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Never Too Late: A 90-Year-Old's Pursuit Of A Whirlwind Life Hardcover – April 1, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Only Roy Rowan could have written this book: part world tour, part excursion into the human body. From war zones to political conventions, from baseball to anti-inflammatories, from Mao to Mark Twain, this is the stuff of life, and a how-to guide to growing older . . . in great fashion!”

            —Brian Williams, NBC News

 

“Roy Rowan is not exactly like you and me: he fought in one war and covered three others, palled around with Presidents, ran the New York marathon, and survived three cancers. But out of all these adventures and crises, he has written a book that is marvelously beneficial to every one of us on the far side of middle age. Do not go gentle, he insists, but live with the three E’s, Enthusiasm, Exertion, and Energy. If you do, Scouts Honor, you’ll move up the alphabet to wonder years of Pride, Productivity, and Passion.”

            —Richard B. Stolley, founding editor People magazine and senior editorial adviser, Time Inc.

 

“Want to learn how to age gracefully and have a great retirement? Then this is NOT the book for you! Roy Rowan, a great journalist, offers instead delightful tales and lessons about having a feisty and active old age. It’s both a charming memoir and a fountain of insight for anyone who plans to live until at least 100.”

            —Walter Isaacson, president of the Aspen Institute, author of Steve Jobs

 

“Roy Rowan pictures old age not as sedentary geezerdom, but as a journey of discovery, recalling his own wondrous trips abroad. He winds back and forth between primer and memoir, offering lessons for living a fruitful exciting life in the post-retirement years.”

           -- Fortune review by Shawn Tully

 

“Nonagenarian Roy Rowan shows that it’s Never Too Late to cut loose.”

               --Vanity Fair

 

“A longtime war correspondent with a yen for adventure, Roy Rowan has lost some of his wind but none of his zest as he gallops into his tenth decade. He mixes advice with anecdote in a bid to inspire others in a congenial and entertaining read.”

           --AARP Magazine review by Julia M. Klein

 

“Tips on aging—live with the three “E”s (enthusiasm, exertion, and energy”).

                     --People

 

“A legendary Time journalist recalls memorable interviews as he faces up to old age.”

                     --Entertainment Weekly

 

“You can’t be too old—or too young—not to enjoy Never Too Late. Roy Rowan’s advice to us pre-Boomers isn’t just uplifting. Even better: it’s downright practical.”

            —Frank Deford, author of Bliss, Remembered

 

“Rowan says the most important thing is to keep active and never stop doing what you love. He peppers the book with quotes from a variety of well-known people:

            “We don’t get older, we get riper”---Pablo Picasso

            “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you was?”---

                               Satchel Paige

“If I’d known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself”---Eubie Blake.

         --Hartford Courant Review by Susan Dunne

 

“There’s enough adventure in this book to keep your heart pounding deep into your senior years. As an accomplished field reporter and journalist, Roy Rowan has seen the front lines of combat, talked with dictators and lived (temporarily) as a vagabond to report on our homeless problem. And this book captures all of his energy, spirit, curiosity, and wisdom. It’s packed with vivid stories, wonderful quotes, and wise comments that show how growing old can be just as exciting and fulfilling as any other part of living. I hope I’m like Roy Rowan when I’m ninety. He rocks. And we can, too. It’s a wonderful read.”

            —Helen Fisher, anthropologist Rutgers University, author of Why Him? Why Her?

 

 

“This adventure- and wisdom-packed book is a boon to seniors who will no longer need to apologize for the space they take up on the planet. It will also help the young prepare for geezerhood.”

            —Albert Rosenfeld, author of Prolongevity II

“Roy Rowan—a master reporter—has brilliantly covered the biggest story of his career, which is life—not just his own, which has been packed with adventure and achievement, but the art and craft of living. Never Too Late is fun and funny, wise and inspirational, and useful to readers of all ages.”    —Strobe Talbott, President, The Brookings Institution

“The marvelous course of Never Too Late winds back and forth between primer and memoir. The primer part offers lessons for living a fruitful, exciting life in the post-retirement years. . . . The book's main inspiration . . . is the full, adventurous, rollicking life story of the author himself, whose ardor for journalism keeps him extraordinarily productive at age 91. . . . The main lesson of Never Too Late is that you can keep excelling at something you love for a long, long time. Roy Rowan was lucky indeed to find what he was put on this earth to do from early on. His message is that you can find it at any age. The spires of Venice and domes of Istanbul await you. So think with your heart, pick a romantic destination, and get on that train.” —Fortune.com

 

 

 

From the Inside Flap

Never Too Late is career correspondent and author Roy Rowan’s rousing testament to the fact that if you are still in reasonably good health and have a career or set of interests to pursue, your swan-song years can be among your most productive. He shares his views of the pleasures and potentials of old age based on a long life of adventure—from his decades covering wars and revolutions across the globe to the jogging that took him through his eighties and the fishing that fills so many of his days as a nonagenarian. Throughout he weaves in the lessons he has learned along the way and addresses a spectrum of topics, including the subjectivity of the label “old,” the importance of optimism, and the fight to maintain independence as the years go by. He also encourages retirees to start a second career or activity, naming the three E’s of Enthusiasm, Exertion, and Energy as the keys to pursuing a new passion.
 
