The most recommended immune system books

Who picked these books? Meet our 12 experts.

12 authors created a book list connected to immune system, and here are their favorite immune system books.
Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

What type of immune system book?


Always Human

By Ari North,

Book cover of Always Human

Carolyn Watson Dubisch Author Of After The Robots Died: Rey Rabbits Issue #1

From the list on science fiction and comics for young adults.

Who am I?

For my whole life I've been fascinated by science fiction. I love watching Star Trek and reading books by Octavia Butler, and probably my favorite moment in school was when we were asked to read The Veldt by Ray Bradbury. As an artist I designed aliens for Star Wars products and am listed in the “Wookiepedia” online. My latest children’s book Alien Farm; Scary Stories for kids just won “Best Paranormal Book for kids” in the Firebird Awards. I also teach art to kids here in Mexico and I see their eyes light up when the assignment is to create robot designs or to draw spaceships and aliens.

Carolyn's book list on science fiction and comics for young adults

Why did Carolyn love this book?

This graphic novel which was first serialized on the platform Webtoons, takes place in the near future. People are able to alter their physical appearance using new technology. Most people do use it, except for some who have “Egan’s Syndrome” which means they are too sensitive to modify their bodies in this way.

Sunati finds herself attracted to Austen, a young woman who lives her life “unmodded”. It’s actually a very sensitive love story told with some really stunning artwork.

By Ari North,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"This beautifully illustrated slice-of-life tale that shows two young women of color getting to know each other and creating a relationship is so warm and charming that readers will hardly notice how much they are learning about how to better interact with folx who are different from themselves and the importance of not making assumptions." -- Kirkus Reviews

"...soft, expressive art adds a visceral charge to the couple's very human experiences, which range from excitement and affection to pain and doubt." -- Publisher's Weekly

"This wholesome plot focuses on building understanding, offering mutual support, and budding self-acceptance, as well as…

Opening Up by Writing It Down

By James W. Pennebaker, Joshua M. Smyth,

Book cover of Opening Up by Writing It Down: How Expressive Writing Improves Health and Eases Emotional Pain

Vicki Atkinson Author Of Surviving Sue

From the list on the power of memoir writing to promote healing.

Who am I?

I believe in the power of personal narratives and the memoir genre as tools to foster healing and forgiveness. As a licensed professional counselor with a doctorate in adult education, I devoted years toward better understanding the fractured relationship I had with my mother, eventually uncovering the source of her pain and trauma. My mother’s mental health and addiction issues were muddied by the shame she carried for years, as a terrified secret keeper, full of self-loathing. Although I was often the target of her anger, I found a pathway to compassion that mended my heart and provided an example of intergenerational healing for my own daughter.

Vicki's book list on the power of memoir writing to promote healing

Why did Vicki love this book?

Dr. Pennebaker describes writing as a mechanism for wellness – highlighting the power of prose in solving puzzles, bringing secrets into the light, as we seek to understand ourselves and others.

Keeping secrets, according to Pennebaker, is physical work with negative implications (often across a lifetime) potentially impacting long-term physical and mental health due to stress.

I’ve returned to Opening Up by Writing it Down many times in my career in order to tap into the wisdom to write about my mother’s complicated life and to better understand the pain she carried into her adult years. It’s a terrific tool for writers curious about the memoir genre.

By James W. Pennebaker, Joshua M. Smyth,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Opening Up by Writing It Down as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Expressing painful emotions is hard--yet it can actually improve our mental and physical health. This lucid, compassionate book has introduced tens of thousands of readers to expressive writing, a simple yet powerful self-help technique grounded in scientific research. Leading experts James W. Pennebaker and Joshua M. Smyth describe how taking just a few minutes to write about deeply felt personal experiences or problems may help you:

*Heal old emotional wounds
*Feel a greater sense of well-being
*Decrease stress
*Improve relationships
*Boost your immune system

Vivid stories and examples yield compelling insights into secrets, self-disclosure, and the hidden price of silence.…

Into the Forest

By Susan Tyler Hitchcock,

Book cover of Into the Forest: The Secret Language of Trees

Anthony D. Fredericks Author Of In Search of the Old Ones: An Odyssey among Ancient Trees

From the list on trees and forests.

Who am I?

Growing up, my father and I would take two weeks every summer to camp in the High Sierra Mountains of California. In between fishing excursions and rafting trips, I would take time to hike among tall pines or resplendent forests. I was always amazed at what I would discover. In later years, I would often find myself in the company of forests on business ventures or family vacations. Now in my eighth decade, I still embrace the magnificence of tall timbers. I have lived among them, danced beneath their branches, and reposed in their shade. They are an integral part of my life; they are both inspiration and friends.

Anthony's book list on trees and forests

Why did Anthony love this book?

I discovered this book by accident…and what a great accident it was!

This book is a complete and thorough examination of all the elements of forest life. Chapters include Tree, Earth, Water, Air, Fire, and Forest. Throughout, it is brimming with information, full of insights, and loaded with perspectives found in no other book.

It is a most masterful examination of every element of forest life - told with intensity and passion.

As a National Geographic publication, you know it is both scientifically accurate and packed with dynamic photographs. This is a book that was crafted with love and intent.

Like me, you will find yourself turning to this book again and again. It is a most necessary addition to any personal library.

By Susan Tyler Hitchcock,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For millennia, trees have offered renewal and inspiration.

They have provided for humanity on every level, from spiritual sanctuary to the raw material for our homes, books, and food. In this beautiful and revealing book, National Geographic combines legendary photography with cutting-edge science to illuminate exactly how trees influence the life of planet Earth-from our personal lives to the weather cycle. Beautifully illustrated essays tell the stories of the world's most remarkable trees, from Tane Mahura in New Zealand, the ancient Maori "lord of the forest," to Pando, a single aspen spreading over 100 acres: Earth's largest living thing. You'll…

If Our Bodies Could Talk

By James Hamblin,

Book cover of If Our Bodies Could Talk: Operating and Maintaining a Human Body

Tamara Duker Freuman Author Of The Bloated Belly Whisperer: A Nutritionist's Ultimate Guide to Beating Bloat and Improving Digestive Wellness

From the list on science books to make yourself health-fad proof.

Who am I?

I am an evidence-based dietitian who’s worked in gastroenterology practices for over a decade and have seen countless patients defrauded by modern-day snake oil salespeople and unqualified influencers trying to hawk fad diets, unregulated supplements, pseudoscientific lab tests, and more. Knowledge is power, and scientific literacy—understanding how our bodies actually work—is the best defense against being led down a harmful rabbit hole of health misinformation. I love popular science books, and I especially love it when people can write about science with humor and intelligence without ‘dumbing it down’ or oversimplifying; these books all meet that criteria!

Tamara's book list on science books to make yourself health-fad proof

Why did Tamara love this book?

I first picked up this book years ago for the appeal of its short, science-based chapters took on novelty, quirky questions about why our bodies are so weird: why do we have dimples? Why do stomachs rumble? Why do men have nipples? What happens to weight when it’s lost? (Spoiler alert: you breathe it out!)

But Hamblin also takes on some more serious topics, the (mis)understanding of which is even more important in the era of COVID and social-media-fueled wellness culture: how do vaccines work? Can you really boost your immune system? Do probiotics work? What about multivitamins? Are we made to eat meat? What is gluten, anyway? What causes cancer? Hamblin’s humor, straight-talk and lack of any agenda to sell you anything but the state of the science is a refreshing balm in a world fueled with health disinformation that thrives on our lack of scientific knowledge.

By James Hamblin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked If Our Bodies Could Talk as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"If you want to understand the strange workings of the human body, and the future of medicine, you must read this illuminating, engaging book." —Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of The Gene

In 2014, James Hamblin launched a series of videos for The Atlantic called "If Our Bodies Could Talk."  With it, the doctor-turned-journalist established himself as a seriously entertaining authority in the field of health. Now, in illuminating and genuinely funny prose, Hamblin explores the human stories behind health questions that never seem to go away—and which tend to be mischaracterized and oversimplified by marketing and news media.  He covers topics…

Learned Optimism

By Martin E. P. Seligman,

Book cover of Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life

Randy Ross Author Of Fireproof Happiness: Extinguishing Anxiety & Igniting Hope

From the list on the best way to find happiness.

Who am I?

My entire career has revolved around helping people find more meaning and fulfillment in their life and work. It’s a fact that happy people are healthier, have better relationships, are more satisfied with life, and are more productive. But, happiness for most folks is elusive. Through my research, personal experience, and coaching and consulting practice, I have found that there is a distinct connection between hope and happiness. Fireproof Happiness is my attempt to show this connection and offer practical wisdom and sound advice to craft a brighter tomorrow, no matter what you may be facing today.

Randy's book list on the best way to find happiness

Why did Randy love this book?

Known as the father of the new science of Positive Psychology, Dr. Martin Seligman shows how optimism enhances quality of life. He refutes the idea that some people are simply born more optimistic and shares how anyone can adopt a more positive outlook on life. This book is filled with simple techniques to break depression, boost your immune system and make you happier.

Learned Optimism offers simple, straightforward solutions to help anyone embrace a healthier mindset as they face and embrace challenging times. Applying the content of this book, anyone can learn to view life through a different lens, changing their perspective and navigating life’s difficulties more effectively.

By Martin E. P. Seligman,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Learned Optimism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • The father of positive psychology draws on more than twenty years of clinical research to show you how to overcome depression, boost your immune system, and make yourself happier.

"Vaulted me out of my funk.... So, fellow moderate pessimists, go buy this book." —The New York Times Book Review

Offering many simple techniques anyone can practice, Dr. Seligman explains how to break an “I–give–up” habit, develop a more constructive explanatory style for interpreting your behavior, and experience the benefits of a more positive interior dialogue.

With generous additional advice on how to encourage optimistic behavior at school,…


By Michael F. Roizen, Mehmet C. Oz,

Book cover of YOU: The Owner's Manual: An Insider's Guide to the Body That Will Make You Healthier and Younger

Allan & Barbara Pease Author Of The Answer: How to discover what you want from life then make it happen

From the list on living an extraordinary life.

Who are we?

Barbara and Allan Pease are the most successful relationship authors in the business. They have written 18 bestsellers – including 10 number ones – and given seminars in 70 countries. Their books are bestsellers in over 100 countries, are translated into 55 languages, and have sold over 30 million copies. Both Barbara and Allan appear regularly in the media worldwide and their work has been the subject of 11 television series, four stage plays, and a number one box office movie and TV series, which attracted a combined audience of over 100 million.

Allan's book list on living an extraordinary life

Why did Allan love this book?

Here is a fabulous and practical health book that puts you back in touch with how your incredible body works for you, not against you. Simple guidelines give you the confidence to separate myth from fact in the ever-increasing content about our bodies. Knowledge is power, and the most fundamental thing you can study is your own health and happiness.

By Michael F. Roizen, Mehmet C. Oz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The #1 bestseller that gives YOU complete control over your body and your health

With new health studies and advice bombarding us every day, few people know much about what chugs, churns, and thumps throughout the miraculous system that is the human anatomy.

YOU: The Owner's Manual challenges preconceived notions about how the human body works and ages, and takes you on a fascinating grand tour of all your blood-pumping, food-digesting, and numbers-remembering systems and organs—including the heart, brain, lungs, immune system, bones, and sensory organs.

In this updated and expanded edition, America's favorite doctors, Michael Roizen and Mehmet Oz,…

Book cover of Microbial Inhabitants of Humans: Their Ecology and Role in Health and Disease

Jessica Snyder Sachs Author Of Good Germs, Bad Germs: Health and Survival in a Bacterial World

From the list on surviving and thriving in a microbial world.

Who am I?

I'm enchanted by ecology – how life on Earth is both a web and a seamless continuum. In my first book, Corpse, I explored the organisms that colonize the human body after death. In Good Germs, Bad Germs, I immersed myself in our symbiotic relationship with the ever-present bacteria that live in us and on us. I’m passionate about understanding how we evolved to survive in a bacterial world and how we must take the long-term view of surviving – and thriving – in their ever-present embrace. My joy has been in exploring the world of science and translating this joy into lay-accessible stories that entertain as well as educate. 

Jessica's book list on surviving and thriving in a microbial world

Why did Jessica love this book?

Ready for a truly deep dive? Here’s the authoritative textbook on the human microbiome, by the head of the Department of Microbiology at the University College London’s Eastman Dental Institute. Medical microbiologist Michael Wilson goes beyond the microbiome of the mouth and gut, to describe the indigenous microbiota of the skin, eyes, as well as our respiratory, urinary, and reproductive systems. The serious student of microbiology will appreciate each chapter’s extensive study citations and further reading.   

By Michael Wilson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This advanced textbook provides a unique overview of the microbial communities (normal indigenous microbiota) inhabiting those regions of the human body that are exposed to the external environment, including the skin, eyes, oral cavity and the respiratory, urinary, reproductive and gastrointestinal tracts. In order to understand why particular organisms are able to colonise an anatomical region and why the resulting microbial community has a particular composition, an ecological approach is essential. Consequently, the key anatomical and physiological characteristics of each body site are described throughout the book. The crucial roles of the indigenous microbiota in protecting against exogenous pathogens, regulating…

The Magic School Bus Presents

By Dan Green, Carolyn Bracken (illustrator),

Book cover of The Magic School Bus Presents: The Human Body: A Nonfiction Companion to the Original Magic School Bus Series

Steven Clark Cunningham Author Of Your Body Sick and Well: How Do You Know?

From the list on the body for children.

Who am I?

I didn’t always know that I wanted to be a doctor, perhaps because there were no doctors in my family, and I did not even realize that I wanted to (or could) go to medical school until I was almost done with college. Once I did realize this, however, it became immediately obvious to me that being a physician (a surgeon) was what I wanted to dedicate my life’s work to, and I have been passionate about it ever since. Probably the topics I am most passionate about after surgery are education, books, reading, poetry, etc., so this book lets both these passions dovetail beautifully!

Steven's book list on the body for children

Why did Steven love this book?

