My Wonderful Life

MWL's Recommended Reads

posted on 8/17/11 by Staff

Here are some of MWL's recommendations for books that deal with death, grieving, and saying goodbye. Find these books and more suggestions on our new Pinterest page, where we will be adding more books to our list as we find them.

Thanks to those members and fans who submitted ideas for books on these topics. Their suggestions are listed below, including some children's books that help describe death to children in terms they can understand. Please let us know if you have any suggestions!

1. Twelve Breaths a Minute: End of Life Essays  by Lee Gutkind

 “This remarkable anthology collects the reflections of family members, nurses, physicians, and hospice workers as they care for the dying. Looking back on their experiences, they ponder what they did well and what they might have done differently or not done at all. They despair over flailing efforts to do something when that can only prolong misery. Biomedical technology is sometimes a blessing and sometimes a curse, and never sufficient in itself.  Readers, who will at some time be in one or more of these caregiving roles, can learn important and valuable information from these reflections.”—Carol Donley, former co-director of the Center for the Literature, Medicine, and the Health Care Professions and co-author of Literature and Aging: An Anthology

2. The Long Goodbye: A memoir  by Meghan O’Rourke

…a moving memoir of losing a parent and the ensuing tailspin into grief…O'Rourke…capitalizes on her background as a poet, sprinkling her prose with imagery and metaphor to capture sensations ranging from the perfection of a summer evening in Vermont to the embrace of her mother under the flowering branches of a weeping cherry tree. Becky Krystal, The Washington Post 

3. The Good Funeral Guide: Everything you need to know – Everything you need to do by Charles Cowling

 “A wealth of detail, anecdote and advice. It takes us by the hand through one of the most difficult experiences there are. It's the last word on the subject.” Simon Carr

* Readers are allowed access to updated online listings.

Member/Fan Submitted Suggestions

 1. Drops Like Stars by Rob Bell

“Ask any creative person to describe the most pivotal moment of his or her life, and chances are they will describe a nexus of emotional upheaval and even physical deprivation. Such moments of crisis and uncertainty causes personal suffering, but they also provoke us to rethink everything essential; in effect, to create ourselves anew. In this book, Pastor Rob Bell delves into the complex twine of suffering and creativity.” —Barnes & Noble

2. The Next Place by Warren Hanson

This is the book that has brought healing to the many families and friends who have lost loved ones in our recent national tragedies.
The Next Place is an inspirational journey of peace, comfort and hope, to a place where earthly hurts are left behind. It is a picture book for all ages, a beautifully illustrated celebration of life, and an immeasurable comfort to those who have lost someone dear. Its gentle message makes The Next Place an excellent gift book for the bereaved, and an inspirational book for the dying.

"I love the book and I am very choosy about what I pick out for our resource center. This book is a treasure!" Director, Fernside, A Center for Grieving Children

3. Beginnings and Endings with Lifetimes in Between: Beautiful Way to Explain Life and Death to Children by Bryan Mellonie and Robert R. Ingpen

"When my wife died, this was one of the books that were recommended to me by the social services so I'll be able to explain her death more easily to our kids. It helped tremendously, it's written in a beautiful manner." —Anonymous Customer

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