Sam’s book on end-of-life decision-making to be published Feb. 6, 2018!

{Update from Debbie} It’s almost here! You’ve still got time to pre-order Sam’s book, At Peace: Choosing a Good Death After a Long Life,  before it’s published on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018. Pre-ordering pushes up his Amazon rankings and is hugely helpful in promoting his book. And if you’re reading this after that date, you can follow the link to purchase a copy on Amazon.

Sam’s book is getting great early reviews. Hachette, his publisher, has called it the follow-up to Atul Gwande’s mega bestseller Being Mortal.

Andrea Mitchell, NBC chief foreign correspondent, calls it “an invaluable roadmap” and “a transparent and literate guide for boomers like myself and our aging parents.”

James Fallows of The Atlantic says “his spare and graceful clinical tone conveys a deeply humane perspective on choices we all will face.” And Lucy Kalanathi, widow of surgeon Paul Kalanathi, says it’s “well-researched, clear-eyed and brilliantly practical.” Paul is the author of another end-of-life bestseller, When Breath Becomes Air.

I say it’s a compelling read and a wonderful book (even if I am married to the author).

His father’s story

It weaves together the story of his father’s decline and death with practical discussion of disease in the elderly, what questions to ask your doctors, how to have the hard conversations with family, preparing advance directives, and numerous other things to think about ahead of time so you can plan for a good death.

Less is more

Sam’s philosophy about end-of-life care is “less is more.” Stop getting treatments and refuse hospitalization if you want to avoid a medicalized death. Instead, go home and live. By entering hospice months before you expect to die, you will enjoy a much greater quality of life and will have more control over your death. The book is directed at most, if not all, of us reading this blog. I.e. baby boomers with elderly parents, as well as the elderly themselves.

In other news… our 45th anniversary

Sam and I will celebrate our 45th wedding anniversary on Feb. 3, 2018. Some of you reading this were at our wedding and for that we are very grateful. We are exceedingly grateful for so much in the life we’ve shared together.

The photo was taken in 1971, soon after we met and fell in love at Harvard. Sam was a sophomore; I was a freshman.

Note: If you prefer, Sam offers other options for ordering the book at And the book will also be physically available at Barnes & Noble and other bookstores. (If you don’t see it at your local bookshop, you can probably ask them to order it.)

4 Responses to Sam’s book on end-of-life decision-making to be published Feb. 6, 2018!

  1. Andy Franklin January 30, 2018 at 6:34 pm #

    Pre-ordered. Done. Great reveiws. Can’t wait to read it.

  2. Debbie Weil January 30, 2018 at 9:22 pm #

    Andy, thank you!

  3. Deborah DeMille-Wagman February 5, 2018 at 9:51 pm #

    Thrilled to await the arrival of this book about the last great adventure of life. I just ordered my copy. Deborah DeMille-Wagman

    • Debbie March 10, 2018 at 1:50 pm #


      It was wonderful to meet you in D.C.!

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