Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Secrets of a Buccaneer-Scholar: How Self-Education and the Pursuit of Passion Can Lead to a Lifetime of Success” as Want to Read:
Secrets of a Buccaneer-Scholar: How Self-Education and the Pursuit of Passion Can Lead to a Lifetime of Success
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Secrets of a Buccaneer-Scholar: How Self-Education and the Pursuit of Passion Can Lead to a Lifetime of Success

by
3.93  ·  Rating details ·  809 ratings  ·  82 reviews
This unique and insightful book challenges our prevailing and often fallacious attitudes about schooling. In today's volatile job market, ideas are more important than training, innovation is more important than credentials; traditional schooling may no longer be necessary or even useful. The ability to educate oneself 'to learn how to learn' is crucial. In Secrets of a Bu ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published September 8th 2009 by Scribner (first published June 25th 2009)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Secrets of a Buccaneer-Scholar, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Secrets of a Buccaneer-Scholar

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  809 ratings  ·  82 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Secrets of a Buccaneer-Scholar: How Self-Education and the Pursuit of Passion Can Lead to a Lifetime of Success
Janet
Jul 25, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
The author dropped out of school with an 8th grade education and in his early 20's became a software tester at Apple Computers - a position usually reserved for college graduates. James Marcus Bach is the son of Richard Bach, who wrote Jonathan Livingston Seagull. One of the things the author shared during a talk he gave to a group of school children:
School is temporary. Education is not. If you want to prosper in life: find something that fascinates you and jump all over it. Don't wait for som
...more
Poiema
Feb 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teacher-books

"A buccaneer scholar is anyone whose love of learning is not muzzled, yoked, or shackled by any institution or authority; whose mind is driven to wander and find its own voice and place in the world."



This is a deliciously dangerous book: delicious because it taps into the refreshing fountain of intellectual freedom and dangerous because it dares me to cut the moorings of the traditional educational system and launch out into uncharted waters.

Have you ever felt flawed because you could not corra
...more
Hava
Jun 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: my family, especially my brothers
Although I categorized this book as a "self-help book," I wouldn't consider it to be one in the typical sense. Rather, James Bach talks about how to walk your own path - don't be willing to engage in group think or the herd mentality.

It's a short book - it took me about two hours to read, and although I skimmed in the beginning, thinking that it wasn't really a book that I'd enjoy and therefore I'd put it down soon, I ended up finishing it one sitting because I was intrigued by the story. Here
...more
A. T. Adlen
Jul 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Taking Back Control

Self-education in this economy is necessary for success, but self-education is most often discouraged within the education system. In my own self-education, I came across this book and many others that are helping steer me in the right direction. One could say the only thing I really needed to learn in school was how to read, how to write, and how to check out a library book. Everything else was superfluous.

This however, is a list of invaluable information I gleaned just from
...more
Paul,
Jun 05, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short book, I finished it in time to watch a tv show on the flight from LA to Dallas. Well worth the time. Another call to reform the educational system, though this time in the form of a successful dropout from public school. It is also a real life testimony to the effectiveness (at least in this case) of the principles of Teen 2.0. Bach was living on his own very early in his teenage years. Bach has developed a pretty good system of self-education that allows him to stay at the top of an ever- ...more
Adrianna
Jun 06, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stopped-reading, 2010
Bach vaguely references generalized historical facts or philosophies in attempt to appear smart and educated. However, the fact that the author is a high school drop out is clearly evident after reading a few pages because this book is so poorly written. This is more of a self-indulgent memoir and crusade against education rather than a self-help guide to approach education independently.
Tim Mcleod
Jun 28, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: academia
It needed an editor. I was looking forward to this being about scholarship for its own sake and expertise outside of the academy, but it reads like a bloated low-budget TED talk.
Elaine
Apr 10, 2014 rated it did not like it
It's about a guy given a book deal to boast about himself.
Alex
Mar 18, 2018 rated it liked it
I though the books concepts were good. I found the arrogance boring when he keeps saying how smart he is. Learn the concepts but ignore the antidotes.
Lisa
Nov 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading the Secrets of a Buccaneer-Scholar: How Self-Education and the Pursuit of Passion Can Lead to a Lifetime of Success by James Bach. What education junkie wouldn't be tempted by a title like that? James Bach is a high school drop out who at 20, was the youngest manager ever at Apple computers. The story of his self education is inspiring. He admits that he thinks in sort of random, chaotic ways and that he can only learn things he's passionate about. His philosophy is that ...more
Kate
Aug 29, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
I think what appealed to me about this book was the fact that it was the story of someone who had dropped out of school early and yet made a success of themselves.

