Three ways to join in this week! You can either share three or more books on a single topic that you have read and can recommend (be the expert), you can put the call out for good nonfiction on a specific topic that you have been dying to read (ask the expert), or you can create your own list of books on a topic that you’d like to read (become the expert).I'm going to go with be and become the expert. This month I've been focusing on books on death and dying, especially within the United States. How has our death practices and rituals changed overtime as a culture? How do others handle their own grief? What makes a good death? Does modern medicine give us a good death or does it just prolong it?
Her book has really made me think about what I want done with my body after I die and how I've directly and indirectly dealt with death in my own life.
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande. This was a great treatise on what truly matters in the end. When we are growing old and the end of our life is upon us...do we accept it? Do we prolong it unnecessarily? How can we get our assisted living places and nursing homes to take care of our loved ones better? These are all thoughtfully explored in this beautiful work.
Honorable mentions go to: Henry Marsh's Do No Harm: Life, Death, and Brain Surgery. A neurosurgeon's perspective on all of this. American Afterlife: Encounters in the Customs of Mourning by Kate Sweeney.
Books I'm planning on reading this month and in the future:
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. Didion looks back on the death of her husband and the year that followed. I want to read this for personal stories on how others deal with death of their loved ones.
The American Way of Death by Jessica Mitford. She exposed the predatory nature of the funeral industry way back in the 60s. It'll be an interesting classic to read on how the funeral industry became what it is now or was.