Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande
It is an inevitable fact of life. We are all aging, even at this very moment and we will all eventually die, although hopefully after a good long life. Dr. Gawande manages to have an honest conversation about end-of-life and dying without the tone of morbidity. He argues that both society and medicine have the wrong view of aging. They focus on safety and treating the immediate problems without any regard for a person’s happiness which is just as important for maintaining health.
“The battle of being mortal is the battle to maintain the integrity of one’s life—to avoid becoming so diminished or dissipated or subjugated that who you are becomes disconnected from who you were or who you want to be. Sickness and old age make the struggle hard enough. The professionals and institutions we turn to should not make it worse. But we have at least entered an era in which an increasing number of them believe their job is not to confine people’s choices, in the name of safety, but to expand them, in the name of living a worthwhile life.”
I’m glad that this book has been on the bestseller lists because I think that the more people that read it, the better. Dr. Gawande has compassionately articulated some very important ideas that will only become more so as our population continues to age and medicine continues to innovate. I recommend this book for people of all ages and especially to those who might have to have hard conversations with loved ones in the near future.
5 Stages of Grief When Bad Things Happen to Beloved Characters via Book Riot
This is spot on! And I will NEVER get over the death of Sirius Black! Whose death will you never get over?
This month’s installment of Dori & Jess’ Book Club…
The Death Class: A True Story About Life by Erica Hayasaki
Review: Erica Hayasaki, a journalist for the “Los Angeles Times,” shadowed Dr. Norma Bowe for four years as Dr. Bowe taught her “Death in Perspective” class at Kean University. Dr. Bowe’s class includes discussions on what occurs biologically when a person is dying of natural causes, trips to a cemetery, prison and end-of-life hospital, and assignments like writing a goodbye letter to someone you know who has died and writing your own bucket list. The interspersed assignments and real responses from the class were interesting and thought-provoking. The book also included the life stories of a few of Dr. Bowe’s student which helped make the book more about living than dying and illustrating different ways people deal with death but Dori & I both agree that it would have been better with shorter stories about more students rather than singling out just a few. However, there is no question that both of us were impressed by the remarkable woman that is Dr. Norma Bowe and we were glad to have the opportunity to read about her.
How to Kill Off Characters via BookRiot
What’s the best way to kill off a character? How do you kill off a character without pissing off the reader so much that they just give up? Read more to find out what one person thinks…
This article contains spoilers… you have been warned! =D
First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
Review: I was skeptical about this one. It’s about the grim reaper who is also a private investigator. But I was pleasantly surprised. It has a bit of everything. It has a little funny, sexy, ridiculous, sarcasm and over-the-top. Luckily for Ms. Jones, it seems to all come together.
E.L. Konigsburg died on Friday. While she was always known best for “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler,” I loved her other Newbery Award-winning book, “The View from Saturday,” more. “The View from Saturday” is one of my favorite books from childhood.
This has also given me an idea. I think I will start an occasional series on books from my childhood. I’ll re-read them and see how they stand up to the way I remember them.
But until then, thanks Ms. Konigsburg for a lifetime of amazing books. Read more here.