What I didn't know was that I would learn things that go completely against what I've been taught. Things like, "Procrastinating isn't a way of running away from problems, it's a way of *solving* problems." And that it's ok to *quit* trying sometimes if you feel like it.

Of course, one wonders how well James Bach would have done, if he
...more
Christina Busche
Aug 08, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in education as a way of life
Being homeschooled my entire life, I have always marched to the beat of a different drum, not content to merely memorize facts and regurgitate them on tests (Thanks Mom!). I've always had an insatiable curiosity, and have followed my varied interests all over the library and the internet. Truly, my only hobby is "learning." It seems that others I talk to often don't understand that, so it was refreshing to read a book by a person who approaches education in the same manner as I do. And he's a su ...more
Boykie
Apr 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
For some reason, the thought that James Marcus Bach is the son of Richard Bach seems to be forcing itself to the fore. Richard is the author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a book that has been on my reading list for donkeys now. In a way this also appears to be a prompt to get round to reading the book.

So far it's my best book of 2020. The overall theme of the book is to set your own learning agenda and to get busy learning.

"I succeed not because I have powerful friends, or a lot of money, but
...more
Anthony
May 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Key points:
- Reputation is your credential.
- Choose a meritocratic field, the one which doesn't care about paper credentials.
- Before starting to learn a subject, scout for information. Make a broad base of resources to come back to, when deeper learning is required.
- Learn by solving personal problems, those which either threaten survival, or inhibit happiness.
- Alternate between learning and doing.
- Have a disposable time allotment. A time which you allow yourself to waste.
- We learn throu
...more
Anthony
May 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: productivity
Key points:
- Reputation is your credential.
- Choose a meritocratic field, the one which doesn't care about paper credentials.
- Before starting to learn a subject, scout for information. Make a broad base of resources to come back to, when deeper learning is required.
- Learn by solving personal problems, those which either threaten survival, or inhibit happiness.
- Alternate between learning and doing.
- Have a disposable time allotment. A time which you allow yourself to waste.
- We learn through s
...more
Matt
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Discipline and meaningless hard work—not needed in James Bach's world. When you love what you do, you work hard naturally because it sets the curiosity of your mind on fire, and you don't need discipline to accomplish it.

The public school system serves a tasteless gruel and disillusions many about what actual learning is about through hollow and meaningless problem solving.

A rebellious high school dropout, Bach wages war with the public education system, until he realizes he doesn't need to be
...more
Michael Larsen
Dec 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
First: a disclaimer; some people love James Bach, some people cannot stand James Bach, and many people fall somewhere in between. I happen to be a fan of his blunt and in-your face approach, and find the way that he writes to be both refreshing and unnerving (I like Larry Winget for the exact same reasons). James does not filter. He says what he thinks and lets the chips fall where they may. He is especially blunt about his criticism of the current school system and the reasons why he dropped ou ...more
Carla
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Ugh.

I know Bach thanks to his lectures on Software Testing - an area where I worked for a time before deciding what I really wanted was to become a developer. Being a self-taught IT professional, I was interested in learning about his experience.

The writing sounds so pretentious that I couldn't even finish the book. It was *boring*. Yes, I got it, if finding something interesting sounds like a good excuse to learn about it, but dammit I'm not interested in clams!

So, yes. I can say this was a dis
...more
Tori
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: business, education
I found James Bach to be elitist and this book largely says that if you are motivated and intelligent, you don't have to follow any prescribed method of learning and you can just switch directions whenever you get bored. I appreciate his passion and enthusiasm, but I don't think my boss would like that plan.

There were several sections that gave me meaningful ideas for self-reflection and appraisal. I will use some of his questioning methods to help my kids and coworkers look at problems differe
...more
Tarun Vangani
May 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you are able to look past James's hate for the established education system this is the best book on learning. Despite going a top school I found that there are numerous good take-aways from this book. If you care more about the skills and knowledge over certificates and degrees this book can show you the way.

