10 books like The Girl in the Flammable Skirt

By Aimee Bender,

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

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The House on Beartown Road

By Elizabeth Cohen,

Book cover of The House on Beartown Road: A Memoir of Learning and Forgetting

I was a new mother when I read this Alzheimer’s memoir and immediately felt that I’d found a friend. Elizabeth Cohen is funny, lyrical, and sometimes (understandably) frustrated as she takes on the bruising balance of managing a career while simultaneously caring for her aging father and her young daughter. The book is a testimony to the healing power of story and provided a valuable model to me as I sought to make sense of my own family experience by committing my memories to the page.

The House on Beartown Road

By Elizabeth Cohen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The House on Beartown Road as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Daddy walks around, dropping pieces of language behind him, the baby following, picking them up. He asks for 'the liquid substance from the spigot'. She asks for 'wawa'. He wants a tissue to wipe his 'blowing device'. She says 'Wipe, Mummy' and points to her runny nose. The brain of my father and the brain of my daughter have crossed. On their ways to opposite sides of life, they have made an X-On his way out of life, Daddy has passed her the keys.' Soon after her daughter's first birthday, her husband walked out of their rambling old house in…


Dementia, My Darling

By Brendan Constantine,

Book cover of Dementia, My Darling

The title poem in this collection, (made from lines spoken by the poet’s mother,) manages to embody both caregiver and loved one as Constantine gives gentle structure to a string of seemingly disconnected utterances. Each poem in the book explores themes of loss, memory, and family through a different lens, creating an almost kaleidoscopic vision of the world. The collection is a rumination, a celebration, and a beautiful example of how poetry can expand our perspectives and teach us to speak and hear new rhythms.  

Dementia, My Darling

By Brendan Constantine,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

As with Constantine's previous titles, Dementia, My Darling can be enjoyed at random or in order. However, when taken in sequence, the poems construct a thesis on life as we remember it from moment to moment. What is your first memory of love? How soon will you forget answering that question?


The Wide Circumference of Love

By Marita Golden,

Book cover of The Wide Circumference of Love

When 68 year-old Gregory Tate is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, his family members reckon with the past and try to move toward an unexpected future with love and honesty. This beautifully written novel offers readers a chance to see the crisis from varying points of view and encourages empathy for every member of the family. In addition, Golden works to raise awareness of the way Alzheimer’s disproportionately affects Black and Latino communities. African Americans are more than twice as likely as whites to develop the disease, and yet, are gravely underrepresented in research and clinical trials. Part of a diverse chorus represented by #AlzAuthors, Golden is a vital voice to follow.

The Wide Circumference of Love

By Marita Golden,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A 2018 NAACP Image Award nominee and an NPR Best Book of 2017, a moving African-American family drama of love, devotion, and Alzheimer's disease.

Diane Tate never expected to slowly lose her talented husband to the debilitating effects of early-onset Alzheimer's disease. As a respected family court judge, she's spent her life making tough calls, but when her sixty-eight-year-old husband's health worsens and Diane is forced to move him into an assisted living facility, it seems her world is spinning out of control.

As Gregory's memory wavers and fades, Diane and her children must reexamine their connection to the man…


The Authenticity Experiment

By Kate Carroll De Gutes,

Book cover of The Authenticity Experiment: Lessons From The Best & Worst Year Of My Life

Akin to peering into the pages of a private journal, The Authenticity Experiment, is an unvarnished reaction to a series of heartbreaking losses. Tired of the way social media has forced us to create a relentlessly curated and cheerful version of ourselves, de Gutes presents a museum of true emotion. The consecutive deaths of her mother, a dear friend, and a beloved mentor move de Gutes to map her own identity around the absence of three critical landmarks. Musing on perfectionism, guilt, joy, love, and success, de Gutes finds the route to self-compassion is a long and winding one. We readers are lucky enough to be able to walk beside her.

The Authenticity Experiment

By Kate Carroll De Gutes,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

* * * Winner of the Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY) BRONZE MEDAL in LGBT Non-Fiction! * * *

The Authenticity Experiment: Lessons from the Best and Worst Year of My Life is the new collection of essays from award-winning writer Kate Carroll de Gutes.

