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Tell My Sons: A Father's Last Letters

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  574 ratings  ·  110 reviews
At the pinnacle of a soaring career in the U.S. Army, Lt. Col. Mark M. Weber was tapped to serve in a high-profile job within the Afghan Parliament as a military advisor. Weeks later, a routine physical revealed stage IV intestinal cancer in the thirty-eight-year-old father of three. Over the next two years he would fight a desperate battle he wasn’t trained for, with his ...more
Hardcover, 212 pages
Published June 4th 2013 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,670)
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Jonathan Jeckell
I've known the author since we met on the first day of ROTC, and we shared a lot of experiences together through graduation, so I am biased. Mark Weber has such an indomitable personality, infectious charisma and enthusiasm that put me at such utter disbelief that he has Stage IV cancer. Parts of this book floored me. But this is not the first time Mark has faced adversity, though all through the years he made his stellar Army career look like it came easily. Part of me really hates this book be ...more
Scott Hielsberg
I am not an avid reader. I very seldom buy a book, I have read "Tell My Sons" twice and listened to the audio version the same amount of times, if you really want to reach deep into your emotions, listen to the audio book read by Mark himself, the book takes on an entire different meaning when you hear his heartfelt emotions as he reads. I came to know of Mask Weber about six months ago and have attended many of his presentations and book signing events. I have watched many you tube videos with ...more
I like nonfiction books - This book is gutsy and real beyond anything I have read. Mark Weber is a military officer and he is military through and through. Nothing is sugar coated. You will find yourself in these pages - not in the specifics but someplace in the humanity we all live. I read this before I go and see him speak at Minnesota State University- Mankato because I wanted to get the most from his life lessons. If you know you are dying, you have perspectives beyond those most of us exper ...more
It's an inspirational story and Lt. Col Weber is an inspirational man.

I'm not really sure this can be billed as letters to his family. I expected some deep level of familiarity as if it was written to a loved one, but I didn't really get that. It was a little...factual...and there was obviously information on here that was just written for us. It kind of fell in between on the emotional delivery.

That said, it's an inspirational story and Lt. Col Weber is an inspirational man
Vicki Dotson
Mark Weber had GIST (gastro intestinal stromal tumor), the same cancer my husband has.

Mark joined the online support groups for GIST and that is how I "met" him.

A few months ago he announced his book, Tell My Sons onthe support groups and how to purchase it. I admit I purchased it mainly to help support his family. He had a wife and three young children. I would read it someday. When I heard of Mark Weber's death, I decided that someday would be today.

His book was full of candor and humor as wel
Mircea Lungu
Lt. col. Weber has terminal cancer, and he decides to write a book for his children. He talks with candor about his life, his cancer, his ambition, and his philosophy of conduct in life. It is a story of resilience in the face of difficulties, which Weber thinks should not be avoided, but rather faced, and if possible with humour. The images in the book will remain with one for quite some time, particularly the frankensteinish open wound, persistent after surgery, with which the man tries to liv ...more
When faced with impending death, how does one respond? Lt. Col. Mark Weber faces his by writing a book to his three sons on how to face this journey called life. Using excerpts from a1962 speech from General MacArthur as chapter titles, he uses his personal experiences to outline life lessons for his son. A beautifully written inspirational book that will make you laugh, cry and be challenged. Lt. Col. Weber died last week but his legacy to his sons and others should carry on.
Aug 10, 2013 Hallie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
I'm not huge into nonfiction books, but I couldn't seem to put this one down. If you like sad stories with a bit of humor, and amazing accomplishments, I highly recommend this book. It's written beautifully, and I thoroughly enjoyed that it was directed to his sons, and only them. I would strongly encourage everyone to read this book, if not for fun, then just for the message that it sends of love, pride, and a devoted commitment to friends, family, and work. Outstanding!
A year ago, I would not have been able to read this book due to my own "perspectives" being radically changed. Today I find it to be a way for me to help heal, a way to reconnect and empathize with others who have experienced chaos. The book made me feel hope and a sense of purpose that had been missing for awhile. I went to listen to Mark speak at the Hastings Library and found him to be genuine and moving. If ever given the chance to hear him speak, do not hesitate.
Robert Mclain
Good book that makes you think about what is important in the world. It is very much in line with The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. Contains relections of his personal life in the military complete with struggles to help drive points home. Good moral lessons. It does reflect life in the military and is probably not designed for students. PG-13.
C. P.
I think I was drawn to this book more by what I thought it could deliver, and thus expectations were set much, much higher. No one could argue that Weber's story is not inspirational, however the book is more like a memoir from a military man with an endless list of achievements.

At the middle of the third chapter, I thought I was not reading the same book, just endless parts from his journal entries that he wrote in the past ten to fifteen years, saved by a couple of sentences addressed to this
Elaine Kopischke-trejo
Absolutely inspiring and amazing. This man has so much humility and yet is SO strong and seems to take all of his "Buford's" in stride. I can't imagine being so strong and yet so gracious.....
May 25, 2015 Jeff rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jeff by: Library browse
This book seemed like a cross between memoirs written for Lt. Col Weber's sons, as he dealt with stage IV cancer and pending death, and a biography of his life in the US Army. It has some elements of a book about leadership, but it's not really focused on that aspect of his life in the miliatary. Although there were moments when the writing was very poignant and heart-warming, I guess I expected a more emotional and direct message to his three sons that was applicable for the rest of us. The las ...more
A heartfelt book about a Minnesota soldier that is dying and what he wants to pass down to his son's. It is a book we can all learn a lesson from.
A+; A WONDERFUL read, even better as an audio book. The author narrates the audio version and gives so much more to the story through the raw emotion in his voice. Mark is a Minnesota military man who shares the story of his life as he deals with terminal cancer. The father of 3 young boys, he wrote the book for them. Throughout the book, Mark shares his memories of childhood and the good, bad and ugly from her personal life and medical treatment. While I don't share the military connection, I c ...more
I listened to the audiobook for this. This is a true story about a Lt. Colonel who before going on an assignment receives a diagnosis of stage IV intestinal cancer. He is only 37 or 38 at the time with three young sons. This is his story written to provide his sons with some life lessons on ways to live. There were a few parts that were a little slow (for me)but in the end it always managed to relate to a good piece of life wisdom. Those little bits of wisdom, character lessons, or ways to live ...more
This was a sweet book. I really enjoyed listening to it, as it was read by the author. His reading was a bit fumbling, but very emotional. You can really get a sense of who he is and how much his family meant to him. A really great reason to listen to this one were the additional readers. For several anecdotes, there were people from the author's life (mostly other military men) that provided their own voice for direct quotes. The most touching special audio was a musical recording from a school ...more
Good on so many levels...
Michael Pritzlaff
Well I am reluctant to say anything bad about the book, because for a father to live through what he did and how he reacted to it with his family and co-workers is remarkable. I chose this book thinking it would be more about his interactions with his sons knowing he would die before experiencing them growing up and into their adulthood, I was a little let down because it seemed to lack that connection for me.

Clearly an inspiring book, but at times it seemed to have a preaching element to it. I
Sharon Chance
A father feels a certain obligation to give his sons advice, glimmers of wisdom and cautionary tales, to carry with them through life. But when a father’s life is given an early end date, it becomes more critical to get that advice and stories down sooner than planned.

This is the case for Lt. Colonel Mark M. Weber. Just as Weber had been tapped to take a high-profile position as a military advisor to the Afghan Parliament on behalf of the U.S. Army, he was diagnosed with stage four intestinal ca
I won this book in a First Reads giveaway on Goodreads.

Tell My Sons is a touching memoir written by Mark Weber, a military man battling terminal cancer. It’s a letter to his sons detailing his past experiences both in the army and out and the lessons he’s learned. It’s a beautifully written book and a wonderful tribute to Weber’s family.

Weber writes about his family and how he was raised, his military career and his relationship with his family. He shares deeply personal and touching stories, th
This book is exceptionally well written and very moving. It came to me at just the right time (and I won't go into that because it is not my story to tell). I appreciated the candor and honesty about the medical side -- it gave me a very clear picture of that aspect of Lt Col Weber's experience.

The life lessons and leadership lessons are exceptional, told with honesty and humor. I hadn't expected to enjoy this book so much and I am very glad that I read it.
This book was inspiring. Mostly I was inspired by the fact that Mark had kept so many journals throughout his life; writing down so many experiences and feelings that he was able to create a book that will leave a legacy for his boys, wife, and many others. His experiences in the military and as a husband and father were sometimes entertaining, other times thoughtful, and once in a while heart wrenching. I appreciated his candor and integrity.
Excerpt from this book and also a video of its backstory here:

Nowadays, written correspondence is going the way of fountain pens, an amusing anachronism in an increasingly digital "txt me when u get dis" world. So the idea of letters a dying father wants to leave to his young sons naturally interested me, and I was happy to receive this book as a First Read. Lt. Col. Weber imparts life lessons using candid stories from his own experiences. As you might ex
Phyllis Wright
Lt Colonel Weber has written a beautiful book that has left me inspired to keep on keepin' on! I admire a man who has had such an amazing Army career and then dealing with cancer the way he has.

Thank you, Lt Col Weber, for being the kind of person I can hope I am and for never giving up. You are a wonderful man with a beautiful family and good things may come your way. Be well as you can, sir, and please keep being the person you are.
38-year-old Lt. Col. Mark Weber was about to report for a his new assignment as advisor to the Afghan military when a physical revealed advanced intestinal cancer. The prognosis was grim.

This book contains the stories and lessons he thought he'd have a lifetime to share with his three boys. There are family anecdotes and many stories from his career in the military. And near the end, a lot about day-to-day life with cancer. He quotes Douglas MacArthur a lot and gives his boys advice like "Don't
Glen Galloway
Should be required reading for father's every where

I read Mark Webers account of his life's story with tears in my eyes and as a 73 year old man with a lot of grey on my head, that doesn't happen very often. He expressed him self well with a wonderful attitude and obvious love for his family and country. I am richer for having read his story.
Thomas W ODonnell
Well worth the time ...

A powerful story from a man who had much to teach us all about raising children, building healthy marriages, and serving our country with honor. I found myself cringing, laughing, and crying as I read Mark's story. He left a wonderful legacy for his sons to build their lives upon. Great book!
Could I really handle another emotionally charged book? Knowing the author passed away shortly after publication?

I wasn't so sure.

He narrates it and generally I think that's a bad idea. I feel it was the ONLY way to do this. You hear his emotion come through. You feel is joys and pains.

It is a book that helps you take charge of what you have. He talks of his experience in the army, but also as a father and a son and just a person.

As a patient he is informed. He takes part actively in his car
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to review this. I was going to skim this book but ending up savoring it. Mark has died, and it's a loss for us all. This book is his written legacy for his boys for when they are older since he won't be there to explain things. He allows us to see he was not perfect, but he did have integrity, an iron will and a very interesting way of putting his own mark on things even in the military. I think b ...more
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