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Book Club for Mortals: Advice for Future Corpses (and Those Who Love Them)

Book Club for Mortals: Advice for Future Corpses (and Those Who Love Them) In-Person / Online

“In its loving, fierce specificity, this book on how to die is also a blessedly saccharine-free guide for how to live” (The New York Times).

Former NEA fellow and Pushcart Prize-winning writer Sallie Tisdale offers a lyrical, thought-provoking, yet practical perspective on death and dying in Advice for Future Corpses (and Those Who Love Them). Informed by her many years working as a nurse, with more than a decade in palliative care, Tisdale provides a frank, direct, and compassionate meditation on the inevitable.

From the sublime (the faint sound of Mozart as you take your last breath) to the ridiculous (lessons on how to close the sagging jaw of a corpse), Tisdale leads us through the peaks and troughs of death with a calm, wise, and humorous hand. Advice for Future Corpses is more than a how-to manual or a spiritual bible: it is a graceful compilation of honest and intimate anecdotes based on the deaths Tisdale has witnessed in her work and life, as well as stories from cultures, traditions, and literature around the world.

Tisdale explores all the heartbreaking, beautiful, terrifying, confusing, absurd, and even joyful experiences that accompany the work of dying, including:

A Good Death: What does it mean to die “a good death”? Can there be more than one kind of good death? What can I do to make my death, or the deaths of my loved ones, good?
Communication: What to say and not to say, what to ask, and when, from the dying, loved ones, doctors, and more.
Last Months, Weeks, Days, and Hours: What you might expect, physically and emotionally, including the limitations, freedoms, pain, and joy of this unique time.
Bodies: What happens to a body after death? What options are available to me after my death, and how do I choose—and make sure my wishes are followed?
Grief: “Grief is the story that must be told over and over...Grief is the breath after the last one.”

Beautifully written and compulsively readable, Advice for Future Corpses offers the resources and reassurance that we all need for planning the ends of our lives, and is essential reading for future corpses everywhere. “Sallie Tisdale’s elegantly understated new book pretends to be a user’s guide when in fact it’s a profound meditation” (David Shields, bestselling author of Reality Hunger).

About Book Club for Mortals at the Estes Valley Library

This is a book club that focuses on end-of-life issues and our shared mortality. We read a different book each month, and titles range from the practical to the philosophical, and the serious to the lighthearted, both fiction and nonfiction. This is not a grief or bereavement group, but a space to have open, honest, thoughtful conversations about interesting books and ideas. Discussions are led by Mindy Rickard, advance care planning advisor and longtime Book Club for Mortals host. The book club meets on the second Thursday of each month, through December. Each meeting covers a different book.

More about this program

We will make five copies of the book available for participants to read and keep, on a first-come, first-served basis. If you would like a book, please indicate that when you register, and we'll follow up within 72 hours (likely sooner!). By registering and claiming a book, you are committing to attend the book discussion.

We will also make copies available for checkout at the first floor service desk, and you can search our collection for additional copies and formats (eBook, audiobook, large print, etc.).

Related programs/resources

Thursday, July 11, 2024
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Time Zone:
Mountain Time - US & Canada
Wasson Board Room
Eric White
Mindy Rickard
  Adults (18+)  

Registration is required. There are 10 in-person seats available. There are 11 online seats available.