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[books]The Growth House bookstore selects the best books, videos, and music we can find on end of life subjects. Books can be a thoughtful gift for someone dealing with illness and grief. This is the older version of our store, which is being redesigned. Visit our new expanded store at Amazon.

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Books Of Immediate Interest

And A Time To Die
And A Time To Die book cover Medical anthropologist Sharon Kaufman reveals how American hospitals shape the end of life.

Handbook For Mortals
[cover] By Joanne Lynn, M.D., and Joan Harrold, M.D. A comprehensive and authoritative guide to end of life care written for a general audience by a team that includes some of the world's top specialists. Published March, 1999.

Death And The Adolescent:
A Resource Handbook For Bereavement Support Groups In Schools

This concise handbook gives a complete outline for a ten-session grief support group that can be easily customized for your location. Published February 1999.

Care of the Dying Child
A concise reference text compiled by The Hospital for Sick Children, London, U.K.

The Comfort of Home
[cover] This reader-friendly handbook covers all the basics of practical home caregiving.

Last Wish
In this controversial New York Times bestseller TV journalist Betty Rollin tells of her mother Ida's two-and-a-half year struggle with ovarian cancer, ending with Ida's decision to end her own life. Reading like a novel, the story paints a realistic picture of difficult cancer chemotherapy and Betty's choice to help her mother commit suicide. Published September 1998.

Dying Well
Dr. Ira Byock, a leading figure in the hospice community, explains how families can find reconciliation and growth when death draws near. Published February 1997.

Sibling Loss
By Joanna H. Fanos. Sibling bereavement has special features. This book examines how the grief of sibling loss differs from that due to loss of a parent, child, or friend. Published December, 1996.

Death and Dying

Final Gifts
Two hospice nurses show how communication at end of life takes on special meaning.

On Death And Dying
Still a classic, this was the first book by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. It introduced her famous "five stages" model which is still widely quoted.

How We Die: Reflections on Life's Final Chapter
An award-winning look at what death entails on a physical and emotional level.

Hospice and Palliative Care
A simple question and answer format gives a complete overview of today's hospice and palliative care scene. Covers admission requirements, Medicare coverage, reimbursement issues, the resources available to patient and family, and how to locate these resources in the United States. Published July 1997.

The Hospital Handbook
By Lawrence D. Reimer and James T. Wagner. The pastoral care service can be an important part of holistic caregiving for the dying. This book is a professional "how to" book for hospital ministry. Published January, 1988.

Final Choices
By Michael Vitez. This book grew out of a five-part newspaper series on end of life care which won a 1997 Pulitzer Prize for Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Michael Vitez. Intended for a general audience, the book helps health care consumers examine tough choices in medical care, hospice alternatives, home care, assisted suicide, and related issues. Published February, 1998.

Ethnic Variations in Dying, Death, and Grief
A cross-cultural study for death care professionals.

A Cross-Cultural Look at Death, Dying, and Religion
A book for death care professionals working with diverse populations.

The Tibetan Book Of Living And Dying
By Sogyal Rinpoche, Patrick Gaffney, and Andrew Harvey. The revered Tibetan Buddhist spiritual teacher Sogyal Rinpoche hopes to "inspire a quiet revolution in the whole way we look at death and care for the dying, and the whole way we look at life and care for the living."

The Pagan Book Of Living And Dying
This book is the first comprehensive guide to contemporary Neo-Pagan beliefs and practices in facing death. Noteworthy for its earth-centered spirituality, a careful attention to non-gendered language, and a welcoming approach to human diversity of all kinds. Published October, 1997.

Conscious Dying
Benito F. Reyes. A cross-cultural study of spiritual beliefs and practices related to conscious dying. Many religions believe in an afterlife, and this book surveys various approaches that people have taken toward the transition from this world to whatever may follow.

Living With Serious Illness

Living With Life-Threatening Illness
Offers workable suggestions for families coping at a difficult time.

Tuesdays With Morrie
The true story of how a dying man's wisdom transforms the life of his young friend.

The Courage To Laugh
A poignant and inspirational look at humor, hope, and healing in the face of death and dying. Published September 1998.

AIDS: What Teens Need To Know
An informative and potentially life-saving book for high school students.

AIDS: Answers To Questions Kids Ask
An informative and potentially life-saving book for middle school students.

