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Live & Learn: A Retiree's Guide to Keep Going

audiobook release: 09/01/24

Quotes from booklife REVIEWS by Publisher's Weekly (video) (5.16 MB)

booklife REVIEW by Publisher's Weekly


Novelist Adams (Don't Be Afraid of Heaven) debuts in the spiritual self-help realm by drawing on lessons he has carried into retirement, many drawn from the aftermath of a life-changing episode: at age 34 he confirmed memories of ritual abuse in infancy. Celebrating aging as a "privilege," Adams lays out steps toward facing retirement with purpose, drawing teaching moments from his experiences to help new retirees implement a blueprint for fulfillment in their twilight years, while also reflecting on trauma, its impact on his development, and what he's learned facing it. By combining personal recollections, anecdotes, advisories, a dose of Boomer and Generation X pop cultural references and journaling exercises, Adams gives readers a chance to examine, appreciate and share their own life lessons and harness the insights they've acquired along the way.


In clear and inviting prose, Adams makes the case that life's obstacles are actually lessons in disguise—lessons that are specific to each individual and that, even when difficult, give life purpose as we learn them. For Adams, lessons reveal urgent truths: those who are overly selfish may "discover that those around them will stop giving," while someone who is greedy may face "an unhealthy emptiness, always wanting more and yet feeling more and more empty" until embracing an attitude of gratitude. Adams 's guidance also draws from age-old wisdom and truisms such as refusing to place one's value on outside validation; doing one's best and letting go of impossible expectations; recognizing gossip as unhealthy; acknowledging that the past repeats if one doesn't learn from it; and recognizing that anyone who enters one's life "is the gravy, not the main ingredient."


Readers facing retirement and who have endured abuse or addiction will welcome Adams's personal stories of enlightenment, recovery and empowerment intended to transform uncertain futures into opportunities to see themselves as more than their accomplishments.


Takeaway: Hard-won, uplifting advice and lessons for retirement.


Comparable Titles: Charles Garfield's Our Wisdom Years, Louise Nayer's Poised for Retirement.


Production grades
Cover: B+
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A-
Marketing copy: A-


Print Date: 07/08/2024

To people of ALL ages: personal development (of any kind) adds meaning to life.

Whether you're younger or more mature, if you're always on the go or slowing down, your soul's stopwatch remains perpetually active.


LIVE & LEARN is about the infinite power of lessons learned. Several of the authors' lessons (tests, obstacles, etc.) are shared for the purpose of you reflecting on your own. Optional exercises exist at the end of every chapter for you to recognize and appreciate what you've intentionally learned from them.




If you're of a certain age and your working life has reached its conclusion, remember that your purpose never retires. It keeps you going. Presented in four sections, LIVE & LEARN prompts you to ask yourself: "Why am I here?" "What's my purpose?" "What now?" "What's next?"




Filled with insights, anecdotes, and exercises in an easy-to-read, conversational style. Written by a 66-year-old who cherishes a challenging life lived; more lessons to master, more wisdom to acquire. The author believes lessons learned are life's greatest accomplishments; they're the reasons for living. Hard work and devotion that pay eternal dividends.



EVANGELINE synopsis:

A descendant of presidents John and John Quincy Adams, and the black sheep of her family, astrologer Evangeline Adams flees provincial Boston in 1899 to launch her business in New York City. On the train ride, she casts her own horoscopic chart. Her findings--death on November 10, 1932 and an unusual intimate union--alarm her. Soon after, she meets actress and suffragist Emma Sheridan-Fry, and she spends the rest of her life torn between society's restrictions and the trail-blazing nature that made her one of the most prominent female businesswomen of her time.

Peopled with real historical figures, including J.P. Morgan, King Edward VII, Enrico Caruso, Rudolph Valentino, Charles Schwab, Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, Sheridan-Fry (who was known to have been a "companion" of Evangeline's) and occult figure Aleister Crowley, Evangeline The Seer of Wall St. immerses readers in a New York populated with the Wall Street wealthy and the downtrodden, all of whom visited Evangeline's Carnegie Hall office.


A fanciful, fictional memoir of the real-life Evangeline Smith Adams, the most famous astrologer of the early 20th century.

Anyone who can predict the future should be able to write her own obituary. Adams, the astrologer, known as the “seer of Wall Street” for advising clients like J.P. Morgan, reportedly predicted her Nov. 10, 1932, demise earlier the same year. Adams, the author (The Seventh Ritual, 2009, etc.), pushes that prediction backward three decades to establish the primary tension driving his story—professional ambition versus the ticking clock. (The author has no familial relationship to the astrologer or her ancestors, U.S. presidents John and John Quincy.) The fiction closely follows fact and includes reprints of newspaper stories. In 1899, the 31-year-old Evangeline, unconventional and career-minded, cancels a wedding engagement; moves from Boston to New York to launch her astrology business; predicts the Windsor Hotel fire; gains notoriety; and sets up shop at Carnegie Hall. She later beats fortunetelling arrests in court; maintains a long-running relationship with an actress, playwright, and suffragist; and marries her young business manager, who propels her career via radio, books, and speeches to the pinnacle of fame and fortune. Mirroring Evangeline’s affinity for gaudy antiques, Adams has a penchant for piling up modifiers: “Hands rested aimlessly upon the 19th-century mahogany teapoy table, faces stared into the Italian Gilt Wood Grapevine mirror blankly, and mindless chatter took place around the Baroque ‘Putto Face’ cast iron wall fountain.” Whether such constructions enhance the story’s verisimilitude or detract from it depends on personal taste; they occur often but neither make nor break the story. Style aside, the story itself is intriguing, the pace is lively, and the pages turn quickly. The author infuses his characters with consistent personality traits, believable motives, and outlooks that are changed by events over decades. Most importantly, he gives Evangeline a fitting central quest: reconciling her confidence in the infallibility of the stars with her own life choices.

After this fine historical novel, it’s easy to predict new fans for Adams.

Clint Adams
Aptos, California, USA