Paul Martin's Reviews > Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium

Billions & Billions by Carl Sagan
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bookshelves: 2015

Six times now have I looked Death in the face. And six times Death has averted his gaze and let me pass. Eventually, of course, Death will claim me - as he does each of us. It's only a question of when. And how.

I've learned much from our confrontations - especially about the beauty and sweet poignancy of life, about the preciousness of friends and family, and about the transforming power of love. In fact, almost dying is such a positive, character-building experience that I'd recommend it to everybody - except, of course, for the irreducible and essential element of risk.

The world is so exquisite , with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there's little good evidence. Far better, it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look Death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.

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Reading Progress

June 7, 2014 – Shelved
June 7, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
October 15, 2014 – Started Reading
May 2, 2015 – Finished Reading
June 25, 2015 – Shelved as: 2015

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