10 12 Things No Commencement Speaker Has Never Said4stars



Things That Should Be Said But Aren’t

By Charles Wheelan

W.W. Norton & Company, $15.95, 128 pages

You know that commencement speakers so often just want to lay into the crowd. 10 ½ Things No Commencement Speaker Has Ever Said gives one exactly that chance. Wheelan says a lot of things that other commencement speakers would never say simply because those other speakers feel obligated to be polite and make sure that those that they are speaking to feel good about their futures. This book is an expansion of an actual speech, making it for some interesting reading.

This is an inspirational book, even though it encourages you on its own terms. Most authors try to be nice and inspire the future generations through platitudes and playing down the bad parts coming up. This book takes the other approach; the author basically says that there is a lot of hard times coming up, but you should persevere and do what you feel is necessary not what others tell you to do. The writing is avuncular, without patronizing. This author’s advice deserves to be listened with attention by those starting out or even by those that have been beat up by life.

Reviewed By Jamais Jochim

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