out There, and George Saunders' Congratulations, by the Way is an insightful guide that reveals the secret to pursuing a rich, fulfilling life: the art of asking (and answering) good questions.
In his commencement address to the graduating class of 2016, James E. Ryan, dean of the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, offered remarkable advice to the crowd of hopeful men and women eager to make their marks on the world. The key to achieving emotional connections and social progress, he told them, can be found in five essential questions:

Wait, what?
I wonder if...
Couldn't we at least?
How can I help?
What truly matters?

"Wait, what?" is at the root of all understanding. "I wonder if..." is at the heart of all curiosity. "Couldn't we at least?" is the beginning of all progress. "How can I help?" is the basis of all good relationships. And "what truly matters?" gets you to the heart of life. By regularly asking these questions, Ryan promises, you will be prepared to enthusiastically answer yes to one final - and, ultimately, most important - question: "And did you get what you wanted out of life, even so?"
In this thoughtful, illuminating book, Ryan builds upon his wildly popular and universally praised address, which has been viewed more than four million times online. Wait, What? offers further insights into the art of asking good questions, highlighted by hilarious and surprising anecdotes from Ryan's personal and professional lives as well as stories from politics, popular culture, and social movements throughout history.
Engaging and inspiring, Wait, What? will change the way you look at yourself and the world and, in the process, help you get what you want most out of life.
©2017 James E. Ryan (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Gillian on 05-18-18

Great For Our Jobs, Our Families, Our Lives!

I was really surprised how broad the scope of Wait, What? was. It is, after all, quite simply, the expansion of a graduation speech. (Hmmm... maybe that should've told me about how much ground it had to cover?)
In a humorous and enlightening fashion, Ryan covers the five top questions we need to ask ourselves and others whilst traversing this uneven terrain we call Life.
Questions such as: Wait, what? (Clarification); I wonder (Curiosity); Couldn't we at least? (A way to get started, to find progress); How can I help? (Recognizing that others are experts in their own lives); and down to the nitty gritty: What truly matters? (Absolutely indispensable when dealing with colleagues, friends, close loved ones).
Plus there's a Bonus Question with a touching story behind it.
But there are many touching stories here, many truly funny moments too.
Filled with anecdotes and examples galore that'll stick with you for years to come, Wait, What? is essential, especially as it clocks in at under 3 hours. You'll have time to listen to it, time to absorb it; and it's not so odiously long that you can't come back to it again and again should you need the boost.
The only thing worse than a waste of money is a waste of time. This book is, quite happily, neither!

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60 of 73 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Jennifer Fergusson on 11-29-17

Well-written and fully engaging

Well worth your time and attention ... Truly moving and potentially life-changing. An excellent book.

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33 of 40 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Mr. Ben D. Bailey on 10-22-17

Great book

wait what is a book everyone should listen to or read. one that truly matters.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Kwesi R. on 05-28-17

One to keep coming back to

The author was very easy to listen to and his stories quite compelling. The questions had a lot to them as well. Being a short book in sure I'll be returning to this one to help unpack the material more.
Worth it.

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