Every life is different, but every death is the same We live with others We die alone In his riveting, artfully written memoir The Autobiography of an Execution, David Dow enraptured readers with a searing and frank exploration of his work defending inmates on death row But when Dow s father in law receives his own death sentence in the form of terminal cancer, and hi Every life is different, but every death is the same We live with others We die alone In his riveting, artfully written memoir The Autobiography of an Execution, David Dow enraptured readers with a searing and frank exploration of his work defending inmates on death row But when Dow s father in law receives his own death sentence in the form of terminal cancer, and his gentle dog Winona suffers acute liver failure, the author is forced to reconcile with death in a far personal way, both as a son and as a father.Told through the disparate lenses of the legal battles he s spent a career fighting, and the intimate confrontations with death each family faces at home, Things I ve Learned from Dying offers a poignant and lyrical account of how illness and loss can ravage a family Full of grace and intelligence, Dow offers readers hope without clich and reaffirms our basic human needs for acceptance and love by giving voice to the anguish we all face as parents, as children, as partners, as friends when our loved ones die tragically, and far too soon.
Things I ve Learned from Dying A Book About Life Every life is different but every death is the same We live with others We die alone In his riveting artfully written memoir The Autobiography of an Execution David Dow enraptured readers with a se
This book was selected by my book group for an April 16th discussion I wasn t sure I wanted to read it, but felt obligated About 40 pages in, I realized this wasn t going to be what I had expected it took me a while to get used to the author s style of writing, but by page 46, I was hooked Dow s interaction with death row inmates and the Texas criminal appellate system were interwoven with his personal recollections of dealing with his father in law s diagnosis and treatments for terminal cancer [...]
Author David Dow is a death penalty lawyer in Texas He is also just a guy with a family and a job But he writes about and intertwines his experiences with people and pets, if you can imagine me reading that who are about to die in a truly readable and beautiful way From his clients on death row, to his father in law, to his beloved dog Winona, Dow wrote about these experiences and observations as eloquently as I have ever read.This is the best book I ve read all year It s not an easy book to rea [...]
Life teaches all of us many important lessons if we are paying attention Sometimes we have to make mistakes in order to learn our lessons Dow shows us through the deaths of his dog, his father in law, and his death row clients about living life I was expecting it to be primarily about the morality of capital punishment Happily it was not The story balanced three entirely different deaths and brought them together by surrounding each with his personal experiences when faced with death It was abou [...]
Dow is a death penalty lawyer who writes about the final months and then roughly contemporaneous deaths of his father in law, a reformed client, and the family dog Each story is poignant and instructive in its own way but the commonalities among the experiences offer learnings about dying that point to empathy as the core of human goodness For me, the joy, pain, and overall impact of the life and death of Winona, the family dog, seemed at least as powerful for the author, his wife and their son [...]
This book is closer to 4 4.5 stars, but since I cried than once while reading it, I m bumping it to 5 stars for giving me the feels.David Dow is a Texas death penalty lawyer, so he s seen his share of death and misery Around the same time Dow works tirelessly to acquit a death row inmate, his vibrant and active father in law FIL contracts terminal cancer On top of that, the family dog gets sick too.Through short chapters, some of which are told through the FIL s words, we learn how Dow deals wi [...]
I found David Dow s book Things I ve Learned From Dying to be a powerful, moving, a book that renews ones faith in humanity.The book deals with complex social and moral issues in a direct unflinching way It is a memoir written by a death penalty lawyer he founded the Texas Innocence Network that details the complex and often unfair process of institutionalized death penalty specifically in the state of Texas He simultaneously extracts life lessons from period of time when he had to deal with thr [...]
I don t know if it s because I was overprotected as a child or just very fortunate, but I ve never had much exposure to the dead The downside if you could call it that to such good fortune is I don t know much about death or the process grieving As a result, I find myself drawn to books on this topic, if only to try to get a better handle, sooner rather than later, on the inevitable This book recounts the story of three deaths those of the author s father in law cancer , his dog liver failure , [...]
Having read David R Dow s Book, The Autobiography of an Execution , I couldn t wait to read Things I ve Learned from Dying I was not disappointed Mr Dow is an attorney who represents death row defendants in Texas This memoir tells the story of three deaths The first person is a prisoner facing death by execution The second person is Mr Dow s beloved father in law, a healthy 59 year old man diagnosed with advanced melanoma Finally, the third party is Mr Dow s adored Rottweiler, Winona Their stori [...]
Mr Dow, with all of the humility, optimism, and wisdom that one can muster from a career as a lawyer who runs a death penalty clinic in Texas, has delivered a powerful and haunting memoir Most of Mr Dow s work focuses on the inmates that he represents, set to be executed But, within Things I Learn From Dying, Mr Dow choses to explore grief on a much personal level The memoir focuses equally on three deaths within Mr Dow s life that of a client, of his father in law, and of a beloved family dog [...]
Outstanding I was immediately engaged with the author and the main characters in this memoir meditation, as much as I am when reading a wonderful novel Much of his prose has almost a lyrical quality, something that can be difficult to achieve when writing on such serious themes as he does Dow writes with honesty and humility, and he has left me with much to think about Even before I finished reading his excellent book, I found myself wishing I could meet him in person and continue the conversati [...]
