Book Review: Death By Living

20 Aug


From the back cover:

See the past, see your life as the fruit of providence and thousands of personal narratives. What led to you? You did not choose where to set your feet in time. You choose where to set them next. Then, we must see the future, not just to stare into the fog of distant years but to see the crystal choices as they race toward us in this sharp foreground we call the present. We stand in the now. God says create. Live. Choose. Shape the past. Etch your life in stone, and what you make will be forever.

N.D. Wilson has been on my radar since Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl made a big splash in 2009, but I’ve never picked up a book of his till this one… and now I have a few books to add to my wish list.

Death By Living is a book aimed at capturing the reader’s imagination through story to flesh out the thesis of the book’s subtitle: Life Is Meant To Be Spent.

Wilson’s inspiration springs from the recent passing of his maternal grandfather and paternal grandmother. He retells many stories from his paternal grandfather that he has been capturing via video and tells of his own journeys in living life to the fullest.

Wilson’s book is difficult to describe and review, because it bends a few genres and defies a few conventions.

Is it a memoir? Kinda. Is it a theological treatise? Kinda. Is it a book about family relationships? Kinda. Is it a little difficult to follow where the author is taking you at times? Absolutely. Does this detract from the reading experience? No… in a way it kind of enhances it.

I picked up the book expecting a nice, fleshed out message supported by some verses and stories and tied up with a little bow. What I actually got was a roller coaster of nostalgia and emotion that frequently moved me to tears despite my best efforts to contain them.

D.B.L. was incredibly moving and has stuck with me well after I turned the last page. It is deeply theological and gospel-driven without coming across forced or “preachy” in its message. This book will shake the way that you live you life, relate to loved ones, and ultimately, die.

One of my favorite lines from one of my favorite movies is, “Every man dies. Not every man really lives.” Read this book and find out what it means to really live your life to the fullest!

-Dave Wonders


(I received this book from Book Sneeze in exchange for my honest review. I was not asked  write a positive review.)

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