10 books like Leaving Tinkertown

By Tanya Ward Goodman,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Leaving Tinkertown. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Alzheimer's Daughter

By Jean Lee,

Book cover of Alzheimer's Daughter

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. 

Alzheimer's Daughter

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…


Somebody Stole My Iron

By Vicki Tapia,

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

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. 

Somebody Stole My Iron

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…


Green Vanilla Tea

By Marie Williams,

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

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!

Green Vanilla Tea

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…


Embracing What Remains

By Andrea Couture,

Book cover of Embracing What Remains: A Memoir

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! 

Embracing What Remains

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…


Stammered Songbook

By Erwin Mortier, Paul Vincent (translator),

Book cover of Stammered Songbook: A Mother's Book of Hours

Erwin Mortier is a poet, and this slim, intense volume is a haunting memorial to his mother in her final months. She died of early-onset dementia, and Mortier struggles to find adequate words for a condition that is profoundly connected to the failure of language and the connection of the self to the world.

Stammered Songbook

By Erwin Mortier, Paul Vincent (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'My mother, a house that is slowly collapsing, a bridge dancing to a tremor.'

It started when she could no longer remember the word for 'book'. Then her mind, her language and her identity began to slip away.

This is Erwin Mortier's moving, exquisitely observed memoir of his mother's descent into dementia, as a once-flamboyant woman who loved life and pleasure becomes a shuffling, ghostlike figure wandering through the house. Piecing together the fragments of her lost life, and his own childhood, Mortier asks: what do we become when we lose the repertoire of habits and words that make us…


In Love

By Amy Bloom,

Book cover of In Love: A Memoir of Love and Loss

When Bloom’s husband Brian is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at age 65, he knows immediately that he wants to die while he still knows who he is. In Love is the story of how his wife helps him to do that, a process that involves months of research, appointments, applications, hurdles, until they are finally accepted to Dignitas in Switzerland. (“Right to Die” states in the U.S. were not an option, because there’s a requirement that a doctor has given you less than six months to live; with Alzheimer’s someone can live another five, ten, fifteen years.) Readers empathize with Bloom as she goes about the excruciating business of helping her beloved find a way out. The beautiful, heartbreaking memoir is about loyalty and devotion, and is also a sort of “how-to” for assisted suicide.

In Love

By Amy Bloom,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

New York Times Bestseller

A poignant love letter to Bloom's husband and a passionate outpouring of grief, In Love reaffirms the power and value of human relationships.

In January 2020, Amy Bloom travelled with her husband Brian to Switzerland, where he was helped by Dignitas to end his life while Amy sat with him and held his hand. Brian was terminally ill and for the last year of his life Amy had struggled to find a way to support his wish to take control of his death, to not submerge 'into the darkness of an expiring existence'.

Written with piercing…


Finding the Right Words

By Cindy Weinstein, Bruce L. Miller,

Book cover of Finding the Right Words: A Story of Literature, Grief, and the Brain

This book is a kind of detective story. It returns to the scene of a long-ago committed crime, namely the incomplete diagnosis and substandard care Jerry Weinstein received in an indifferent health care system and a culture haunted by stigmas. The authors are a masterful team. Bruce Miller is a neurologist at the University of California, San Francisco’s Memory and Aging Center. He’s a widely-recognized expert in the diagnosis and classification of neurodegenerative diseases. Cindy Weinstein is a professor of English literature who focuses on the 19th century American novel. Weinstein’s expertise is Herman Melville, the master of narratives of dissection.

Jerry, Cindy’s father, died in 1997 after a years-long struggle with an inadequately diagnosed and neglected dementia. Together, physicians and literary scholars reconstruct what happened. By putting words to the problem, they make sense of what was painful nonsense. This is the book to understand the value of…

Finding the Right Words

By Cindy Weinstein, Bruce L. Miller,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Finding the Right Words as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The moving story of an English professor studying neurology in order to understand and come to terms with her father's death from Alzheimer's.

In 1985, when Cindy Weinstein was a graduate student at UC Berkeley, her beloved father, Jerry, was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. He was fifty-eight years old. Twelve years later, at age seventy, he died having lost all of his memories-along with his ability to read, write, and speak.

