Book review #8 The Bottom Drawer by Lisa Herbert

Lisa was interviewed on ABC.FM January 13 about her fascinating book. Humorous illustrations add to this wonderful approach to a much avoided subject. The after death action plan.

While no one really wants to talk about death, it can actually be pretty interesting.
Are GPS coordinates really the only way family members can find you if you’re buried in a bush cemetery?
What is the most common object put into coffins by loved ones?
And what happens to your emails or your Facebook account when you die?
Sure, your loved ones will be sad when you pass away but there are things you can do to make it a bit easier for them. The Bottom Drawer Book is your after death action plan. Your ideas, plans, and your life’s reflections will sit quietly in its pages until they’re needed. Then, when you go, there’ll be no family squabbling over how much to spend on your casket, where you’ll be buried, who’ll tell stories at your funeral, what beer will be served at the wake, or which footy jumper you’ll be buried in. The Bottom Drawer Book contains lots of practical information. Its brightly coloured illustrations and humorous text encourage thought and understanding of a topic that doesn’t have to be dark or confronting.
The Book will be a work in progress because your wishes will evolve and change over time. You’ll smudge food on it, you’ll procrastinate, and you’ll doodle – and that’s okay. It is your Book after all.


book cover green boreder

Ian Strathie’s Book Review #7 ‘Coping With Grief’ by Mal & Dianne McKissock

This best selling book offers sensitive and practical advice on how to deal with the grieving process, from how to cope with the funeral to managing anniversaries and special dates.
Suitable for the bereaved and their support team, it explains what to expect emotionally, psychologically and practically from the first day through the first year as well as outlining the physical and emotional reactions to grief, why men and women react differently, how children deal with grief and some of the long term consequences of bereavement.
Whether you have been bereaved, or part of the bereaved’s support team, this self-help book will prove invaluable. and show you how to survive, help others survive, the most challenging experience a human being can have: the loss of a loved one.
ISBN: 978 0 7333 3088 9 (pbk.)


Creating Meaningful Funeral Experiences by Alan D. Wolfelt Ph.D.

A Guide for Caregivers by Alan D. Wolfelt Ph.D.
Written in response to the current trend to deritualise death and funeral ceremonies, this book explores the ways in which caregivers and clergy can create heartfelt ceremonies that help the bereaved begin to heal.
Explaining the purposes behind rituals, it reviews the many ways these have changed over the years and argues for a return to authentic, personalised, and meaningful funeral ceremonies.
The qualities in caregivers that make them effective funeral planners are examined, and practical ideas for creating authentic, personalised, and meaningful funeral ceremonies are provided.
Trends toward the prevalence of cremation are discussed, as are trends away from viewing and spending time with the body of the deceased. Rated 41/2 stars.

ISBN 9781879651388…/…/1879651386


The Funeral By Doug Manning

‘THE FUNERAL’ A chance to touch, a chance to serve, a chance to heal.
By Doug Manning.
This book is the best one on the market for chaplains, clergy, celebrants, and funeral directors who are involved in providing funeral services for families. Funeral service is facing many challenges discovering that it must change or become obsolete.
Doug discusses each of the challenges and offers solutions that can transform the funeral service. 
He outlines the elements of a funeral and the importance of each element to a grieving family.
ISBN 13: 9781892785374
For Doug’s blogs on grief, visit


Creating Meaningful Funeral Ceremonies by Alan D. Wolfelt Ph.D

‘Creating Meaningful Funeral Ceremonies’
by Alan D. Wolfelt Ph.D.
Help! I don’t know how to plan a funeral!
If you need to plan a funeral or memorial service, this compassionate, easy-to-follow workbook will help you and your family create a loving, personalised tribute to the person who 
has died.
Designed to complement the role of the clergy, celebrant and funeral director in the funeral planning process, A Guide for Families walks readers through the many decisions they will make at the time of a death.
ISBN 978-1-879651-20-3


The Natural Death Handbook by Stephanie Wienrich & Josefine Speyer



THE NATURAL DEATH HANDBOOK by Stephanie Wienrich & Josefine Speyer.
This book suggests ways to arrange a dignified death in harmony with nature. It advises on practical needs of those dying on how to organise inexpensive yet very personal funerals, and on to the grieving process itself. It also has an authoritative source on the legal necessities and recommendations surrounding burial. ISBN-13 978-1844132263





Journey of Hope by J. Michael Davey


Journey of Hope by J. Michael Davey.
A remarkable true story from the ‘Australian Bestseller’ list.
Fostered as a baby and placed in four state-run institutions, Michael experienced significant abuse. Kidnapped by his father, he eventually came home only to discover his mother was a violent and crazed schizophrenic who hated him.
At the hands of his deranged mother, Michael was beaten mercilessly.
To escape her violence and neglect, Michael left home to join the Royal Australian Navy when he was just 15 years old.
ISBN 1921589469 



Saying Goodbye by Megan Hender

IAN’S BOOK REVIEW #1 – Book of the week.
‘Saying Goodbye’ by Megan Hender.
Stories of caring for the dying. Discussing illness and death makes most of us uncomfortable – we don’t know what to say to people who are looking after a sick parent, child or partner, and so we cover our discomfort with euphemisms and averted eyes. Yet people in this situation need to talk honestly about their feelings of confusion, loss, anger and sadness. That is where this book will prove invaluable.

ISBN13 9780733313479



Everett Anderson’s Goodbye by Lucille Clifton

‘Everett Anderson’s Goodbye’ is a touching portrait of a little boy who is trying to come to grips with his father’s death. Lucille Clifton captures Everett’s conflicting emotions as he confronts this painful reality. We see him struggle through many stages, from denial and anger to depression and, finally, acceptance. King Award – 4 star rating.


Where Song Began by Tim Low

#4 in top selling Australian Independent Bookseller bestseller list.
Australia has unusual birds. A recent article in Ecology talks, for example, about ‘despotic aggressiveness’ in woodland bird communities. Australian birds are more likely than most to be intelligent, to live in complex societies, to be long lived, loud, to attack other species, and to eat sugary foods secreted by trees. Reasons why all this might be so have emerged from recent research, which Tim draws together into a synthesis, called Where Song Began, which was published in June 2014 by Penguin.