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Letters to Sam by Daniel Gottlieb


At thirty-three, as the result of a near fatal accident, Daniel Gottlieb became a quadriplegic.

He was a trained psychologist,and in his practice, met scores of people suffer, and either move on and grow from their experience, or get stuck in their pain. Paralysis taught him to sit still and keep his ears, eyes and heart open so he could listen.

Several years after his accident, Daniel’s wife left him. He was home alone, unhappy, distressed. He developed a bedsore, and went to visit the doctor. While the doctor spoke of the physical wound, Daniel thought of the emotional wounds he had. Like his bedsore, his heart was under too much pressure, was broken and weeping. The doctor gave him a patch to cover the wound. A surprised Daniel told him he thought wounds needed oxygen to repair; therefore should the bed sore not be left open? The doctor explained that the oxygen needed to repair the wound was in the blood, not in the air.

“Everything a wound needs to heal is already in your body,’ he explained. “We just have to get access to those nutrients and let them work.” Daniel realized that everything he needed to heal his heart’s wounds was already in him – he just had to find them to nourish his heart and soul.

Life lessons like the above have been distilled into thirty-two insightful, compassionate and beautiful letters to his young grandson Sam. Daniel wrote these letters so he could record his own learnings for his young grandson who was diagnosed with a severe form of autism. He hoped that his grandson would be able to read them one day and know his Pop.

The letters cover life’s lessons – creating your own road maps, compassion, parents’ love for their children, coping with loss, anger and justice,seeing the ‘real’ person, falling in love, achieving success and much more.

You may have read a lot of this in other self-help/development books, but what made this book unique for me was Daniel’s incredible honesty in facing himself and his shortcomings , and the courage to take us on his inner journey.

‘Your Three Millimeters’, ‘Seeing the Person’ and ‘Your Grandmother Sandy’ touched me deeply. All the letters in the book may not appeal to you, but the ones that will catch your eye, will keep you thinking about the lesson for a long long time.

Rating 4/5

Letters to Sam

by Daniel Gottlieb

176 pages; Publisher: Sterling

Available as audible book and print at Amazon and other online stores, and in print at bookstores.


About Preeti Singh

I am a bookaholic. I love stories, storytelling. I enjoy helping people structure their storytelling, and I love to share the stories I discover.

One comment on “Letters to Sam by Daniel Gottlieb

  1. Swarn Bakshi
    September 4, 2014

    thanks for sharing letters to sam.your review has made me to read this book.


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This entry was posted on September 3, 2014 by in Book Reviews, Memoir, Non Fiction, Self Help and tagged , , .
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