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YA Book Club POSTPONED! Due to unforeseen circumstances, we have had to cancel this Saturday's YA book club meeting. We will reschedule and post it here and on our social media as soon as we can. 

Death & Grieving

5 INVITATIONS

5 INVITATIONS

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The cofounder of the Zen Hospice Project and pioneer behind the compassionate care movement shares an inspiring exploration of the lessons dying has to offer about living a fulfilling life.

Death is not waiting for us at the end of a long road. Death is always with us, in the marrow of every passing moment. She is the secret teacher hiding in plain sight, helping us to discover what matters most.

Life and death are a package deal. They cannot be pulled apart and we cannot truly live unless we are aware of death. The Five Invitations is an exhilarating meditation on the meaning of life and how maintaining an ever-present consciousness of death can bring us closer to our truest selves. As a renowned teacher of compassionate caregiving and the cofounder of the Zen Hospice Project, Frank Ostaseski has sat on the precipice of death with more than a thousand people. In The Five Invitations, he distills the lessons gleaned over the course of his career, offering an evocative and stirring guide that points to a radical path to transformation.

The Five Invitations:
-Don't Wait
-Welcome Everything, Push Away Nothing
-Bring Your Whole Self to the Experience
-Find a Place of Rest in the Middle of Things
-Cultivate Don't Know Mind

These Five Invitations show us how to wake up fully to our lives. They can be understood as best practices for anyone coping with loss or navigating any sort of transition or crisis; they guide us toward appreciating life's preciousness. Awareness of death can be a valuable companion on the road to living well, forging a rich and meaningful life, and letting go of regret. The Five Invitations is a powerful and inspiring exploration of the essential wisdom dying has to impart to all of us.

ADVICE FOR FUTURE CORPSES (AND

ADVICE FOR FUTURE CORPSES (AND

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A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK CRITICS' TOP 10 BOOK OF THE YEAR

"In its loving, fierce specificity, this book on how to die is also a blessedly saccharine-free guide for how to live" (The New York Times).

Former NEA fello

Art of Dying Well: A Practical Guide to a Good End of Life

Art of Dying Well: A Practical Guide to a Good End of Life

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This "comforting...thoughtful" (The Washington Post) guide to maintaining a high quality of life--from resilient old age to the first inklings of a serious illness to the final breath--by the New York Times bestselling author of Knocking on Heaven's Door is a "roadmap to the end that combines medical, practical, and spiritual guidance" (The Boston Globe).

"A common sense path to define what a 'good' death looks like" (USA TODAY), The Art of Dying Well is about living as well as possible for as long as possible and adapting successfully to change. Packed with extraordinarily helpful insights and inspiring true stories, award-winning journalist Katy Butler shows how to thrive in later life (even when coping with a chronic medical condition), how to get the best from our health system, and how to make your own "good death" more likely. Butler explains how to successfully age in place, why to pick a younger doctor and how to have an honest conversation with them, when not to call 911, and how to make your death a sacred rite of passage rather than a medical event. This handbook of preparations--practical, communal, physical, and spiritual--will help you make the most of your remaining time, be it decades, years, or months.

Based on Butler's experience caring for aging parents, and hundreds of interviews with people who have successfully navigated our fragmented health system and helped their loved ones have good deaths, The Art of Dying Well also draws on the expertise of national leaders in family medicine, palliative care, geriatrics, oncology, and hospice. This "empowering guide clearly outlines the steps necessary to prepare for a beautiful death without fear" (Shelf Awareness).

BEARING THE UNBEARABLE: LOVE,

BEARING THE UNBEARABLE: LOVE,

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If you love, you will grieve--and nothing is more mysteriously central to becoming fully human.

Foreword INDIES Award-Winner -- Gold Medal for Self-Help

When a loved one dies, the pain of loss can feel unbearable--especially in the case of a traumatizing death that leaves us shouting, "NO!" with every fiber of our body. The process of grieving can feel wild and nonlinear--and often lasts for much longer than other people, the nonbereaved, tell us it should.

Organized into fifty-two short chapters, Bearing the Unbearable is a companion for life's most difficult times, revealing how grief can open our hearts to connection, compassion, and the very essence of our shared humanity. Dr. Joanne Cacciatore--bereavement educator, researcher, Zen priest, and leading counselor in the field--accompanies us along the heartbreaking path of love, loss, and grief. Through moving stories of her encounters with grief over decades of supporting individuals, families, and communities--as well as her own experience with loss--Cacciatore opens a space to process, integrate, and deeply honor our grief.

Not just for the bereaved, Bearing the Unbearable will be required reading for grief counselors, therapists and social workers, clergy of all varieties, educators, academics, and medical professionals. Organized into fifty-two accessible and stand-alone chapters, this book is also perfect for being read aloud in support groups.

Now available as an online course from the Wisdom Academy.

BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO THE END: P

BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO THE END: P

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"A gentle, knowledgeable guide to a fate we all share" (The Washington Post): the first and only all-encompassing action plan for the end of life.

"There is nothing wrong with you for dying," hospice physician B.J. Miller and journalist and caregiver Shoshana Berger write in A Beginner's Guide to the End. "Our ultimate purpose here isn't so much to help you die as it is to free up as much life as possible until you do."

Theirs is a clear-eyed and big-hearted action plan for approaching the end of life, written to help readers feel more in control of an experience that so often seems anything but controllable. Their book offers everything from step-by-step instructions for how to do your paperwork and navigate the healthcare system to answers to questions you might be afraid to ask your doctor, like whether or not sex is still okay when you're sick. Get advice for how to break the news to your employer, whether to share old secrets with your family, how to face friends who might not be as empathetic as you'd hoped, and how to talk to your children about your will. (Don't worry: if anyone gets snippy, it'll likely be their spouses, not them.) There are also lessons for survivors, like how to shut down a loved one's social media accounts, clean out the house, and write a great eulogy.

An honest, surprising, and detail-oriented guide to the most universal of all experiences, A Beginner's Guide to the End is "a book that every family should have, the equivalent of Dr. Spock but for this other phase of life" (New York Times bestselling author Dr. Abraham Verghese).

CRYING BK

CRYING BK

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This bestselling lyrical, moving book: part essay, part memoir, part surprising cultural study is an examination of why we cry, how we cry, and what it means to cry from a woman on the cusp of motherhood confronting her own depression (The New York Times Book Review).

Heather Christle has just lost a dear friend to suicide and now must reckon with her own depression and the birth of her first child. As she faces her grief and impending parenthood, she decides to research the act of crying: what it is and why people do it, even if they rarely talk about it. Along the way, she discovers an artist who designed a frozen-tear-shooting gun and a moth that feeds on the tears of other animals. She researches tear-collecting devices (lachrymatories) and explores the role white women's tears play in racist violence.

Honest, intelligent, rapturous, and surprising, Christle's investigations look through a mosaic of science, history, and her own lived experience to find new ways of understanding life, loss, and mental illness. The Crying Book is a deeply personal tribute to the fascinating strangeness of tears and the unexpected resilience of joy.

FINDING MEANING: THE SIXTH STA

FINDING MEANING: THE SIXTH STA

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In this groundbreaking and "poignant" (Los Angeles Times) book, David Kessler--praised for his work by Maria Shriver, Marianne Williamson, and Mother Teresa--journeys beyond the classic five stages to discover a sixth stage: meaning.

In 1969, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross first identified the stages of dying in her transformative book On Death and Dying. Decades later, she and David Kessler wrote the classic On Grief and Grieving, introducing the stages of grief with the same transformative pragmatism and compassion. Now, based on hard-earned personal experiences, as well as knowledge and wisdom gained through decades of work with the grieving, Kessler introduces a critical sixth stage: meaning.

