Death by Living

Death By Living is written by best-selling novelist N.D. Wilson. This was my first time reading one of his works.

In short this book is about how we go about living in preparation for dying. The premise of the book can be summed up with a line from the introduction: “With this book, the focus is on a way of living, a way of receiving life” (xi).

My plan was to slowly work through this book, a chapter here and there, but after starting I couldn’t stop reading and blew through the book in a matter of hours. The book is incredibly thoughtful and it is nothing short of a piece of art. Wilson builds this book on stories from his life and the lives of his family, especially those who have gone before him. His stories are told in such an incredible way. It’s like the book is written in color. In your minds eye you can hear it all, see it all, and feel it all.

In Death By Living you can’t help but wrestle with your understanding and feelings toward life and death. While reading the book I found myself both deeply inspired and deeply introspective. Wilson does a masterful job of accomplishing the almost impossible task of bringing out the beauty in death. Beauty can be found in death when real living has happened before it.

Wilson is an outstanding writer, a true craftsman with words, and I look forward to reading more from him in the future. I would highly recommend this book to anyone.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from Death By Living:

“Christianity is no good at all as an idea. Stop thinking that an asserted proposition is the same thing as faith. It’s a start. But it can also be a costume. Enflesh it” (p. 20).

“Lay your life down. Your heartbeats cannot be hoarded. Your reservoir of breaths is draining away. You have hands, blister them while you can. You have bones, make them strain-they can carry nothing in the grave. You have lungs, let them spill with laughter” (p. 84).

“Drink your wine. Laugh from your gut. Burden your moments with thankfulness. Be as empty as you can be when that clock winds down. Spend your life. And if time is a river, may you leave a wake” (p. 117).

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.


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