Hospice Summer Reading Lists
Care for Your Future Self (Self Care)
The Five Invitations by Frank Ostaseski – From his work with hospice patients as co-founder of the Zen Hospice Center, Ostaseski shares lessons that death teaches us about how to live fully. Uplifting and inspiring.
The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown – Brown, a shame researcher, shows how by embracing our perceived imperfections we can move to a more joyful, authentic life.
10% Happier by Dan Harris – A self-described mindfulness skeptic, Dan Harris takes on meditation after an on-air panic attack. His journey into the world of meditation encourages us to follow his lead.
Yes, I Could Use A Little Escape… (Fiction/Fantasy)
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein – It is pure escapism; the story of a family as told by their dog. Get ready for a fun read and a good cry.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce – A journey of looking back at lives touched, legacy created and the importance of gratitude and saying goodbye.
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin – So much to love about this book. An island, a bookstore, love, community and how we create family.
Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf – Read this before you watch the movie with Jane Fonda and Robert Redford. It is about vulnerability and the deep need for connection that we all have, no matter our age.
Don’t Make Me Pull Over by Richard Ratay – Remember when we used to take road trips? This book shares the history of the family road trip – the wood paneled station wagon, the car games, the interstate highway system, Howard Johnson locations and the lasting mark the family road trip made across the country and in our memories.
Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Published in 1955, it holds lessons and reflections that are timeless. It helps me center.
Lessons About Survival (Resiliency)
A Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankel – A moving testament to the human spirit. During his time in Nazi concentration camps, Frankel rises about the death and devastation to show that how we choose to react to circumstances can help us survive and bring meaning to our lives.
The Great Halifax Explosion by John Bacon – In 1917, a munitions explosion leveled Halifax, Nova Scotia and caused 11,000 casualties. This historical book is about the missteps which led to the explosion, the lives of those affected, the bravery of those who ran to help and the resilience of the human spirit.
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles – Count Alexander Rostov is sent to live in the Metropol hotel by a Bolshevik tribunal in Russia. In this novel, with a turbulent period of Russian history as its backdrop, Count Rostov finds a community within the walls of the hotel and creates a life full of delight.
The Library Book by Susan Orlean – In 1986, the LA Library had a fire which consumed over 400,000 books. Orleans relates the story of how the library comes back with grace, grit and beauty during the search to find the source of the flames.
This is Chance! by Jon Mooallem – In 1964, a 9.2 earthquake shook Anchorage, Alaska. This is the true story of the woman, Genie Chance, who became the voice that led people out of the destruction and the people of Anchorage rose up to support one another.
Matters of Life & End-of-Life
The pandemic has highlighted many things including our fragile mortality and the importance of talking about what matters most to us in end-of-life decisions. These books provide personal stories and medical facts to guide us in these important conversations.
Being Mortal by Atwul Gawande (Also watch the PBS Frontline documentary about the book)
The Unwinding of the Miracle by Julie Yip-Williams (Podcast based on book is highly recommended)
Advice for Future Corpses by Sallie Tisdale
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
On Living by Kerry Egan
Hospice Summer Listening Recommendations
Podcasts to Check Out
Home Cooking with Samin Nosrat and Hrishikesh Hirway – A four-episode quarantine response to getting the most of your pantry, what to do with the bits in the vegetable bin and, yes, how to cook beans. Lots of laughter to keep you company in your quarantine kitchen.
Checking In with Susan David – In response to the pandemic, this Harvard Medical School psychologist started this podcast as “an urgent response to an urgent moment.” She is a voice of calm reminding us that we are not alone and have the skills to get through it
Unlocking Us with Brene Brown – Engaging interviews and conversations so we can “live, love, parent and lead with more courage and heart.:”
Mobituaries with Mo Rocca – Mo Rocca has always loved obituaries. In his podcast series, Mobituaries, he introduces listeners to the people who have long intrigued him – from the 20th century’s greatest entertainer, to the Civil Rights pioneer who is completely forgotten, to sitcom characters gone all too soon. Even if you know the names, you’ve never understood why they matter…until now.