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Summary

If you only had a year to live, what would you do? In his work with the dying, author Stephen Levine observed the radical changes people can make in the face of death - how they heal relationships, open up to love, act on plans put off for years, even quit dead-end jobs. Levine challenged himself to live an entire year as if it were his last - and in this revealing narrative he shares what he learned. Through a series of month-by-month practices anyone can do, and including special meditations and exercises, A Year to Live teaches a way to live every day of your life with vivid fullness.
(P)16 9; 199 7

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Shawn Wheeler
  • 15-03-03

Thought provoking and useful

Stephen Levine has been a leading voice in the hospice movement and draws on his wealth of experience with death and dying to share his insights in this book. In a culture that shuns talk and exploration into death and how it relates to life, it was refreshing to hear this man speaking sincerely and passionately about how contemplation of death can bring more meaning and focus to life. At first the idea of "pretending" to have only one year to live seemed silly and not much use, but he has a way of explaining his thoughts and giving exercises which have helped to open new areas in my life.
Though his reading at first seems slow and deep, it had a way of drawing me in and opening me to his ideas.
I recommend this book to anyone who feels like their spiritual life could use a jump start. This is a good practice.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Dog Breath
  • 04-05-16

Not a "How-to", a collection of thoughts.......

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The title - it suggests a) this is how to live a year with your death in mind b) that the author has actually done this when neither is the case.

What three words best describe Stephen Levine’s performance?

clear, rhythmic, balanced

Could you see A Year to Live being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

No I cannot see this but maybe the Dalai Lama.....

Any additional comments?

The content had little to do with living as if you had a year to live. It was often just a collection of rambling thoughts often unconnected. The practices suggested were Buddhist and seemed artificial - I don't want to be spending my last day of life 'noting' things (which itself is a separation from the experience of living/being). I also don't see any point in having a ritual table in my room with elements of my life on it as that could just as well lead to feelings of despair and regret. I was very disappointed with this book because I would have thought with the authors huge experience in this area he could have written something more useful and practical - maybe if you're a Buddhist you want to spend your last day 'noting' things? I don't (and I'm not a Buddhist anyway).
My advice; I will stick with the advice of a Christian sage who said learn to 'let go'. Something I wish I had done with regard this book (and so 'held on' to my money!).

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lorraine Filipek
  • 10-11-17

Loved the content...not the narrative

I very much enjoyed this book. I listened to it as I turned 60 years old and got a lot out of the content of dying and living life in a different way

However...I truly wish someone else had read the book. I’m sorry, Mr Levine, but your creepy, Grim Reaper voice was not enjoyable at all. Please have someone else read your books from now on!!

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  • Anna J. Shoultz
  • 18-05-17

Absolute garbage.

Total waste of time. If I could give it less than one star, I would. Basically it's a bunch of hooey that offers only anecdotal evidence at BEST. It in almost NO way prepares one for the intellectually honest consideration of their own death. Instead, it relies on a bunch of eastern philosophy hokum where "death isn't the end, blah, blah, blah." Very disappointing.

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  • Arash
  • 26-06-16

Learn to die before you know how to live.

This is a great study in beginning a year-long practice of what death can be and how death quickly revitalizes what is important to life.

A great listen. But something that needs to be practiced, not just heard.

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    3 out of 5 stars
  • pam
  • 20-02-15

Not All I thought I was getting

When I started the book, I waited with baited breathe for the author to launch into the specifics of living for a year like I was dying. But that was the disappointment of a lifetime. The author with his powerful voice of wisdom declined to get into specifics like I needed to hear. Maybe he wrote the book for people unlike myself, who like to be shown the how, when, and why. Maybe I'll write the book, and find out why the specifics were not called for after all.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Richard
  • 24-09-12

zzzz

What would have made A Year to Live better?

The book droned on. The only part I like was the section on desires and short live satisfaction.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful