Monday, April 23, 2018

Reading those books

I'm happy and surprised at the response to last week's post about books I find helpful for non-clinicians - partly because of the traffic, but mostly because many folks added their own suggestions.

One reader suggested the 2014 memoir by Roz Chast, "Can't we talk about something more pleasant?" That was an oversight. A friend never returned the copy I loaned her two years ago, so I had completely forgotten about it. The  comment prompted me to track it down and get it back. The book definitely has a spot on my list.

I also said I would re-read the pile through 2018, and I started with the one on the top - "The Undertaking" by Thomas Lynch. Rather than do a synopsis or review, I thought I'd draw a few cartoons to illustrate a brief passage early in the book (page 8): 

You can also watch the full PBS Frontline episode featuring Lynch and his work as poet/undertaker.

The other reads suggested by members of the Facebook groups Slow Medicine, Hospice and End of Life Care, Deathcaring, Medical Error Transparency, Truth Abut Nursing, and Deathling Den:

Five Invitations, by Frank Ostaseski
Die Wise, by Stephen Jenkinson
Final Gifts, by Maggie Callanan
Gone From My Sight, by Barbara Karnes
The Promised Landing, and Notes From the Waiting Room, by Bart Windrum
Dying Well, by Ira Byock, MD
Life's Last Gift, by Charles Garfield
Awake at the Bedside, edited by Koshin Paley Ellison and Matt Weingast
My Mother, Your Mother, by Dennis McCullough, MD

Finally, another of mine that seems to make sense here - Die Broke, by Mark Levine and Stephen Pollan.

Thanks for reading. See you next time.

Updated: I replaced the last cartoon.