This entire Magic School Bus series has also been a favorite of ours with our kids. I love the way that the bus goes inside of the human body and gets up close and personal with the cells of the human body. I remember thinking about how it made the difficult-to-see and -imagine immune system easy to picture in the mind of the reader.

By Dan Green, Carolyn Bracken (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Magic School Bus Presents as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS PRESENTS THE HUMAN BODY is a photographic nonfiction companion book to the original bestselling title, THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS INSIDE THE HUMAN BODY.

INSIDE THE HUMAN BODY taught thousands of kids about the incredible systems that work together to make the human body function. what makes us who we are. MAGIC SCHOOL BUS PRESENTS THE HUMAN BODY will expand upon the original title with fresh, updated Common Core-aligned content about our amazing bodies. With vivid full-color photographs on each page and illustrations of the beloved Ms. Frizzle and her students, the Magic School Bus Presents series…

Mind, Body and Immunity

By Rachel Charles,

Book cover of Mind, Body and Immunity: How to Enhance Your Body's Natural Defences

Anthea Durand Author Of Illumination of the Shadow: Ancestral Wisdom from the past for the future

From the list on for spirituality and health.

Who am I?

I have expertise in the area of spirituality and alternative health from working for over 20 years as a shamanic practitioner, spiritual teacher, and healer. I have travelled extensively and trained with many renowned teachers all over the world. I also provide ancestral healing and train students to be ancestral healers. Through my own healing journey, I have studied many healing and alternative approaches to wellness. I have studied extensively with plants and herbs. In 2020 I wrote my award-winning book Illumination of the Shadow, which explores ancestral healing. I have always had an interest in books in the mind, body, and spirit area, and read extensively in this area.

Anthea's book list on for spirituality and health

Why did Anthea love this book?

This is a great book, which comprehensively explores the body's immune system. It provides great insights that I was not aware of the various factors that can cause the immunity to breakdown. It is full of information and is easy to read, yet very comprehensive on each area that is explored. I loved the individual exercises included in the book, for example around exploring how toxic your environment is and how this can affect your immunity, which provided great practical information for reflection

This book really helped me with my personal well-being. I am more aware of what can affect my immunity, and how I can live and eat better and enhance my natural defenses.

By Rachel Charles,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Based on the author's personal experience of fighting cancer, this study draws on current research in the area of immune efficiency and provides practical guidelines on planning and implementing an enhancement programme which concentrates on mind, emotions, diet and exercise. The author explores the connection between the onset of illness and emotional upsets, and explains how to deal with anger, stress and resentment through a series of visualization and relaxation techniques. She also examines the physiological and psychological effects of exercise, and outlines the "peak immunity" diet. The text includes information on other immune-deficient and auto-immune diseases, such as allergies,…

The Good Gut

By Justin Sonnenburg, Erica Sonnenburg,

Book cover of The Good Gut: Taking Control of Your Weight, Your Mood, and Your Long-Term Health

Lindsay S. Nixon Author Of Everyday Happy Herbivore: Over 175 Quick-And-Easy Fat-Free and Low-Fat Vegan Recipes

From the list on vegan health.

Who am I?

I first adopted a vegan diet for the animals and then shifted to a plant-based vegan "for my health" in my mid-20s. I felt fabulous for the next 10-15 years. Then, in my mid-30s, I suddenly developed severe and chronic GI symptoms. I was severely bloated, nauseous, and constipated, which didn't make sense given how much fiber I was eating. After diagnosis and treatment for H Pylori (a bacterial infection), I was left with a "broken belly" (severe dysbiosis). I've spent the last few years reading every book on gut health and hormones to learn how to heal myself since traditional medicine has failed me.

Lindsay's book list on vegan health

Why did Lindsay love this book?

Best, most succinct, and comprehensive book I’ve read on the topic of gut health by far. It's also written in a friendly, conversational tone (not overly dry or academic). Things I like: The authors provide a specific daily fiber recommendation (29-35g minimum) for gut health; they discuss how antibiotics and antibiotic soap/cleaner affects microbes, the impacts of glycemic load and industrial flour, and most importantly: they provide evidence so the reader can draw their own conclusions as to what’s best for them diet-wise instead of using fear-mongering.

Note: This book is not "pure vegan" (the authors suggest dairy in some situations).

By Justin Sonnenburg, Erica Sonnenburg,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The groundbreaking science behind the surprising source of good health

Stanford University's Justin and Erica Sonnenburg are pioneers in the most exciting and potentially transformative field of human health and wellness, the study of the relationship between our bodies and the trillions of organisms representing thousands of species to which our bodies play host, the microbes we call the microbiota. The Sonnenburgs argue that the microbiota determines in no small part whether we're sick or healthy, fit or obese, sunny or moody-and that the microbiota has always been with us, coevolving with humans and entwining its functions with ours. They…