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An Hour to Live, an Hour to Love: The True Story of the Best Gift Ever Given
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An Hour to Live, an Hour to Love: The True Story of the Best Gift Ever Given

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  724 ratings  ·  105 reviews
If you had one hour to live and could make just one phone call, who would you call? What would you say? Why are you waiting? Richard Carlson's sudden, tragic death in December 2006 left his millions of fans reeling, but even their many letters, calls, and emails couldn't erase the loss felt by his wife, Kristine. To try and come to terms with her loss, she pored over 25 ye ...more
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published December 18th 2007 by Hachette Books (first published January 1st 2007)
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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 ·  724 ratings  ·  105 reviews

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Jan 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Kristine Carlson gave me this book when we were on a TV show together in San Francisco. We were both waiting for our appearance and she asked me if I was on a book tour too. I said no and asked her about her book. She said "My husband was an author and he wrote me a letter before he died. That is what the book is about." She said it so matter-of-factly and I thought, "How can she say something so sad in such a routine way?" I only spent 20 minutes with her but I was really impressed with her gen ...more
Jan 04, 2015 rated it did not like it
2015 Reading Challenge: A BOOK YOU CAN FINISH IN A DAY

This book was okay! I am one of those people who write letters. I always write letters to my sister for her birthdays and also wrote a couple letters to other dear members of the family. So I know what the author means by "What are you waiting for? Tell them what they mean to you." I just didn't enjoy it that much.
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
a sweet, beautiful and thoughtful read.
elegantly simple, yet it captured the essence of what it means to love, to be loved, and what it means to be human. truly words to live by.

“He questioned his mortality in order to live more fully in the present, as if each day was going to be his last.”
Feb 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is a short read but very thought provoking. Richard Carlson, author of the "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" Series wrote a letter to his wife Kristine for their 18th wedding anniversary. The letter was prompted by the questions If you only had one hour to live and could only make one phone call who would you call? What would you say to that person? And Why are you waiting?
Richard answered these questions in a letter to his wife and then in December 2006 Richard Carlson suddenly passed away an
Sep 06, 2012 rated it liked it
This was truly a heartwarming story. The love letter to his wife on their 18th wedding anniversary about how much he loved her and how he would like to spend his last hour on earth was touching. It goes beyond his love for his wife, but more about how we should be living everyday of our lives. Living in the moment, having no regrets, and reminding those your care about how special they are to you is so important, because who knows when our last hour on earth will be.

The preface and interview wit
May 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-help
This is a must read. Richard had a way of putting a positive perspective on YOUR here and now. And how to grasp life and run with it. After his most unfortunate and untimely death, his wife Kristine took his words directed to her and ran with it. Combining his and her ability to pass on their zeal for life and getting the most of it. Not only in the confines of this little masterpiece but in his "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" series & her version of DSTSS to women. The majority of mankind are loo ...more
Jan 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everybody, particularly those who find themselves burdened with WORRIES!
Another must read for everybody! Man, the things we humans waste our time, energy and worries on. This is the guy who wrote the "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" books (also wonderful) who tragically and ironically passed away suddenly...shortly after writing the first half of this book for his wife as an anniversary gift. She wrote the remainder (the 'Hour to Love' part) during her grieving process. They very candidly but lovingly put everything into perspective. This is a quick that I p ...more
Maria (Մարիա)
May 01, 2014 rated it liked it
"An Hour to Live, an Hour to Love " is a touching, beautiful, and inspiring book. It emphasizes the importance of living every day of our life as though it was our last. The book gives you a pause to think about your own life and what you can do differently to get the most out of living.
I recommend it not only for couples. Anyone could benefit from the inspiring reminders of what is truly matters in life. Though it is sad, yet it is very uplifting.
Sara El-Kady
May 10, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Yasmen, Ze2red
Recommended to Sara by: my brother
it's so small yet touching book, I wouldn't say it's an eye opener but it was a good reminder to pay attention to those who matter the most in our lives, to ask for forgiveness from those we hurt and always express our love and care for the people that makes our lives better just by existing in it. ...more
Yasmine Gaber
Mar 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
As always, whenever I feel down, lost or tension, I read this book. Richrad's letter has whatever you are searching for. It reminds me that with all our struggles and plans and wishes, today and now is all we have. ...more
Feb 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
Kristine Carlson writes a book in memory of her beloved husband and includes a beautiful letter that he wrote to her and her efforts to honor his life as she attempts to cope with his death.
Feb 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
"if you had one hour to live and could make just one phone call, who would it be to, what would you say, and why are you waiting?" ...more
Ashley Scott
Sep 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Just happened to find this when cleaning my room. I'm glad I did. A powerful look at what really matters in life, and how to survive grief after a tragic loss. ...more
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in about 15 minutes, but will be reflecting on it the rest of my life! It was an incredible reminder that LIFE IS SHORT. Make the most of it. Say what needs to be said. Love recklessly. Give lavish, genuine compliments and heartfelt appreciation. You never know when your last day may be, so you have to live everyday like it’s your last. Sound cliche? Definitely, but we all must take that mentality to heart and soul. Life flies by. Don’t look back wishing you were “More kind, gen ...more
Liz Cleland
Apr 12, 2014 rated it liked it
An hour to Live, an hour to die was another book I read this week. This was a read on my list to read personally. I was intrigued by Happy Wives Club mentioning this, so I checked it out at the Library. This story is a letter collection given to Kristine Carlson by her husband on their 18th wedding anniversary. After reading this she asked him was he terminally ill. In response he says no but our true love inspires me. He writes that she is the person he would call if he had one hour to live. He ...more
Natalie Justice
Feb 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
I saw this book on Oprah. When I went out to buy the book it was sold out at 5 book stores. The book is only about 40 pages but it is wonderful. Richard Carlson, author of the "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" series, died last year. His wife published a letter that he gave her on their 18th wedding aniversary. It is the most beautifully written letter and it makes you want to be a better person. After reading this book I had the same feeling as I did when I finished "Tuesdays with Morrie"- It just ...more
Wan Siti
Sep 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Sebuah buku yang membuka ruang PAUSE & REFLECT kepada diri dan hargai apa sahaja yang berhampiran dengan kita

