Second Act: What Late Bloomers Can Tell You About Success and Reinventing Your Life.
The book is (almost) here. Pre-order today!
Invite me to your book club.
As many of you know, last year I quit my job to write a book about late bloomers. I’ve written about that idea multiple times here in the last few years. My career in employment marketing left me convinced that late blooming talent isn’t taken seriously enough. Unable to find the book I wanted to read, I eventually wrote it.
I’m pleased to tell you that Second Act: What Late Bloomers Can Tell You About Success and Reinventing Your Life is now available for pre-order. (Links at the bottom.) After working on it full-time for over a year, thanks to an Emergent Ventures grant, the book has now been edited and typeset, and is soon going to start making its way out to reviewers.
I don’t want this post just to say to you all please order my book. Pre-orders do help the book to do well. And they do help other people to find the book. But you’ve all been reading me for too long to just ask for your help.
So here are a couple of things I’ll do for you, as a way of thanks for reading The Common Reader.
If you pre-order the book to discuss it in your book club, I will join you for a short zoom call to discuss the book and answer any questions.
I'll also run some online sessions about the book — one for all subscribers, and another exclusively for paid subscribers.
(And if you have questions about late blooming, email me and I will answer.)
There will be some bonus content here over the next few months as well.
Why read Second Act?
Second Act tells you how late bloomers—people who achieve something when no-one thinks they will—have done it. It has the stories of business people and architects like Katherine Graham and Frank Lloyd Wright. There are examples from all walks of life, from Malcolm X to Vera Wang. My personal favourite is the chapter about Audrey Sutherland, who went on solo explorations of the Alaskan coast in an inflatable kayak throughout her sixties and seventies.
But Second Act also looks at social science, to understand the patterns in late bloomers’ lives. There are chapters about the benefits of a mid-life crisis, how luck really works, why influence is what matters in networking, the benefit of having an unplanned career, and the importance of changing your circumstances to change yourself.
Second Act is the book to read if you haven’t reached your potential yet and you’re worried it’s too late. It’s the book to read if you want to know how to identify great talent in unusual conditions. And it’s the book for people who want to understand politics, business, and the arts differently.
If it’s not the right book for you, it could be just what a friend, colleague, or relative needs. Get it for the potential late bloomer in your life!
What people are saying
Here are a couple of the early blurbs, which I’m very pleased to share with you.
“Henry Oliver is a rare talent: smart, funny and insightful. SECOND ACT showcases his wide reading, deep understanding and playful prose style. Read this book to discover why it’s never too late for a second act in your own life.” Helen Lewis
“Henry Oliver’s new book on late bloomers will revolutionize how we think about talent, and how we study the history of the arts and also politics. It is one of the forthcoming books I most want to read.” Tyler Cowen