Shining Brightly



by Howard Brown

GENRE:  Memoir

In Shining Brightly, Silicon Valley pioneer, cancer survivor and interfaith peacemaker Howard Brown shares keys to resilience for successful entrepreneurs, patient advocates and community leaders. He shows us how to reach out through our families, our communities and around the world to form truly supportive connections and friendships. From Howard’s career as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, to his conquering metastatic stage IV cancer twice, to his compassionate outreach as a peacemaker, to his love of sports—this ultimately is not one man’s story. Shining Brightly is a story shared by countless men and women—and may wind up changing your life as well. With each true story he tells in the pages, Howard invites readers to picture how they might join him in shining more light in our world.


As an entrepreneur, cancer survivor and interfaith peacemaker, I have found it helpful to sum up these ideas as the currency of hope. A century ago, Roger Babson wrote about this idea in his inspirational books. In fact, each morning he wanted to equip himself with fresh words of hope he could share with others. That’s why he was an avid collector of inspirational books and organized them into what he called his “good cheer library.” Every day, he took quotations from these books to pass along to friends, colleagues and students to boost their spirits. Sometimes, he wrote out favorite quotations from his good cheer library on slips of paper that he could share during his day—literally stuffing his pockets with a paper currency of hope. Can you imagine what a powerhouse Roger Babson would have been in the age of the internet? 

What I have tried to illustrate through my own life story is that, when we shine brightly, we can give many forms of hope to others. Chapman had his five labels: gifts, affirmations, time, service and touch as forms of love. We can learn a lot about sharing hope by starting with that list. For example, during both of my life-and-death struggles with cancer, I experienced the power of physical touch to revive my hopes. Effective cancer treatment depends on the compassionate physical care of countless doctors, nurses, technicians, aides, caregivers and loved ones.

About the Author:

Howard Brown is an author, Silicon Valley entrepreneur, interfaith peacemaker, two-time stage IV cancer survivor and healthcare advocate. For more than three decades, Howard’s business innovations, leadership principles, mentoring and his resilience in beating cancer against long odds have made him a sought-after speaker and consultant for businesses, nonprofits, congregations, and community groups. In his business career, Howard was a pioneer in helping to launch a series of technology startups before he co-founded two social networks that were the first to connect religious communities around the world. He served his alma matter—Babson College, ranked by US News as the nation’s top college for entrepreneurship—as a trustee and president of Babson’s worldwide alumni network. His hard-earned wisdom about resilience after beating cancer twice has led him to become a nationally known patient advocate and “cancer whisperer” to many families. Visit Howard at to learn more about his ongoing work and contact him. Through that website, you also will find resources to help you shine brightly in your own corner of the world. Howard, his wife Lisa and daughter Emily currently reside in Michigan.

Q&A With the Author

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Have you ever stopped to think about your life? I mean, have you ever set aside time to reflect on the meaning and purpose of your life?

I have.

I decided to take stock after years as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, a mentor to college students, an interfaith peace advocate—and a cancer whisperer to other patients after having survived two long-shot bouts with cancer myself. After fully expecting to die more than once in my life, I wondered: Why am I still standing? Who helped me? And then: What can I share to help inspire people to build their own resilience?

As you will learn in the true stories in this book, one key to resilience is not trying to tackle life on your own. We are always at our best when we draw other people around us and, right there, you’ve got a central theme of this book.

That leads to the questions: How do we draw people around us? How do we make and keep friends? How do we build a community? How can each of us contribute to our families, our friends and to the larger world?

Answering those questions will give you hope and will lead you to greater strength, love and joy in your life. Taking those questions to heart will help your light shine brighter in this often very dark world.

I set out on my journey in an unusual way that you will discover in these pages—and may want to try yourself. Over a two-year period, I sought out people who had played a significant role in my life—from camp counselors and basketball coaches I knew as a kid to family and friends to business and community leaders to some of the world’s top faith and health professionals. Because my quest unfolded during the COVID pandemic, I met these more than 100 men and women via Zoom.

And here’s the biggest surprise: Everyone loved the experience. While they were doing me a favor—and I am thankful for everyone who shared stories with me—the truth is: Most of them enjoyed the experience as much as I did.

That’s why I am confident you will enjoy this adventure, too, and you may decide by the end of the book to set out on such a quest yourself. No matter how you choose to reflect on your life’s purpose, I hope this book fans your inner flame so you can shine ever more brightly.

Do you have any other books you are working on that you can tell us about?

Can you tell us about what you have planned for the future?