Things I ve Learned From Dying by David R Dow was a very unique read In my opinion, this is not one of the better books I have read I found the way the author switched between telling three different stories to be quite confusing at times, and I had a difficult time keeping up with all the information Also, I got bored when reading this book, because of how the author talked so much about his personal life and how slow the plot moved along I did enjoy reading about the criminal justice system, a [...]
This was such a great book by such a great writer lawyer father There are three stories going on at once but they all weave together gracefully I would recommend this to anyone that has lost someone to cancer or lost a dog It s a hard book to finish because of the tears you will shed but very rewarding once completed Thank you David Dow.
Absorbing,sad informative book published by TwelveBooks which selects books to stir conversation about the topic in this case death, and Texas death penalty eat mix of relationships, love of family, ideas and poetry as the tools that give meaning and joy to life Portrayal of Eddie Waterman was honest and heart breaking.
I didn t want to put this one down until I d finished it There are already plenty of reviews here that explain it better than I can so I ll just say it is worth a read.
Honest and haunting Methodically moving Through direct, sparse prose, Dow has given us an essential meditation on death and on life.
Did not finish The only thing I learned from this book was the cruelty of the State of Texas towards its death row prisoners.
I was hoping this book would challenge my view of the death penalty It didn t Although I would agree that the criminal justice system in Texas based on what is presented in the book definitely seems rigged against death penalty inmates, I felt this book presented a very one sided argument The family of the victim in this case did not support the inmates execution but I wonder how often that is the case in death penalty cases This book devoted a few pages to the victim and a few paragraphs to the [...]
I ve rarely read a book over a weekend, however finished this in two days It made me angry at the injustice of our well, Texas justice system made me laugh and cry and think about whether it s better to know the day and time of your death or not know and reminded me of the joy and grief that comes from loving our pets.
Not my favorite style of writing but interesting enough overall.
This book will make you think and it will move you Quite possibly the best book I read this year.
The content is unquestionably riveting, but it took me a while to get used to David s style of writing I learned quite a bit about the judicial system in the US for death row prisoners.
A wonderful moving book Such sadness and joy and so much to think about.
Here we have a book that is immersed in death, a kind of triptych account of the demise of three lives that impact the author in ways that the reader may not expect David Dow is a death penalty lawyer, an attorney for the doomed who happens to practice his desperate craft in Texas, perhaps the most unsentimental of all States Woven together with the deft and sure hand of an essayist, the three tales three lives three deaths that Dow explores are a client s, his father in law s and his beloved Do [...]
Right from the opening paragraph, American death penalty lawyer, professor and author David R Dow pulls no punches in this thoughtful memoir about mortality Every life is different, but every death is the same, Dow writes in Things I ve Learned From Dying We live with others We die alone And what is important to this story is that the moment we die is not the same as the moment we are perceived as dead Our lives end before others notice, and the time that spans that distance is the inverse of th [...]
This book is great in its aspirations, and, for once, I like the title But the title is the problem with the book, because how much can you learn from dying Most of what you learn is probably beyond words, so it kind of fails in that quest, but I still liked it.The author, Mr Dow, is a lawyer who represents death row inmates Bleak work, especially because he lives in Texas But someone has to try, and this righteous man does He has a wonderful father in law, named Peter, who, at the beginning of [...]
I read the first forty pages of this book as I sat before David Dow began his talk and reading at BookPeople, an independent bookstore in Austin, a week after the release of this book I had heard Dow on NPR when he was interviewed for his critically acclaimed memoir An Autobiography of An Execution, and I very much enjoyed his perspective on corporal punishment law, and the difficult and emotionally wrought work of defending clients on death row In the interview, he pointed to about five instanc [...]
After playing around with NPR s book concierge, Things I ve Learned from Dying was recommended for me While I wondered if this book would be too depressing to read for fun, I was certainly surprised Mr Dow is a damn good writer and I liked how he told each story throughout the book In essence, the book covers three stories a father in law battling melanoma, a death row inmate who participated in a vicious murder, and a beloved doberman, the centerpiece of a young family Each story articulates a [...]
You will need tissues when you read this book.Things I ve Learned From Dying tells David Dow s story of how he has encountered and dealt with death As a death row lawyer, you would expect him to be well versed and perhaps even jaded when it comes to death But Dow s experiences have allowed to him to think deeply about death and the joy of living.When his father in law is given a death sentence in the form of cancer, Dow has to deal with the very painful reality that accompanies this From the des [...]
I never thought I would recommend a book about dying, but here I am doing just that David Dow is an attorney who defends inmates on death row in Texas Not a fun job to have, in my opinion But someone has to do this job and I m glad that there is a David Dow out there to take this responsibility in his part of the world This memoir addresses a time in his life when his beloved father in law is diagnosed with cancer, his much adored family dog is experiencing liver failure, and he encounters a dea [...]
I couldn t put this down This is David Dow s journey through the representation of several of his death row clients, particularly one who really got to him, during a time that his father in law was going through his own cancer death journey and while his dog began dying from a mysterious debilitating condition This book did what I love books to do and invoked many deep thoughts I felt drawn to read this because of my experience as an appellate lawyer, because cancer is my our holocaust with no a [...]