8 Books to Help You on Your Journey (Part 2) - Steve's Reading Corner

Updated: Feb 15

If you missed Part 1, check it out here.


Many themes in The Music Between Us have been addressed by very skilled authors. Some of their books are long-time general audience best sellers; others are more obscure but nonetheless powerful pieces of both fiction and non-fiction. They deal on various levels with personal healing, end-of-life care, growing up with family mental illness, and music and the brain.



Music & The Brain



This is Your Brain on Music: The Science of Human Obsession, Daniel J. Levitan. 2007


In this groundbreaking union of art and science, rocker-turned-neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin explores the connection between music—its performance, its composition, how we listen to it, why we enjoy it—and the human brain.




Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, Revised and Expanded Edition, Oliver Sacks, 2008


Oliver Sacks was a physician, writer, and professor of neurology. Called the “poet laureate of medicine” by The New York Times, he is the author of more than a dozen books, including Awakenings and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. In Musicophilia, Sacks spins one fascinating tale after another to show what happens when music and the brain mix it up.



Hospice, End of Life Care, & Volunteering


The Hospice Volunteer Handbook: Volume One, The Friendly Visitor, Craig O. Lynch, 2017

This is a practical handbook written by a seasoned hospice volunteer for others. It reflects the author's experience of working with over 200 hospice patients over a seven-year period. It is a resource for healthcare professionals, patients, loved ones. It covers volunteer qualifications, requirements, hospice history and philosophy, and dealing with dying patients and surrounding families.



Dying Well: Peace and Possibilities at the End of Life, Ira Byock MD, 1998.

Dying Well brings us to the homes and bedsides of families with whom the author has worked, telling stories of love and reconciliation in the face of tragedy, pain, medical drama, and conflict. Through the true stories of patients, he shows us that a lot of important emotional work can be accomplished in the final months, weeks, and even days of life. It is a companion for families, showing them how to deal with doctors, how to talk to loved ones—and how to make the end of life as meaningful and enriching as the beginning.



Hard Choices for Loving People: CPR, Feeding Tubes, Palliative Care, Comfort Measures, and the Patient with a Serious Illness, Hank Dunn, 2016

The author is an ordained healthcare chaplain, best-selling author, and speaker who, for more than 30 years, has been helping patients and their families as they struggle with end-of-life decisions. In its 6th Edition, the book offers honest, practical, reliable advice and information, as well as help with the emotional and spiritual concerns families and patients, face during this most difficult time of life.




Last Comforts: Notes from the Forefront of Late-Life Care, Ellen Rand, 2016


The author reveals how too often, end-of-life care in the U.S. is fragmented, uncoordinated, costly, and unsustainable. The book establishes that it doesn’t have to be that way as it spotlights many innovations that can make a significant difference as we approach the last chapters of our lives. The author’s personal experiences as an investigative journalist and a hospice volunteer address the complex issue of helping individuals who need end-of-life care. It presents real-life situations and, most importantly, offers solutions, support, and resources. It eloquently illustrates how serving others receiving late-life care can teach all of us how to live more fully. In this book, baby boomers get to preview what lies ahead in their life journey.



The Changing Face of Volunteering in Hospice and Palliative Care, Ross Scott, 2018


The author explores how hospice and volunteering are changing. As society develops, so too does volunteering. The book suggests that volunteers have growing expectations of organizations, and increasingly seek roles that meet their needs and aspirations, rather than fitting in with organizational approaches. Contributing to knowledge and understanding in the field of volunteering in hospice and palliative care internationally, this book highlights the factors that contribute to the success of volunteering models.



Seven Keys to a Peaceful Passing: A Hospice Nurse’s Step-by-Step Guide to Hospice, Derek Flores, 2018

This book provides an informative and warm-hearted view on how to make the hospice system function best for patients and families. It’s an easy-to-read roadmap that guides you through important decisions that will help ensure a “Peaceful Passing” for your loved one. The author provides a step-by-step guide that provides the practical knowledge needed to make good decisions for a person requiring hospice care. It also includes touching patient stories.