Finding the Right Words follows Weinstein's decades-long journey to come to terms with her father's dementia as both a daughter and an English professor. Although her lifelong love…


Tangles

By Sarah Leavitt,

Book cover of Tangles: A Story about Alzheimer's, My Mother, and Me

When I read this graphic novel for the first time in 2010, it had just been published, and my mom was still my mom. I had been a care aide for ten years and I was thinking a lot about what families had already been through by the time their beloved came to me in Extended Care. Tangles tells the story of Sarah Leavitt's family from the beginning, when the family starts to notice something is wrong with Mom, to the diagnosis of Early Onset Alzheimer's disease, through the long journey until death. The pictures and text were a perfect combination that cracked open my heart and made me a better care aide.

Years later, I had a more personal use for Tangles. My mom didn't have Alzheimer's disease, but Leavitt's book resonated like a tuning fork in St. Paul's cathedral. "I decided to pretend she wasn't my mother…

Tangles

By Sarah Leavitt,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this powerful memoir the the LA Times calls “moving, rigorous, and heartbreaking," Sarah Leavitt reveals how Alzheimer’s disease transformed her mother, Midge, and her family forever. In spare blackand- white drawings and clear, candid prose, Sarah shares her family’s journey through a harrowing range of emotions—shock, denial, hope, anger, frustration—all the while learning to cope, and managing to find moments of happiness. Midge, a Harvard educated intellectual, struggles to comprehend the simplest words; Sarah’s father, Rob, slowly adapts to his new role as full-time caretaker, but still finds time for wordplay and poetry with his wife; Sarah and her…


A Tattoo on My Brain

By Daniel Gibbs, Teresa H. Barker,

Book cover of A Tattoo on My Brain: A Neurologist's Personal Battle Against Alzheimer's Disease

This first-person account of living with a biomarker-defined diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is a clearly written story of two very distinct, even antagonistic experiences. There’s the highly subjective experience of being a patient and the highly objective experience of being a physician who has diagnosed and cared for persons with the same disease. In one book is one narrative of two perspectives embodied in one person. The result is an unadorned account of what it’s like to lose one’s mind just a little bit at a time. Case in point is his account of apathy. I’m routinely prescribing this book to my patients. 

A Tattoo on My Brain

By Daniel Gibbs, Teresa H. Barker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Tattoo on My Brain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Dr Daniel Gibbs is one of 50 million people worldwide with an Alzheimer's disease diagnosis. Unlike most patients with Alzheimer's, however, Dr Gibbs worked as a neurologist for twenty-five years, caring for patients with the very disease now affecting him. Also unusual is that Dr Gibbs had begun to suspect he had Alzheimer's several years before any official diagnosis could be made. Forewarned by genetic testing showing he carried alleles that increased the risk of developing the disease, he noticed symptoms of mild cognitive impairment long before any tests would have alerted him. In this highly personal account, Dr Gibbs…


A Dignified Life

By Virginia Bell, David Troxel,

Book cover of A Dignified Life: The Best Friends Approach to Alzheimer's Care: A Guide for Care Partners

This book shows you how to meet many of the daily challenges of caring for someone with dementia. Illustrated through the heartfelt stories of others this book shows your how The Best Friends method brings dignity to the lives of those presenting dementia symptoms and those who are caring for them.

I found the explanation of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia symptoms very interesting and helpful, specifically how this type of loss and experience can make the individual feel. I appreciated learning additional and successful ways to respond and communicate to many situations that caregivers face when caring for any individual with any cause of dementia symptoms.

Dementia care is complex and different for every person, and I am always looking for new perspectives and care approaches to share with family and professional care providers that can give confidence and feelings of empowerment to anyone on their individual dementia care journey-and…

A Dignified Life

By Virginia Bell, David Troxel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Dignified Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

More than 5 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer's disease or a related form of dementia. By the year 2030, experts estimate that as many as 66 million people around the world will be faced with this life-altering disease. Unfortunately, these staggering statistics impact millions of caregivers, too. Compared with all types of caregivers, those who assist someone with dementia experience the highest levels of burnout, depression, poor health, and premature death. A Dignified Life, Revised and Expanded offers hope and help with a proven approach.

Ten years ago, the first edition of A Dignified Life changed the way…


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