Live Your Dash by Linda EllisAuthor: Linda Ellis

Number of Pages: 288

Publisher: Sterling Ethos

Release Date: November 1, 2011

“In 1996, an announcer read Linda’s Ellis’s poem “The Dash” aloud on a syndicated radio program–and, to her surprise, it became an instant, meteoric success. Calls came in from people around the country eager to tell Linda how her words had touched their hearts. That was the beginning of an enduring phenomenon.

Live Your Dash captures and expands upon the theme of the original poem: It’s not your birth or death that matters most, but how you spend each passing year. Linda shares her message of joy, hope, and positive energy through uplifting stories, essays, and poetry, along with tales of people who have been “touched by the dash,” including Bob Dole, legendary football coach Lou Holtz, and American Idol winner David Cook. An inspiring look at life based on the fantastically successful poem.”


I had never heard of the poem “The Dash” before I read this book, so I didn’t know what it would be about. After reading the original poem I can completely understand why it’s so popular: the concept is simple and easy to understand, yet still incredibly important for each and every one of us. It emphasizes the importance of living each day to the fullest extent possible so when you look back at your dash (that line on headstones between the person’s date of birth and date of death) you feel happy with all that you’ve done. This book discusses how to apply this idea to several different key aspects of our lives.

Organization can make or break a nonfiction book for me. If everything is random and it sounds like the author is just rambling on and on, then there is little chance that I will like the book very much. Fortunately, this book had an excellent structure that was really organized, logical, and effective. There were many different sections and each section had a theme, like success, happiness, stress, gratitude, etc. Not only does it make it easier to follow while reading it the first time through, but it also makes it easier to go back and reread certain sections in the future if I want to.

The content itself was quite good, especially if you’re ever feeling a bit down or uninspired. A lot of it is common sense, but it never hurts to be reminded of it every once in a while. Ellis has a great way of using random metaphors to help illustrate her points, which in turn makes them more memorable and useful in everyday life. Her writing isn’t remarkable, but I think it suits the nature of this book nevertheless. The purpose of this book is to teach the reader valuable lessons, so it wouldn’t do anyone any good if her writing was littered with SAT vocabulary and complicated ways of saying things. Simple is definitely more beneficial in this case, so I think the conversational tone of the writing actually complements the ultimate goal of the book.

Nothing about this book really struck me as profoundly enlightening and it was a bit slow in some parts, but overall I did enjoy reading it. It’s something I can see myself reading again in the future, even if it’s only just a few sections of it. I would recommend Live Your Dash to anyone and everyone- its message is one from which we can all benefit!

My Rating: :0) :0) :0) :0) 4 out of 5 smileys.

Would I recommend it to a friend?: Absolutely! I think that people of all ages and reading preferences can take away at least something worthwhile from reading this book.

Have you ever read this book or heard of the poem “The Dash”? What are your thoughts on either or both? Let me know in the comments section below!



4 thoughts on “Book Review: LIVE YOUR DASH

  1. I think I need to get my hands on the poem – I can’t believe it affected people so much so that a book was written about it! Great review Holly!


    1. Thanks so much! I was surprised too at the influence that the poem had on people, but once you read it it’s pretty easy to see why. Sometimes it’s just the simple things, ya know?

      Liked by 1 person

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