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  • Pushing Leaves Towards the Sun

  • A Survivor's Guilt Story
  • By: Mark L. Berry
  • Narrated by: Mark L. Berry, Alison Leston, Christopher Madden
  • Length: 7 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2

When Oso is yanked off his motorcycle and killed by a closed parking lot chain, Billy feels guilty for having taught him to hop curbs and shortcut traffic lights. Billy's survivor's guilt drags him down a spiral of excessive alcohol, reckless driving, one-night stands, and body painting. He's now all too aware that life is short - play hard.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Insightful exploration of loss, grief, and recovery

  • By Steve S on 03-16-16

Insightful exploration of loss, grief, and recovery

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-16-16

If you could sum up Pushing Leaves Towards the Sun in three words, what would they be?

Loss, grief, recovery

What was one of the most memorable moments of Pushing Leaves Towards the Sun?

The initial loss of Oso (and how this happens) is a strong hook into the story.

What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Music!

If you could rename Pushing Leaves Towards the Sun, what would you call it?

I love the name. Wouldn't change it.

Any additional comments?

In Pushing Leaves Toward the Sun, Berry has taken a personal loss and turned it into an insightful exploration of what it means to grieve—and to move on. This story is very emotionally engaging, and the creative musical narrative that accompanies it only deepens the connection to the writing. This is a great read/listen for anyone dealing with loss…or just anyone period.

  • 13,760 Feet

  • My Personal Hole in the Sky
  • By: Mark L. Berry
  • Narrated by: Mark L. Berry
  • Length: 15 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 23
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 23
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23

The 747 that went up whole and came down in 876 pieces invaded every part of my life. My only consolation is that, without being able to turn around, she never saw the giant hole where the rest of the aircraft should have been. It was an oblong oval opening to the tumbling sky, bordered by torn cables, shredded aluminum aircraft skin, sheared beams, and spars, and accented with sparking severed wires.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Unusual format

  • By Teresa on 01-13-16

Highly Impactful Memoir

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-22-15

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend this book. Memoirs should be impactful, and this one truly delivers. The depth of tragedy in Mark’s life is nearly bottomless—he loses his younger brother, his mother, and finally his fiancé. All in some of the worst ways imaginable. He captures the loss and solitude of this abyss with a bevvy of efficient and powerful lines, such as, “Just by existing, I drove darkness into the hearts of my friends through the simplest interactions.”

How do you escape from this? Well, he does. And it takes a full memoir to describe it. Like the planes he pilots, Mark has spent a good part of his life rising above turbulent skies. He captures you in the process of moving on. We see him cut his teeth as a pilot and human being in parallel, and in the process, we get a fascinating view behind locked doors.

13,760 Feet is a thought-provoking story about tragedy and triumph, but mostly about the space between. And it does a riveting job of capturing this battleground.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful