Here’s a book recommendation. A very quick and easy read, but one that moved me nonetheless and that I gifted to my nephews and nieces.
[00:00:00] I read the both died at the end
[00:00:02]and it is a recommendation. I recommend you read the book. I shall do so for sure. Yes. You asked when I posted it where I found this book and I don’t really remember. It was on Amazon. It was a chance find I was looking for it.
[00:00:20]The title was what stood out to me. They both die at the end. I don’t know why, but that title captured me for sure. I was like, huh, that’s an interesting title. And then I saw that it had amazing reviews and I thought, Oh, what the hell?
[00:00:34] I’ll just buy it. And
[00:00:36] the premise is really cool and powerful. And it’s this idea where in a, not so distant future, this seems very current, like a world that’s almost like now. Ish, but you kinda know that it’s maybe three years from now or something because they have this new thing as part of reality where, well, some mysterious reason it’s not explained in the book, even in the book, it says nobody really knows how this happened or worked out there.
[00:01:07] Isn’t sort of an agency that knows the day of your death. And so there’s this new service where you get a there’s this death passed and you get a death call. It’s a notification and a call where they tell you, Hey, we’re sorry to inform you. But today is your last day. You’re going to die today.
[00:01:28] They cannot tell you how you’re dying. Cannot tell you way in advance, but the, basically they call you at midnight, they know the day off. And so you get another vacation, I’ll call the day of your death and they notify you and tell you about it. And then they’ll ask, you know, do you want to be cremated or do you, you know, what do you want to be the message on your gravestone?
[00:01:49]There’s some services for people that are dying. People that are dying are called or that are living their last day are called Deckers. I don’t know why. Um, and so there’s a bunch of service. There’s a little world that is like the world has kind of adjusted to that reality in that there is these.
[00:02:05] You know, every business has these massive discounts for Deckers. You know, there’s a online website that updates every day who got the call, like who’s on the death list. And so you could go to all kinds of restaurants or places and get them either get stuff free or very cheap. There’s these almost amusement park, like places where it’s like, all right, you can’t travel the world anymore, but there’s this huge stadium with you can travel to different places, have these virtual versions of these places or.
[00:02:33]All kinds of other stuff to entertain, uh, clubs that are only for Deckers to go and party that last day, and so the, the story follows two kids that get the call around midnight. One is 17, the other one is 18 and they’re very different. Boys, Juan is a foster home rougher upbringing, more of a street kid.
[00:02:56] And the other one is this super sensitive, super afraid of life lived most of his life playing games and being online, reading stuff, but not. Having friends, not having many friends, not having interacted at all, not having lived right. Being like super shy and just a home buddy. And so it follows those two kids through their last day.
[00:03:20]And then they cross paths and become friends. And in the book there’s an app where. People that are dying, can try to find a person to spend the day with. Right. And it could be somebody else. That’s a Decker that’s also dying today.
[00:03:33] Or it could be somebody that registers to that app and goes, I want to spend a day with somebody that’s dying to not be alone. So these two kids find each other and then they live their last day together. And it’s a beautiful, sweet book about. Coming of age, no growing up about grief and death, about coming to terms with death, but what it takes to truly be a life and live about friendship, about change and about love.
[00:04:04]And it’s a super sweet story. And I think as I was reading the book, at some point, I started thinking this is a really amazing book. To gift to a teenager, when you were like 15, 16, 17 years old, I thought this book could mean a lot. And B kind of it’s it’s the way it’s written is very kind of coming of age adolescent.
[00:04:29] Like it’s a. It’s filled with the challenges that young people have figuring out who are they, how to live life, how to prioritize things, how to grow up, what life even means. But it’s very kind of deep and beautiful. And I thought, Oh, I purchased just an hour before we jumped on this call. I bought the German version of this book for my niece and my nephew who are 17, 18.
[00:04:54] And I thought I’ll give that to them. I think this is a beautiful book to read in that age. But I, I love the premise because it’s about, again, it is a kind of a powerful idea to ask what if you knew. That today’s the last day you have this premise of what if you only had 24 hours to live has been around forever.
