Book review of A Year To Live by Stephen Levine.

A Year to Live Book Cover


In my recent revisiting of Stephen Levine’s profound work, “A Year to Live,” I found myself immersed once again in its transformative narrative. This book, more than just a guide, invites readers on a journey of introspection and existential contemplation. I first read this book while I was in rehab as my mom was recovering, a time that deeply influenced my perspective on life and its fleeting nature.


“A Year to Live” is based on a powerful premise: live each day as if it were your last year. Levine, through this thought experiment, encourages readers to explore their lives with a heightened sense of awareness and purpose. The book blends anecdotal experiences with practical exercises, guiding individuals towards a more meaningful existence. I particularly admired how Stephen Levine provides a ‘recipe’ for the year, including steps like relinquishing personal possessions and making a list of people to reach out to. Inspired by this, I began compiling a similar list for myself.

Analysis and Evaluation

The exercise in the book where you are guided to write your own eulogy, particularly in the context of the last month of a hypothetical final year, stood out to you as very touching. This exercise seems to have offered you a profound and introspective experience, allowing you to reflect deeply on your life, values, and the legacy you wish to leave behind.


“A Year to Live” by Stephen Levine is more than just a book; it’s a life lesson encapsulated in pages. The exercise of writing one’s own eulogy, as I experienced, is particularly moving and transformative. It offers a rare opportunity for profound self-reflection and clarity about what truly matters in life. I highly recommend this book to anyone seeking deeper meaning in life or grappling with the concept of mortality. It’s a journey that promises to change how you view life, death, and the in-between. Personally, I am looking forward to rereading this book again at some point, continuing the journey of reflecting on the life I have.