When the heart attacks began, John Otterbacher had already lived a lifetime of extension and adventure: marathons and triathlons, years in a monastery, a motorcycle tour of America, a doctorate in clinical psychology, an eight-year stint as a state representative and senator, a solo sail across the Atlantic. After multiple surgical interventions, the challenge was simply to survive. Survive he did, taking a six-year sail with Barbara and their youngest children, chronicled in his award-winning book, Sailing Grace.
John’s latest book, What Remains, is an old man’s first-person, present-tense account of touring backroad America by motorcycle, a journey which deepens his affection for people as they are and re-ignites his sense of adventure about aging itself.
John’s books and speaking are less about dying than living, about finding the adventure in even the most difficult circumstances. Out of personal adversity and years of experience as a psychologist, he fashions a message of hope, perseverance, and love. He confronts life’s realities – the limits of control, the bankruptcy of victimhood, the power of attitude – with a blend of forthrightness and humor one news commentator described as “an elixir for anyone tiptoeing through life.”
Awards for Sailing Grace
Best New Non-Fiction Book, National Indie Excellence Awards Finalist, Best Book Awards, USA Book News Winner, Michigan Notable Book Awards