[00:05:15]It’s a powerful premise. How would you live your life if you knew it was limited, right?
[00:05:20]Kind of an edit interesting angle here of this idea. That what if we had now this magical thing that now allowed us to. Tell people about that last day to all the people about that last day. And then how do you live that last day? Especially also, if it’s not, if it doesn’t come as in with those two kids, they’re not sick, it has not been like a long kind of process where they were expecting that call.
[00:05:46] It’s too early. They’re still very young. Both of them had tragedy in their life before the, the foster home kid had. Parents and his sister died in an accident that he survived and the other kid had, his mother died at birth and his father being in a coma, so being alone. But how do you live that life?
[00:06:05] That last day when you don’t know how you’re going to die as well? Like it plays with that wanting to live life, but being afraid that living life fully will cause your day, Beth as well. But then they’re constantly in this dilemma of. Should I walk across the street to go and meet my friend. Could that be the reason why I’m dying?
[00:06:25]Like there’s all these things they want to do to use their time really well. But every single thing that is like living fully could be the very reason why they will die today, but then be staying at home. And the premise here is also that. When you get the death call, you are going to die. Nobody there’s no known exceptions.
[00:06:44] Doesn’t matter. People have tried all kinds of things to beat that right. To be like, whatever, lock themselves up and not move the entire day, but there’s no way to escaping it. So stay at home, not going out, not doing anything will still most likely cause your death, but then it will really suck because you didn’t do anything.
[00:07:04] You didn’t see anybody with your last date, but then. You know, every little thing you do, every decision they make, I want to go and visit my father in the hospital, but fuck, you know, on the way there, the whatever is traffic there’s, all kinds of things. Neighborhoods, maybe when I’m there, I have to take the elevator.
[00:07:19] Will I die in the elevator like this imminent, every step of trying to really live fully is including the, maybe this is going to be the very reason that kills me today. Which creates this beautiful metaphor for life, where it’s like, if you really want to live fully living fully, every step of the wait implies great risk to some degree real or otherwise like emotional, physical, or whatever, but living fully, almost isn’t possible without risk.
[00:07:47] Yep. So those ideas, I thought I found the core idea of the book, really powerful, unique, cute. Although not that unusual, it includes a bunch of themes that have been around as long as humanity has been around, probably, but a different twist to it, which creates this interesting angle.
[00:08:07] And there’s like many throughout the story he weaves. These other people and and it’s always whatever it’s, I am 30 1:37 AM, Matthew Johnson, Matthew didn’t receive the call from death cast today because today’s not going to be Matthew’s last day, but then it goes on and these other characters all into winding each other’s life in some way.
[00:08:30]And but still make. Either good or bad choice at the end in the book, it’s heartbreaking because it’s true. They both die at the end. So these two kids that obviously you get more invested in and you care about, and that are more and more learning how to live fully and making really great choices together.
[00:08:53]And the meaning of their lives is increasing with every hour and the stakes are increasing because they live so well. The, both in a very heartbreaking way die at the end. Uh, there’s no escape to that. But there’s real beauty and real sweetness and a good amount of wisdom in it about how to live life.
[00:09:13] Right. And how also death plays into living life. Like the, this in escapable verdict that we all have at birth is that we all gonna die at least up to now. We’re not aware that anyone has ever survived life and, but we all in various degrees don’t think about death. Although it’s a death sentence for all of us.
[00:09:37] We push it away, forget about it. And in many of our days we live as if we will live forever in how wasteful we are with life. And it’s a, it’s a protective mechanism maybe because we’re too afraid to really come to terms with death and also in today’s society. If you think about it more so than ever, we’ve found ways to.
[00:09:58]Cast death out of society. There’s these places. We can put this, but we’re not most people could, they are not as intertwined with. The older people in their lives with their grandparents or great-grandparents, they don’t live with them family. And the tribe is not living so closely that you see sickness and old age and death as you grow up as a child.
[00:10:25] Like I had the unique experience where as a child, both of my mother’s parents, one after the other, but over a span of 11 years, lived with us. During the last five, six years of their lives being very old and battling cancer. And so I saw, I had a good amount of death growing up because my grandfather died and then a year later my father died.
[00:10:51] But then also seeing my grandparents die and being old and being sick, it gives you a different, it can give you a different relationship to having exposure to death. But in today’s society, most old people, most grandparents are not being taken care of in the home of their children, with their grandchildren.
[00:11:12]They, when you’re sick, you’re in a hospital and when you’re in old age, maybe you’re in a foster care. And so the, those last years of life are battles of death and life and death. They happen in specialized places. Though, away from the family and away from the core, the way we live life.
[00:11:31]So we have to think about them less because we’re less confronted with them. There’s something I think really valuable in having a chance to come to terms with death. Not fearing it, not glorifying it. Right. Not making death, the center of all your decision-making, but not putting it away from your view and pretending it doesn’t exist.
[00:11:53] So making choices, dad, isn’t something we’ll have to tackle at some point. And also what does it mean? This book touches on some themes, again, very sweetly in a very innocent adolescent way of. What does not just death mean to you as the,
[00:12:09]Life about to die, but what does death mean to the people you leave behind? W what does it mean? What do you do? This is an interesting
[00:12:18]back in the book is that the people that are alive, I’m not just alive or the people that get the death cast call. Don’t just know that they’re going to die today, but. No, they have not a full day, may be more or less death could come at any point in the 24 hours where they have to make choices on what do I do for me, or what do I do for others, for the people that are leave behind me and how much do I deal with the guilt of dying and leaving people behind versus.
[00:12:50]My own fear of death and the guilt that others have because I am dying and they’re still going to be alive tomorrow. And those are really important questions. Those are really, I think, meaningful questions that having chances to ponder those and grapple with them and come to terms with them, I think can.
[00:13:12]Matter deeply to how we live life. I think never getting the exposure to get challenged by these questions and to have to deal with them, could expose us and leave us feeling really naked and unprepared when death comes either for us. So for our loved ones, which it will, right. Everybody we love will die.
[00:13:35] We will die. So it is a very important question in life, how to think of it and live with it with that fact. Okay.
[00:13:44]I think we’re robbing ourselves of something really meaningful by not including death into life. And this book, at least in my reading attempts in a nice way to raise some of these questions, but in a very, in a way that young, fairly innocent kids would think about them and have to grapple with them. So it’s a nice, it’s a, I might sound too morbid, I dunno, or too grave here, but the book, the book is really sweet.
[00:14:18] It’s very light read. Like I read this in three days. It’s an easy read. It’s very light. It’s very, it’s not, it’s not pretentious at all. It’s just, uh, a young coming of age, love story. But between the lines is a lot of a lot of, deep questions included and some beautiful sweet truths, I think included the book.
[00:14:41] He got, I think the author is called Adam Silvera. I never heard of him before, but that doesn’t mean much, but he, I think wrote another book. So when I got the book and I took a good look at it at first, I thought, Oh God damn it. They tricked me because I think when I saw the cover, I read ball bold and haunting, phenomenal talent, you know, and a bunch of other, like things like overflows with tenderness and heartache, sweetly, devastating, passionately, honest, breathtakingly human.
[00:15:10] I’m like, wow, this must be right. And then when I got the book and I took a good look at it, These things were said about the author, about his prior book. I’m like, what the fuck? This is all praise for history is all you left me, which is like, I think his most famous book I’m like, wait a second.
[00:15:30] Did they just trick me into buying this? Because I thought they said these sweet things about this book, but they really said it about a different book. But as you can imagine, I just ordered. History is all you left me, which is, I think was most firms would come like, well, if they both died, the end is so dope and all these nice things they said is about this other book.
[00:15:46] Let me read that other book. The other day, that’s funny. I can’t help it. I think I have to get over this at some point. I’m getting over this right now. I think is this since reading a lot more again in the last year, and especially since I started reading great writing, you know, not just like lots and lots of famous.
