Book Reviews

Knocking on Heaven’s Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death

Knocking on Heaven's Door

By Katy Butler

Knocking on Heaven’s Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death is part memoir and part investigative report. Butler’s thesis is that “ modern medicine in its pursuit of maximum longevity often creates more suffering than it prevents”.

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LeaveLight: A Motivational Guide to Holistic End-Of-Life Planning

LeaveLight: A Motivational Guide to Holistic End-Of-Life Planning

By Marilyn L. Geary and Jacqueline Janssen

Seventy percent of US adults do not have a will. Only a small percentage of the over two million Americans who die each year provide their loved ones with any guidance about their final wishes despite the many apparent advantages of doing so—providing clarity around final health care wishes, disposition of assets, and instructions for final rituals such as funerals and burial, to mention a few.

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A Walk through the Churchyard


By Rob Gieselmann

How fortunate we are to be invited into the life of Rob Gieselmann in this moving, yet easily readable little book, A Walk Through the Churchyard. In this small and very meaningful memoir, he reflects on the death of his wife after too few years of marriage, following his career change from lawyer to Christian minister.

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Talking About Death

talking about death

Talking About Death is Virginia Morris’ response to the questions – What is a good death? How do we learn ‘ars bene moriendi’, the art of dying well? “All the things that once prepared us for death,” she writes, “regular experience with illness and death, public grief and mourning, a culture and philosophy of death, interaction with the elderly as well as the visibility of our own aging – are virtually gone from our lives.”

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Dying: A Natural Passage

Dying A Natural Passage

By Denys Cope, RN, BSN

I consider Dying: A Natural Passage to be a must read for anyone who is afraid of dying, in the process of dying, caring for someone who is dying, overcoming the loss of a loved one, or is simply interested in the process of dying as part of life.

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Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading


By Nina Sankovitch
Nina Sankovitch’s beloved oldest sister, Anne-Marie, died four months after her initial cancer diagnosis. She was 46. The author filled the years after her sister’s death with relentless activity. She felt compelled to justify her continuing existence. “My sister had died, and I was alive. Why was I given the life card, and what was I supposed to do with it?”

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