* ibubapa
* anak
* adik-beradik
* sanak-saudara
* sahabat-karib
* rakan-sekerja
* pekerja/staf
* jiran
dan sesiapa dan apa sahaja yang berkaitan dengan hidup kita.
REHAT dan imbas semula << MUHASABAH >>

.... the key to a good life is:
If you're not going to talk about something during the last hour of your life,
then don't make it A TOP PRIORITY during your LIFETIME.

have obligations, re
Lulla Labbyu
Jul 11, 2015 rated it liked it
It was a quick read. This is a letter after all so I didn't expect a lot from it. It does make me stop and reflex on myself, asking myself how to really love fully and live presently. I adored the Calsons' love. I will be making a list of what my priorities should be at the moment. Recently I've been struggling with the thought of should I just go for what makes me feel happy anyways or should I just stay calm because I sure know it is risky than what I thought. Maybe after this I decide to let ...more
Aug 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Quick read! A letter from the author to his wife on their 18th anniversary. He died three years later. I love the great reminders to enjoy the gift of life every day. He said, "If you're not going to talk about something during the last hour of your life, then don't make it a a top priority during your lifetime." After he died she, "Vowed never to sleepwalk through life again. Life goes on for the fully awake." ...more
Sep 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Kristine Carlson wrote some interesting thoughts in her letter, including the idea of "bliss in the face of immeasurable suffering and gain through loss". I have previously equated death with grief and pain and suffering, so it was a thought-provoking perspective for me and deserved some pondering over. I just think that I would have preferred this book better if Kristine had wrote a letter addressed to her husband rather than us, her readers. ...more
Lindsay Murphy
Sep 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Balled my eyes out. This was written by Richard Carlson's wife. He wrote all the "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" books, and for one of their anniversaries, he wrote her the most amazing letter. After he passed away, she decided to publish his letter. Beware, you will want your loved one to do something like this! ...more
Dec 04, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: wouldn't
Recommended to Judith by: library
I thought this would be more about Richard Carlson's life. He's the author of the Don't Sweat the Small Stuff books and died 2006.
It was more a love letter to his wife. I think she wrote it to be cathartic. It didn't do anything for me.
Mary Kenyon
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wonderful tribute to her husband and all he stood for. Gift book size. The only drawback is I wanted more. Would love to see Kristine write a book expanding on this topic. Glad to see she has a blog I can follow.
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Must read. A short yet worth reading to remind the value of incredible gift of life and loved ones:)

“If you had one hour to live and could make just one phone call, who would you call? What would you say? Why are you waiting?”~Richard Carlson (quote from the book).
Jun 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inspiring book!

As a coordinator for our GriefShare ministry I love reading about love, life and those who are navigating the valley of loss. This is a great book because it covers all these topics eloquently.
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Wonderful book, with lots of important points! In the microwave society, so many are rushing through life and not enjoying what they have, not having fulfilling relationships, this book exemplifies the importance of living in the now
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Book ,I'm sure I've read this book before and I'm sure I will read it again. It is a short book that only takes an hour to read and it is worth every minute of your time to read it. So much food for thought! ...more
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
It was sad since the author died and his wife finished the book.
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
If you have one hour left, who would you call? What would you say?
Chris Waterford
Nov 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
This didn't read like a letter to me. Nevertheless it was full of fine sentiments and made me pause a few times pondering its message in relation to my own family. ...more
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Richard Carlson, Ph.D, was born and raised in the Bay Area. He grew up in Piedmont and received his bachelor's degree from Pepperdine University and his doctorate in psychology from Sierra University before opening a private psychotherapy practice.

During his life, he was considered one of the foremost experts in happiness and stress reduction in the United States and around the world and was a fre

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