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What Do You Want to Do Before You Die?

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  788 Ratings  ·  106 Reviews

It all started in a garage in 2006 when four friends decided they needed to make a drastic change.

They made a list of 100 things to do before they died, and began the journey to uncover their buried lives.


Get inspired. Make your list. Live your dreams.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published March 27th 2012 by Artisan
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(showing 1-30)
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Oct 15, 2015 Jen rated it really liked it
4 guys decide they want to do something exciting with their lives and change the world. They create a bucket list of 100 things they want to accomplish before they die in order to uncover their buried lives. Streak across a game field; pay off their parent’s mortgage; spend a night in jail; finish their college degrees are just some. For every 4th or 5th item they cross off their list, they help someone cross something off theirs. A lot of epic deeds, cool experiences and dreams transpire.
A quic
Oct 15, 2015 Kelli rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, 2015-not-fiction
It's funny...this isn't the type of book for which I would expect to write much of a review and yet I have found myself thinking about it quite a bit since finishing it. I picked it up because my friend Jen liked it and because I like to mix it up. Initially I saw this as a list book compiled of online submissions to the question that is the title of the book. (I don't want to make much of a comment on the artists renderings or on the submissions chosen for the book except to say that they are e ...more
Apr 02, 2012 Chandler rated it it was amazing
Fed up with how their lives were going, four friends met together and jokingly put together a list of 100 mutually shared items that each of them wanted to accomplish before they died. Taking two weeks off from work, these four friends took this list and set out to accomplish those 100 items.
What they originally thought would be a two-week trip, turned out to be a 5-year adventure. With every item they cross off on their list, they decided to help someone cross off something from their list.

Jun 10, 2012 Stacy rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen
I want to eat cotton candy at Stonehenge.
And/Or ice cream beneath the Eiffel Tower.
And/Or/Also/Perhaps popcorn atop the Great Wall of China.

Mostly I guess I just like to eat junk food.
John Orman
Mar 10, 2013 John Orman rated it it was amazing
Some serious ideas here, though treated in a lighthearted, humorous way.
In 2006, four friends, this book's authors, came up with a list of 100 things to do before they died, then then they set out to reveal their previously "buried lives."

At the beginning of this 2012 book, they display the list of 100 actions, with the ones accomplished lined out. I would say they accomplished about 80% of their goals in those 6 years.

Some Successes:

Attend a party at the Playboy Mansion
Approach the most beautif
Mary Lou
Jul 21, 2012 Mary Lou rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
Not much text in this book, which is mostly bucket list items sent in by followers of this group of guys, "The Buried Life", who, apparently, have an online following and a show on MTV. The submitted items are about what you'd expect - some funny, a few disturbing, many springing from weltschmerz, and a lot wishing for everybody to just get along, darn it. There's only one creative item in the bunch that I liked well enough to put on my own list someday (spoiler alert!) - "Before I die I want to ...more
Jun 15, 2012 Dakara is currently reading it
The book i am reading is called " What do you want to do before you die ? ". This a very Interesting non-fiction book about 4 guy friends who come up with a very creative idea to come up with a list of 100 things to do before you die. The list was not just a list on dream on. This list was meant for reality. So at that point a journey started. Things that seemed impossible were proved possible, The things people longed to do were done , the fears of the things those 4 guys did of other people we ...more
Apr 02, 2012 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I LOVE the Buried Life. When I got hooked on their tv show, my roommates and I decided to make our own lists. It took more time than any of us had expected to build a list of 100. Day after day, we would compare thoughts, steal some of each other's ideas, and make plans to accomplish some of our list items. It was a daily conversation in our house for a whole year. Now that I've finished school and moved home and gotten a full-time job, my list hasn't always remained at the fore-front of my mind ...more
Apr 04, 2012 Victoria rated it it was amazing
This gets five stars for originality. Plus, I'm a sucker for thought-provoking questions and lists. The book is compiled/edited by four young guys who actively pursued things on their lists - quite impressive (for example: to play ball with the President...and they did it!).

The book lists answers to the question: "What do you want to do before you die?" But (and here's the original part) it has a variety of artists who then express that wish artistically. Very cool and diverse artwork!

