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The Exquisite Risk: Daring to Live an Authentic Life Paperback – February 28, 2006


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Books concerning spiritual awakening after a near-death experience tend naturally to be self-centered, and Nepo's book is no exception. The 53-year-old writer and motivational speaker (The Book of Awakening) suffered from cancer, which he survived with the help of his wife of 20 years. While undergoing treatment, he refused to allow panic to influence his decisions, thus avoiding some radical and dangerous procedures, which threatened his life almost as much as the disease itself. In this memoir, the poet elaborates upon his difficult journey, offering sage advice gleaned from incidental experiences and the work of other spiritual leaders. Clearly, Nepo is a sensitive observer, but his prose tends toward gauzy, inflated metaphors and long, self-flattering passages. Remembering the time a dentist gave him a root canal, for example, Nepo writes, "Though his eyes were intent on the thin canals inside my tooth, I saw behind his focus to his soft place. It was there that we'd known each other deeply, though we'd never met." Elsewhere, he instructs readers that, "like a stone rippling in a lake, the heart of our being dropped softly into any moment will ripple us into the mystery of everything," and declares, "I was born to say what my father couldn't, to face what he's turned from." The transformational saga of Nepo's cancer treatment does indeed highlight the wonders of life and human relations, but Nepo's convoluted writing doesn't do justice to his painful, joyful reality.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“Once again, Mark Nepo draws us to the heart of what matters. He illuminates love with the light of his own understanding.” —Marianne Williamson

The Exquisite Risk is a celebration of an honest life, lived on purpose. Mark Nepo’s words, like water on a stone, gently but firmly score a path for us to follow, a path that leads us into the place of remembering what a life is for; an invitation to tell the truth, remain close to the earth, and love well. What, more than this, can we ever ask of a book as our companion?” —Wayne Muller, author of Learning to Pray, Sabbath, and How, Then, Shall We Live?

“Every page of The Exquisite Risk is alive with Mark’s compassion, rich with his soulfulness. If you are looking for one of those rare books that offer companionship on the journey, you will find none better than this.” —Parker J. Palmer, author of A Hidden Wholeness, The Courage to Teach, and Let Your Life Speak

“An inspiration . . . The Exquisite Risk affirms that there are essentially two responses to life—a risky opening up to love and a controlling move into success and isolation. The direct reporting of Mark Nepo’s epiphanies moves and flows in a wonderful sequencing of revelations that deepen and fill out as we read. . . . An exquisite gift.”—Robert Inchausti, author of The Ignorant Perfection of Ordinary People


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; Reprint edition (February 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307335844
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307335845
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,152 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mark Nepo is a poet and philosopher who has taught in the fields of poetry, health, and spirituality for forty years. A New York Times #1 bestselling author, he has published fourteen books and recorded eight audio projects. Mark has appeared with Oprah Winfrey on her Super Soul Sunday program on OWN TV, and has also been interviewed by Robin Roberts on Good Morning America. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages. Mark keynotes regularly for conferences and corporations, works with healing and medical communities, including chaplains and therapists, speaks and offers workshops for colleges and universities, and leads spiritual retreats.

In 1987, Mark was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma. The heart of that journey and its aftermath has greatly informed his work. Ever since, he has been a student of all paths and his work has explored the common center and unity of all spiritual traditions, focusing on how we can experience that unity when we can lean into life and hold nothing back. Ultimately, he explores with others how to live wholeheartedly, so we can inhabit the gifts we are born with and find the language of our own wisdom.

Please visit Mark at: www.MarkNepo.com, http://threeintentions.com and www.simonspeakers.com/MarkNepo.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Ronald E. Shonk on February 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I began reading with my yellow highliter in hand. I soon had to put it down. It makes no sense when each word or phrase or sentence on each page is a gem. May as well paint the whole book yellow!

Because so many of his insightful thoughts and words are also so poetically beautiful, this is not a quick read. It demands reflection, contemplation, digestion. And it is immensely nourishing and satisfying.

With no rude intent at all, this book holds its place on a shelf in my bathroom. Nearly daily, and sometimes more, I pick it up again to read and re-read a page or two or six at a time. Sublime. Thank you, Mark.
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48 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Mary E. Kenney on April 6, 2007
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The Exquisite Risk: Daring to Live an Authentic Life is all that I had hoped it would be.

Over years, I've kept my own "quote book". Several quotes from the writings of Mark Nepo are in it.

Finally,I decided to put his name in my KEYWORD and how thrilled I was to come upon his website.

I chose THE EXQUISITE RISK and it is so meaningful and insightful. This will be one of my forever books!

Mary Kenney, New York
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Sherwood on August 8, 2008
Format: Paperback
Strikes a deep cord reminding me of things I know but don't live as though I know! An articulate and compelling read about experiencing life rather than just managing it. Will appeal to anyone interested in the "dance of the spirit".
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Daphne on January 14, 2009
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This man, Mark Nepo, strings words together about life and his relationship to it that I am changed every time I read anything by him. Go out and buy whatever he writes. Your life will be the better for it.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By S. Lester on February 1, 2010
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A fitting word for the title. Exquisite. This book is almost breathtaking with its depth. So well written it touches all levels. I wish I could be more specific, but it is such a complete work I don't know how to break it up into pieces to review. Read it. You will be better for doing so.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By richard temtchine on March 18, 2011
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books are as different as people are. Mark Nepo 's writing , thoughts , and spiritual philosophy is extremely sharp and presented with humility and insights that are causing the reader , in this case, me , to reflect on Life, God and Death. I would not hesitate to recommend this book to anyone I know who is curious about all three subjects and in fact I already have.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Nancy Kohlstruk on September 24, 2011
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If you want to live a full, rich and authentic life, this is the book you NEED to read. Mark Nepo expresses his insights poetically yet clearly in ways that make the reader enriched even before applying this knowledge.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mark Joyous on July 13, 2013
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I have always had a great respect for Mark Nepo's candid vulnerability and read his Book of Awakening frequently for a bit of spiritual synergy whenever I need a shift in consciousness or to start the day with a sip of coffee and an awakening.... But this book goes far deeper into the explorations of a lifetime lived integrating inner & outer experiences and is full of very tender and useful insights into the being of Human. Reading this will truly help open your Heart and Breathe a fuller, more open and exquisite life of Authenticity.
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