The most inspiring memoirs about Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Who am I?

An author of a caregiving memoir myself, I’m also a former magazine and newspaper editor who has had the opportunity to read and write about many topics. For the past five years, I have been a manager and director of AlzAuthors, an online global organization that offers the world’s most comprehensive collection of books and blogs on Alzheimer’s and dementia. To say I have done a lot of reading on this subject is an understatement. I’ve been honored to work with so many talented and big-hearted authors who share their Alzheimer’s and dementia experiences. Being immersed in the Alzheimer’s world through AlzAuthors has given me insight into many of the best memoirs on this subject.   


I wrote...

Book cover of Motherhood: Lost and Found: A memoir

What is my book about?

At age 33, writer Ann Campanella returns to North Carolina ready to build a horse farm and start a family. Ann’s foundation is shaken when she experiences multiple miscarriages at the same time her mother spirals into Alzheimer’s. As a young caregiver in the prime of her life, she plunges into an emotional journey that leads her to a deeper understanding of herself and what it means to love. 

Ann’s graceful, exacting language rises above the grief of infertility and the struggle to care for aging parents, connecting the reader ultimately to the heartbeat and resilience of the human experience. Motherhood: Lost and Found has earned numerous awards including being named "one of the best Alzheimer's books of all time" by Book Authority two years in a row. 

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Green Vanilla Tea: One Family's Extraordinary Journey of Love, Hope, and Remembering

Ann Campanella Why did I love this book?

As a writer and lover of memoir myself, the fact that I still remember how I felt after reading Green Vanilla Tea the first time, says a lot. The tremendous sadness of the book is woven so tightly with the love and appreciation of family in this book, I felt transported. Marie Williams shares the tragic story of her husband’s frontal temporal dementia as they are raising two teenage boys. Her beautiful prose describes a journey that is messy, tender, and sacred. This book changed my concept of love – stretching and renewing me!

By Marie Williams,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Green Vanilla Tea as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Green Vanilla Tea is a true story of love and courage in the face of a deadly and little understood illness. With literary finesse, compassion, and a powerful gift of storytelling, Marie Williams writes poignantly of her husband Dominic’s struggles with early onset dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) at the age of 40, and how their family found hope amidst the wreckage of a mysterious neurological condition.
 
As the condition develops and progresses, the normally devoted family man and loving partner seems to disappear beneath an expressionless facade, erratic behavior, and a relentless desire to wander that often leaves…


Book cover of Alzheimer's Daughter

Ann Campanella Why did I love this book?

I can’t even imagine having both parents diagnosed with Alzheimer’s on the same day. But Jean Lee handles this situation with grace and devotion. Through her parents’ letters, she shares their love story. Ed and Ibby have a beautiful bond as do their daughters, yet the girls face a challenging road of caregiving that is sad, humorous, and touching, but always a model for how to love well. In Jean’s book, she casts a spell of nostalgia, faith, and whimsy, pulling the reader into a circle of intimacy. 

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 Somebody Stole My Iron: A Family Memoir of Dementia

Ann Campanella Why did I love this book?

Honest and humble, Vicki Tapia shares her story in Somebody Stole My Iron of caring for both parents at the same time as they descend into dementia. Despite her mother's strong personality and her father's somewhat distant and oblivious nature, Vicki reveals the real issues of loving parents – particularly her mother – who have challenging personalities. Vicki’s loyalty in the midst of difficulty is inspiring. She also shares dementia caregiving tips at the end of each chapter, which provide comfort and affirmation for others caring for aging parents. 

By Vicki Tapia,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Somebody Stole My Iron as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Navigating the waters of dementia can be frightening, unleashing a myriad of emotions for everyone involved. After Vicki Tapia's mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, followed closely by her father with Parkinson's disease-related dementia, she struggled to find practical, helpful information to light her way. Somebody Stole My Iron began as a diary to help her cope, but emerged as a road map for others. It offers a glimpse into her family's life as they rode the waves of dementia, sometimes sailing, other times capsizing. This engaging memoir offers useful information from experts within the field of Alzheimer's research, personal…


Book cover of Leaving Tinkertown

Ann Campanella Why did I love this book?

Leaving Tinkertown is a romp of a memoir that takes the reader behind the scenes of Tinkertown, her father’s colorful roadside attraction in New Mexico. As Ross Ward descends into Alzheimer's, we learn what it was like growing up with this man and how Tanya’s complicated but tender history with him both repels and pulls her back home. Tanya’s writing is gorgeous, and this memoir is both vivid and heartbreaking! It’s a story you won’t soon forget.

By Tanya Ward Goodman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When Tanya Ward Goodman came home to New Mexico to visit her dad at the end of 1996, he was fifty-five years old and just beginning to show symptoms of the Alzheimer's disease that would kill him six years later. Early onset dementia is a shock and a challenge to every family, but the Wards were not an ordinary family. Ross Ward was an eccentric artist and collector whose unique museum, Tinkertown, brought visitors from all over the world to the Sandia Mountains outside Albuquerque. In this book Tanya tells Ross's story and her own, sharing the tragedy and the…


Book cover of Embracing What Remains: A Memoir

Ann Campanella Why did I love this book?

Andrea Couture’s father, a well-known, recently retired surgeon, develops Alzheimer’s at the age of 67. As someone who also lost a parent at a young age, Embracing What Remains touched a deep place in my heart. I connected with how she processed her emotions through her writing. I also appreciated the way she balances her grief over his disease with the gratitude and joy she discovers in each moment. This is a beautifully written memoir! 

By Andrea Couture,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Embracing What Remains as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

***AlzAuthors.com recommended book***

***Finalist in Next Generation Indie Book Awards***

Andrea struggles to mourn a man who is still alive as she witnesses her father decline into the depths of Alzheimer’s.
Denial and devastation color her life when she learns her father, Richard, a recently retired surgeon, is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the age of 67. Her dream to grow closer with him is crushed as the reality of his disease is fully realized. Andrea, a mother of three young children, learns to balance motherhood with daughterhood as she grapples to accept her father’s fate. Andrea rides an unpredictable wave…


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She Refused to Bow

By Farida Manekshah,

Book cover of She Refused to Bow

Farida Manekshah

New book alert!

What is my book about?

A personal memoir which introduces the supernatural in the most natural way.

A message which came in a dream and brought you wealth. A sadhu's warning. The presence you feel as you pray at a grave. A well that dries up. The vision you see as you peer out of the window of your cabin. A jinni. An ancient religion. When everything you say and do has consequence. Because nothing that is done can be undone.

She Refused to Bow

By Farida Manekshah,

What is this book about?

A personal memoir which introduces the supernatural in the most natural way.

A message which came in a dream and brought you wealth. A sadhu's warning. The presence you feel as you pray at a grave. A well that dries up. The vision you see as you peer out of the window of your cabin. A jinni. An ancient religion. When everything you say and do has consequence. Because nothing that is done can be undone.


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