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Holiday Break Reads! Thought-Provoking Picks from our Museum Shop

Gift shopping not finished? These titles will satisfy book lovers who like to explore unusual subjects and themes in their reads. If you’ve finished all your shopping, then congratulations! Consider taking some time out from the hectic season to settle into your favorite chair and indulge in a good book and a cup of coffee.

Each of these titles presents a different perspective on the one thing all of us view warily—death. They aren’t morbid reads, by any means. Rather, they are illuminating, comforting and at times hilarious.  And each gives the reader a new and personal perspective on death and the process of dying.

Confessions of a Funeral Director

We are a people who deeply fear death. While humans are biologically wired to evade death for as long as possible, we have become too adept at hiding from it, vilifying it, and—when it can be avoided no longer—letting the professionals take over. Sixth-generation funeral director Caleb Wilde understands this reticence and fear. He had planned to get as far away from the family business as possible. He wanted to make a difference in the world, and how could he do that if all the people he worked with were . . . dead? Slowly, he discovered that caring for the deceased and their loved ones was making a difference—in other people’s lives to be sure, but it also seemed to be saving his own. $16.99

Smoke gets in your Eyes

In this best-selling memoir, brimming with gallows humor and vivid characters, the author marvels at the gruesome history of undertaking and relates her unique coming-of-age story with bold curiosity and mordant wit. By turns hilarious, dark, and uplifting, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes reveals how the fear of dying warps our society and “will make you reconsider how our culture treats the dead.  $15.95

The Good Death

In these pages, the author brings us intimate portraits of the nurses, patients, bishops, bioethicists, and activists who are shaping the way we die. The Good Death presents a fearless examination of how we approach death, and how those of us close to dying loved ones live in death’s wake. $18.00

Plus, level up your reading time with these handcrafted goods:

Handcrafted Oakland Mugs

Hand-thrown on the potter’s wheel by a talented local potter, these sturdy stoneware mugs present the perfect opportunity to indulge in a delicious cup of joe, hot chocolate, or soothing tea while indulging in your favorite read. $24.99

Christmas Tree Wine Bottle Stoppers

Occasionally we lose a tree at historic Oakland Cemetery due to age or weather. We collect the usable wood and give it to local artisans who make wooden gifts to sell in our museum shop. These Christmas tree bottle stoppers made will spruce up that special bottle of wine at your next holiday get-together while helping to keep it fresh in the bottle. $18.99.

You can purchase all of these titles in our online shop or in-person at our Museum Shop, located at the Bell Tower.

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