Sunday, March 27, 2011
Book Review: One Month to Live -- nice quotes, cheesy chapters
Authors: Kerry and Chris Shook, 2008. (Waterbrook Press)
I really wanted to like this book. The authors' premise is intriguing: "Most of us, if we knew we only had one month to live, would live differently. We would be more authentic about who we are and more deliberate about how we spend our time. . . .Why can't we all of us live more like we're dying?" In other words, if we had one month to live wouldn't we likely change how we live to resolve conflict, minimize regret and cement relationships?
But there's the catch. We don't have 30 days to live. And we can't drop everything to suddenly change our lives. We have jobs to work, children to raise, lives to lead.
After the first couple of chapters I found the book to too choppy, changing metaphor with each chapter as if disconnected from the previous one. And it was too shallow. In six or seven pages, just enough to digest in five minutes, the Shooks give us a capsule summary with three or four main points, some Scripture and a story. It was, in a word, cheesy.
The book has four main sections, each with 7 chapters, addressing the no-regrets lifestyle need to a) live passionately, b) love completely, c) learn humbly, and d) leave boldly. I don't disagree with the content, and there are enough "sound-bites" in each chapter for reflection. But the delivery, even with the "Make it Count" side-bars and the closing "Make it last for life" questions, was tedious and boring. The book just did not capture my attention. I found myself wanting to set it aside unfinished without regret.
The best thing about the book are the quotes that open each chapter. Carefully chosen, they are apt and appropriate. I wanted to copy these down and think on them, rather than read the chapters. I can't honestly recommend the book. For me this was thirty days of regretting I had started this book!
Note: I received a free copy from Waterbrook Publishing but was not influenced to provide a positive review.
at 7:00 AM