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The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing [Paperback]

Bronnie Ware
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
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Book Description

2 Mar 2012

After too many years of unfulfilling work, Bronnie Ware began searching for a job with heart. Despite having no formal qualifications or experience, she found herself working in palliative care.

Over the years she spent tending to the needs of those who were dying, Bronnie's life was transformed. Later, she wrote an Internet blog about the most common regrets expressed to her by the people she had cared for. The article, also called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, gained so much momentum that it was read by more than three million people around the globe in its first year. At the requests of many, Bronnie now shares her own personal story.

Bronnie has had a colourful and diverse past, but by applying the lessons of those nearing their death to her own life, she developed an understanding that it is possible for people, if they make the right choices, to die with peace of mind. In this book, she expresses in a heartfelt retelling how significant these top five regrets are, and how we can positively address these issues while we still have the time.

The Top Five Regrets of the Dying gives hope for a better world. It is a story told through sharing her inspiring and honest journey, which will leave you feeling kinder towards yourself and others, and more determined to live the life you are truly here to live. This delightful memoir is a courageous, life-changing book.

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The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing + Seize the Day: How the dying teach us to live + The Last Lecture: Lessons in Living
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Hay House UK (2 Mar 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848509995
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848509993
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 13.3 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bronnie Ware is a writer and singer/songwriter from Australia, best known for her inspirational book, songs, and articles. Bronnie's official website is

Product Description


heart-rending (The Sunday Times)

About the Author

Through her work Bronnie Ware weaves delightful tales of real life observations and experience. Using gentleness, honesty and humour, Bronnie celebrates both the strength and vulnerability of human nature. Her message is a positive and inspiring one.

As well as performing her own songs, Bronnie runs an online personal growth and songwriting course, writes a well-loved blog called Inspiration and Chai, including articles that have been translated into several languages, and is the author of the full-length memoir, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
102 of 110 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Like many others, I at one point stumbled over the article "Top five regrets of the dying" on the internet, published by The Guardian. When I later learned that Ware had written a full-length book with the same title, I found the premise appealing: It seemed probable that dying people may have enough interesting thoughts to share that they may fill a small book. Thus, when the book arrived in my mailbox, I was full of positive expectations. I ended up rather dissatisfied with the book, however. I found the book frustrating on three main accounts:

1. The book is to a large degree not very much about the regrets of the dying, rather it is about the author herself.

2. The language of the book is simplistic and fails to draw you in.

3. Ware is apparently rather into spirituality and meditation, and coats her accounts with pseudo-religious references, which gets very tiring when you really just want to hear about the regrets of the dying and not about Bronnie Ware's having improved her life by becoming a vegan, doing yoga and meditating.

On a more positive note, there are actual accounts of dying people reflecting on their lives and what they might have done better. These passages are interesting. However, they take up less than 25% of the book, with the remainder being about Ware describing her life, her hardships, and her attempts to apply the wisdom imparted by the dying. Towards the end of the book, the book entirely ceases to be about regrets of the dying and instead turns into an account of Ware's battle with depression.
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50 of 54 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars So wrong yet so right. Comedy gold! 21 Oct 2012
By queeg
This should be a book about some incredible honest admissions of dying people but is in fact entirely about the author, one of the most self centred, delusional and egotistical characters you are ever likely to hear about. This is the books flaw, and also it's genius.

The author's lack of self -awareness and humility at times leave you needing to remind yourself that she is even a real person. In fact, if she were a work of fiction you would probably stop reading as the character is clearly too unrealistic for even the most open mind to imagine.

At first I just presumed her delusions of grandeur only stretched so far as to make her believe she was a modern day mix of Mother Theresa and Mary Poppins. As I read on it became clear that Bronnie's delusions go much further than this to the point where I truly believe she considers herself to be the second coming of Jesus Christ himself.

Anyone who has read the book will know where I am coming from with this as every page is littered with her self promoting tales. There are so many I would love to share but due to space I will just give special mention to Bronnie's own self declared `miracles'.

