Our library includes Macmillan brochures and books on diagnosis, treatment, and coping with cancer.


Welcome from the Librarians!

Welcome to the ESCA library, which is open and available for all: members and their families, volunteers, peer supporters, counsellors, and therapists,  to name a few. If you need any help finding information please contact us at

We are available to help you.

Irene Bertrand and Sandra Oakley,  ESCA librarians


Our Catalogue

We have a collection of some 300 books in English at the Drop-in Centre to cater to the needs and interests of those touched by cancer. Books cover a variety of subjects and are arranged on the shelves by these broad subject categories :

  • General Health
  • Types of Cancer
  • Nutrition, Holistic and Complementary Therapies
  • Self-help
  • Coping with Cancer
  • Care and Families
  • Grieving and Bereavement
  • Life Journeys
  • Spirituality

There are two lists to help you find individual titles: one is arranged by the subject and the other by the author.

We also have books for children.

There is a small collection of DVDs.

Come to the library to browse and borrow any one of them (see library procedures). Please feel free to recommend any titles you would like added to the library. If you are interested in reviewing any of these titles, please contact either Irene Bertrand or Sandra Oakley at


Our Resources

We have a collection of Macmillan Cancer Support brochures. This UK Charity develops publications specifically for people with cancer and their carers.

We’ve also compiled an online list of reliable and up-to-date cancer information websites for patients, families and carers that can be access through our resources web page.


Library Procedures

Books may be borrowed for an initial period of six weeks. On request, loans may be renewed for a further period of six weeks by sending an email to Four books and/or Macmillan brochures may be borrowed at one time.

Borrowing Library Books

(1) Take the library card from the back of the book and enter name, date and telephone number.

(2) File the card in alphabetical order by name of author in the small file box marked LIBRARY BOOKS on loan.

Returning Library Books

(1) Take the library card from the small file box and cross out the name.
Return the card to the back of the book.

(2) Shelve the book according to the catalogue number or, if unsure, leave it on the table to be processed and shelved by one of the librarians.


New Books

Being Adam Golightly: One Man’s Bumpy Voyage to the Other Side of Grief

Being Adam Golightly: One Man’s Bumpy Voyage to the Other Side of Grief

Adam Golighty

Adam Golightly is the pseudonym for a widower whose wife died of cancer. As he says himself, if his wife had not died, then Adam Golightly would not exist. ”Creating Adam was in many ways a desperate act, as I looked for anything to help me deal with overwhelming grief, leaving me strong enough to support the kids.” His publisher says, “the cruel early death of his wife Helen tears up the script of Adam Golightly’s middle-class, middle-aged existence. Miserably single, he recounts his fight back against the hand of fate.….. As he starts to build a new, alternative life for himself and his children, he shows not just how to survive bereavement but how to be transformed by it”

Both of these books are really accessible and address the need for support in bereavement, particularly for men who are grieving the loss of a wife or partner.
-Sandra Oakley

Death, Grieving and Bereavement [ 8 GOL ]

The Grief Survival Guide: How to Navigate Loss and All That Comes With It

The Grief Survival Guide: How to Navigate Loss and All That Comes With It

Jeff Brazier

Since his former partner Jade Goody died in 2009, Jeff Brazier has been on an extraordinary journey. The devoted single dad of two young bereaved sons has transitioned from being a reality TV star to become a life coach, counsellor, charity ambassador for bereaved families and now, a best-selling author. He has attracted new fans for the honesty, integrity and warmth with which he has told his own story and has engaged with the dying and the bereaved to share theirs. The Grief Survival Guide is a compendium that you could easily find yourself reading cover to cover but also dip into, as you chart your own course through grief. - The Funeral Zone

Death, Grieving and Bereavement [ 8 BRA ]

Radical remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds

Radical remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds

Kelly A. Turner

Early in her career as a researcher and counselor in integrative oncology, the author found that there were few studies on radical remission, when people recover against all odds without the help of conventional medicine. This book presents her evidence, after years of research in many countries, of nine factors which can help even terminally-ill patients to turn their lives around. Some of the factors include change of diet, increasing positive emotions, deepening your
spiritual connection, embracing social support. Obviously a controversial book but of interest to those looking for alternative/complementary ways to overcome their cancer.

holistic and complementary therapies [ 4 TUR ]

Not that Kind of Love : A sister, a brother, some tumours and a cat

Not that Kind of Love : A sister, a brother, some tumours and a cat

Clare and Greg Wise

This book is based on a blog by Clare Wise which was started when she found out she had breast cancer. It is a powerfully witty and warm, non-sensational account of her life with cancer until her brother Greg Wise (married to Emma Thompson) took over the narrative when Clare was too ill and finished it when she died. The brother and sister were clearly very close and this book will be helpful for people who have lost a sibling. Greg's reflections on compassion fatigue are very
honest but cannot hide his devotion to his sister. A moving book.

life journeys [ 9 WIS ]



Kristin Neff

One reader comments: "I wish I had read this book a long time ago - it
would have saved me a lot of struggles."

Beating ourselves up doesn't help nor does regretting the past or fearing the future. Sounds as if it's a book for a lot of us!

Self-help [ 5 NEF ]

The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions

The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions

Christopher K. Germer

"Why is it so hard to extend the same kindness to ourselves that many of
us gladly offer to others?"

This first sentence in the foreword to this book illuminates the need for self compassion which, linked to the power of mindfulness, can improve our lives considerably, with peace and calm in a balanced perspective. This book is easy to read and has techniques and helpful exercises.

Self-help [ 5 GER ]

Oscar and the Lady in Pink

Oscar and the Lady in Pink

Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt

This is a lovely story about a young boy in hospital with terminal cancer and an old lady, Granny Rose, who comes to visit him. The book is written as ten letters addressed by Oscar to God. It is sensitive, funny and heartbreaking. A wonderful little book.

food for thought [ 10 SCH ]

A Mighty Boy

A Mighty Boy

Sarah Pullen

A mother's journey through grief, this is also a book about a 10-year-old boy diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour. With three young brothers, the author recounts the family's difficult journey but she also deals with general grieving emotions, on death and dying, and rituals that are taboo in our modern society.

life journeys [ 9 PUL ]

Love, Light and Mermaid Tails

Love, Light and Mermaid Tails

Fi Munro

This Scottish author is a health researcher and public speaker who is a strong believer in holistic health. She shares her journey through stage four ovarian cancer at the age of 32 with brutal honesty and forthright style. Her surgery and following treatments were indeed harrowing but she is totally inspirational in her positive approach to all aspects of self care and life style. She always includes her medical team in her decisions to ensure she is getting the best possible solutions for her recovery as a cancer "warrior."

life journeys [ 9 MUN ]

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Rebecca Skloot

This is a fascinating and unique story of a poor American black woman living in southern USA in the 1950s whose cancer cells - taken without her knowledge - became the first "immortal" human cells grown in culture and are still alive today. Called HeLa cells they have helped led advances by scientists in developing a polio vaccine, in vitro fertilization, gene mapping etc. They have been bought and sold by the billions and launched a multi-million dollar industry, yet her family knew nothing about it until 20 years after her death and have never seen any benefits. Their story is all connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans in the early 20th century and the birth of bioethics. Absolutely fascinating.

general cancer [2 SKL ]