An uplifting journey of truly seeing and appreciating what makes life worth living in the year following a terminal diagnosis
For fans of Ann Patchett’s These Precious Days and Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking
Goodbye to Clocks Ticking is an unforgettable book that tells the story of a singular year of challenges, insights, and peculiar gifts. It is also a sort of postcard from a place many of us will one day visit.
After thirty-two years of teaching, Joe Monninger, an avid outdoorsman in robust health, was looking forward to a long retirement with the love of his life in a cabin beside a New England estuary. Three days after his last class, however, he’s diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, even though he has not smoked for more than 30 years. It was May, and he might be dead by early fall.
Soon Joe learned, however, that he was a genetic match for treatment with a drug that could not cure his cancer, but could prolong his life. With this temporary reprieve, he sets out to live life to the fullest and to write about the year of grace that follows, from his cancer treatments to his innermost thoughts.
Goodbye to Clocks Ticking is a work of wisdom and insight. Joe Monninger’s aubade to the world that he knew and loved offers a page-turning, suspenseful story to relish and to celebrate, to share and to discuss, to ponder and to learn from.
"Full of heart and discovery." – Booklist, on Joseph Monninger's writing
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Bad news sets off this inspiring memoir about mindfulness, perspective, and grace. Shortly after retiring from a 32-year career in teaching, Joseph Monninger was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Excited to settle into his Maine cottage with the love of his life, Monninger faces the question of how to live out his final months, and as he begins treatment, he writes about his yearlong physical and emotional journey. Monninger makes us a part of his most difficult experiences, including his medical dilemmas and funeral arrangements. In one of the book’s most poignant moments, he realizes that although his body is failing, his eyes and ears are still very much alive, so he commits to appreciating every detail of the beauty around him, from the sparrows that visit his feeder to the sound of a fly-fishing line. Monninger’s bittersweet story is more hopeful than heavy—it left us with the desire to make the most of every day we have.