Remembering Jeffrey Zaslow

Earlier this year I received an Email from fellow author Jeffrey Zaslow, with whom I had corresponded a time or two over the years, but never met.  Jeff’s amazing books and articles in the area of end-of-life times, especially The Last Lecture, have touched me, and I so admire his work. 

Jeffrey was writing to let me know that he had a new book being released called The Magic Room.  I promised to purchase the book, and make mention of it in an upcoming blog.

Like many others, I was shocked to read that Jeffrey Zaslow was killed last Friday in a car wreck in Michigan as he traveled home from a book talk.  I am so incredibly saddened by this loss, especially for his family and friends. 

Perhaps we can all honor this outstanding writer and reporter by purchasing The Magic Room or one of his earlier books.  Certainly I intend to do just that, as I once again remind myself how fragile and unexpected life’s journeys can be.

Written in admiration/memory of Mr. Jeffrey Zaslow, Author (1958-2012)


Same kind of different as me …

“A dangerous homeless drifter who grew up picking cotton in virtual slavery.

An upscale art dealer accustomed to the world of Armani and Chanel.

A gutsy woman with a stubborn dream.

A story so incredible no novelist would dare dream it.

That’s a description of the book Same Kind of Different as Me, which I just finished reading.  It’s a another must-read: a tremendously powerful story about friendship, hope, new beginnings, survival and spirituality.

Check it out for yourself.


Making toast: a must read!

This week I had the true privilege of reading Making Toast: A Family Story.  It’s eassyist Roger Rosenblatt’s personal narrative on family life after the loss of his beloved daughter, Amy.  The cover of the book includes this quote from E.L. Doctorow:

A painfully beautiful memoir telling how grandparents are made over into parents, how people die out of order, how time goes backward.  Written with such restraint to be both heartbreaking and instructive.”

Definitely Making Toast is a must-read, and that’s an understatement.


Listening to a lively commentary

One of the columns I enjoy most in our hometown newspaper, the Austin American-Statesman, is from Rev. Bob Lively, Teacher-in-Residence at First Presbyterian Church in Austin.  Pastor Bob’s commentary for this week was a true blessing for me in that the subject matter was the Journeys of Heartache and Grace: Conversations and Life Lessons from Young People with Serious Illnesses book.  Certainly I am grateful for the attention called to the book.  Hopefully you’ll enjoy the column and remember to search out Bob’s future articles.

With gratitude, Melody

A referral for ‘Letting Go’

This past week on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, I heard an outstanding interview on end-of-life issues with Dr. Atul Gawande.  Dr. Gawande also authored a recent piece in The New Yorker entitled “Letting Go“.

Check out these works.  They are wonderful, and will go a long way in advancing the much-needed death and dying conversation for all of us.

Happy reading, Melody

The Extraordinary Oscar!

Books on end-of-life times are not always plentiful nor good.  That’s not the case with a book I recently had the pleasure of reading entitled Making Rounds with Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat by David Dosa, M.D.  The book is just like the title suggests: extraordinary, and I recommend it to all!

Happy summertime reading,


Books for the Browsing …

As we come upon the holiday season, however you celebrate and share with others, books are always a favorite.  For the Journeys book, I was blessed with the privilege of working with LangMarc Publishing, as I’ve mentioned on prior postings.  LangMarc Publishing is a great source for your holiday shopping in the way of great books.  Check out their library, including the most recent release, I Choose to be Happy: A School Shooting Survivor’s Triumph Over Tragedy by Missy Jenkins with William Croyle.

Happy reading, renewing and relaxing for you and yours this holiday season, as we look toward a healthy and peaceful 2010.  Melody