They had
Shannon Glen
Sep 14, 2014 Shannon Glen rated it it was amazing
I truly liked this book, thus the five stars. At first I checked it out because of the title. I was walking around the library just looking, and for nothing in particular. Then I checked this out and started reading. It really has some wonderful stories of how these four men changed lives. I started my list!
Oct 24, 2012 Heather rated it it was ok
wanted more. nice pictures. lucky guys to have done so many big things so young
Nov 03, 2012 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Nobody wants to think about dying. In fact, we often forget that our time is limited. The Buried Life, named after a Matthew Arnold poem, started in a garage in Victoria, BC when four disillusioned twenty-something university students got together to compile a list of the 100 things they wanted to accomplish before they died. With a second hand video camera and a used RV, they set off for two weeks to tackle their bucket list. Six years later, they are still travelling the world crossing items o ...more
Apr 01, 2012 Shea rated it it was amazing
Love, LOVE, LOVE The Buried Life and love this book! How can you not? These guys are so inspiring. I think we all have had that feeling like we're not doing enough in life, like we're buried beneath responsibilities and practicality. But to hear these guys stories, and realize that no matter how young you are, you can go out there and do whatever you want, how can you not be inspired? I created a list awhile ago but always say "I'll get to it later." Having read the book reminded me that later i ...more
Oct 15, 2012 Michelle rated it it was amazing
The cover intrigued me, and I found myself not really knowing how to answer this question because so many ideas came to mind.

It turns out that this book came about because four guys, who named themselves “The Buried Life,” became dissatisfied with how their lives were going (graduate college, get a 9-5 job, etc). They decided to forge their own road and go on a road trip armed with a list of 100 bucket list items. This trip turned into a movement. Everywhere they went, they not only tried to cro
Feb 07, 2013 Stephen rated it it was amazing
What do you want to do before you die? -Review

If you could do one thing before you die, what would it be? For these four friends from Victoria B.C, they set out on the biggest adventure of their lives. They made a list, of one hundred things they want to do before they die, such as #95: Play ball with the President or #20: Get a song we’ve written on the radio. This book is great, it’s filled with laughter, each page with something these four friends have done or something someone else in the
Jeff Stockett
Aug 19, 2013 Jeff Stockett rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
"If nothing in the world were impossible, what would you do?"

This book is fabulous. I really enjoyed their show, "The Buried Life" and this book is along the same lines.

For those who haven't seen the show, the premise is that they made a list of 100 things they wanted to do before they die. Things like, "Sing the national anthem to a packed stadium" or "Play basketball with President Obama". They were all big dreams that the four of them didn't have any idea how they could do it. But the big cat
Apr 22, 2014 Colleen rated it liked it
These four guys were all dealing with some kind of depression, lack of focus, lack of meaning, and need to Go!Do!Be! something in their lives. They formed a club, thought up a list of 100 whacky and interesting things to do, and went off to make those things come true. The interesting rule was: for everything that they accomplished on their list for themselves, they had to help some stranger accomplish his-or-her dream, too.

The book is not just The Buried Life's stories about their adventures. (
Dec 30, 2013 Becky rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya
I have mixed feelings about this book. I like it in concept, but I thought a lot of the things The Buried Life highlighted were really YOLO-y - streaking, getting high with various famous people - or manic pixie-y - like putting Hogwarts acceptance letters in every mailbox - and less about realizing dreams. It also bothered me how self-important a lot of them were, ones about being fat for a day or singing in a black church or being a gypsy, like those kinds of people weren't real, but something ...more
Jan 03, 2014 Heidi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, read-2014
Yes, I was inspired. Yes, I've started my list and I recommend others do the same. The gist of the book: live your dreams. Four young men from Victoria, B.C. set out to accomplish things from their list of 100 dreams, in turn helping another person fufill a dream once one of the 100 is crossed off the list. A few of the young men's dreams are described but the majority of dreams come from people who wrote in to the site Illustrations were added and the book came togeth ...more