In 2012, Kate Carroll de Gutes found herself at a rest stop “ruined with anxiety. And when I say ruined, I mean in a car, in hundred-degree weather, with all the windows rolled up, sobbing and crouched in the passenger’s seat rocking and waiting for the Ativan to take effect. I posted on Facebook, ‘Hello,…


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…


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…


The Problem of Alzheimer's

By Jason Karlawish,

Book cover 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

First, this book provides a wonderful history of the important discoveries of the different aspects of the disease. You also learn the stories behind many aspects of the disease that are now taken for granted—even with our 25+ years of treating people with this disease and conducting research to understand it better, we learned a lot. Dr. Karlawish also explains why research into dementia languished for more than 50 years. Finally, he raises many thought-provoking ethical issues that people with dementia, doctors, and society will need to wrestle with if we are going to solve “The Problem of Alzheimer’s.” 

The Problem of Alzheimer's

By Jason Karlawish,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Problem of Alzheimer's as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A definitive and compelling book on one of today's most prevalent illnesses.

In 2020, an estimated 5.8 million Americans had Alzheimer’s, and more than half a million died because of the disease and its devastating complications. 16 million caregivers are responsible for paying as much as half of the $226 billion annual costs of their care. As more people live beyond their seventies and eighties, the number of patients will rise to an estimated 13.8 million by 2050.

Part case studies, part meditation on the past, present and future of the disease, The Problem of Alzheimer's traces Alzheimer’s from its…


Floating in the Deep End

By Patti Davis,

Book cover of Floating in the Deep End: How Caregivers Can See Beyond Alzheimer's

Reading Patti Davis’s book is like sitting in her living room talking with her, one caregiver to another. Because she not only lived through Alzheimer’s disease and dementia with her father, Ronald Reagan, but ran a support group for a number of years, her knowledge is vast and she shares it with you. For example, chapters with titles such as, “Grief Arrives Early,” “Creative Lying,” “The Battle Over Bathing,” and “Where is the Person I Knew?” discuss important topics in relatable ways. Her story and the way she tells it also make this book a wonderful read.

Floating in the Deep End

By Patti Davis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Floating in the Deep End as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"For the decade of my father's illness, I felt as if I was floating in the deep end, tossed by waves, carried by currents but not drowning." In a singular account of battling Alzheimer's, Patti Davis eloquently weaves personal anecdotes with practical advice tailored specifically for the overlooked caregiver. After losing her father, Ronald Reagan, Davis founded a support group for family members and friends of Alzheimer's patients; drawing on those years, Davis reveals the surprising struggles and gifts of this cruel disease. From the challenges of navigating disorientation to the moments when guilt and resentments creep in, readers are…


Learning to Speak Alzheimer's

By Joanne Koenig Coste,

Book cover of Learning to Speak Alzheimer's: A Groundbreaking Approach for Everyone Dealing with the Disease

This book is wonderful for so many reasons. It reminds us that simple, commonsense approaches often work to solve or ameliorate daily problems. It shows us ways that communication is possible even when language fails. It encourages us to see through the individual’s eyes and live in their world. It urges us to focus on what the person is still able to do, and to compensate for or simply ignore what they cannot. And it inspires us to create moments of success and laughter along the way. 

Learning to Speak Alzheimer's

By Joanne Koenig Coste,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Learning to Speak Alzheimer's as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A guide to more successful communication for the millions of Americans caring for someone with dementia: “Offers a fresh approach and hope.”—NPR

Revolutionizing the way we perceive and live with Alzheimer’s, Joanne Koenig Coste offers a practical approach to the emotional well-being of both patients and caregivers that emphasizes relating to patients in their own reality. Her accessible and comprehensive method, which she calls habilitation, works to enhance communication between carepartners and patients and has proven successful with thousands of people living with dementia.

Learning to Speak Alzheimer’s also offers hundreds of practical tips, including how to
-Cope with the…


The 36-Hour Day

By Nancy L. Mace, Peter V. Rabins,

Book cover of The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer Disease and Other Dementias

Now in its 7th edition, this book is the classic guide to caregiving for individuals with dementia. Comprehensive, and filled with stories and anecdotes, it is packed with valuable information on dementia and the behaviors that dementia engenders. We have read it several times and have recommended it to hundreds if not thousands of families. 

The 36-Hour Day

By Nancy L. Mace, Peter V. Rabins,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The 36-Hour Day as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With over 3.5 million copies sold, the bestselling guide to understanding and caring for people with dementia is now completely revised and updated!

For 40 years, The 36-Hour Day has been the leading work in the field for caregivers of those with dementia. Written by experts with decades of experience caring for individuals with memory loss, Alzheimer's, and other dementias, the book is widely known for its authoritativeness and compassionate approach to care. Featuring everything from the causes of dementia to managing its early stages to advice on caring for those in the later stages of the disease, it is…


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