Women And AIDS
A compilation of the best books we can find on the subject of women and HIV disease. Selections range from medical specialty books to feminist political interpretations of gender issues in the epidemic.

Surviving The Fall
Dr. Peter A. Selwyn, a well-known researcher and clinician in the area of HIV and drug abuse, writes a moving memoir of his personal journey as an AIDS physician. Woven into the story is an account of the author's painful struggle with grief following the childhood death of his father. Overall it's a good read, noteworthy both as a look at the human side of medicine and as a chronicle of the early years of the AIDS epidemic. Published March, 1998.

Healing Lessons
The moving true story of how a cancer specialist was forced to see medicine in a new light when his own wife was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Published May 1998.

Ready To Live, Prepared To Die
A woman with terminal cancer comes to terms with her illness and gives practical advice on planning for end of life.

Keeping Busy: A Handbook Of Activities For Persons With Dementia
James R. Dowling. A book of occupational therapy ideas for use with persons with Alzheimer's Disease and other forms of dementia.

Curing Health Care
By Donald M. Berwick, A. Blanton Godfrey, and Jane Roessner. This book is a report on the National Demonstration Project On Quality Improvement In Health Care, a U.S. effort to apply modern methods of total quality management (TQM) to health care. Using the reports of National Demonstration Project Teams, it illustrates the entire quality improvement process -- from defining the problem through implementing a solution and consolidating the project's gains. Published January, 1991.

Hypnosis and Suggestion in the Treatment of Pain
Thirteen university scholars in anesthesiology, psychiatry, and family medicine, suggest new attitudes toward hypnosis as a form of clinical analgesia for management of chronic pain. Includes chapters on cancer, the elderly, children, and other specialized situations. Published June 1996.

Hypnosis in the Relief of Pain
Ernest R. Hilgard and Josephine R. Hilgard, s. Drawing on experimental studies and clinical practice, a psychologist and a psychiatrist explain to both health professionals and lay readers how hypnosis can help relieve pain in childbirth, medical or dental surgery, burns and other injuries, cancer, and chronic syndromes. Published April 1994.

No Place For Borders
A study of the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on development in Asia and the Pacific. Published July 1997.

Martha E. Rogers: Her Life And Her Work
A collection of writings by and about Martha E. Rogers (1914-1994), one of the pioneers of modern nursing theory. Covers all aspects of her thinking, from the Science Of Unitary Human Beings to nursing in space. Published January, 1994.

Go to suggested books for:

  • Death and dying
  • Hospice care
  • Palliative Medicine
  • Advance Care Planning
  • Grief
Featured Music and Audiobooks
For more music and audio selections check out Growth House Radio!

music speaker iconHeart-to-Heart
Heart-to-Heart: Caring for the Dying Originally created as three, hour-long audio documentaries for national radio broadcast, this wonderful education resource is now available on CD. It will make a great training tool for hospice volunteers, health care professionals, and anyone else who wants to learn about key issues in end-of-life care in an entertaining, easy-to-absorb format.

music speaker iconThe Blessings of Music
Two music CDs with an instructional booklet on how to use music in compassionate care of the sick and dying.

music speaker iconMeditations on Life - Death by Voces Novae
Music and contemplative readings suitable for home or hospice use.

New On Our Shelves

Palliative Care Nursing- Quality Care To The End Of Life
[cover] Organized around the 15 competencies in palliative care developed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. The book offers a blend of holistic humanistic caring with aggressive management of pain and symptoms. Comprehensive clinical content is combined with curriculum guidelines for educators.

Palliative Practices: A Multidisciplinary Approach
book cover Explains palliative interventions with a disease-specific approach, providing practical guidance on caring for people living with a progressive, chronic disease trajectory prior to death.

Unplugged: Reclaiming Our Right to Die in America
book cover In 2005, the Terri Schiavo case galvanized millions to think about end-of-life decision making and question when life ends and how to define a good death. William Colby, the lawyer for Nancy Cruzan, whose 1988 case was one of the first major right-to-die cases, surveys the issues and the state of the law as it is today.

When Autumn Comes
When Autumn Comes: Creating Compassionate Care for the Dying Explores death from the perspective of a hospice volunteer. The expanded 2006 edition has been designed for use in volunteer training programs.

Fourteen Friends' Guide to Elder-Caring
A practical, people-oriented sourcebook for adults who find themselves taking care of their parents.