Kessler's insight is both professional and intensely personal. His journey with grief began when, as a child, he witnessed a mass shooting at the same time his mother was dying. For most of his life, Kessler taught physicians, nurses, counselors, police, and first responders about end of life, trauma, and grief, as well as leading talks and retreats for those experiencing grief. Despite his knowledge, his life was upended by the sudden death of his twenty-one-year-old son. How does the grief expert handle such a tragic loss? He knew he had to find a way through this unexpected, devastating loss, a way that would honor his son. That, ultimately, was the sixth stage of grief--meaning. In Finding Meaning, Kessler shares the insights, collective wisdom, and powerful tools that will help those experiencing loss.

"Beautiful, tender, and wise" (Katy Butler, author of The Art of Dying Well), Finding Meaning is "an excellent addition to grief literature that helps pave the way for steps toward healing" (School Library Journal).

Heartwood: The Art of Living with the End in Mind

Heartwood: The Art of Living with the End in Mind

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"We can do extraordinary things when we lead with love," Barbara Becker reminds us in her debut memoir Heartwood.

When her earliest childhood friend is diagnosed with a terminal illness, Becker sets off on a quest to immerse herself in what it means to be mortal. Can we live our lives more fully knowing some day we will die?

With a keen eye towards that which makes life worth living, interfaith minister, mom and perpetual seeker Barbara Becker recounts stories where life and death intersect in unexpected ways. She volunteers on a hospice floor, becomes an eager student of the many ways people find meaning at the end of life, and accompanies her parents in their final days.

Becker inspires readers to live with the end in mind and proves that turning toward loss rather than away from it is the only true way to live life to its fullest. Just as with the heartwood of a tree--the central core that is no longer alive yet supports the newer growth rings--the dead become an enduring source of strength to the living.

With life-affirming prose, Becker helps us see that that grief is not a problem to be solved, but rather a sacred invitation--an opportunity to let go into something even greater...a love that will inform all the days of our lives.

HT DIE

HOW TO DIE

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Timeless wisdom on death and dying from the celebrated Stoic philosopher Seneca

It takes an entire lifetime to learn how to die, wrote the Roman Stoic philosopher Seneca (c. 4 BC-65 AD). He counseled readers to study death always, and took his own advice, returning to the subject again and again in all his writings, yet he never treated it in a complete work. How to Die gathers in one volume, for the first time, Seneca's remarkable meditations on death and dying. Edited and translated by James S. Romm, How to Die reveals a provocative thinker and dazzling writer who speaks with a startling frankness about the need to accept death or even, under certain conditions, to seek it out.

Seneca believed that life is only a journey toward death and that one must rehearse for death throughout life. Here, he tells us how to practice for death, how to die well, and how to understand the role of a good death in a good life. He stresses the universality of death, its importance as life's final rite of passage, and its ability to liberate us from pain, slavery, or political oppression.

Featuring beautifully rendered new translations, How to Die also includes an enlightening introduction, notes, the original Latin texts, and an epilogue presenting Tacitus's description of Seneca's grim suicide.

Notes on Grief

Notes on Grief

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From the globally acclaimed, best-selling novelist and author of We Should All Be Feminists, a timely and deeply personal account of the loss of her father.

Essential. --Booklist


Notes on Grief is an exquisite work of meditation, remembrance, and hope, written in the wake of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's beloved father's death in the summer of 2020. As the COVID-19 pandemic raged around the world, and kept Adichie and her family members separated from one another, her father succumbed unexpectedly to complications of kidney failure.

Expanding on her original New Yorker piece, Adichie shares how this loss shook her to her core. She writes about being one of the millions of people grieving this year; about the familial and cultural dimensions of grief and also about the loneliness and anger that are unavoidable in it. With signature precision of language, and glittering, devastating detail on the page--and never without touches of rich, honest humor--Adichie weaves together her own experience of her father's death with threads of his life story, from his remarkable survival during the Biafran war, through a long career as a statistics professor, into the days of the pandemic in which he'd stay connected with his children and grandchildren over video chat from the family home in Abba, Nigeria.

In the compact format of We Should All Be Feminists and Dear Ijeawele, Adichie delivers a gem of a book--a book that fundamentally connects us to one another as it probes one of the most universal human experiences. Notes on Grief is a book for this moment--a work readers will treasure and share now more than ever--and yet will prove durable and timeless, an indispensable addition to Adichie's canon.