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Recommendations on Grief and Loss: Open Book Hour at Mid-Manhattan Library at 42nd Street


Here are five recently published books related to our March theme, "Grief and Loss":

Modern Loss
Book of Resting Places
Grief Works
Furnishing Eternity
Books on grief and loss

Modern Loss: Candid Conversation About Grief: Beginners Welcome by Rebecca Soffer
Fresh, messy, and irreverent stories and illustrations from the Modern Loss website. Sections include Collateral Damage, Triggers, Intimacy, Identity, Inheritance, Loss in the Digital Universe, Work, "Griefspeak," along with things you never thought you’d have to think about in a million years.

The Book of Resting Places: A Personal History of Where We Lay the Dead by Thomas Mira y Lopez
Half memoir, half travelogue, this collection of essays on resting places spans culture and time, beginning with a backyard buckeye tree that may be the spiritual home of Mira y Lopez’s father—though he'd rather not think about it. But he does, deeply contemplating what places like this mean to those of us who remain above the soil.

Grief Works: Stories of Life, Death and Surviving by Julia Samuel
This UK bestseller is organized into case studies, based on the person's relationship with the dead: partner, parent, sibling, child and, finally, those facing one’s own mortality. The trajectory is never the same, and none resembles the “five stages of grief," but it is illuminating and reassuring to witness the compassionate treatment of the differing journeys.

Furnishing Eternity: A Father, a Son, a Coffin, and a Measure of Life by David Giffels 
What's one way to confront the inevitable and maybe save a few bucks when it’s your turn at the mortuary? Build your own casket. This is what Giffels (“The bard of Akron, Ohio”) decides to do as a way to connect with his aging woodworker/engineer father. As you might expect, death and loss are close at hand in this memoir, but so is humor, tenderness, and love.

From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death by Caitlin Doughty
A mortician and leader of the death positive movement (see point #2, "I believe that the culture of silence around death should be broken through discussion, gatherings, art, innovation, and scholarship"), Doughty takes us on a whirlwind tour of mourning and burial rituals in other cultures, with the aim of helping us reclaim meaning in our own.

For additional recommendations, visit our book display in Room 76. 

Mid-Manhattan Room 76 Book Display on Grief
Book display at Mid-Manhattan Library, Room 76

What books have you read to help you through a difficult time in your life? Memoir, fiction, nonfiction, poetry, psychology? Please join us at Mid-Manhattan Library at 42nd Street on Friday, March 9 at  2 PM and bring a book you want tell others about. There is no registration for this event. Sign-up for booktalking slots begins at 1:45 PM.

Can't make it, but want to share a book with others? Please feel free to leave your recommendation in the comments below. Check this post after the event to see attendees' recommendations.

What books do people people talk about at our book socials? All kinds! Check out these reading lists from past events.


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