31 Days of Great Nonfiction: Chasing Daylight

Chasing DaylightChasing Daylight: How My Forthcoming Death Transformed My LifeChasing Daylight: How My Forthcoming Death Transformed My Life by Eugene O'Kelly by Eugene O’Kelly

Sound like a fun read, doesn’t it? Someone finds out they’re terminal, and writes a memoir about their quickly approaching death – it’s gotta be hugely depressing.

It’s sad, yes, but ultimately it’s not depressing – it’s thoughtful and motivating and really makes you think about how you’re spending your time. What would you do if you had only three months left to live? How would you make the most of the time you had to spend with your friends and loved ones?

For a longer review of the book, see my friend Catherine’s post. It’s a hard one for me to write about, and she’s how I found out about the book originally.

I picked this book to feature today, because today would have been my brother’s birthday. It seemed appropriate to highlight the book that I most associate with his early death on this day that I’m especially missing him. Not only did he survive only about six months after discovering he had cancer, his original diagnosis came about a month after I’d finished this book – I immediately thought of it when I got his news, and continued to reflect upon it as he went through chemo and other treatments. However, I’m not featuring it just because of the connection to my brother – it really is a great book.

Publisher’s Description:
Chasing Daylight is the honest, touching, and ultimately inspirational memoir of former KPMG CEO Eugene O’Kelley, completed in the three-and-a-half months between his diagnosis with brain cancer and his death in September 2005. Its haunting yet extraordinarily hopeful voice reminds us to embrace the fragile, fleeting moments of our lives-the brief time we have with our family, our friends, and even ourselves.

31 Days of Great Nonfiction

I haven’t read it, but I’ve heard some great things about Will Schwalbe’s The End of Your Life Book ClubThe End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe, about the books he and his mother read and discussed after her diagnosis with terminal cancer. I’d like to read it someday, but I’m not quite ready to dive into that topic yet.

To see all the books featured in 31 Days of Great Nonfiction, go to the series page.

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  1. I am so sorry this is the last post in your 31 days series….really enjoyed it… thanks for sharing your books with us!

  2. Praying for you on this difficult day. I haven’t read this book, but I have read the “End of Your Life Book Club,” and I’m guessing this one is better (just my opinion).

    • Thanks Wendy. So far the difficulties of the day have mostly been parenting-related. Potty training is not my favorite – today’s events will be funny someday, but not so much just yet. 😉

  3. This has been on my list for a while but I’ve been leery of it for the very reasons you mention … even though I keep hearing great things.

    You’re in my thoughts today.

  4. Thinking of you today… I’ve wanted to read The End of Your Life Book Club. this one sounds good too. A little like The Last Lecture.

  5. This sounds like a lovely book, but it hits a little too close to home for me right now. My father died a bit too soon. I hope that you are doing well on your brother’s birthday.

  6. Thanks so much for all the great books you’ve highlighted this month. I started one of them tonight (Casting With a Fragile Thread) and several more are waiting to go when I’m finished.
    I read The End of Your Life Book Club earlier this year and I definitely enjoyed it. I really remember it more as a book about books and using books as a mode of communication, rather than about dying.

    • That makes me even more interested in The End of Your Life Book Club!

      How are you liking Casting with a Fragile Thread?

      Thanks for your comments about the series!

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