Learning to Fall: The Blessings of an Imperfect Life and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $15.00
  • Save: $4.85 (32%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 2 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Learning to Fall: The Ble... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: FREE SHIPPING w/AMAZON PRIME!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Learning to Fall: The Blessings of an Imperfect Life Paperback – April 29, 2003


See all 9 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$10.15
$8.12 $0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
$6.97
$10.15 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 2 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.


Frequently Bought Together

Learning to Fall: The Blessings of an Imperfect Life + The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures
Price for both: $19.64

Buy the selected items together

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Hero Quick Promo
Browse in Books with Buzz and explore more details on selected titles, including the current pick, "Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Adventure," an engaging, interactive dive into the versatile actor's life (available in hardcover and Kindle book).

Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (April 29, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 055338158X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553381580
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,963 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Living fully in the face of a debilitating fatal illness is the challenge Simmons, then an associate professor of English at Lake Forest College in Illinois, faced when he was told in 1993 he had ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) and had less than five years to live. As his illness progressed, a wheelchair-bound Simmons moved with his wife and two children to southern New Hampshire, near the rugged mountains he once had climbed. Writing in his cabin in view of an old dump, Simmons describes the wonders of nature remembered and still visible from his abode. He tells of his search for life's meaning in a variety of religious and secular texts, among them the story of Jesus, the philosophy of Zen, Sufi and Buddhist masters, medieval Christian mystics, Emerson's essays and the poetry of Yeats. In a wry disclaimer, Simmons notes that learning to live richly in the face of loss is a highly individual undertaking, and adds, "I'm not in the business of issuing directives, offering tips, imposing lists of spiritual dos and don'ts, or providing neat, comforting formulas." Indeed, his little book of thoughtful essays offers no easy solutions to dealing with suffering and sorrow, but it does chronicle how the experience of living at the edge can become an extraordinary connection to the eternal. Agent, Bob Markel. (Jan. 9)Forecast: Few books on loss and death manage to break out to a mass audience, but Bantam's promised publicity and advertising campaign may help this well-written chronicle of a spiritual journey make a strong showing in the marketplace. Xlibris published it last year to much acclaim.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Stricken with Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS) at age 35, Simmons left his position as a professor of English to return to his native New Hampshire. The author of numerous articles and one previous book, he has crafted essays out of his reflections, understanding, and observations of everyday rural life. Interwoven throughout is Simmons's theme of letting go as a necessary means of embracing life. With a knack for blending the esoteric and the mundane, Simmons presents his own insight into the well-known messages of Western and Eastern spiritual masters, such as Rumi, the Dalai Lama, Thomas Merton, Thich Nhat Hahn, and Meister Eckhart. As a family man with a degenerative disease, he writes with a marvelous understanding of acceptance, always knowing that tomorrow you still have to do the laundry. Eschewing the saccharine found in other works of this kind, these engaging essays are recommended for public libraries. Andy Wickens, King Cty. P.L., WA

