100 books like Leaving Tinkertown

By Tanya Ward Goodman,

Here are 100 books that Leaving Tinkertown fans have personally recommended if you like Leaving Tinkertown. 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 Alzheimer's Daughter

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

From my list on 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.   

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.

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.   

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

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

From my list on 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.   

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

Ann Campanella Why did Ann 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 Embracing What Remains: A Memoir

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

From my list on 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.   

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

Ann Campanella Why did Ann 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…


Book cover of In Pursuit of Memory: The Fight Against Alzheimer's

Sandeep Jauhar Author Of My Father's Brain: Life in the Shadow of Alzheimer's

From my list on the complexities of Alzheimer's and dementia.

Who am I?

For nearly 7 years I watched my father decline from Alzheimer’s. It was perhaps the most difficult journey I’ve ever taken. My book, My Father’s Brain, is a memoir of my relationship with my father as he succumbed to his disease, but it is also a scientific and historical inquiry into the fragility of the brain. In the book, I set my father’s descent into dementia alongside my own journey, as a doctor, writer, and son, toward understanding this mysterious and devastating disease.

Sandeep's book list on the complexities of Alzheimer's and dementia

Sandeep Jauhar Why did Sandeep love this book?

A British neuroscientist, Jebelli travels around the world to discover the latest in dementia research.

He goes to Papua New Guinea, Japan, India, and China to learn about experimental (but mostly futile) treatments, including stem cells, blood transfusions and repurposed cancer drugs.

In the end, he acknowledges how little medicine currently has to offer patients living with dementia, even as he holds out hope (far-fetched, in my view) for a cure in 10 years.

By Joseph Jebelli,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For readers of Atul Gawande, Siddhartha Mukherjee, and Henry Marsh, a riveting, gorgeously written biography of one of history's most fascinating and confounding diseases -- Alzheimer's -- from its discovery more than 100 years ago to today's race towards a cure.

Alzheimer's is the great global epidemic of our time, affecting millions worldwide -- there are more than 5 million people diagnosed in the US alone. And as our population ages, scientists are working against the clock to find a cure.

Neuroscientist Joseph Jebelli is among them. His beloved grandfather had Alzheimer's and now he's written the book he needed…


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

Nicci Gerrard Author Of The Last Ocean: What Dementia Teaches Us about Love

From my list on explore dementia and the mystery of the human mind.

Who am I?

I am a novelist, a journalist, a humanist celebrant, and coauthor with my husband of the best-selling Nicci French thrillers. Witnessing my father’s dementia and his slow-motion dying radically transformed the way I think about what it is to be human. In 2014, I founded John’s Campaign which seeks to make the care of those who are vulnerable and powerless more compassionate, and which is now a national movement in the UK. In 2016, I won the Orwell Prize for Journalism for ‘exposing Britain’s social evils' in the pieces I wrote exploring the nature of dementia.

Nicci's book list on explore dementia and the mystery of the human mind

Nicci Gerrard Why did Nicci love this book?

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.

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…


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

Jason Karlawish Author Of The Problem of Alzheimer's: How Science, Culture, and Politics Turned a Rare Disease Into a Crisis and What We Can Do about It

From my list on making sense of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Who am I?

I’m a physician and a writer. Together, they create a matrix of practice, research, and writing. I care for patients at the Penn Memory Center and am a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, where I teach and study topics at the intersections of bioethics, aging, and the neurosciences. I wrote The Problem of Alzheimer’s: How Science, Culture, and Politics Turned a Rare Disease into a Crisis and What We Can Do About It and the novel Open Wound: The Tragic Obsession of Dr. William Beaumont and essays for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Forbes, The Hill, STAT, and The Philadelphia Inquirer. I raise whippets, and I’m a passionate reader of the physician and poet John Keats. 

Jason's book list on making sense of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia

Jason Karlawish Why did Jason love this book?

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…

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…


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

Jo Owens Author Of A Funny Kind of Paradise

From my list on for commiserating over the "aging parents" challenge.

Who am I?

