For my first book report of the new year, the subject is getting old and dying. I know. I thought about starting the year with something more lighthearted, but this is what I am reading. Plus, you are going to want to know about these books. Each of the authors share how they faced the challenges that accompanied the aging and death of their own parent/s. Different approaches to the telling of, and the handling of the deaths. Both both done so well.
Reading "Can't we talk about Something More Pleasant?" was a relief. That's the best way I can describe it. I can not tell you how much I appreciated Roz Chast sharing so intimately the difficulties she faced with both her mom and dad. So many things that I think lots of people will relate to. Things we ruminate over endlessly, but don't talk about out loud. Having a glimpse at the somewhat parallel journey of another daughter was comforting.
Her sense of humor and the whole way this book is laid out make it a pleasure to read. You can't make this stuff up.
"Being Mortal" shares the obstacles faced by a number of different people in addition to Atul Gawande's father. I like the way he described the incredible hardship of "assisted living" and how no matter how "nice" a facility is, it is NOT home. He describes some newer approaches to providing safety, dignity, and the feeling of home for people who can no longer stay in their own home. I hope some of these approaches become widely available sooner rather than later.
I recommend both of these highly. If you have to pick one to start with... go with Roz Chast's Memoir. You won't be sorry.
P.S. Thanks Joyce, for the book AND your nut expertise.