So this month, I read the following:
This book came recommended by the #YouMeBigC podcast, within their episode on ‘death’ (not passing on, etc), and also in Instagram @thecancerchrons reckoned it was one of the best books she’d ever read, so I downloaded it from the library!
I found it powerful, gentle, hard at times, and comedic at others. Considering I finished reading it the day before I was having a spinal biopsy to check for mets, a particularly challenging read, but within society we think that we can evade death, whereas, as people joke ‘death and taxes – can’t be avoided’ … and the more we avoid talking about it, the harder it gets – especially for those panicking about dying, and the family/friends around them who don’t know the wishes.
I’m part of a FB group on death and dying, tied to Uni Of Winchester MSc – having spoken at the conference about representations of death in WW2 propaganda posters – very limited on the home front, more drastic for the armed forces – and stayed in the group as I’m interested in how the digital (especially our footprint online) impacts our notions of death – I’m still Facebook friends with people who have died – some of whom have undertaken the official FB process of memorialisation, and others where family maintain access (or the account just lies dormant – except for birthday reminders) …
I may also look further at Death Cafe, and https://www.deathlife.org.uk/. I prepared my will a couple of years ago, and I’m planning on talking to a vicar friend about what I can do to sort for funeral, etc. Hopefully I won’t need them for many years, but hearing how another friend has been left trying to sort out a relatives muddled effects – being prepared does not equate with giving up!
I really enjoyed reading this. I’d listened to part of it on Audible, but I think I prefer to read – and then listen afterwards! Always a little wary about autobiographies because things are written with hindsight, but with that in mind … I’d be keen to read it again and pull out a few bits. Overall I really enjoyed it, learnt a lot about American politics, and from the public perception of the Obamas makes sense as to their real desire to make a difference and integrity, whilst giving some insights into the ‘reality’.
This was quite hard work to read, as most philosophically inspired texts can be – as it’s encouraging you to think differently. The book includes two papers by Sontag – one written in the late 1970s as a response to the cancer she has been diagnosed with, and another in the late 1980s as a response to the AIDS crisis. I can see where some of the comments I get about cancer come from now – and there’s also insights into perceptions of venereal diseases (which I’ve just written a paper on), and the current focus on diet and self management.
A friend told me this was worth a read – and I enjoyed it – I don’t know that I’d have guessed it was Rowling, as v different from the Potter books, but I was still guessing towards the end about how everything fitted together, and I think all the complicated strands just about fell into place. Unlikely to be re reading it, but enjoyed it!!
Well, I enjoyed this one too (I’d already read the fourth one, not realising there were 3 before it). I had just been given a new secondary cancer diagnosis so wanted something entertaining but not too heavy, and it fitted the bill. I think with each book, the storylines tighten up a little … but maybe it’s also that I’m becoming more familiar with the characters.
Well, the discovery was a little gruesome, but the route to understanding who was the murderer, and why, was intriguing!
The most gruesome yet, but also felt the most real in the storylines that it tackled. Really getting into the characters now – shame I’ve run out of the series to read – although I understand there may be 5 more in production!
Having read quite a bit of detective fiction this week, with snow forecast, and having been given this Christmas 2017, I finally settled in to these over a few evenings. Enjoyed them – sometimes find short stories frustrating, but these were well constructed, and still a clever surprise as to ‘whodunnit’!
Dr Bex Lewis is passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where she has more than 20 years’ experience. She is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University, with a particular interest in digital culture, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, including faith organisations, and, after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, has started to research social media and cancer. Trained as a mass communications historian, she has written the original history of the poster Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster (Imperial War Museum, 2017), drawing upon her PhD research. She is Director of social media consultancy Digital Fingerprint, and author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst (Lion Hudson, 2014) as well as a number of book chapters, and regularly judges digital awards. She has a strong media presence, with her expertise featured in a wide range of publications and programmes, including national, international and specialist TV, radio and press, and can be found all over social media, typically as @drbexl.