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A contributor to the 2021 MillersTime Favorite Reads recently wrote me with the following thought and idea:

Here’s a thought (more work for you): what about a corner on MillersTime like “staff picks” at Politics & Prose where we can post during the year, between the twice yearly list, when we want to share a book of exceptional interest? 

I love that idea.

I like not waiting until midyear or the end of the year, often by which time it is easy to forget something I read much earlier in the year that was “of exceptional interest.”

So this is what I’ve decided, thanks to FH’s suggestion:

Whenever you finish a book that fits into the category of “exceptional interest,” please consider sending me (Samesty84@gmail.com) the title, the author, a description of what you just read, and why that book was particularly special for you.

Whenever I have three or four submissions, contributions, I will post what I have received. I foresee possibly doing this once a month if there are sufficient submissions.

And feel free to contribute to this new portion of MillersTime as frequently as you want with something you want to share with others

In light of that, I write below about a book I just finished that was a favorite read from 2021 from CL and for me fits into this category of “exceptional interest.”

The Beauty of What Remains: How Our Greatest Fear Becomes Our Greatest Gift by Steve Leder

It’s only the beginning of February, and I have what will undoubtedly be one of my favorites for 2022.

Leder’s book is one that I will reread as I do with two others that have similarities to this one. (The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully by Joan Chittister and Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande.)

This book is about aging, death and dying, loss and grief, and pain.

It is also a book about joy and comfort.

Leder has been a rabbi for more than 30 years at Wilshire Temple in Los Angeles and literally has sat by more than a thousand death beds and officiated at many of the ensuing funerals.

Yet it took the death and loss of his own father before Leder was able to write this book and to understand that what he thought he knew about loss and grief was in fact INcorrect.

He takes us on a journey through loss and grief that is inspiring and comforting, filled with wisdom of the ages but also his own journey of learning to face these issues and find the beauty of what remains.

The Beauty of What Remains is a small book, 288 pages that can be read in just a few hours, but it contains a great deal of understanding, many insights, and so much wisdom that it is a gem, uplifting, hopeful, and even practical.

It is an exceptional book that I am thankful for CL suggesting it and am delighted to recommend it — whether or not you have experienced a recent death or a loss, are facing an impending death or loss. or are just thinking about your own or someone else’s ageing and end of life issues.