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Unfinished Business: One Man’s Extraordinary Year of Trying to do the Right Things ~Lee Kravitz

unfinished business

Unfinished Business is a wonderful autobiography of a man’s life.  It is one of those new life stories that just picks one aspect of the life and then tucks in other pieces of the journey as necessary to complete the picture.  Lee Kravitz is working with the question of what are aspects of his life that he has been ignoring because of current endeavors; which of these items would make the meaning of his life more worthwhile if he gave them some attention and resolution.

He is an admitted workaholic journalist, who had a top of the line position in the powerful eastern seaboard of the USA.  He was married later in life and he was letting his wife do most of the parenting while working hard and long at keeping their finances secure and forthcoming.  Then he was “let go” with a good severance package in the economic downturn.  His wife persuaded him to go to a meditation retreat and with her support he decided to take a year to uncover and complete some of the unfinished business in his life.


Gail Sheehy begins the foreword, “Lee Kravitz loved his work.  He lived it.  It was not only his identity, it was his demon.  Like many men in high-powered careers, his mind was almost always occupied by his work, even if his body was at home or on vacation.”

Kravitz compiled a list of important connections to remedy in his life and settled on the top ten.  He also wanted to find more time to spend with his children and free up his wife to focus on her own business she was creating.  This top ten seemed as though it was a list that could be completed.

1.Finding a long lost relative
2.Making a condolence call
3.Repaying a long overdue debt
4.Reaching out to a distant friend
5.Letting go of a grudge
6.Seeking spiritual guidance from a mentor
7.Taking the road not taken
8. Healing family wounds
9.Eulogizing a loved one
10.Keeping a promise

My favorite quotes about Kravitz journey came from his mentor, who it turns out just may have been a mentor to me, when I lived in Cleveland, Ohio during my high school years!

“Love takes work.  It demands that you put yourself in the shoes of another person- and understand where that person is coming from – before you speak or act.”

“Love of this sort can be inconvenient, unpleasant, and costly.”      Tony Jarvis

I think we are going to be seeing quite a few more of this style of book in the market place in the near future.  I have dubbed them the Boomer Generation Manuals:  how to change gears and move forward in life as the rules and paradigms change; often written by out of work and what to do next folks.

This book does include a study guide for book groups and a how to start and work on your own UNFINISHED BUSINESS guide.    For more information one can go to the book site and share your own personal stories and get tips on how to get started.

This book was written by a journalist, who has a beautiful command of the English language and uses his words with style and grace.   It is a very nice book to read.   I think it could inspire many individuals to take care of their own UNFINISHED BUSINESS and to connect graciously with their family and friends.  I can envision support groups and study groups gathering around this topic similar to the Voluntary Simplicity Movement

I rate this book 5-Ladybugs

Two more thoughts about this book:  First, I was very happy that I squeezed in three novels between reading the list of self-help books I have been reviewing lately and secondly, I would like to know where Mr. Kravitz is working now after he lost his job and his “take” on ageism in the workplace – as not all of us are going to get good severance packages.

I received a copy of this book from Bloomsbury-Walker & Co. publishers and am participating in the TLC Online book tours.    If you purchase this book from my site via Amazon I will receive a few beans in my bucket.


Have you got some unfinished business that you need to take care of as you age?

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Related Reading:

The Wisdom To Know the Difference
The Courage to Be Free
The Love Ceiling
What Should I Do With the Rest of My Life

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15 Responses to “Unfinished Business: One Man’s Extraordinary Year of Trying to do the Right Things ~Lee Kravitz”

  1. Hilary Says:

    Hi Patricia .. sounds like an interesting read and I particularly like the quote:

    “Love takes work. It demands that you put yourself in the shoes of another person- and understand where that person is coming from – before you speak or act.”

    I think that should be ‘out there’ more often – so that everyone reads it all the time ..

    I can see the logic in the phrase that we’ll be seeing more of this sort of book .. appropriate for the times …

    Thanks – interesting review .. cheers Hilary
    Hilary recently posted..Food and snippets – more glorious food – Dinner a la Royals 2-2My Profile

    patricia Reply:

    It was a very interesting story – a bit like sharing 10 things that I did not know about you, with some more of the family story wrapped around it. A fine story teller.

    I don’t have a severance package, trust fund, or made enough money to retire…still building up the bills…so I don’t have a great deal of choice in my later years…so I am a bit envious too.

  2. Chris Edgar Says:

    Hi Patricia — I’ve also had a sense of the silver lining accompanying the layoffs and similar events that have happened to the “baby boom generation” — it’s easy to get caught up in a career and family without looking at the bigger picture of what we want and who we are in life, and sometimes it takes the loss of a job to compel us to take that 30,000-foot view.

    patricia Reply:

    I think so….I feel like my severance package is getting 3 children launched. Now just working to get healthy and pay the bills…all or nothing in separate compartments – I just want to celebrate my peak of creativity at age 65 for women and do it well…

    I have certainly reviewed a great many of these books

  3. vered | blogger for hire Says:

    Love the idea of “the Boomer Generation Manuals” – I think these skills are important at every age.
    vered | blogger for hire recently posted..The One Request from School I Dread the MostMy Profile

    patricia Reply:

    Yes I like the idea too…maybe I could copy right it and get folks to pay me every time they use it…

    I keep wondering if the author is making money off his website that goes along with the book. It is quite a nice website and like a workshop…speakers fees?

    Just wait until I get Wise Ears up and running…then I will need to write my own book about the importance of listening well and travel about doing workshops!!!

  4. Dot Says:

    Baby boomer manuals — yes! I like this guy’s choices. Although I’ve done many of them already, it makes sense to make a list like that for the things I haven’t done and wish I had.
    Dot recently posted..Our Dangerous- Mismanaged Metro SystemMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    His writing is beautiful as is his website…it was quite the read

  5. Talon Says:

    I think you’re right about the shift in the market, Patricia. Definitely we get to a stage of life when we really start to realize that time is becoming more and more limited and that there are things we want (and sometimes need) to accomplish to feel good about who we are.
    Talon recently posted..Sweet MelodiesMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    thank you for coming by and yes I think they are comes a point when we need to take care of some unfinished business. I am sure it makes us feel better about who we are. This is a good book.

  6. Lisa Munley Says:

    I love that it has a discussion guide for book clubs because it seems like it would make for great conversation in a group like that. Thanks for being on the tour and sharing Unfinished Business with your readers!
    Lisa Munley recently posted..Jason Zinoman- author of Shock Value- on tour July 2011My Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    thank you very much for asking me to review this book. I do think it’s an excellent book for book groups and could start its own study groups and make for lively discussion. It was a lovely read.

  7. Julie Says:

    Just wanted to let you know that your kind comments and support on my blog have not gone unnoticed. Thank you.


    Patricia Reply:

    Your blog is lovely and I am so sorry that you had such an unpleasant notification come your way. I so enjoy reading your words.

    I just read on another blog post about a twitter comment that said – some times the universe let’s you fall and some times it trips you UP!

  8. Review: ‘Unfinished Business’ by Lee Kravitz Says:

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