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Publisher's Summary

Based on a beloved teacher’s most popular lesson, The Priority List is a bold, inspirational story of learning, love, and legacy that challenges us to ask: What truly matters in life?

David Menasche lived for his work as a high school English teacher. His passion inspired his students, and between lessons on Shakespeare and sentence structure, he forged a unique bond with his kids, buoying them through personal struggles while sharing valuable life lessons.

When a six-year battle with brain cancer ultimately stole David’s vision, memory, mobility, and - most tragically of all - his ability to continue teaching, he was devastated by the thought that he would no longer have the chance to impact his students’ lives each day.

But teaching is something Menasche just couldn’t quit. Undaunted by the difficult road ahead of him, he decided to end his treatments and make life his classroom. Cancer had robbed him of his past and would most certainly take his future; he wouldn’t allow it to steal his present. He turned to Facebook with an audacious plan: a journey across America - by bus, by train, by red-tipped cane - in hopes of seeing firsthand how his kids were faring in life. Had he made a difference? Within forty-eight hours of posting, former students in more than fifty cities replied with offers of support and shelter.

Traveling more than eight thousand miles from Miami to New York, to America’s heartland and San Francisco’s Golden Gate, and visiting hundreds of his students, David’s fearless journey explores the things we all want and need out of life - family, security, independence, love, adventure - and forces us to stop to consider our own Priority List.

©2013 David Menasche (P)2013 Audible Inc.

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Trish
  • Virginia
  • 07-13-14

Truly Inspiring!!

My biggest complaint about this book? It was just not long enough!! I could have listened to this man tell his stories for many more hours. But considering his tragic health condition, it's a wonder he even wrote this memoir--and even more miraculous that he narrated the audiobook version.

But I'm truly glad he did--and grateful I listened to it. David Menasche was an inspiration to his students, and can now be an inspiration to us all!!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Amazing Journey

Any additional comments?

Incredibly moving and inspiring story. Expected to be a sobbing mess, but walked away feeling very happy that people like David Menasche exist, and that his story can remind us all to live in the moment. Bonus in listening to the audio book is that he reads it, making the story that much more personal.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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A dying teacher's journey to learn his last lesson

What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

David slowly learned to accept the nature of impermanence while continuing to be passionate about teaching and his students.

Any additional comments?

I think this makes an interesting read after just listening to "a More Beautiful Question". This books offers the perspective of a passionate teacher who is wanting to reach people's lives and have successfully doing so. This makes me realize just how important are our teachers' motivations. I have met many teachers over school days and they do put focus on vastly different goals.

The book also touches on how we deal with the nature of impermanence in life. I think this also helps me explore the path to death and dying for myself and loved ones. It is never easy, and it gets tremendously better once you have accepted it and embrace what is ahead. David took on the journey when he finally accepted that he no longer lived the life that he has been accustomed to. When he took off to go around the country, he began to see the seeds that he had planted blossomed. He took what inspired him and wrote this book to inspire the rest of us.

I looked up David on Facebook and realized he had passed about a month ago. I sent him a friend request anyway, hoping to send a message of thanks to whoever that is still managing his Facebook page.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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I understand, but......

Any additional comments?

I listened to this book in relatively long periods, so I feel like I can say this was a good attempt at trying to understand the author and his story.

Cancer sucks. There is no other way to describe this situation. I wanted to love his story and his journey but I didn't as much as I wanted to. Author read books are sometimes a real mixed ball of wax. I know why he read it but I wanted a more engaging reader, more drama and emotion in each word - I wanted to feel his journey, not just hear about it.

This story is a tough call because would those words mean as much to his students if read by a professional narrator? Probably not. So, considering this book was not written for me but for David Menasche's students, friends and family, then I will consider this a pretty good book. Read by a professional narrator the book would mean more to me and less to the students, friends and family.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Evan
  • Hickory, NC, United States
  • 04-30-15

Appreciate this being read by the author.

Worth the time if you need a message from this subject. An inspiring teachers story that may also inspire current and future teachers.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Moving

The kind of story that inspires and makes you think...

Glad to have been exposed to him through our daughter.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Left me feeling sad

I'm not sure why I did not especially love this book, but I did really like it. The enthusiasm of this teacher for involving and motivating his students was so admirable, the schools need more like him. What an interesting man, such a strong spirit to carry him through his battle. I felt sad his marriage suffered because of his dedication and then the cancer dominated everything after it arrived in the story. I felt very sad for D.Menasche as he met up with former students. It was very moving that many remembered him so well and wanted to help. I did end up inspired by him, but just a sadness remained.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Good book difficult listen

I enjoyed this book. After having been diagnosed in 2016. I found the listen difficult at times. The reader makes very awkward pauses and the sound changes, when I am thinking a new recording session started. The book itself it simply a reminder ... Live

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Pisitive, encouraging read .

I found the story to move quickly and offered an optomistic & rare perspective to life and terminal illness.

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Inspirational Story

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would recommend this audio book. It is a quick listen and an inspirational story. However, the author read the story and that was really painful to listen to. They needed to cast an actor.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Priority List?

Seeing how the teacher overcame his obstacles.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of David Menasche?

ANYONE!

Was The Priority List worth the listening time?

Yes - it is a wonderful story.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful