100 books like American Dementia

By Daniel R. George, Peter J. Whitehouse,

Here are 100 books that American Dementia fans have personally recommended if you like American Dementia. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

Why am I passionate about this?

I have had a long career as a professor of organizational behavior. My view is that the most ignored and undervalued aspect of leadership is the development and implementation of political skills. Any leader who claims, “I don’t do politics” or “I’m not political,” is not serving themselves very well and, in fact, may be setting themselves up for failure. Whether in organizational life, in the sphere of public policy, or in daily life, we need to overcome the obstacles that impede our capacity to implement agendas and ideas and achieve our aspirations. Dreamers who lack political skills remain dreamers, not leaders. 

Samuel's book list on books for leaders who need to master the political skills to move ideas and innovations and overcome resistance

Samuel Bacharach Why did Samuel love this book?

This book is a must-read for anyone concerned with any form of change.

While focusing on the advancement of science, Kuhn, in his brilliant analysis, brings attention to the distinction between paradigmatic and incremental change. His is the key analysis between disruption and slow progression. In this day and age, when so many corporate leaders are obsessed with being disruptive, we often fail to realize that much of our progress is based on slow and steady incrementalism—one piece built upon another.

Paradigmatic change or total disruption has its benefits and its negative aspects, but it’s an outlier. All too often, leaders become obsessively driven toward disruption while the rest of their organization—their tech leaders, their scientists, their front-line, understand that incrementalism often has to proceed paradigmatic disruption.

Thomas Kuhn is the foremost thinker in introducing this distinction, and he understands the need to balance paradigmatic change and incremental change well.…

By Thomas S. Kuhn,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Structure of Scientific Revolutions as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A good book may have the power to change the way we see the world, but a great book actually becomes part of our daily consciousness, pervading our thinking to the point that we take it for granted, and we forget how provocative and challenging its ideas once were-and still are. "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" is that kind of book. When it was first published in 1962, it was a landmark event in the history and philosophy of science. And fifty years later, it still has many lessons to teach. With "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions", Kuhn challenged long-standing…


Book cover of How the Brain Lost Its Mind: Sex, Hysteria, and the Riddle of Mental Illness

Alberto Espay Author Of Brain Fables: The Hidden History of Neurodegenerative Diseases and a Blueprint to Conquer Them

From my list on rethinking brain aging and neurodegeneration.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor of neurology at the University of Cincinnati, interested in the many ways in which we acquire impairments in movements, in cognition, or in both. I have sought to measure these behaviors, quantify their responses to different pharmacological treatments, and determine how they inform the biology of the aging brain. In publications along the way, I have increasingly questioned how we classify neurological diseases and treat those affected.

Alberto's book list on rethinking brain aging and neurodegeneration

Alberto Espay Why did Alberto love this book?

This book offers a captivating tale of how the increasing knowledge of one disease, syphilis, created the foundations to understanding that the brain and mind are one and the same. The authors narrate the stories of patients whose “hysteria” (today referred to as functional neurological disorder) were traced to degenerative brain lesions that only belatedly were understood to be complications caused by remote infections with the bacterium Treponema pallidum. Several chapters follow the story of the important characters depicted by André Brouillet in the Une leçon clinique à la Salpêtrière (A Clinical Lesson at the Salpêtrière), one of the most recognized paintings by neurologists, as it depicts Jean-Martin Charcot, shown among many of his disciples, demonstrating a “hysteric” seizure in one of his patients. The authors illustrate how we have gotten away with conceptualizing behaviors without biological basis and put the reader on notice that “mental illnesses” are neurological problems…

By Allan H. Ropper, Brian Burrell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How the Brain Lost Its Mind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Hugely entertaining' Guardian

'Fascinating' Mail on Sunday

In 1882, Jean-Martin Charcot was the premiere physician in Paris, having just established a neurology clinic at the infamous Salpetriere Hospital, a place that was called a 'grand asylum of human misery'. Assessing the dismal conditions, he quickly upgraded the facilities, and in doing so, revolutionized the treatment of mental illness.

Many of Charcot's patients had neurosyphilis (the advanced form of syphilis), a disease of mad poets, novelists, painters, and musicians, and a driving force behind the overflow of patients in Europe's asylums. A sexually transmitted disease, it is known as 'the great…


Book cover of Madness and Memory: The Discovery of Prions--A New Biological Principle of Disease

Alberto Espay Author Of Brain Fables: The Hidden History of Neurodegenerative Diseases and a Blueprint to Conquer Them

From my list on rethinking brain aging and neurodegeneration.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor of neurology at the University of Cincinnati, interested in the many ways in which we acquire impairments in movements, in cognition, or in both. I have sought to measure these behaviors, quantify their responses to different pharmacological treatments, and determine how they inform the biology of the aging brain. In publications along the way, I have increasingly questioned how we classify neurological diseases and treat those affected.

Alberto's book list on rethinking brain aging and neurodegeneration

Alberto Espay Why did Alberto love this book?

Stan Prusiner received the Nobel Prize of Medicine in 1997 for identifying what at the time was considered a novel mechanism of neurodegeneration: the prions. These “infectious proteins” were responsible for ravaging the brains of animals suffering from scrapie and mad cow disease, and of humans with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Although I have come to doubt that prions are a cause of rapidly progressive dementia and may instead represent a consequence, Prusiner’s memoir is filled with moments of skepticism, self-doubt, adversity, and intellectual rivalries –the ingredients for a gripping drama in neurosciences. 

By Stanley B. Prusiner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A first-person account of a revolutionary scientific discovery that is now helping to unravel the mysteries of brain diseases

In 1997, Stanley B. Prusiner received a Nobel Prize, the world's most prestigious award for achievement in physiology or medicine. That he was the sole recipient of the award for the year was entirely appropriate. His struggle to identify the agent responsible for ravaging the brains of animals suffering from scrapie and mad cow disease, and of humans with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, had been waged largely alone and in some cases in the face of strenuous disagreement.

In this book, Prusiner tells…


Book cover of This Idea Must Die: Scientific Theories That Are Blocking Progress

Alberto Espay Author Of Brain Fables: The Hidden History of Neurodegenerative Diseases and a Blueprint to Conquer Them

From my list on rethinking brain aging and neurodegeneration.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor of neurology at the University of Cincinnati, interested in the many ways in which we acquire impairments in movements, in cognition, or in both. I have sought to measure these behaviors, quantify their responses to different pharmacological treatments, and determine how they inform the biology of the aging brain. In publications along the way, I have increasingly questioned how we classify neurological diseases and treat those affected.

Alberto's book list on rethinking brain aging and neurodegeneration

Alberto Espay Why did Alberto love this book?

This collection of essays blew my mind. Researchers in a range of disciplines were asked to elaborate on why a given idea in their field should be put to rest. There is a chapter dedicated to big data, nature versus nurture, cause and effect, race, Linnaean classification, etc. The book’s essays inspired me to shape a section on “Reductionism and related ideas that will die” as part of a solicited article I wrote with Tony Lang in 2018 aiming to predict the future of Parkinson’s disease research in the 2020s (Ben Stecher credited it as his reason to relocate to Cincinnati to work with us in our CCBP study). This book is also a reminder that progress requires new ideas, and most cannot emerge without first abandoning outdated ones (as Kuhn articulated).  

An idea that must die in neurology is the clinico-pathologic model of classifying neurodegenerative diseases: abnormalities on brain…

By John Brockman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked This Idea Must Die as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The bestselling editor of This Explains Everything brings together 175 of the world's most brilliant minds to tackle Edge.org's 2014 question: What scientific idea has become a relic blocking human progress? Each year, John Brockman, publisher of Edge.org-"The world's smartest website" (The Guardian)-challenges some of the world's greatest scientists, artists, and philosophers to answer a provocative question crucial to our time. In 2014 he asked 175 brilliant minds to ponder: What scientific idea needs to be put aside in order to make room for new ideas to advance? The answers are as surprising as they are illuminating.
In : *…


Book cover of Alzheimer's Daughter

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

From my list on inspiring memoirs about Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

Why am I passionate about this?

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.   

Ann's book list on inspiring memoirs about Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Ann Campanella Why did Ann 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 Author Of Motherhood: Lost and Found: A memoir

From my list on inspiring memoirs about Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

Why am I passionate about this?

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.   

Ann's book list on inspiring memoirs about Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Ann Campanella Why did Ann 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 Granny Needs My Help: A Child's Look at Dementia and Alzheimer's

Anne O'Brien Carelli Author Of I'll Remember, Poppy

From my list on dementia and Alzheimer’s disease for children.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an educator, author of children’s books, and caregiver of a loved one with dementia, I felt that I had to write a story about the disease from a child’s point of view. When I became a caregiver, I was struck by the lack of information for children and the misconceptions of the public about the disease. I wanted to create a story that reassures children and gives them guidance on how they can help be a caregiver. I added the Author’s Note to provide accurate information to adults so that more people are aware of the signs of dementia and to build understanding and compassion. 


Anne's book list on dementia and Alzheimer’s disease for children

Anne O'Brien Carelli Why did Anne love this book?

This sensitive, charming book shows how a child learns about what is going on in her granny’s brain.

It addresses the emotions that a young child may feel when they witness confusing changes in a loved one’s behavior. This story provides a wonderful opportunity to discuss dementia and what to do if a child has concerns or questions. 

