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The Hourglass Solution: A Boomer's Guide to the Rest of Your Life Hardcover – Bargain Price, March 9, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Lifelong Books (March 9, 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 0738212466
  • ASIN: B002CMLQWK
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,722,953 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jeff Johnson, Ph.D., is a trained psychologist and advertising professional frequently quoted in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

Paula Forman, Ph.D., became an adjunct sociology professor after her 25-year advertising career.

They both live in the New York City area.

From AudioFile

Actor Gary Collins's natural optimism and gee-whiz phrasing work well for some segments of this guide to aging. But his tone becomes narrow and predictable as the audio unfolds. Though his voice is enjoyable, he doesn't convey the ebb and flow of the audio's deeper themes. Maybe it's because the authors, even when they're trying to look on the bright side, dwell on the darker aspects of growing older--a message that clashes with Collins's upbeat energy. They say that mid- and late-life choices are narrowed by early-life decisions but can open up with directed effort. The audio's flow is also cluttered by comments that are attributed to the authors individually. The structural device of alternating speakers in the text doesn't work well with the audio's solo narrator. T.W. © AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

More About the Author

JEFF JOHNSON
Jeff spent most of his working life in advertising agencies, currently as General Manager of Cramer-Krasselt in New York City. He is the author of "The Hourglass Solution: A Boomer's Guide to the Rest of Your Life" and co-authors (with Paula Forman) a national online advice column called "Short Answers," which also appears in newspapers all along the east coast (from Massachusetts to Florida). Jeff lives in Vermont and Key West and is on the Board of Directors of the Waterfront Playhouse and the Florida Keys SPCA.

Customer Reviews

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See all 12 customer reviews
This book gives us the courage to make the break and get unstuck.
Douglas John Atkin
The authors have succeeded in presenting their theory and back-up information in a very accessible and entertaining manner.
Coach Ron
There is something of value here for all readers even much younger ones.
W. H. McDonald Jr.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Cathy Goodwin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I keep looking for a really good book about this book's topic: how boomers can plan for the rest of their lives. And I'm beginning to wonder if it's possible to write helpfully on this topic. Authors typically begin by promising "life after midlife" and "opportunities for starting over." But when it comes to identifying genuine possibilities, they warn us to make trade-offs, grit our teeth and learn to live with a diminished life. As a reader, I feel cheated.

Hourglass Solution does get some things right. For example, on page 73 they quote statistics suggesting that 25% of boomers live alone and 30% never had children. But they don't discuss the unique challenges of living alone and being childless as one grows older. They acknowledge - rightly - that friendships can be problematic. This topic deserves at least a chapter.

Secondly, the authors point out that changing one's life without the support of friends and family can be challenging. Not exactly new and novel, but very real.

What bothered me most about the book was the authors' call for flexibility and openness to change and their own acknowledgment that the rewards of openness can be less than spectacular.

And while encouraging flexibility, they also warn that, "By age 50 the votes are in..."

Similarly, on page 189, they quote an interviewee who advises everyone to move in their fifties because "by age 60 you'll be too tired or too comfortable." Now that's cheery and not necessarily accurate. I've known 60-somethings who ran marathons and others, the same age, who could barely walk around the block.

For example, the authors advise boomers to be willing to move. "Moving enables other choices," they say. You limit options when you're attached to a house or city (p. 74).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brenda Franklin on April 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Initially, I thought the Hour Glass Solution was off on a wrong track for me, but the book quickly proved its value. With a sensitive understanding of how our boomer lives have often evolved, the authors illustrate how and where our lives can be fruitfully (necessarily?) reappraised at our current life stage. The book offers a vocabulary (e.g., "the language of stuck") that usefully focuses reflection and enlightens decision-making. The authors' banter is lively and the book's illustrations of lives reshaped are truly inspirational. The book reads well -- and is the right length. It is valuable reading for any boomer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Leon Graham on April 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
When I started reading "Hourglass Solution" (after a friend recommended it)I expected a dry discourse on what I should have done when younger and what it's too late to do now. Not so: this is a book for 40's and 50's and 60's and even beyond. The authors recount situations faced by "boomers" around the country (from personal interviews) and offer comments and insights in a lively, even charming author-to-author dialog. They don't often give answers; rather they nudge the reader to find answers on his/her own. I was particularly taken with sections on the "baggage"--real and emotional-- we carry into middle and later years. What a relief to let some/all of that go they suggest.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By W. H. McDonald Jr. on April 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Authors Jeff johnson and Paula Forman have continued the progress of advising and chronicling the times and trials of the Boomer Generation. In their timely book, "The Hourglass Solution: A Boomer's Guide to the Rest of Your Life" they have managed to touch on many facets of modern day life and the perils and pitfalls that have befallen this generation as they age.

I believe this book can be even more of a help to younger generations. Much wisdom could be gleamed from what some "Boomers" did, or did not do, to help their own situations now in these economical times. This is a smart and practical guide - even if reading it for some "Boomers" may become a painful refection of some of their own bad choices they have already made - and the realization that there are continually less good choices that they can still make that will impact them in the future.

The book is written well, and keeps the reader engaged. I liked the format with the "conversations" between the authors. I think that enhances the presentation of the facts and ideas. I found this book reminding me of a long ago written book called "Passages" in a positive and supportive way. I think this would be a thoughtful gift for anyone with "Boomer" parents, or friends, or for themselves. There is something of value here for all readers even much younger ones.
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By PATRICIA PUGLIESE on July 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
this book totally helped me put together a plan for retirement, took away guilt over doing less and feel good about doing things that make me happy, I bought one book for two of my friends as it had such an impact on me. They struggle with guilt and expectations of their children and this book helps you stop ruminating over what other people
desire and expect from you at the price of your own needs.
reinforced my beliefs that travel out of country is one of the most fulfilling ways to enrich your life.
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Format: Hardcover
In the interests of transparency I have to declare I know Paula and Jeff...in fact I was their colleague in an advertising agency.

But I also have to declare that my friendship has not swayed my view of this book, which is that it's a highly readable, well researched, acutely insightful piece of writing that nails the situation that many of us have found ourselves in: a series of well-intentioned and strategically sound life decisions have delivered us to a point where we're 'stuck'.
We're not unhappy, but we're not happy either. We're proud of our jobs or our families, or our relationships, but if we're honest, they're not as satisfying as we imagined they would be when we made those decisions.

This book gives us the courage to make the break and get unstuck. To make radical change and liberate ourselves from life-tracks that have rendered ourselves choice-less and made us a little less vital.

I refer to it almost daily in conversations with friends and colleagues who are in this trap: smart, aware, 45+ men and women who have a faint aura of disappointment about them. You should read it.
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