Wait, What?: And Life's Other Essential Questions by James E. RyanWait, What?: And Life's Other Essential Questions by James E. Ryan

Wait, What?: And Life's Other Essential Questions

byJames E. Ryan

Hardcover | April 4, 2017

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New York Times Bestseller

What, What? is a welcome—and joyful—reminder that true wisdom comes from asking the right questions. Should you read this book? Absolutely.”

 Clayton Christensen, bestselling author of How Will You Measure Your Life?

Based on the wildly popular commencement address, the art of asking (and answering) good questions by the Dean of Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.

Whether we’re in the boardroom or the classroom, we spend far too much time and energy looking for the right answer. But the truth is that questions are just as important as answers, often more so. If you ask the wrong question, for instance, you’re guaranteed to get the wrong answer. A good question, on the other hand, inspires a good answer and, in the process, invites deeper understanding and more meaningful connections between people. Asking a good question requires us to move beyond what we think we know about an issue or a person to explore the difficult and the unknown, the awkward, and even the unpleasant.

In Wait, What?, Jim Ryan, dean of Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, celebrates the art of asking—and answering—good questions. Five questions in particular: Wait, what?; I wonder…? Couldn’t we at least…?; How can I help?; and What truly matters? Using examples from politics, history, popular culture, and social movements, as well as his own personal life, Ryan demonstrates how these essential inquiries generate understanding, spark curiosity, initiate progress, fortify relationships, and draw our attention to the important things in life—from the Supreme Court to Fenway Park. By regularly asking these five essential questions, Ryan promises, we will be better able to answer life’s most important question: “And did you get what you wanted out of life, even so?” At once hilarious and illuminating, poignant and surprising, Wait, What? is an inspiring book of wisdom that will forever change the way you think about questions.


Title:Wait, What?: And Life's Other Essential QuestionsFormat:HardcoverDimensions:144 pages, 7.12 × 5 × 0.61 inPublished:April 4, 2017Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062664573

ISBN - 13:9780062664570

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Quick and inspiring read I found this book to be a quick and inspiring read. It was a nice reminder to stay curious in life. I enjoyed the numerous anecdotes, but would have liked more guidance on application.
Date published: 2017-12-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Yet to reach its full potential Even when the concept of asking questions may not be novel, the reminder and encouragement of this good habit is highly beneficial to the nurturing of a great minds and personalities. I enjoyed the first introductory section and the last chapter about the bonus question particularly. Unfortunately, the chapters on the questions were not as gripping as I would have wished. The use of a lot of personal family examples that are hard to relate made this read slightly less exciting and not reaching its potential.
Date published: 2017-07-31

Editorial Reviews

“This beautiful book describes how to ask questions of others and ourselves that lead to a deep understanding about what matters most in life. The lessons are timeless, providing powerful insights that are relevant in all parts of our lives.”