Never Too Late is one man’s stirring reminder that the philosopher Satchel Paige had it right when he asked, “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?”
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press; First Edition edition (April 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762763760
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762763764
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #366,310 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
When I picked up Never Too Late: A 90-Year-Old's Pursuit of a Whirlwind Life by Roy Rowan at the library, I was intrigued. Here we have a 90-year-old guy who has been all over the world as a reporter, covering many critical moments in world history and interviewing the leaders who were part of them. It sounded as if he had learned how to live life to the fullest regardless of age, and was going to share those insights with the reader. And he does that... for about half the book. It then morphs into more of a memoir of his adventures in the field. Interesting, to be sure... but was it really what the book set out to be? I don't think so...

Contents:
Who Says You Have to Grow Old Gracefully!; How Old is Old?; Quit Is a Four-Letter Word; R Is for Resilience; Sunny Side Up; Tuned to the Immune System; You and the Eureka Factor; Stay in Touch; Seeking Solitude; Looking Back; Looking Ahead; Recycling the Past; Reliving the Dream; Finally, a Feeling of Closure; Cruising into the Nineties; Acknowledgments; About the Author

Rowan has, without question, led a fascinating life. While covering wars and world leaders for Time, Life, and Fortune magazines, he was able to experience more than most of us would see and do in five lifetimes. And as he headed into his 60's, 70's, and beyond, he certainly didn't retire to the porch swing to watch life flow by. He still travels, exercises, and writes on a regular basis, even though he's into his 90's now. Add in the fact that he beat cancer once and lives with a form of bone cancer that's controlled through medication, and he definitely doesn't fit the normal image of "old age." I'd be happy to do what he does right now, and I'm only 50!
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Format: Hardcover
This book doesn't seem to know what it wants to be. As one of the cover blurbs said, it's both primer and memoir. Unfortunately, the primer part comes first (mainly) and in it, Rowan quotes just about every phrase he could find on the subject of growing old, except for my favorite, "Old age is not for sissies"--it may be there, but I started skimming around page 30 or so. Kind of "do as I (and others) say, not as we do."

Ah, but I was glad I persevered. Roughly half way through, the reminiscences of Rowan's years in China and as a Time/Life/Fortune writer and editor took off. Marred only by more of the encyclopedic old-age quotes, this was satisfying reading, indeed.

I wavered between three and four stars. On balance, those intrusive quotes, many of them sounding like cliches (well, some of them _were_ cliches) decided it. Too bad Rowan didn't just let his own fascinating path to maturity speak for itself.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Roy Rowan says in his introduction that this book is NOT a manual on aging. He writes "This Fiesty man's guide to growing old, written in the form of a rambling memoir, is about aging, vigorously, actively, and any way but gracefully." And this is exactly what it is - a delightful volume, filled with the wisdom of a man who has led, and continues to lead at 90+, a life full of adventure, writing, and learning. If I am only slightly successful at following Mr. Rowan's example, I will have lived a full and fulfilling life. Thanks you for sharing your wisdom, Roy Rowan.
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Roy Rowan led an active and intriguing life. I should say he “is leading” such a life—not past tense. His days as a war correspondent traveling all over the world may be over (or not), but his active lifestyle and writing are not finished. He intends to keep on doing it all till the end. I was hoping for more psychological, maybe spiritual nuggets of wisdom from the book, but Rowan does a lot of showing vs. telling. The book is a cross between memoir and motivational and that's just fine. We can learn much from his simple act of purchasing a new car at ninety. He lives the life he recommends for us all and proves the old Yogi Berra quote, “It ain’t over till it’s over.” Inspiring.
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Format: Hardcover
Roy Rowan is a journalist who is now in his 90's and has accomplished a lot over his long life. He has written several books and has been in the thick of things as a journalist, covering live battles in Vietnam and interviewing a lot of dignitaries at key times in world history, including American presidents and other heads of state. He notes one book which I read many years ago, The Intuitive Manager, which I remember liking way back then.

He is an excellent writer. He is not cerebral in any sense but he is very descriptive and really makes the reader feel that they are there. He wrote a book based on his journals when he was in China before the Communists took over, and lucky for us his writing was vivid and memorable. Along the journey of his lifetime he shares with the reader lessons learned, particularly on how to approach old age with vigor and enthusiasm. He is in this case a very good example of someone who has aged well, in the sense of continuing to take on challenges, growing and learning at an advanced age (despite two battles with cancer).

The book is a personal memoir but also a history journal of sorts, as Rowan recounts his work in Vietnam, China, and other parts of the world. There is also a glimpse into the publishing world, as Rowan also details some of his experiences working for Life and Forbes under Henry Luce, a character worth reading about in this work as well.
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