By Deborah L Mills,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Granny Needs My Help as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Are you looking for a picture book to talk about dementia or Alzheimer's with a child? This Alzheimer’s book for children explains Alzheimer’s dementia in kid-friendly terms. The book presents memory loss in an easy-to-understand narrative.  

Boys and girls alike will benefit from this “must have” children’s read. Alzheimer's has an impact on families around the world. This book allows a family to face this challenge together and make the most of every available moment.  

In Granny Needs My Help: A Child's Look at Dementia and Alzheimer's the main character Zéh is excited, happy, and challenged as she helps and…


Book cover of Granny Can't Remember Me: A Children's Book About Alzheimer's

Debra Daugherty Author Of The Memory Jar

From my list on helping children understand memory loss.

Why am I passionate about this?

Children’s stories about memory loss, Alzheimer’s, and dementia resonate with me because I know firsthand how difficult it is to care for someone with this disease. My Aunt Luella had Alzheimer’s, and I cared for her in my home. When my aunt no longer remembered me, my heart ached. I felt hopeless, afraid. I can only imagine how difficult it is for a child to watch as a beloved grandparent forgets them. I found these five books to be helpful and inspiring. They offer hope. They embrace the love that still exists.

Debra's book list on helping children understand memory loss

Debra Daugherty Why did Debra love this book?

Granny Can’t Remember Me is told through the child’s eyes. Six-year-old Joey talks about having two grandmas, one who lives in Florida, and one who lives a few blocks away.

His nearby Granny doesn’t remember him, but she does remember stories of when she was young, and when his mother was a child. Joey loves hearing her stories, and playing cards with her. He loves Granny and knows deep down that she loves him, too.

This story was written by a doctor whose mother and father-in-law both had Alzheimer’s. As I read it, I was reminded of my aunt who also had Alzheimer’s. She regaled me with tales of her youth but had no memories of her present. Children will relate to this story as it’s told from a child’s point of view.

By Susan McCormick, Timur Deberdeev (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Granny Can't Remember Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

Granny Can’t Remember Me is a lighthearted picture book about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia told from the perspective of a six-year-old boy, appropriate for children in preschool through early elementary school (ages 3 – 8). Granny can’t remember that Joey likes soccer and rockets and dogs. Granny can’t remember much of anything. But with Granny’s stories of her Three Best Days, Joey knows she loves him just the same.Alzheimer’s disease is more and more common, and many young children experience this sometimes scary and sad family situation. Granny Can’t Remember Me shows a boy’s acceptance and love for his grandmother…


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

Vicki Tapia Author Of Somebody Stole My Iron: A Family Memoir of Dementia

From my list on Alzheimer’s and dementia caregiving stories.

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.

Vicki's book list on Alzheimer’s and dementia caregiving stories

Vicki Tapia Why did Vicki 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 Grandma and Me: A Kid's Guide for Alzheimer's and Dementia

Debra Daugherty Author Of The Memory Jar

From my list on helping children understand memory loss.

Why am I passionate about this?

Children’s stories about memory loss, Alzheimer’s, and dementia resonate with me because I know firsthand how difficult it is to care for someone with this disease. My Aunt Luella had Alzheimer’s, and I cared for her in my home. When my aunt no longer remembered me, my heart ached. I felt hopeless, afraid. I can only imagine how difficult it is for a child to watch as a beloved grandparent forgets them. I found these five books to be helpful and inspiring. They offer hope. They embrace the love that still exists.

Debra's book list on helping children understand memory loss

Debra Daugherty Why did Debra love this book?

This is both a children’s story and a guide to Alzheimer’s. The child, Mathew, tells the story.

He begins with all the fun things he and his grandma do when he visits, walking in the backyard, eating butterscotch candy, listening to the birds. As time passes, Grandma grows forgetful. She calls Mathew by his dad’s name. She stays indoors more and has a caregiver. Mathew’s parents and a nurse explain the changes happening to his grandma. Mathew learns how to talk to her. They look at pictures and Mathew tells the stories that she told him.

This book is an excellent source for explaining Alzheimer’s and memory loss to a child. I love how it gives examples on ways to communicate with someone who has this disease. 

By Beatrice Tauber Prior, Mary Ann Drummond, Julia Walther (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Grandma and Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

In Grandma and Me, Beatrice and Mary Ann combine their years of clinical experience to create a truly engaging, yet informative book for young children on the topics of Alzheimer's and dementia. The beautiful artwork will capture children's attention, bring them into the story, and help them return on their own. Grandma and Me provides a gentle, yet age appropriate description of Alzheimer's disease, while providing tools that helps children continue to have a relationship with their loved one despite the disease. Grandma and Me addresses a difficult topic with love and understanding and provides the tools for children to…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Alzheimer's disease, public policy, and economics?

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