November 30, 2009

Monday Book Give Away, #15

This is a ARC of a great book. Really, a very unusual book. When I gave my friend, Tom a copy to read he said, Oh, great, a book about dying. But after he read it, he told me how much he loved it. The author, Miles Kinston, was a Brit, and I'd never read him; and I'm sorry that he'll be writing no more.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review.
Written as a series of fictional letters to his agent and friend, Gill, proposing the book he has more or less written, late British humorist Kington (1941-2008) offers a witty, bittersweet slice of meta-nonfiction about his struggle with pancreatic cancer-or, more precisely, his struggle to write a book about it: "phrases like 'cashing in on cancer' give quite the wrong impression. What I mean is, 'making cancer work for its living.'" One letter is devoted to a list of cancer IFAQs, or Infrequently Asked Questions-what you wouldn't know to ask and wouldn't like the answers to besides-in which Kington gets wrapped up in ideas of denial (more like "cold-shouldering?") and astrology. Another responds to bestseller 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, which he calls "grimly prescient" and "nasty"; he proposes a more practical volume like A Hundred Things to Do Before You Die, with simpler goals like whistling loudly. And, inevitably, he considers the question of his healthy 10-year-old springer spaniel, who has at least five years on Kington. Throughout the goofy proceedings, Kington remains tuned to his condition but focuses on his relationships and life story, sparing much of the harsh physical reality; perhaps more stirring in omission, Kington writes around the pain to produce a touching, funny and life-affirming look at death.

I will keep the comments open until Sunday afternoon and then announce the winner on Monday morning when I offer a new book. The winner will chosen by the Random-Number-Generator.

The winner of last week's book is Marilyn, AKA wackywoman.


  1. Sounds like a delightful book. Please count me in this giveaway. And thank you for providing great book reviews and holding giveaways too!


  2. Count me in. By the way, is the random number generator your hubby pulling a number out of a hat? Someone (?) does that and takes a series of photos to prove it was random. Really cute the way they do it.

  3. That sounds like a interesting and challenging read. Thanks for your review and giveaway!

  4. I would love to read this. My sister-in-law was mentioning this book to me the other day

  5. Count me in, too. I lost over a year of my life due to necrotic pancreatitis and kept a journal of my road to recovery and would love to read about his thoughts.

  6. I would love to read this book since I am helping my Mom as she goes through a recurrence of ovarian cancer and so much of the process is the mental struggle for her.


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