The Four Things That Matter Most
The Four Things That Matter Most: A Book About Living By Ira Byock. Why wait until we or someone we love is dying to say the things that matter most? Published March, 2004.

What If It's Not Alzheimer's? A Caregiver's Guide To Dementia
The first comprehensive guide dealing with frontotemporal dementia (FTD), one of the largest groups of non-Alzheimer's dementias.

Hospice and Palliative Care: Concepts and Practice, Second Edition
[cover] By Walter B. Forman, Denice C. Sheehan, Robert P. Anderson. An authoritative professional guide from a team that includes some of the world's top specialists. Revised 2nd edition published May, 2003.

Music Therapy in Dementia Care
Can music improve memory and identity in those suffering from Alzheimer's Disease and other dementias?

Nursing Care of Children and Adolescents With Cancer

Sad Isn't Bad: A Good-Grief Guidebook for Kids Dealing With Loss

Long Goodbye: The Deaths Of Nancy Cruzan
book coverCompelling memoir of the only right-to-die case that has ever gone to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Complete Bedside Companion
This comprehensive and compassionate handbook is an excellent guide for home caregiving to the seriously sick and dying.

Success With Heart Failure
Revised and updated to reflect the most recent developments in congestive heart failure research and treatment, this book is a comprehensive and authoritative guide for patients and their families.

Ethical Patient Care
A casebook for geriatric health care teams facing ethical dilemmas.

Death and Spirituality
Edited by Kenneth J. Doka with John D. Morgan. A comprehensive overview of spritual and religious themes likely to arise in caregiving to the dying and the bereaved.

Coma and Impaired Consciousness: A Clinical Perspective
This comprehensive text examines every aspect of coma, including related anatomy, physiology, neurochemistry, pharmacology, new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches, prognostic factors, and decision algorithms for clinical management. Published April, 1998.

Coping With Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
By Diane Roberts Stoler, Ed.D. a practical guide for professionals, families and individuals coping with acquired and traumatic brain injury including concussion, stroke and brain tumor. Published January, 1998.

The Cancer Chemotherapy Handbook
[cover] Called the "Bible of Chemotherapy" by some, this new edition is concisely written yet comprehensive in scope. It's an authoritative practical guide to the more than 85 specific drugs currently used in cancer treatment. Published May, 1997.

She Came To Live Out Loud
By Myra MacPherson. A realistic and moving account of one woman's struggle with fatal breast cancer. Published February, 1999.

Living With Grief After Sudden Loss
Edited by Kenneth Doka. A collection of articles by specialists in various forms of traumatic loss, including suicides, homicide, accidents, heart attacks, strokes, and other specialized forms of death. Includes information on vehicular crashes, grief in the military, traumatic death, disaster death, law enforcement and emergency medical service (EMS) personnel, the media, response of schools and teachers, and spiritual support after a sudden loss. Intended for bereavement counselors who need to deal with a wide variety of specialized losses. Published March, 1996.

I Can't Stop Crying
A down-to-earth book written for those who are recently bereaved of someone very close to them.

Hospice Care

The Hospice Handbook
A good overview of hospice care with advice on how to choose a provider.

Hospice Care For Children
A professional resource book for this special type of service.

At Home With Terminal Illness
A simple handbook for home hospice care.

Caregiving: Hospice-Proven Techniques for Healing Body and Soul
By Douglas C. Smith. This is one of the best books we've found on ways to improve the quality of compassionate care for people who are dying. Overall, the book is a remarkable achievement, with a perfect blend of "how to" material held together within an ethical framework that we endorse wholeheartedly. Published September, 1997.

Let Someone Hold You
Paul Morrissey, a Roman Catholic priest, shares a highly personal account of his work with the terminally ill as a member of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York City. From bombed-out slums to swank highrises, he and other members of his hospice team visit dying people of all faiths and cultures in the intimacy of their homes and families. Winner of the 1995 Christopher Award.

In The Light Of Dying
The personal journal of a hospice volunteer.

The Primer Of Palliative Care
By Porter Storey. A concise and inexpensive overview of hospice and palliative care issues suitable for a general audience. This widely-used booklet is published by the American Academy Of Hospice And Palliative Medicine, an international professional organization for physicians involved with care for those who are dying and their loved ones.

