Normally, when a 19-year-old tells you he’s working on a book, it’s a safe bet he means reading one. Of course, most 19-year-olds don’t have Doug Barry’s gimmick.
Barry — a Voorhees resident who’s just published his second book, Wisdom for a High School Grad — started on his path to publishing prowess about five years ago, when he wrote to business leaders asking for career advice. The response was so strong that last year the then-St. Joe’s Prep student collected the letters into a book called Wisdom for a Young CEO. Wisdom II follows a similar M.O., only this time the topic is college.
“John Travolta, Daniel J. Travanti, Regis,” Barry says, listing some of the contributors to the new book. “John Kerry, George Bush.”
The advice ranges from predictably inspiring to darkly insightful. (“Be on watch for those certain moments and certain people that come along and point you in a new direction,” suggests Dick Cheney.) Not that Barry followed much of it during his freshman year at Tulane. “I wanted to make my own path,” he says.
Who can blame the kid? Not even Regis had published two books by the time he was 19.