Highly Recommended.
David
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. One of the things that I took away from it is that there are different ways to learn. I felt some of the methods the author describes could work for me. I also enjoyed the list of heuristics he provides. I borrowed this book from work, but I'm thinking to buy it myself, so I can re-read it and annotate it.
Parul
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the books which is difficult to put down as it feels like reading again & again till everything gets absorbed in mind. An insightful learning for someone who feels completely lost in their present skill building activity or in professional life and would like to start all over again. ...more
Amy Marley
May 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sparked a reawakening of the love of learning for me.
I know now it is a life long journey and one I am ecstatic to be on.
Life can throw you on some deviations and all it takes is the right words and message to get you back on track.
This should be standard reading in school.
Becca
Nov 27, 2018 rated it liked it
I didn't really like his advocacy for dropping out of school, but he had some good ideas for continuing your education throughout your life that were helpful.
Scott Griffiths
Apr 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shorty but a goody
Thomas Fackler
A book of inspiration.
Lisa
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
I had assumed I would love this having been a homeschooler for 13 years. But no. Might have been a better read if he hadn't kept repeating his resume ad nauseam and complementing himself every other paragraph.
Anthony Deluca
Mar 31, 2013 rated it liked it
Buccaneer-Scholar
By: James Marcus Bach
Read: October 2009
Reviewed: November 2009
Copyright: 2009


Buccaneer-Scholar: How Self-Education and the Pursuit of Passion Can Lead to a Lifetime of Success is a book like no other book I have ever read. It is one man’s account of how traditional education is not optimal, and his form of education is more effective. He backs up his subjective claims with his own successful professional life.

James Marcus Bach did not like school much. He acted on his dislike by
...more
Adriane Devries
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
In Secrets of a Buccaneer-Scholar, James Bach delves into the processes that allowed him to enjoy a successful career as an IT consultant, public speaker and author, without the benefit of even a high school diploma. Through the school of hard knocks and life experience, combined with his own insatiable curiosity about how the world works, he learned all he ever needed to know along the way, mostly for free from the library and colleagues, using such methods as cyclical learning, procrastination ...more
Jen (bookscoffeedogs)
Feb 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
over all liked it. may have felt a little repetitive. the epilogue and the following essay were my favorites. at least it is what most pertained to my needs/life directly. of course i read it because i had seen it floating around the homeschool forums and i had read many of his fathers books. all of which i stole off my mom's bookshelves in the early 90's, in my early 20's. i think this author would be ok with my thieving ways to learn. HA! i did enjoy his acceptance of his own quirks and leanin ...more
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Everyday Survival: Why Smart People Do Stupid Things
  • The 100 Best Business Books of All Time: What They Say, Why They Matter, and How They Can Help You
  • I Am Legend and Other Stories
  • The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win
  • 10-10-10: A Life-Transforming Idea
  • Hyper Education: Why Good Schools, Good Grades, and Good Behavior Are Not Enough
  • Exam Stress?: No Worries!
  • The King of Infinite Space: Euclid and His Elements
  • Finding Chika: A Little Girl, an Earthquake, and the Making of a Family
  • This Will Change Everything: Ideas That Will Shape the Future
  • Explore It!: Reduce Risk and Increase Confidence with Exploratory Testing
  • Do You Mind If I Cancel? (Things That Still Annoy Me)
  • Working Effectively with Legacy Code
  • Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done
  • Storytelling en una semana
  • Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship
  • Head First Design Patterns
  • The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master
See similar books…
34 followers
I am the second son of author Richard Bach. I've been on my own since 14. I quit school at 16. I taught myself computing, and became a software testing expert.

I have made my way among educated people as an educated man, but I have shunned institutional education. I developed methods of teaching myself what I need and want to know. So can you.

I've done all this while suffering from a mild disabili
...more

Related Articles

For more than a decade, Neil deGrasse Tyson, the world-renowned astrophysicist and host of the popular radio and Emmy-nominated...
77 likes · 13 comments
“GREAT SECRET Whenever I’m learning something difficult, I keep expectations low, and aspirations high.” 7 likes
“The beginning [of a journey] is a terrible time to plan. It's the moment of greatest ignorance. In self-directed education, a lot of the value comes from exploiting opportunities that arise well out to sea, once I've seen some things and begun the learning process.” 5 likes
More quotes…