Recommended Reading

| By Meredith Ford

For those struggling with death and dying, grief and loss, books can offer understanding about the journey. Here are just a few book recommendations that focus on issues of dying, grief, and loss, compiled by Frank Williams, our director of social services.

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion (2005)

This was a bestseller when it was released, a memoir by an excellent author on the death of her husband of 40 years and subsequent illness of her daughter. It is a powerful book, though not as meaningful as some others on the subject.

A Widow’s Story: A Memoir by Joyce Carol Oates (2011)

This is an exceptional book by an exceptional author writing about her exceptional husband of 46 years and her response to his death. It is poignant, intimate, controversial, and perceptive. While it is long, it is one of the best memoirs on the subject.

About Grief: Insights, Setbacks, Grace Notes, Taboos by Ron and Brian Shuff (2010)

One of the best new books on grief and how it is often processed and what can assist those struggling with it.

Dying Well by Ira Byock, MD (1997)

Byock is one of the most important contemporary physicians working with end-of-life issues and a major spokesperson for hospice. The book is full of stories of those at the end of life, providing both practical advice and compassion for families at this timme.

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