I am a care aide (aka personal support worker) who has happily worked at an extended care facility for more than twenty years, and as such, I have been a compassionate listener to many a family member suffering from the tsunami of feelings involved when coping with aging parents or spouses, so I thought I would be well-positioned and emotionally prepared to cope when it was my turn to face my own mother's deterioration. How wrong I was! Thank goodness for the generous souls who write memoirs. Each of the books that I have chosen was an education and an affirmation to me as I tried to maintain my equilibrium while supporting my mother and my mother-in-law through their final years.

Jo's book list on for commiserating over the "aging parents" challenge

Jo Owens Why did Jo love this book?

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…

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…


Book cover of On Vanishing: Mortality, Dementia, and What It Means to Disappear

Susan H. McFadden Author Of Dementia-Friendly Communities: Why We Need Them and How We Can Create Them

From my list on innovative approaches to living with dementia.

Who am I?

I have been teaching college students about aging since I was in my late 20s. The audacity! Now that I am officially in the “young-old” category I used to describe to my students, I more fully appreciate the social constructions of aging that affect elders, the medical conditions that can derail plans for “a good old age,” and the challenges we all face in attempting to live with meaning and purpose as we grow older. In addition to teaching, writing about, and researching various aspects of aging, especially aging with various type of dementia, my work has addressed the positive and negative ways religious faith can shape how people cope with aging.

Susan's book list on innovative approaches to living with dementia

Susan H. McFadden Why did Susan love this book?

Lynn Casteel Harper, currently minister for older adults at The Riverside Church in New York City, has written a compassionate book about contemporary fears of aging, dementia, and death. She shows how these fears produce greater social isolation and suffering for people living with dementia and caring for loved ones, whether in private homes or in care communities. She uses personal experiences to illustrate the way our fears of “vanishing” can be overcome when we learn to connect meaningfully with people with dementia.

By Lynn Casteel Harper,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An essential book for those coping with Alzheimer's and other cognitive disorders that “reframe[s] our understanding of dementia with sensitivity and accuracy . . . to grant better futures to our loved ones and ourselves” (Parul Sehgal, The New York Times).

An estimated fifty million people in the world suffer from dementia. Diseases such as Alzheimer's erase parts of one's memory but are also often said to erase the self. People don't simply die from such diseases; they are imagined, in the clichés of our era, as vanishing in plain sight, fading away, or enduring a long goodbye. In On…


Book cover of Memory's Last Breath: Field Notes on My Dementia

Marianne Sciucco Author Of Blue Hydrangeas

From my list on living with dementia.

Who am I?

I am a registered nurse, author, and dementia daughter. As a nurse and hospital case manager, I spent many years caring for people living with dementia and their families. This inspired me to write a novel, Blue Hydrangeas, an Alzheimer’s love story. I soon encountered difficulties marketing my book. I reached out to two other dementia daughters I’d met online who had also written books on the subject from personal experience and together we founded the non-profit organization AlzAuthors.com. Our mission is to carefully vet resources – stories of personal caregiving – to help busy caregivers find the information and inspiration they need for their own journeys. To date, we are 300+ authors strong.

Marianne's book list on living with dementia

Marianne Sciucco Why did Marianne love this book?

Gerda Saunders was diagnosed with cerebral microvascular disease, the leading cause of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease, a few days before her sixty-first birthday. This forced her to confront her mortality and to write an end-of-life plan she could live with. Gerda is a brave, inspiring woman. Her book is a rich, thoughtful accounting of life with dementia.

By Gerda Saunders,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A "courageous and singular book" (Andrew Solomon), Memory's Last Breath is an unsparing, beautifully written memoir -- "an intimate, revealing account of living with dementia" (Shelf Awareness).

Based on the "field notes" she keeps in her journal, Memory's Last Breath is Gerda Saunders' astonishing window into a life distorted by dementia. She writes about shopping trips cut short by unintentional shoplifting, car journeys derailed when she loses her bearings, and the embarrassment of forgetting what she has just said to a room of colleagues. Coping with the complications of losing short-term memory, Saunders, a former university professor, nonetheless embarks on…


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