The most inspiring memoirs about Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Ann Campanella Author Of Motherhood: Lost and Found: A memoir
By Ann Campanella

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...

Motherhood: Lost and Found: A memoir

By Ann Campanella,

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. 

The books I picked & why

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

By Marie Williams,

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

Why 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!

Alzheimer's Daughter

By Jean Lee,

Book cover of Alzheimer's Daughter

Why 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. 

Somebody Stole My Iron: A Family Memoir of Dementia

By Vicki Tapia,

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

Why 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. 

Leaving Tinkertown

By Tanya Ward Goodman,

Book cover of Leaving Tinkertown

Why 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.

Embracing What Remains: A Memoir

By Andrea Couture,

Book cover of Embracing What Remains: A Memoir

Why 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! 

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and caregiver?

5,887 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and caregiver.

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And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

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