In one she shares a smile with a dying man which somehow expressed such a pure form of joy that a nearby priest slammed shut his bible, announced that he now knows what god's love looks like, then hugged the author, like a `frightened child' and said, through his tears, "my life will never be the same".

You may think I have exaggerated this, but if anything I have underplayed it.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
I bought this book due to the positive publicity which the writer received on her article the top five regrets of the dying. I expected some open and honest accounts from people who faced death and encountered their regrets about the life they had led and their fears about the future. What I didn't expect to find was a long diatribe about the author, her belief systems and what led to her writing the book in the first place. A paragraph should have been sufficient. Sadly it was so interminably dull that I couldn't wade through the author's biography to get to the parts about the dying which was the point of buying the book in the first place. For anyone with an interest in this subject I would recommend What Dying People Want by David Kuhl which is a worthwhile and professionally written work. Sadly struggling to read this drivel by Bronnie Ware counts as one of my top regrets of the living.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful... 27 Mar 2012
This book was recommended by a work colleague, and at first I wasn't quite sure what to expect as the title suggests rather a sombre read. But the book really couldn't be more different -- it's the wonderfully uplifting story of Bronnie Ware's life, beautifully woven together with the stories, and regrets, of the patients she has cared for. Perfectly balanced, heartfelt and so, so moving. A truly inspiring read from a truly inspiring woman.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Life is what you make it 19 Aug 2012
By BAP23
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
When i purchased this book, below the title was ' A life transformed by the dearly Departing'. This gave me a clue that this was going to be a memoir type book looking at Bronnie's lessons from the work that she did caring from the dying and i was not disappointed. Many reviewers feel that there is too much of Bronnie - but isn't this was this book was going to be about? She talks about the lessons she learnt from dying people to change her own life and i think the message she was trying to get to others was that life is to short, so stop and look at your life now and learn from the regrets that the dying had. I enjoyed this book and the easy style that Bronnie used. There was a small part that i did find irritating regarding her 'analogy with muck' which i felt went on a bit too long and found myself skipping over this part. As Bronnie says 'smile and know, thank and know'. Well worth a read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars The Top Five Regrets of the Dying
This book is packed full of immensely thought-provoking moments the author has experienced - if at times a little far-fetched. Read more
Published 12 days ago by southcoastreviewer
5.0 out of 5 stars Life would be so much happier if you read this book
One of the most valuable books I have ever read . Wish I had read it 30 years ago when I first started caring xxx
Published 22 days ago by Susie
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book - highly recommended
An excellent book detailing Bronnie Ware's life working with the terminally ill and discussing their regrets at the end of their life. Read more
Published 27 days ago by Mimi Moor
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting mix of life story and hope.
This is a odd book in many respects.
I actually enjoyed really it, but the title is a little misleading as rather than 80% of the book discussing the "Top Five Regrets of... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Birmingham Book Reader
3.0 out of 5 stars Looking at death
Some of the ideas in this book are good and helpful, but I found the style of writing pedestrian and too full of personal anecdotes to be really riveting.
Published 2 months ago by edithswanneck
1.0 out of 5 stars Sentimental and Cloying
This book eventually left me with much disquiet. I was expecting far more from it, and was very disappointed. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Sandford
3.0 out of 5 stars A strange mix
I was really looking forward to reading this book and enjoyed some of it but as it went on, I found myself finding it harder to read. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jen Smith
3.0 out of 5 stars An odd mixture - not sure it really works
This book is a strange mixture of a personal memoir of the author, and the promised 'top five regrets of the dying'. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ms. C. R. Stillman-lowe
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 regrets
Excellent book. Highly recommend it to anyone who likes reading. I loved the way the whole story was written. Thank you
Published 4 months ago by Mrs. S. Sparrow
4.0 out of 5 stars Book review
I bought this book on recommendation from a friend.
It's pretty good, but could probably have been said in a pamphlet.

In life - just do it! Read more
Published 4 months ago by Pedro
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