I wrote about the book “How to get filthy rich in rising Asia” by Mohsin Hamid a month ago. This time I’m sharing my thoughts on the second of investor Chris Sacca’s book recommendations, “Not fade away: a short life well lived” by Laurence Shames and Peter Barton.
Peter Barton, formerly the President of Liberty Media, died of cancer at the age of 51. The book is his life story as put together by the author Laurence Shames who spends Peter’s final days with him. During this time, Laurence learns first hand from Peter, and second hand from his family and colleagues, what Peter was like earlier in his life and throughout his successful business career. However, most importantly, he documents the deeply personal thoughts of a man fast approaching his imminent death.
Unlike many deaths that happen without planning, Peter has time to prepare for his death. This allows him to think at length, and share his resulting thoughts about what’s important in life, what he may have done differently looking back, and how to get the most out of his final days alive. Overarching each of these thoughts are Peter’s repeated attempts to rationalize death despite the fear of death that never goes away. This is a struggle that I also have, and I imagine that it’s universal to humanity.
“How to get filthy rich in rising Asia” was about a series of ways to live your life. As a result, it may or may not resonate with everyone.
“Not fade away”, on the other hand, is about how to think about and approach death. And with an understanding of death comes a better appreciation for life. I believe that this is something we all seek. This makes the book much more likely to strike a chord with readers of all backgrounds and ages.