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Review: Survival Lessons

September 17, 2013

Survival Lessons

Alice Hoffman has known plenty of people who’ve had cancer but she didn’t think she would ever be diagnosed with it herself.  She was proven wrong over fifteen years ago when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Her treatment and survival of that dreaded disease inspired her to write Survival Lessons.  In it, she shares the wisdom she learned through her battle with cancer.

This book may be small, but it packs a powerful punch.  I found myself nodding my head as I listened to it.  Hoffman advises readers to do things like “choose to enjoy yourself,” “choose how you spend your time,” and “choose to love who you are.”  It’s really advice we could all use but serves as a gentle reminder to those experiencing sorrows to live life to the fullest.  I’ll be recommending this gentle book to everyone I know.

I listened to the audio version of Survival Lessons and thought it was wonderful.  It’s a quick read – the audio is only an hour – but its message has stuck with me ever since I finished it.   I found it inspiring and uplifting.  I want to share its message to many of my friends so I’m sure I’ll be buying it for gifts.  The audio is narrated by Xe Sands and she does a fantastic job – she is quickly becoming one of my favorite narrators.

Review copy provided by HighBridge Audio. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
26 Comments leave one →
  1. September 17, 2013 6:46 am

    Glad u liked this one. I had been thinking of skipping this one until I read your thoughts. I’ve never tried the narrator either so that appeals to me.

  2. September 17, 2013 7:22 am

    I didn’t realize this one was so short! Makes me wish I hadn’t passed it up! I’m glad you enjoyed it so much and I’ll be keeping my eyes open for it.

  3. capriciousreader permalink
    September 17, 2013 8:40 am

    Wow, I didn’t know Alice Hoffman had cancer! She’s one of my…I want to say favorite, but it’s somewhat contentious (I either love or hate her books)…authors. I’ll have to check this one out!

  4. September 17, 2013 8:48 am

    This does sound very inspirational.

  5. Patty permalink
    September 17, 2013 8:53 am

    It sounds beautiful.

  6. sandynawrot permalink
    September 17, 2013 10:58 am

    Seems like it would be good for ANYONE, whether you are faced with a devastating illness or not.

  7. September 17, 2013 11:03 am

    Sounds like a great investment of an hour! Thanks for your review.

  8. September 17, 2013 11:25 am

    I like Alice Hoffman and will be sure to add this little gem to my list!

  9. September 17, 2013 12:44 pm

    I like the sound of this one, and I’ve been meaning to listen to a Xe Sands audiobook. Thanks for the rec!

  10. September 17, 2013 1:19 pm

    Oh I’m so glad you enjoyed it – this was such a gift to work on. And for those on the fence, it has the MOST amazing brownie recipe ever (even in the audio version 🙂

  11. September 17, 2013 1:31 pm

    I have a good friend just diagnosed with breast cancer. This is a book I’ll be buying for her. Thank you for bringing my attention to it!

  12. September 17, 2013 1:38 pm

    Thanks for your recommendation.

  13. September 17, 2013 2:30 pm

    I love the way Alice Hoffman shares her experience with fighting breast cancer – writing a book that offers terrific advice for anyone struggling with something difficult and reminds us all, with subtlety and grace, to celebrate and enjoy life rather than grieve. Thanks for a great review, Kathy. This book’s going on my tbr list!

  14. talesofwhimsy permalink
    September 17, 2013 2:47 pm

    I had no idea. I’ve been a fan of hers for years. Shame on me for not knowing this. This sounds like an excellent listen.

  15. September 17, 2013 3:30 pm

    This sounds like a beautiful book. I’ll have to see about getting it in audio.

  16. September 17, 2013 3:37 pm

    It does sound beautiful…thanks for sharing.

  17. September 17, 2013 3:48 pm

    I like books like this. I read them when I am experiencing a difficult time. I like how encouraging they are and remind us to refocus. Love Xe Sands.

  18. September 17, 2013 4:06 pm

    I had thought of skipping it, too, as I’ve read a lot of memoirs lately…but now I must reconsider. It sounds lovely.

  19. September 17, 2013 4:49 pm

    Sounds like a very worthwhile way to spend an hour!

  20. September 17, 2013 5:51 pm

    This sounds profound and inspirational. Thank you for a wonderful review, Kathy.

  21. September 17, 2013 8:47 pm

    This one will be perfect for the audio. Looks like I will enjoy it. I am going to look for it.

  22. lab1990 permalink
    September 17, 2013 9:05 pm

    Sounds like a wonderfully inspirational book. I could see it being a nice gift for graduates.

    Lauren from

  23. September 17, 2013 10:56 pm

    I’m a Hoffman fan and need to check this out. After the day I’ve had just the few things you included made me stop and take a much needed deep breath 🙂

  24. September 18, 2013 12:14 pm

    I love that the audio is only an hour. What a great gift for anyone for them (or ourselves) to pop in and listen to anytime we lose perspective. Okay, for me that is once a day, but you know what I mean…..

  25. bookingmama permalink
    September 18, 2013 7:16 pm

    This sounds wonderful! I can’t wait to listen to it!

  26. September 23, 2013 3:20 pm

    I’ll have to check into listening to this one. I didn’t know she had been sick with cancer. I hope she’s doing well now.

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