[00:16:06] Non-fiction books, but started reading fiction and novels and like great writers and great writing. I’ve established this. There’s a couple of writers that are now my, on my Mount Rushmore of writing and any book I read, I kind of compare against it and I go, this is good, but it’s not great right to go.
[00:16:26] This is, but it’s not quite. And, and I I’m getting over this because like most. Almost every book I’ve ever read will not be on the Mount Rushmore of writing, just pure writing technique. It’s very hard to write like Kafka or fucking Frank Herbert or any of these people. So when I was reading this at the beginning, I had many moments where I thought, wow, this is just written it’s okay.
[00:16:53] But it’s not amazing writing. You know what I mean? Like the kind of writing that stands out is timeless. True, great greatness. It’s just really well written. And then at some point I was letting go of that and I thought, well, that can’t be the, that can’t be the expectation for books that still can matter a great deal for me.
[00:17:14]And this book this part, I think there’s a snobbish part of me that my arrogant part that wants to judge everything. That’s not the best of the very best of the very best. There’s a part of me that would have never talked about I would have never talked about this book because it’s not a classic and I would have felt.
[00:17:33] I would have almost felt ashamed to recommend a book like this to you, because I thought I would have thought you will read the first bunch of patients and be like, this is a book for a 12 year old. Like this is not great writing. Why is he recommending this shit? Steli is clearly not as sophisticated as they thought.
[00:17:48] Imagine somebody pushing up that glasses, snobbish, this is clearly he’s clearly not as smart as I thought that. Okay, that would’ve stopped me from talking about this kind of book publicly. I’m like, I’m only going to talk public about books that are great. Or when people read, I find I have a 90% inner guarantee that they will be impressed that I recommended this.
[00:18:14]Even if I read that book and I was like, this is a book for 12 year olds, I would be like, but steely really loved it. What am I missing? That must be something. I mean, we have a, such a deep relationship now where I know that, you know, even if I recommended a book that you didn’t love, that doesn’t change how you see me, you know, our closeness and it would, it wouldn’t injure me.
[00:18:42] But back in the day, I didn’t really separate. I was just, I’m only putting things out in the world where I have a very high degree of certainty that they will hit the note. I have the same with music, something I enjoy. I should share this for Stevie, but ah, No, this is not musically artistic enough. Yeah.
[00:19:05] Yeah. I started sharing with you songs where I was like, I know this, he’s not going to like this, but whatever it means something to Mel, throw it over the fence. You can always just ignore it. But yet we have these insecurities at times about things and how we want to be perceived. Oh, I definitely had them.
[00:19:21]But now, like, and even reading it, as I said in the beginning, there was a part of me, the snobbish critical part that wanted to say this book will not be meaningful to you because it is not written with the best writing that you’ve ever encountered. This will not be a classic that everybody will agree is the best book ever written in history.
[00:19:42] So it cannot have deep impact with you. And then I had to. Look at that part of me and go, that’s not really true, dude. Like this is good writing and it doesn’t have to be the best. Right. The story has something that compelled you. Let’s just give this a chance and see what happens. And now I’m like, I’m really grateful.
[00:20:00] I read the book because it was a very, it had a certain sweetness and innocence and he brought me back to a younger self. But it still hits such important. It did hit an important topic in my life right now, which is grief and death, but from a very different angle. And I’m like, wow, what a beautiful, this was a beautiful gift.
[00:20:24] This was like the beautiful unexpected conversation that ended with a hug and a kiss that you just felt good about afterwards. You’re like, Oh, wow. I’m really glad I had this conversation with this person. And I’m pretty certain like my, my niece and my nephews at this stage of their life. They’re not really readers.
[00:20:45] They’re not reading a lot of books and there’s a good chance that I’ll gift all of them, this book, and none of them will read it and then so be it like, I’m okay with that. But. I headed in my heart. As I finished the book, I thought this would have been an amazing book for me to read when I was 17. Wow.
