Tuesday, May 17, 2011

((book review)) The Council of Dads by Bruce Feiler

This isn't something I usually do on my blog...mostly because I'm not a huge reader. I typically enjoy books that I read, but I have a hard time sitting still long and consistently enough to read a book in its entirety.  However, I was contacted by TLC Book Tours and was asked to be a part of this online book "blog tour" so to speak. I gladly obliged! 

I was sent The Council of Dads by Bruce Feiler and was a little hesitant at first. I thought it sounded weird and that it was going to be full of lame "life lessons." However, from the very beginning, I was sucked into Bruce's battle and story...and was on the verge of tears throughout the entire book. 

Without giving too much away for those of you who are going to read it ((which I highly recommend)), a father finds out that he has cancer and realizes that there is a huge possibility that he may not be around to see his twin daughters grow up, have their hearts broken, graduate high school, or walk them down the aisle. 

He "enlists" a group of his closest friends, those who know him best, those who helped shape him into the man he has become, those who each represent a certain aspect of him, those who will "be His voice" if, by chance, He doesn't make it through his battle with cancer. 

The Council of Dads is full of endearing letters to his friends and family, stories of camaraderie & friendship, sentimental thoughts, and moments that make you incredibly thankful for the lives that helped mold you into who you are today. It ends with the letter to his daughters that explains the "council," how it can be used, and above all, expressing his love for them. He encourages them to live full lives full of love, adventure, travel, and friendship. 

"May your first word be adventure and your last word love."

It's incredibly touching. 

I'll leave you with an encouragement to read The Council of Dads, a photo of the author, and one of my favorite quotes of his in the book. 

"And the jubilation, such as it was, lay exactly where God always knew it would: In lying fallow, I became more fertile. In taking pause, I planted the seeds for a healthier future." 
((relating his battle with cancer to the Biblical year of Jubilee.))

If you're interested, feel free to watch this clip of Bruce's story from the Today Show. 


bonus giveaway! i'll send one reader my copy of the book. just leave a comment telling me the best thing about your best friend.


  1. I've heard so many great things about this book. I'm just going to have to put it on my Kindle wish list now.

  2. I didn't even notice the giveaway when I read the post at first. Thanks for letting me know on Twitter. The best thing about my best friend is that he's loyal. I know, without a doubt, that he'll be there 100%.

  3. Sounds like a great read!

    My best friend is honest- even when it's tough. I know she will hold me accountable and love me unconditionally!

  4. The best thing about my best friend is being married to him! ;)
    He is the one who laughs with me, cries with me, watches tv with me, etc. Living life together is the best!

  5. Another book to add to my reading list :)
    My best friend lets me be me, and that is the best thing you can ask for!

  6. sounds like such a great read!

    The best thing about my best friend, who happens to be my younger sister, is her unbelievable heart. I have yet to meet anyone with such burning compassion, generosity and unwavering loyalty to others. It astounds me how she is able to constantly give to others without demanding in return, and she does this with such grace and care.

    She inspires me daily.

  7. my best friend's mom is dealing with lung cancer from a life of living with heavy smoker parents. right now she's in a low spot, and my friend has opened up more in this past week than in our entire friendship. i'm honored she could do that with me... :)

  8. the best thing about my best friend is how well he takes care of me and our son.

  9. Um, I was on the verge of tears just reading your review. Best thing about my best friend? Well, there are lots of things, but she tends to buy me presents I don't deserve and for no reason. She gifted me a mug and it brightens my day every morning :)

  10. That book sounds like something I would really enjoy reading! Thanks for blogging about it!
    My favorite thing about my best friend is that we've been friends for over 11 years...and she is always straight with me. There has never been a time that she's minced words with me, or not given her opinion on what I might be doing wrong. She's honest, sweet, a great listener, and she's always been there for me, no matter what.

