Southern Scribe
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 Fiction Review    

 

 

Live Like You Were Dying
By Michael Morris
WestBow Press, 2004
Trade paperback, $16.99 (192 pages)
ISBN: 1595540253
 
 
Some books were meant to be written. Live Like You Were Dying is one of those books. Alabama author
Michael Morris has a sure bestseller with his latest novel. If the title sounds familiar, it might be because
country music’s Tim McGraw has a hit song by the same name. And although written by different people,
the message is the same: Live like you were dying.

 

McGraw was so impressed by Morris’ book that he wrote the introduction. “A lot of people assume that I
recorded ‘Live Like You Were Dying’ because of the passing of my father, Tug McGraw. But my passion
goes a lot further,” McGraw wrote. “… I believe that everyone … will have a unique reaction to it. … It’s
not just about my personal connection – although obviously there is one – it’s about how you connect to
it. I hope it can provide inspiration for all of us to stop and take time to appreciate all the blessings in our
lives – from the smallest things to the biggest dreams.”

 

In the book, readers meet Nathan Bishop, a construction supervisor who is a workaholic in every sense of
the word. But when Bishop is injured in an accident on the job, doctors find a spot on his lung. Suddenly,
Bishop is forced to realize there are a lot of things more valuable than making money.

 

Bishop is drawn closer to his family as he realizes he might not have much time left.  But the highlight
comes when he takes a trip across the country with his estranged father. Along the way, Bishop lives out
the lyrics to the song as he rides a bull named Fu Manchu, goes skydiving, loves deeper and speaks
sweeter. The bonding that takes place between father and son is one many fathers today yearn for.

 

But this book isn’t just about healing old relationships. It’s about realizing that the most important thing in
life isn’t whether or not we have a job or a lot of money; it’s about enjoying your family – and life -- while
you still can.

 

Morris seems to have his finger on the pulse of literary America. His debut novel, A Place Called Wiregrass, received the Christy award for best first novel. His second novel, Slow Way Home, was named one of the
best novels of 2003 by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the St. Louis Dispatch. Don’t be surprised to
see his third novel claim even more accolades, perhaps even a Pulitzer nomination.

 

Live Like You Were Dying is a book that readers won’t soon forget. If you only read one book this year,
this is the one.

 

Kendall Bell
Southern Scribe Reviews

 

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