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My Top 40 at 40: Making the First Half Count Hardcover – May 15, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 252 pages
  • Publisher: XK Productions, LLC; First Edition edition (May 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984763708
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984763702
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,726,893 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"It was a privilege to read this book. Loya’s character, uncommon self-knowledge, insight, and boundless capacity to smile shine through the pages. He is someone to admire and emulate."
Edes Powell Gilbert, Former Head of The Spence School and Strategic Consultant for Resource Group 175

"I was reminded more than once of Tennyson's Ulysses—'To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.' Touching, funny, authentic, and inspiring, it's the ultimate 'no regrets' collection of vignettes and stories."
Susan Nelson, Head of School at The Webb Schools of California

"A primer on the alchemy of adventure. The magic all occurs in the spirit and imagination of one human being...who could be you."
Gary Smith, Senior Writer for Sports Illustrated and Four-Time National Magazine Award Winner

"A master storyteller shares his journey of fun, continual growth and global citizenship. There is an awesome smile on each page."
Peter Briggs, Director of the Office for International Students and Scholars at Michigan State University

"These pages will provide inspiration to all high school and college seniors to undertake their own fun, meaningful journeys...The clock is ticking—make it count."
Stephen H. Spahn, Chancellor of The Dwight Schools and Board Member of the International Baccalaureate Organization

"If the purpose in life is to live it with full gusto to take advantage of all it has to offer, then Kari Loya has found his purpose in life...and then some."
Dan Ginsberg, Former CEO of Red Bull, North America

"Loya's tales sparkle with the enthusiasm of a man who enjoys life, embraces adventure, and relishes sharing a good story."
Eric Greitens, The New York Times Bestselling Author of The Heart and the Fist

"Football is about winning the day. Loya shows us how to apply that to life. Great read!!"
Chip Kelly, Head Coach of the Philadelphia Eagles


From the Author

This book is my answer to the question, "How should I celebrate my fortieth birthday?" I wanted something fun and meaningful. I wanted something I could share with family and friends. And I wanted something that ultimately could smother the negativity of aging by offering an approach that says, "Bring it on!" What better way to celebrate a birthday than to collect favorite stories of your own adventures and share them with others? Six ideas underlie this belief:
 
Everyone loves a story. I once heard the Chilean novelist, Isabel Allende, recount her first year of teaching with a difficult class whose students had either severe learning disabilities or behavioral issues. With the sarcastic blessings of her colleagues still ringing in her ears, she entered the classroom and uttered these four magic words: "Once upon a time..." The room became silent--and she began her career not only as a great teacher, but as a gifted storyteller. The stories in this collection are the same ones I've told over campfires, late-night beers, and long road trips.
 
We write our own script. My favorite story of all-time is William Goldman's book The Princess Bride with its non-stop action and adventure from beginning to end. But why leave this for the imagination? Why not live it? We all have the chance to write THE SCRIPT--the script of our lives. As the old adage says, "Will you have enough stories to tell your grandchildren?"
 
Get it on paper. Bill Clinton once remarked that every American should write their memoirs. But "memoirs" can sound incredibly daunting, even a little boring, like an A-to-Z chronicle of every detail of our lives. But "stories" are the best of, the highlights, manageable nuggets which everyone can pen. Why wait until your nineties?
 
Do it...NOW! Randy Komisar's The Monk and the Riddle tells us that the traditional model of working hard for forty years in hopes of one day being able to do what we really want to do sets us up for disappointment. First, we might not even make it to old age, but second, when we finally do have that magical time--or money--we still might not know what we really want. You may have to do a lot of soul-searching and make some not-so-easy adjustments, but at least you will be headed in the right direction.
 
Age brings life lessons. When we turn forty--or any age--nothing is magically different. We've simply added another layer to our lives. Sandra Cisneros writes about this notion in her short story, "Eleven," where she compares aging to rings on a tree. Our outer layer may be different, but we are fundamentally the same person and can still have that giggle, that curiosity, that spark of the six-year-old. Wouldn't you, too, like to be the mighty redwood with fifteen hundred rings of experience and wisdom?
 
Enjoy life more year by year. I once heard the president of a prestigious college tell his graduates, "If you look back on these four years as the best four years of your life, we will have failed you." Brilliant. Every day is an opportunity to learn so that in each successive year--despite all that comes with growing older--we enjoy life even more. It's not about beauty, brawn, or assets. It's about cultivating character, fostering relationships, and developing the right mindset. I hope these stories show I'm on the right path.
 
