"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Nonfiction November: Be the Expert

This is week three of Nonfiction November. The question of the week is what books, on a theme, make me an "expert". I put expert in quotes because I do not feel like an expert, but I will recommend these three books on MORTALITY.

1. Being Mortal by Atul Gawande---the author is a physician and a son of aging parents. Each chapter tackles tough topics that people who are aging, and their caregivers, have to confront near the end-of-life. The book is so helpful. I listened to the audiobook, bought a copy for my parents, and urged my siblings to do the same. My husband used some of the suggested conversation tools with his father prior to his death. We are all mortal. We will all die. The question is can we die on our own terms?

2. The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe---Schwalbe and his mother form a two-person book club after she is diagnosed with cancer. Schwalbe makes time in his schedule to take his mother to doctor appointments and for her chemo treatments. During the long, waiting around hours the two discuss books they have both decided to read. In the process of reading and discussing these books the mother-son team become closer and Schwalbe becomes an advocate for his mother's care. I think we all wish we could spend quality time with our loved ones before their death. This book is a blueprint for doing just that.

3. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi---the author, another doctor, is diagnosed with lung cancer. This book looks at mortality from both the doctor's point of view and from the patients'. The book is heartbreaking because we see the downfall of health and tightening up of dreams. Kalanithi dies before the book is finished so his wife takes up the task of finishing it for him. If you think that life is long and you don't need to worry about your mortality until a later date, this is a book to jar that notion loose in your head. No one knows when their time will come for self or for loved ones. Live your life accordingly.

Oddly all three books have very boring book covers.

Do you know any good books on the topic of mortality?


  1. A good selection - I've loved how every group of books I've seen has been totally different! This post gives some good guidance.

  2. Being Mortal is such a wonderful book. I read it a few years ago and still recommend it to people and think about the ideas.

    1. I agree. I think about the book all the time. I should probably reread it one of these days to stay fresh on the ideas.

  3. An intriguing list. I think it's a shame that the covers are so plain. It gives the impression that death is somber, and colorless--when the opposite can be true.


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