Forgoing Life-Sustaining Therapy
Sensible guidance on tough clinical issues such as how to stop a ventilator, the use of artificial nutrition and hydration, forgoing dialysis, and management of delirium in the final days of life.

New Themes In Palliative Care
David Clark, Jo Hockley, Sam Ahmedzai (s). A compilation of essays on key themes in palliative care, intended for a professional audience. The book has a multidisciplinary, international perspective. Sections cover policy, ethics, service developments, and clinical issues. Published September, 1997.

Topics In Palliative Care (Two Volumes)
Eduardo Bruera and Russell K. Portenoy, s. Each chapter of these medical reference texts covers a specialized aspect of palliative care for the terminally ill in an authoritative manner. These items should be part of any standard reference library for palliative medicine.

By No Extraordinary Means: The Choice to Forgo Life-Sustaining Food and Water
Joanne M.D. Lynn (). Intended for a professional audience, this book examines the medical ethics associated with nutritional care of the terminally ill.

Coping With Grief

You Can Help Someone Who's Grieving
A common sense workbook with practical suggestions anyone can use.

Letters To My Husband
A book about widowhood, showing one woman's first year of mourning following the sudden death of her husband due to a heart attack. She relives the trauma of his death as well as many warm memories of their life together.

Empty Cradle, Broken Heart
Healing following miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death.

Empty Arms: Emotional Support for Those Who Have Suffered Miscarriage or Stillbirth
By Pam W. Vredevelt. A book offering support to women who have lost a baby through miscarriage or stillbirth, written from the perspective of a Christian woman. Includes a chapter on helping children understand the loss. Reprint Edition, published 1995.

Give Sorrow Words
A father gropes for meaning after his only daughter is killed in a fire.

After the Death of a Child
A moving study of how parents cope with the ultimate loss.

Helping Children Cope With the Loss of a Loved One
Winner of the 1996 Parent's Choice Award.

Children Mourning, Mourning Children
Ken Doka. Children grieve in ways that are both similar to and different from adults. They also need significant support when facing loss. This excellent sourcebook gives a useful introduction to the field for educators and caregivers.

How Do We Tell The Children?
This book by Dan Schaefer and Christine Lyons gives parents and other adult caregivers a step-by-step guide for helping children two to teen cope when someone dies.

The Loss That Is Forever
Clinical psychologist Maxine Harris shows how the death of a parent before someone reaches adulthood is a life-defining event with profound and long-lasting effects. Ripple effects may appear in every aspect of adult development.

Motherless Daughters
Hope Edelman's bestseller on how experiencing the loss of a mother through death or desertion at any age has ramifications throughout a woman's life.

How To Survive The Loss Of A Parent
For adults who are seeking support.

Living With Grief
Kenneth J. Doka, . A compilation of cross-cultural essays on loss and grief with emphasis on ethnic, spiritual, class, and gender diversity in grieving. Includes a directory of resource organizations. This is the companion book for the 1998 bereavement teleconference sponsored by the Hospice Foundation Of America. Published April, 1998.

Recovering from the Loss of a Loved One to AIDS
Personal sharings are combined with professional views to suggest approaches to grief that may work for you.

Multiple AIDS-Related Loss
By David Nord. Through the personal stories of four very different survivors, the book helps explain why multiple AIDS-related loss has uniquely devastating features. Beyond explaining the problem of grief due to multiple loss, the book also offers suggestions on ways to heal from the impact of AIDS. Published June, 1997.

Breaking New Ground
This detailed guide to the development and operation of AIDS housing facilities includes project planning tips that will be hard to find elsewhere. While targeted specifically at AIDS residences, this book also will be useful to planners of other types of special needs housing, including general inpatient hospice services. Betsy Lieberman, Donald P. Chamberlain, authors. Published December, 1993.

Healing After The Suicide Of A Loved One
For family members left behind.

Trauma and Recovery
Judith Herman's influential book on stress disorders and the importance of creating a safe space to relearn how to be in the world.

Recovering From Trauma:
Violent Crime, Car Accidents, and Disasters

An audiocassette resource for survivors of traumatic stress that educates about trauma and stages of recovery.

Loss: Depression And Sadness
This book completes John Bowlby's pioneering trilogy on attachment and loss. This volume concentrates on the major emotional consequences of loss, including feelings of sadness, depression, grief, and bereavement. The book includes the author's "four stages of grief" model.