Already, I’m crisscrossing the United States, in person, to speak to groups about the messages of hope and resiliency in my book. I plan to continue as a speaker, consultant, workshop leader and will continue to write both online and in a future book.

How long have you been writing?

At the start, I thought it would take 1 year; it took 3 years.

Anything more you would like to say to your readers and fans?

We can share hope with others.

It’s a powerful pillar in my life. In other words: Hope is not merely one person’s dream in isolation. From the very beginning of human life on earth, hope has been a currency we can give and receive.

At our best, we can do this every day in many ways.

For three decades, people have been talking about Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages. What Chapman did in his mega-bestseller was name five kinds of currency people use to share love: giving gifts, words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service and physical touch. The value of his wisdom is obvious in the more than 10 million copies of his book that have sold worldwide.

Now, we need to learn that hope also is a currency and it takes as many forms as love. Just as Gary Chapman did not invent the idea of sharing love in various forms, I did not make up the idea that we can share hope in many ways.

What I have tried to illustrate through my own life story is that, when we shine brightly, we can give many forms of hope to others. Chapman had his five labels: gifts, affirmations, time, service and touch as forms of love. We can learn a lot about sharing hope by starting with that list. For example, during both of my life-and-death struggles with cancer, I experienced the power of physical touch to revive my hopes. Effective cancer treatment depends on the compassionate physical care of countless doctors, nurses, technicians, aides, caregivers and loved ones.

Sharing hope can be an easy, everyday part of life.

Throughout this book, I have shared dozens of inspirational stories from Silicon Valley to Eastern Europe, from family vacations to bedside vigils in hospitals, from births to burials. I have tried to offer a wide range of invitations to readers. Maybe you are inspired by neighborhood stories like those with Papa Leo and Imelda? Maybe you were inspired by the religious connections I have made throughout my life? Maybe you take heart from my stories of beating impossible odds against cancer? Or maybe you are moved by questions like the ones my daughter, Emily, poses to young campers she supervises in the wilderness: If today was the last day of your life, what legacy would you leave behind?

What I realize, as I complete the two years of research, interviews and writing that went into this memoir, is that as a little boy my Bubby Bertha taught me a deeper truth than I was able to fully appreciate at the time. Yes, found money is God’s money—but that means far more than the destination of an occasional coin we find along the way. It means that this world was given to us—to all of us—by God so that we could share it and share of ourselves.

This isn’t my world.

It isn’t your world.

It has always been God’s world, given to us to enjoy for the little span of years we are given.

Learning to share this world—and to share the hopeful message that peace is possible—is not a matter of personal preference. It’s not a choice. It’s not a hobby. It’s our purpose here as we walk the earth. Tikkun olam, the Jewish calling to repair the world, is our name for a collective mission we all share. And, while it may sound like a burden, that call to spread love and hope turns out to be the key to our happiness.

Without hope, there is no happiness.

And there is no hope if we are isolated, if we are excluded, if we pull away from our neighbors.

Hope is never mine.

Hope must be ours.

I guarantee that if you shine your light on the people you meet—you will find hope glowing all around you.

It’s true. Shining brightly makes the world a better place.

Thank you, Mr Brown, for sharing your book and your inspiration with us! As a 3 time cancer warrior, I can’t stress enough the importance of having hope and living life to the fullest. Always find the positive in everything - it will take you where you need to be in life. I encourage everyone to grab a copy of your book. I can’t wait to read a copy for myself.

~Mary, Literary Gold 

Link to buy:



The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter.

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  1. I want to thank you so much, as Howard's publisher and editor. You did a nice job with this post and we appreciate your including Howard's own website. We're doing innovative things with this book launch, including an offer of a free signed bookplate if folks go visit his site. That means, anyone who buys a paper book, paperback or hardcover, can visit Howard's website, ask for a signed bookplate and you can make this a keepsake. You can even ask Howard to personalize that bookplate for you or a loved one. Makes a great gift.
    Thanks for helping us spread this good word in the world.

  2. Great excerpt, Shining Brightly sounds like a fascinating memoir and I like the interesting cover! I also enjoyed reading the Q&A and learning a little about you, Howard!

    Thanks for sharing it with me and have a spectacular TGIF!

  3. Great interview, thanks for sharing more about yourself

  4. I like the cover for this memoir. Uplifting.

  5. Happy Friday! Thank you for sharing your Q&A, bio and book details, I have enjoyed reading this post and I am looking forward to reading your memoir. Do you have any reading or writing plans for the weekend?

  6. Having a fun time learning about this book!

  7. What a great weekend! I added this book to my to read list :)


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