Thursday, May 10, 2018

Hard to Forget - Book Review

I recently finished reading Hard to Forget: an Alzheimer's Story by Charlie Pierce.

I don't usually read medical non-fiction. But having recently reconnected with a grammar school friend, we were talking about our high school buddies. Charlie and I grew up in the same town, close to each other, and for some of the early years of high school, we often walked to school together. I have been reading Charlie's stuff [off and on] for over 50 years. He wrote {for publication} in high school, and I would sometimes see his work in other places in more recent years. And, oh yes, this is *the* Charlie Pierce of "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me."

I have some vivid memories of Charlie's mother, but for me, his dad was a shadowy figure at best.

Part of what I enjoyed was recalling some of the scenery and geography of town.

This is a heart-wrenching, vividly told, brutally honest story. Charlie mixes his information gathering about this debilitating disease with how he and his family reacted to the progression of the illness. Everything from denial, to doing everything possible to help his dad.

It received excellent reviews when it was first published.

I am glad that I read it. In my professional life, "my" division of ALA includes a group of folks who provide services to those suffering from dementia and  their caregivers. As we baby boomers age, this will become an increasingly important service for public libraries to offer.