The best Alzheimer’s and dementia caregiving books

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a caregiver who became an author. Both my parents had dementia. I found few books written from a personal perspective to give me guidance, so the journal I kept ultimately became the book I wished I could have read during our dementia journey. The journey didn’t end for me with the death of my parents. It led me to form a non-profit with two other dementia authors. This passion project has become a global community of authors who have written about Alzheimer’s and dementia from personal experience. Now more than 300 strong, we provide quality resources for caregivers and others concerned about dementia. Learn more at AlzAuthors.com.


I wrote...

Book cover of Somebody Stole My Iron: A Family Memoir of Dementia

What is my book about?

A few months after my father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s-related dementia, Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and I became their family caregiver. My book grew out of the journal I kept as the three of us traveled the dementia journey together.

My memoir shares our story, laced with both humor and sadness, sprinkled with the ever-present "caregiver guilt." It weaves together my insights and the lessons I learned, offering the reassurance that you aren’t alone. Somebody Stole My Iron has been called "a must-read" for anyone experiencing the countless emotional ups and downs that accompany caregiving.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Alzheimer's Daughter

Vicki Tapia Why did I love this book?

Both Jean’s parents had Alzheimer’s disease at the same time. Both my parents had Alzheimer’s disease at the same time. When I read Jean Lee’s memoir, it was like finding a long-lost sister. Like my book, her book also shares a personal story about the dementia journey. It’s the kind of book I wish I might have found while caring for my parents; a book that would have helped me realize I could make it through to the other side. I recommend this story about the love between a daughter and her parents that not even dementia could erase.

By Jean Lee,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Alzheimer's Daughter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What would you do if both parents were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s?At the time of their diagnosis, Ed Church struggles to his feet, yelling, “How dare you use the A. word with me,” while Ibby wags her finger at the doctor scolding, “Shame on you.”They protect each other, Ibby by asserting, “We’re not leaving our home,” and Ed reassuring, “We’re just fine.”About his driving Ed defends, “I’m an excellent driver, I’ve never had an accident.” When their daughter, Rosie, finds dings in Ed’s car, he dismisses, “Someone must have bumped into me.”After Rosie moves them to assisted living, convinced they are…


Book cover of Blue Hydrangeas

Vicki Tapia Why did I love this book?

I was drawn in by Marianne Sciucco’s novel about a man caring for his wife with Alzheimer’s. It’s a love story between a long-married couple, one of whom has dementia. It’s about a husband’s determination to honor his wife’s request to stay in their home, even though his own health is failing. It’s about the magic of the day they “escape.” I loved this book because it showed me that love endures despite dementia; despite what life throws our way. 

By Marianne Sciucco,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Blue Hydrangeas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What if the person who knew you best and loved you most forgot your face, and couldn't remember your name? The PromiseA care facility is everyone's solution for what to do about Sara, but her husband, Jack, can't bear to live without her. He is committed to saving his marriage, his wife, and their life together from the devastation of Alzheimer’s disease. He and Sara retired years ago to the house of their dreams, and operated it as a Cape Cod bed and breakfast named Blue Hydrangeas. Jack has made an impossible promise: He and Sara will stay together in…


Book cover of Motherhood: Lost and Found: A memoir

Vicki Tapia Why did I love this book?

Ann Campanella’s memoir details her journey through caregiving for her mother with Alzheimer’s at the same time she was struggling to start her own family. I felt it all: the anxiety, the frustration, as well as the pain, as she watched her mother decline while coping with an inability to conceive. Ann’s book reminded me to appreciate life’s joys, no matter how small, whether riding a beloved horse, marveling at a sunset, smelling a beautiful flower, or offering a simple hug. 

By Ann Campanella,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Motherhood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ann Campanella, a freelance writer and horsewoman, returns to North Carolina after a several year absence. In her mid thirties and ready to start a family, she is used to setting goals and accomplishing them. But when Ann experiences a series of miscarriages at the same time her mother shows signs of Alzheimer’s, she plunges into an emotional journey that leads her to a deeper understanding of herself and what it means to love.

"One of the best Alzheimer's books of all time." - Book Authority


Book cover of Weeds in Nana's Garden: A heartfelt story of love that helps explain Alzheimer's Disease and other dementias

Vicki Tapia Why did I love this book?

Based on Kathryn Harrison’s daughter’s observation about her grandma, Weeds in Nana’s Garden is a metaphor that compares the weeds in a garden with the “weeds” that take over a person’s brain when they have dementia. Kathryn wrote and illustrated this engaging book to help her own children better understand what was happening to their beloved grandmother. I loved both the story and the brightly colored illustrations. Although written with children in mind, I believe it has a message for people of all ages. 

By Kathryn Harrison,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Weeds in Nana's Garden as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

A young girl and her Nana hold a special bond that blooms in the surroundings of Nana’s magical garden.Then one day, the girl finds many weeds in the garden. She soon discovers that her beloved Nana has Alzheimer’s Disease; an illness that affects an adult brain with tangles that get in the way of thoughts, kind of like how weeds get in the way of flowers.As time passes, the weeds grow thicker and her Nana declines, but the girl accepts the difficult changes with love, learning to take-over as the garden’s caregiver.Extending from the experience of caring for her mother,…


Book cover of Choosing Joy: Alzheimer's: A Book of Hope

Vicki Tapia Why did I love this book?

This is the #1 caregiving book of hope I’d want my family to read, should I ever be diagnosed with dementia. Helene Berger’s memoir shares her experiences caring for her husband after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I learned the many ways she discovered to make life more meaningful for her husband, especially through art (much of his artwork through the years is included). It reiterated to me that the attitude of a caregiver can make all the difference. With kindness and patience, Helene teaches how to be a loving caregiver. 

By Helene Berger,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Choosing Joy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

CHOOSING JOY is a book of hope. Most accounts of Alzheimer's describe a process of irreversible degeneration and decline. This is a rare success story, the story of a woman who refused to surrender to the implications of her husband's diagnosis, instead inspiring him to join her in making every moment they had together meaningful and precious. A few months after their fiftieth anniversary, Ady Berger was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. He responded, I don't want to live anymore. His wife, Helene, was determined to find creative ways to make their lives as fulfilling as possible, for as long as possible.…


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Wrightsville Beach

By Suzanne Goodwyn,

Book cover of Wrightsville Beach

Suzanne Goodwyn Author Of Wrightsville Beach

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been writing all my life, but was never able to find my voice until I had my daughters. It was for them I wrote “Wrightsville Beach”. I wanted to show them what a good relationship should look like and how their decisions make a difference in where they will go. I want my readers to relive that feeling of falling in love and to be sent in unexpected directions, as life so often does to us. I want you to enjoy it so much, you don’t want to put the book down until it’s finished and once you do, to sit and reflect on it, savoring the feeling it has left behind.

Suzanne's book list on smart women trying to figure it all out

What is my book about?

Two years ago, devastated by the sudden death of his older brother, Hank Atwater went on a drinking rampage that ended in his being arrested. Since then, he has been working to rebuild his reputation in his hometown of Wilmington, North Carolina, with little luck. But everything changes after a chance meeting with Jess Wade, a UNCW student studying to be a marine biologist. Hank and Jess feel connected to each other in a way neither has ever felt before.

But when Hank’s past leads to a frightful incident, it ends their relationship. Jess leaves to work on the beach…

Wrightsville Beach

By Suzanne Goodwyn,

What is this book about?

Two years ago, Hank Atwater made a terrible mistake. Devastated by the sudden death of his older brother, Rob, he went on a drinking rampage that ended in his being arrested for aggravated assault. Sober since then, he has been working to rebuild his reputation in his hometown of Wilmington, North Carolina, with little luck.

Working a dead-end delivery job, Hank uses surfing and running to deal with being ostracized as he waits for his probation to end. But everything changes after a chance meeting with Jess Wade, a UNCW student studying to be a marine biologist. Hank and Jess…


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