[00:21:03] This, I think this would have had great impact. Maybe I’m wrong. Who knows? Right. But I had this kind of intuition that bubble up and then I thought, wow, I want to give this book to my nephews and niece. Maybe I’ll give this book when my kids are kind of at that age and see maybe, maybe. Is a really remarkable book, for somebody like a really great gift to give a young person I like that I have that had that thought.
[00:21:29] I guarantee you what I was reading Kafka was not thinking about gifting it to my nieces and nephews at 17 and 18. I’m like, once you get in your forties, I might entertain bringing up Kafka, but it’s not really teenage reading material, but but this book is without it being cheap, like it’s really deep and really Sweden, I think, meaningful.
[00:21:49] So I’m really grateful that our. Read it, that it found me. Right. And that I found it. So yeah, it’s always, it’s also so funny because I had a whole week
[00:22:01] suffering because I could not find a new book out, was loving. And so had all these starts and stops. And I would start reading these books that I know I really want to read one day. And then after two pages, three pages, 20 pages, I would go, wow, but this is really work. I don’t love this right now. And then I would stop, but I want to love something.
[00:22:24] So I had this struggle the entire week that every morning, every like right now, I basically read probably five hours, six hours a day. Whoa. Yeah. I read like the first hour or two in the morning and I read like three hours before we go to sleep. Three, four hours. I got to read a lot. I love it. I read a shit ton right now and now I have all these hours in the evening and I’m like, I don’t have a book.
[00:22:51] I can read it. So it’s just real, like. Real unpleasant, you know, struggle that I was going through the weekend. I knew I’m like, eventually I’ll find a book, but, um, God it’s socks. Uh, and then on Friday I go to, um, to pick up my boys and I had ordered the book, uh, to their home. And so I opened the package and I looked at the book and I go, Oh, maybe I’ll give this a try this weekend.
[00:23:22] Um, And so, um, I’m glad I did, but that now, you know, now like insulinoma, right. I’m done with this book over the weekend. Fuck. I need to, but, uh, but that’s a problem for the next couple of days, but yeah, I really, I, uh, really liked it. I really loved the premise. The idea I think is, was a really strong idea.
[00:23:45] Um, acute interesting, but lots of potential ways to go. Uh, I love that. I love the power of beautiful ideas. Yeah,
[00:23:58]I was thinking about, okay, what was the last book that I read that I would usually not even talk about with steady and I got it. It’s it’s the autobiography of Terry crews. Do you know who Terry cruises? No. It’s the, White chicks. That movie where the two black guys.
[00:24:17] Yeah. I know Terry Cruz so I got that there and I don’t even know what made me get it.
[00:24:23]but I really enjoyed it. It’s not written great. but it’s, it’s a dope life story. So is it the manner how to be a better man or just live life with one? Alright, well, I know where you bought the book. He’s there like booth roses or smiling in a beautiful suit. You’re going to be the man of my dreams, this book and read it.
[00:24:44] Um, that’s dope. That is, you know what, I’m going to give this a read. Maybe it’s not for me, but if it is, it’d be a beautiful kind of sending this to you. But I do remember it’s a lot about the relationship with his dad and this cool life story. That is nice. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. And you know, we also lack some context.
[00:25:02] This guy, wasn’t an NFL player. I think he was a. Kind of more famous athlete before it came a kind of TV and movie star and whatever, whatever. Yeah. So interesting. He did some cool things like, he was actually like a painter and a draw draw. That was a draw was put a lot of blankets in him, you know, when he was younger.
[00:25:22]And then he was like, drawing paintings off the players to make money. And it’s a cool story All right, I’ll give it a, I’ll give it a shot and see what happens. I like my recommendation better, but then it gets, you’re not recommending it. This is your non recommendation that I would not recommend it to you.
[00:25:39] And that it wouldn’t even talking to you about it because I think, yes, it’s enough. Now I’ll read this and it’ll change my life forever. It’ll be the most important book I’ve ever read. Would that be something like the full coming full circle? It would not be surprising if you find. True. Meaning sometimes in the most unexpected of places.