  11. Oooh! That book sounds awesome! Now I need to read it!

    My favorite thing about my best friend is that he's always there for me and knows me like a book. When I'm uncomfortable in a situation, he always knows what to do to "push" me through and help me be confident. :)

  12. Sounds like a great read. I will have to get it for the summer.

    Best thing about my best friend is that she is I can always count on her to be honest with me, give me Christian advice, and love me with all my faults

  13. I'd love to read this book. The best thing about my best friend is that she's a great listener and doesn't only tell me what I want to hear.

  14. It's funny that the question was about your best friend because that's who I was thinking about the entire time I read your book review post. My sister is my best friend and she's who got me through our Dad's battle with stage 4 non-Hodgkins lymphoma. I was 11 and she was 13 (12 years ago) and our life changed forever and the horrifying news that Dad wouldn't be able to see us grown. We were determined to grow up and that's the day I found faith in God. No one can ever say there's no such thing as miracles because my Dad is in the best shape of his life and has spent more of the past 12 years as a cancer survivor rather than patient. I learned the value of life and the power of prayer and the bonds of love at a very young age and it's what blessed us with health and a "clinical trial treatment" at MD Anderson in Houston. I wish all ccancer stories ended, or continued, the way mine has gone onto be... but reading this I am reminded that there is something strong and indescribable between a father and his daughters and I think what this man did is awesome.

    Thanks for sharing this book with us!! Sorry for writing you another novel to read - but I just related on so many levels as I read your post and then you asked about our best friend and my best friend is my sister and it's because of the things we experienced together when we didn't know if each day was going to be our last with our Dad. I just love how I saw this tonight. I needed that.


  15. Shew...I'm tearing up just reading your little description of the book! The best thing about my best friend, is he's my husband. He stops and listens when I need to be listened to. he stops and opens that sorry jar of (insert any jar type here) when I can't. I can be my absolute worst around him and he will forgive me then point me back to Christ.

  16. Every week when I talk to my mom on the phone she asks me, "What have you been reading lately?" She's an English professor, by the way, so you can imagine my shame when I reply "Well, uh, umm, I've been really busy lately..."

    Speaking of my mother-I think it opportune to mention that she IS my best friend. Growing up she was a steadfast beacon of Light. It must be tough for her to watch me grow and mature into a woman. A woman who will never again live under her same roof, or share her same last name - but she has never once discouraged me from following my dreams. And for that, I am thankful.

  17. The best thing about my best friends:

    That they know my good points and my flaws and yet they love me. They have been the. best. example of God's love to me and if it wasn't for them, it probably would have been very easy for me to walk away from my God walk.

  18. The best thing about my best friend is she loves me no matter what and she is always completely honest and real with me, She's the one who tells me the things I need to hear even if I don't want to hear them

  19. the best thing about my best friend is that she is faithful - no matter what I do, she always listens, talks, and comforts. God has blessed me so much!

  20. How incredibly sweet-and what an amazing story!

    The very best thing about my very best friend is that she is, for all intensive purposes, my sister. Our parents met in Lamaze class together, we shared a nanny from birth until elementary school and even though I don't have a biological sister, I feel blessed to have had a best friend like Kelly.

    (That made me tear up! I have to go call her!)

  21. What a wonderful story!

    The best thing about my best friend is that he is always teaching me new things - even when I'm not interested :) And patient with me when I'm stubborn.

  22. The best thing about my best friend? The fact that he's my husband and I get to have him around forever. I never have to worry about having one of those fights that "ruins" your friendship and separates you...I love that security!

  23. I am putting this on my wish list. The best thing about my best friend? Simply unconditional.

  24. You gave me goosebumps!

    I love the idea of enlisting friends to help raise your children if you should pass. Whether you're alive or not, there's something special about a village raising a kid. Everyone has unique qualities that children can learn from, and how awesome if we consciously seek out those people to help enrich our children's lives.

    I fear I'm not making sense! So let me just thank you for being on this tour and leave it at that. :)

  25. I'm SO glad that you enjoyed this book. It is such a touching, amazing story!

    Thanks so much for agreeing to be part of the blog tour.


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