Notes from the Twin Cities September Book Share

Books about death: they're made of dead trees!The September Twin Cities meeting was our 2nd annual book share, and here are the books we shared. Books are listed alphabetically by title. Where I’d put it in my notes, I’ve included who recommended which book and added their comments, so you can ask us about them later. -Eli

  • Alison’s Gift, Pat Hogan.
  • Caravan of No Despair, Mirabai Starr. Talks about her grief process after her daughter’s death. (Kyoko)
  • Coming to Rest: A Guide to Caring for Our Own Dead, Julie Wiskind and Richard Spiegel (“The guy who made it up as he went”). Also contains several beautiful poems. (Karen Z)
  • Die Wise: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul, Stephen Jenkinson (Griefwalker). Nancy isn’t sure if she liked it or not, but she was shocked, surprised, awed, baffled, and annoyed. She thinks it’s brilliant. A lot of hand gestures were involved. Hypercritical of medical establishment, hospice, & palliative care. Alternative vision of how to die. (Nancy, and also Dawn, who calls it an “interesting” read)
  • The Grace in Dying, Kathleen Dowling Singh
  • Greening Death, Suzanne Kelly. Becoming at one with the earth. Body-based and Earth-connected. Great quotes. (Anne A is very excited about this book). “Imagine the body as a great feast going back to the Earth.” Politics of green burial advocacy movement, how it’s connected to home funeral/home vigil community & FCA. Privilege/racism/economic accessibility issues around green burial movement, commodification of green death. (Anne A.)
  • The Pagan Book of Living and Dying, Starhawk and the Reclaiming Collective. As far as we know, the only book dedicated to death and dying from the neo-Pagan perspective. ┬áThe source of the body blessing in Passing Through Our Hands (unexpurgated version) (Eli)
  • Penroe: In Another Field Without Time, Penny Bosselman (penroe.net)
  • Stiff, Mary Roach. Getting popular with teenagers. (Jean)
  • The Tao of Death, Karen Wyatt. Based in I Ching. If we’re reading about death, we’re working with our thinking. Brand new! (Linda)
  • What Lasts Is the Breath, poems by Janet Eigner; illustrations by Steven Counsell. Poetry and art (Linda)
  • What Really Matters: 7 Lessons for Living from the Stories of the Dying, Karen Wyatt. (Karen G)
  • When Breath Becomes Air, Paul Kalanithi. Neurosurgeon with lung cancer chronicles his journey toward death. (Linda)
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