Some may choose to read this book from cover to cover. Others may jump directly to stories with themes, places, or events of personal interest. Regardless, may something in this collection motivate you to run faster, think harder, explore further, reflect longer, dig deeper, or laugh louder. But most importantly, whether you're approaching forty, fifty, or any other milestone, I encourage you, too, to bear-hug your next birthday with your favorite stories.

More About the Author

Kari Loya is an educator, adventurer, and storyteller as well as an Emmy-winning voice-over artist who works with many Fortune 500 companies. Loya serves as the Director of Institutional Advancement at The Dwight School, an international private school in New York City with campuses in London, Vancouver Island, Beijing, and Seoul. He holds an MBA from Columbia University and graduated magna cum laude from Dartmouth College with a BA in History. He speaks fluent English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Kari lives with his wife and daughter just outside New York City.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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In this heart-warming book Kari Loya shares his fascinating life adventures in story form, many with a humorous twist.
Deb
All in all, these stories were a great read: they reminded me what it means to make every moment count and relish the adventure that life can be.
FayeReader
My Top 40 at 40 grabbed me from the first page, and I couldn't put it down until I had finished all of the stories in the book.
Louisa

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sam Szurek on November 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Maybe Kari Loya should really quit his day job. He's a terrific voice over artist, but also an accomplished writer. "My Top 40 at 40" is a wonderful read. I started leafing through it idly, chose a chapter at random and was instantly hooked. To my mind Loya came up with the ideal mélange: a travel, action/adventure, celebrity journalism, comedy and romance book wrapped in one riveting Hemingwayesque prose package.

In no particular order, I loved the chapters on Matt Damon, Ricardo Montalban and Tim Ferris. (Ferris sounded as if he was doing blow). The episodes about crossing the Andes on horseback, the Obama inaugural, facing jail time and confronting the IRS were equally riveting. Anyway, I could go on, but you get the picture -- get this book, do it now!

My Top 40 at 40: Making the First Half Count
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marzena on July 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Guys grow up in different worlds than girls. They do things rather than talk about their lives, and certainly they are not used to sharing their feelings. That's why it's so unique to know what actually are a real man's thoughts and feelings. Here Kari steps in and opens the door to the masculine 'terra incognita'. What a rare treat for a woman to taste a sample of his world!

Best story? My vote goes here:a brave Gringo dares to understand a different America - this time not the North one. Many years ago such was my experience too. Perhaps this is why I was literally taken with Kari to different places where I could speak Spanish and kept wondering how living in Southern hemisphere impacts people's philosophy. I often wonder who is thinking upside down here - 'we' or 'them'? That is a hilarious déjà vu. I do not remember laughing out loud so hard while reading a book.

My recognition goes as well to the Publisher who created an outstanding multimedia mix - something quite different on the book market [...]. A compilation of pictures, text, narration (author speaking for himself) left me with an impression that now not only that I have come to know the Author quite well, but I have actually become his friend, too. This is not merely a book, but an adventure for every reader.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Basil Kolani on November 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
As poignant as it is hilarious, Kari Loya's memoir makes you feel like you should be getting out and doing something... anything... to get the most out of life. His stories are true-to-life, and those that know him should have no trouble hearing his voiceover narration in your head guiding you through every adventure. A good read, and here's to a full life worth living... and maybe a sequel in another 40 years?!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LEG on November 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover
What a great way to celebrate a birthday! Not many people have so many wonderful stories at the age of 40 to share with friends and family. This is many times a better way to celebrate than the most grandiose party. Great memories, which I am sure, will be the topic of conversations at family reunions for generations to come. I enjoyed the company of this book on my way to Spain this summer, and I also hope to read many more of his adventure in the future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David Belden on October 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I don't know where Kari gets all his energy?! Those are some impressive adventures, and a fun and inspiring read! Looks like I may have to start going a little bit bigger.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By GringoBob42 on October 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
My Top 40 @ 40 is the product of a very good story teller. Loya takes episodes, incidents and chance encounters and weaves tales both interesting and illustrative. The story is in the telling -- no hay historia sin historiadores. I hope I'm around to read Vol. 2. My Top 40 at 40: Making the First Half Count
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By inspired on October 27, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Besides feeling inspired to go out and conquer the world, I'm in awe of the energy, enthusiasm, search for adventure, and Loya's love of life. I enjoyed reading this book chapter by chapter and simply being able to reread those chapters that were particularly motivating. Marvelous book, a must read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DiggityJones on October 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
After reading this book, I've decided to update my passport, buy some new running shoes, and take a class in...something. The author has done more in 40 years then most people do in two lifetimes. Take the time to read this book. You'll discover many secrets to getting the most out of your own life.
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