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

You have given us a legacy that will last a long, long time.
Marlene Druhan
Phil takes us on a journey of the soul and leaves us in thoughtful reflection with his uplifting antidotes grounded in his love for New Hampshire.
James Swanson
After receiving suggestions to read this book, I waited almost a year to do so.
Jonitin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Asher on July 16, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Phil's book is best read without anticiptation or preparation. Like life itself, like the disease which is slowly claiming Phil's abilities, it is the imperfection of our vulnerabity that opens us to the ephiphanies that surround us. If you are seeking to open yourself to a wider reality, if you are able to be blessed by the path others have trod, Phil's book has much to offer. You might come to the book to learn how Phil has dealt with his disability, but you will come away from it with deeper insights into how to deal with your own. This is not so much a book to be enjoyed as it is to savored and keep close at hand.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Marlene Druhan on May 27, 2002
Format: Hardcover
During a very dark time in my life, I happened to pick up this book, sarcastically thinking that it was going to be a positive thinking fluff ball of well-intentioned writing, but I thought I could use it anyway. Thank heavens my temporary cynicism did not deter me from one of the greatest gifts ever to be in print! This book is a spiritual power tool for anyone coping with loss, a candle lit by a stranger in our stormiest nights. This book looks death in the face with the quiet rage of a human being and the grace of a sage- and offers a bridge over the roughest waters of our lives. God bless you, Mr. Simmons for your hard-earned wisdom and generosity of spirit. May your journey lead to all of the riches you've given us in this book and this life. Just knowing someone has been there has meant meant everything. You have given us a legacy that will last a long, long time. I pity those indifferent souls who find no other better thing to do with their idle lives and self-righteous overblown intellects than to criticize this literary jewel. For the "urban fella" below, you have a long way to go, buddy... and a very hard fall. Only then will you know the value of this book and this man's experience. Marlene' M. Druhan- Author (Naked Soul, Llewellyn 1998)
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Brad Stuart on December 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is what every post-modern spiritual seeker is after -- a humane, down-to-earth exploration of the essence of soul, as seen from inside a full, thoughtful, suffering and joyful life. There are lots of references to spiritual "authorities," from Buddha to Emerson, but these just serve to ground the stories and insights. The author himself speaks with such gentle and frank authority that really nothing from outside is needed.
What is special about this book is Simmons' own experience of illness -- he has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease -- and how he has found his way through despair to redemption. Without resorting to any religious "teaching," Simmons still manages to achieve what he calls the chief function of religion: to explore "the harrowing business of rescuing joy from heartbreak."
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Pamela Hans VINE VOICE on August 14, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are no coincidences in life! I found this book by accident at a time when I was wondering why I was living and if I should continue. I read this book and realized that suffering is what life is about and once we come to accept and internalize it, it's not so bad. Philip truly made me humble before him and I thank him for sharing his deepest thoughts with the world at a most difficult time. He took his pain and turned it around to help others - there is nothing better! He writes with humor and with sensitivity about a subject none of us wants to face but a subject we will all confront eventually. I am a Hospice Volunteer and realize how fleeting life can be. Philip showed me that my work is what makes sense of the suffering. This is an inspirational, uplifting piece of literature without being too "GOD" oriented. If you're questioning life, this book is for you.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Pamela Erdmann on February 14, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A humorous, profound, wonderful guide to living whether it's with Lew Gehrig's disease or, thankfully, something far less. Simmons uses New England's towns, weather and general life style to remind us all that we need to do what we need to do and to get on with it. One of the best reads I've had in years!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By James Swanson on June 22, 2001
Format: Paperback
Phil provides us with a new perspective on life as he opens our eyes to the world around us through the eyes of someone that cherishes each moment of that wonderful gift of life. He is dying of Lou Gehrig's disease yet, through his insight, this gentle man now sees that as a blessing. Phil takes us on a journey of the soul and leaves us in thoughtful reflection with his uplifting antidotes grounded in his love for New Hampshire.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Rex Hammock on March 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For anyone facing grief or loss or extreme challenge, Simmon's perspective of the journey his disease has led him through is profoundly instructive and inspiring. Earlier self-published (with apparent success), the book richly deserves the broader audience a major publisher can now bring it. It is a wonderfully written series of essays, each uplifting in its own way. It can be compared to Tuesdays with Morrie...if Morrie had written it. While deeply spiritual, it is not a book about any specific religion. It is a universal message of hope in the face of hopelessness. Of the peace and freedom which come through accepting, even embracing, the inevitability of life's journey.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Jonitin on January 12, 2002
Format: Hardcover
After receiving suggestions to read this book, I waited almost a year to do so. Knowing the author's illness, I felt some trepidation about diving into something ripe with sadness. But anyone considering this book should know that the book really is a blessing. Because it's not sad. In fact, at moments, it's hilariously funny. The stories and ruminations about life (and sometimes death), told by a man who has as much cheer as he does courage (abundant!) lifted my spirits as much as made me see the humor and beauty in the everyday world. Terrific book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?