Seriously, this book was so much fun to read, and has some fantastic and uplifting stories in it. These four guys from Canada not only crossed a bunch of items off their collective bucket list, but they helped and encouraged others to do the same. One of my favorite stories from this is the guys taking children with cancer on a shopping spree to Toys R Us, in honor of a woman who later passed from ovarian cancer. Maybe I'm a sap, but it's really good to kn
Apr 30, 2014 Cayley rated it really liked it
This is a wonderful book to help inspire people to make a difference! It is very subtle with just pictures with words saying what someone wants to do before they die but then there are stories of this incredible group of boys throughout the book. If you are looking for meaning in life or trying to figure out how to make a difference, this book can help! It makes the reader want to make a difference and be a better person. I think people of all ages can learn a lot from this book but some of the ...more
Mar 27, 2012 Katie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: college students and people who feel limited
Recommended to Katie by: Today Show
Shelves: nonfiction, 2012
I had not heard of The Buried Life before this book. Perhaps I am too old. But I was staying in a hotel when I saw the authors' Today Show appearance. It really moved me when I saw clips of these altruistic young men travelling to help others meet their goals. I returned home to see my husband had received an advance copy for work, and I snagged it. It reminded me a little of postsecret. But it's better. Better because people are helping others reach their dreams which they might not have done a ...more
Jan 16, 2012 Diane rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biographys
i love these guys. i was a fan of the show and dvr'd it so i could share the episodes with my sisters. these guys really show that you CAN do ANYTHING you set your mond too. our youth is too lazy in our generation and it will take more role models like these guys to get people off their tushes. i love that they always try to reach an almost unattainable goal. there are some things i would like to do in my lifetime and i really think if i got up and started, something would be accomplished. this ...more
Jun 21, 2012 Erin rated it it was amazing
I love the idea of this list. For those not familiar with The Buried Life, it's a group of four guys who, feeling a little lost and disillusioned in their 20's, made a list of 100 things they want to do before they die. They've crossed of a good number of items including Spend a Night In Jail, Play Ball with the President, and Walk The Red Carpet.

While their list is a bit more adventurous than mine I did find it inspiring enough to start my own list. Run a 5k will be crossed off in August!

My f
Victoria Whipple
Four young adults started talking about their dissatisfaction with their lives and the world in general. The started to talk about what they would do if they could do anything. They came up with a list and started trying to cross off items. This book is a collection of the things they put on their bucket list, as well as things other people submitted to them. Inspiring, fun, touching, sad, but in the end hopeful. Short vignettes interspersed with artwork highlighting "I want to"...Inspiring reco ...more
Ruby Escalona
Jan 31, 2017 Ruby Escalona rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2017-reads
The worst book I have ever read. Super childish. Instead of inspiring me to make my own list by grabbing a few things from their book, I just cringe when I read them.
The book is not inspiring and definitely not worth picking up. They may have a following but definitely childish behaviour that they're trying to impart to their followers - that and the fact that there is not much text in the book and ugly illustrations too.

I picked it up thinking it is a good bucket list book but no.. definitely
Lexi Oldham
Dec 15, 2015 Lexi Oldham added it
Shelves: 2015
If nothing were impossible, what would you do? This book really makes you ponder that specific question. In 2006, 4 guys decided to make their own mutual list, and since then, have worked at crossing items off their list. They've done countless things such as sneak into Taylor Swift's concert backstage and streak at a baseball game. They've also done other things, less "risky". For example, they all learned to surf, played basketball with Obama, and attend the "Burning Man Festival". This book i ...more
Lavabearian (Jessica)
Apr 05, 2012 Lavabearian (Jessica) rated it really liked it
Shelves: quick-picks-2013
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 16, 2012 Haylee rated it really liked it
I wasn't expecting this to be a scrapbook like book but I was pleasantly surprised to find that out. Maybe not worth the $15 pricetag but I did like that it was mostly pictures and ones that told really interesting stories at that. I finished this book feeling motivated and inspired and particularly liked learning about the struggles Dave had with Depression. It was nice to learn more about the 4 leading guys, both in why they chose to start their bucket list and more just about themselves overa ...more
Nov 07, 2013 Panda rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, on-shelf
really quick. and really inspiring. I have been trying to come up with my own 100 things to do list for a while and this was full of wonderful ideas. the first few pages that told the story of how it all started were oddly reflective of how I have been feeling at the moment so it was most defiantly a case of finding the right book at the right time. the illustrations are gorgeous and the stories beautifully sweet. now I am even more excited to get started checking items off my own ever growing l ...more
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