These books appear on so many bibliographies and reading lists that they form the foundation that most current books are based upon. They are all, also, still in print, or available in internet bookstores at a reasonable price and should be found in most decent sized public and university libraries.
*** The American Way of Death: Revised by Jessica Mitford (1995) Mitford’s original best-seller from the 60’s exposed the underside of the funeral business. This edition, significantly revised and expanded, includes chapters on pre-payment, the growth of multi-national corporations, and problems that the Federal Trade Commission’s “Funeral Rule” was supposed to remedy.
*** On Death and Dying by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross (1997) Classical look at the psychological aspects of death and dying; including the five stages of dying: denial and isolation, anger, acceptance, depression, acceptance. [NHCPL]
Questions and Answers on Death and Dying: A Companion Volume to On Death and Dying by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross (1997) [NHCPL]
To Live Until We Say Good-by by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross (1978) Probably the most accessible of Kubler-Ross’s works, this photo essay follows several people through their long final illness. [NHCPL]
The Good Death: The New American Search to Reshape the End of Life by Marilyn Webb (1997) Written by a professional journalist and based on six years of research, the author takes a look at medical, ethical, and legal issues that surround end of life care and addresses the meaning of “death with dignity.” A very good place to start for the person interested in an in-depth knowledge of the field. [NHCPL]
The Jewish Way in Death and Mourning by Maurice Lamm (2000) This revised edition provides additional insights and updates information in light of medical, scientific, and sociological issues that have taken on greater significance and immediacy since it was first published in 1969.
The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche (1993) The very basis of Buddhist beliefs on death, the afterlife, and rebirth. Many spiritual traditions find solace and comfort in its basic philosophy.
*** The True Work of Dying: A Practical and Compassionate Guide to Easing the Dying Process by Jan Selliken Bernard, R.N., N.D., and Mariam Schneider, R.N., C.R.H.N. (1997) This book is written by two trained hospice nurses. Though it is almost 20 years old, this work remains an important foundation to the philosophy of hospice work. [NNCPL]
*** Books I personally think are exceptional either in content or readability or both. Worth buying.
This bibliography was prepared by Rebecca Taylor, Funeral Consumers Alliance – Coastal Carolina. Notation of “NHCPL” means the New Hanover County Public Library.
Please check your local public library, or request titles by Inter library Loan. Virtually all titles are also available from online bookstores, like amazon.com, often in “used” and other inexpensive editions.,
Questions or for more copies contact:
Rebecca Taylor, President
Funeral Consumers Alliance Coastal Carolina
P.O. Box 4262
Wilmington, NC 28406