Guest post by Bianca Nogrady: My top five books about death, dying and everything in between.

Here’s a great list of books from writer Bianca Nogrady who is the author of ‘The End: The Human Experience of Death’.

1. Sherwin B Nuland’s How We Die: Reflections on Life’s Final Chapter (Random House, London, 1995). This is a brilliant dissection of what actually kills us when we die. Nuland looks at a range of scenarios from heart attacks to HIV/AIDS and examines the inner workings of death.

2. Ram Dass’s Still Here (Hodder & Stoughton, Sydney, 2000). A follow-up to his best-selling spiritual memoir Be Here Now, this book is about embracing ageing, changing and dying. It’s a gentle, wonderful, heart-warming book.

3. The Definition of Death: Contemporary Controversies (Edited by Younger et al, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 1999). While now more than a decade old, this collection of essays examining the issues surrounding how we define and diagnose death makes for fascinating reading and is still as relevant today as it was then.

4.  Professor Ken Hillman’s Vital Signs (NewSouth, Sydney 2009). This is a critical examination of how and why so many people end up dying in intensive care in Australia, and what is wrong about this process.

5. Dying to know: Bringing Death To Life (Hardie Grant, 2007). This beautifully illustrated book is full of little gems of insight about death, dying, and life, including a wonderful template for an emotional will.


This post was first published in July 2013 for D2KDay.

Bianca Nogrady is a freelance science journalist whose worked has appeared in Scientific AmericanThe AustralianAustralian Doctor,Medicine TodayEcos magazine and the ABC’s health and science websites.

She is also co-author with Dr James Bradfield Moody of The Sixth Wave: How To Succeed In A Resource Limited World (Random House Australia, 2010).

Bianca lives in the Blue Mountains outside Sydney with her husband and two children.

Kerrie NoonanComment