The best books about being a patient

15 authors have picked their favorite books about patients and why they recommend each book.

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Heavy

By Kiese Laymon,

Book cover of Heavy: An American Memoir

This wildly important book is about what it takes to become a fully realized black man in racist white America. On top of that already monumental struggle are more struggles: anorexia, sexual violence, abuse, obesity, gambling, the construction of identity, and excavating the self and others, to get at the truth. I’d say that this is perhaps one of the best books on trauma that I’ve read. The sentences themselves, the rhythmic syntax of their musicality, is just one emotional heartbeat of this stunning, painfully honest, and vulnerable work of art. 

Heavy

By Kiese Laymon,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Heavy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*Named a Best Book of the Year by the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, NPR, Broadly, Buzzfeed (Nonfiction), The Undefeated, Library Journal (Biography/Memoirs), The Washington Post (Nonfiction), Southern Living (Southern), Entertainment Weekly, and The New York Times Critics*

In this powerful, provocative, and universally lauded memoir—winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal and finalist for the Kirkus Prize—genre-bending essayist and novelist Kiese Laymon “provocatively meditates on his trauma growing up as a black man, and in turn crafts an essential polemic against American moral rot” (Entertainment Weekly).

In Heavy, Laymon writes eloquently and honestly about growing up a hard-headed black son…

Who am I?

I’m the author of The Long Haul and Little Panic: Dispatches from an Anxious Life and eleven books for children written under the pseudonyms AJ Stern and Fiona Rosenbloom. I publish a newsletter called “How to Live” where I simplify complex theories from psychology and offer ideas for their practical applications. My work explores the complexities of emotion, addiction, neglect, and issues surrounding mental health. I am prone to write from inside the body, to capture the visceral resonance of the somatic experience and consciousness.

I wrote...

Little Panic: Dispatches from an Anxious Life

By Amanda Stern,

Book cover of Little Panic: Dispatches from an Anxious Life

What is my book about?

I grew up with an undiagnosed panic disorder whose terrifying internal experience created chronic fear that dictated how I could and could not live my life. Knowing something was “wrong” with me, without knowing its name shaped the course of my entire life. As a writer, I am dedicated to exploring hard to articulate emotions. Because emotions are so neglected in our society, kids, like the child I was, will continue to suffer in silence. I write for the parents of those kids, and for those, like me, who grew up pummeled by a constant barbaric sense of terror.

My goal with Little Panic was to write an autobiography of an emotion. I hope I succeeded.

Creative Care

By Anne Basting,

Book cover of Creative Care: A Revolutionary Approach to Dementia and Elder Care

Among my prescriptions to caregivers – especially those who struggle to find meaning and in creating a typical day that is safe, social, and engaged – is Anne Basting’s book. Basting, a theater arts professor, makes a persuasive case that upends the usual and customary approaches to caring for persons living with dementia. Her central premise is this: Together, caregivers and patients can create. She offers concrete ideas and steps to address some of the most vexing challenges such as when a patient asks the whereabouts of a long-ago deceased relative.

Creative Care

By Anne Basting,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Creative Care as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A MacArthur Genius Grant recipient pioneers a radical change in how we interact with older loved ones, especially those experiencing dementia, as she introduces a proven method that uses the creative arts to bring light and joy to the lives of elders.

In Creative Care, Anne Basting lays the groundwork for a widespread transformation in our approach to elder care and uses compelling, touching stories to inspire and guide us all-family, friends, and health professionals-in how to connect and interact with those living with dementia.

A MacArthur Genius Grant recipient, Basting tells the story of how she pioneered a radical…


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. 


I wrote...

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

What is my book about?

The Problem of Alzheimer's: How Science, Culture and Politics Turned a Rare Disease into a Crisis and What We Can Do About It is an unambiguous account of a century of missed opportunities and our health care systems’ failures to take action. I trace Alzheimer’s from its early 20th century beginnings in the Kaiser’s Germany to its early 21st-century recognition as a crisis. I also tell the story of the biomedical breakthroughs that may allow the disease to finally be slowed with medications. These same advances are telling us a clear message: We’re not going to drug our way out of this complicated problem.

With that, the second half of the book examines how we can live with Alzheimer’s and other diseases that cause dementia. I’m especially keen to the ways patients can reclaim their autonomy and their sense of self, how families can support their loved ones, and the innovative reforms we can make as a society to improve the lives of both patients and caregivers.

Dementia Reconsidered, Revisited

By Tom Kitwood, Dawn Brooker (editor),

Book cover of Dementia Reconsidered, Revisited: The Person Still Comes First

Kitwood’s seminal work was first published in 1997. This new edition, just over 20 years later, contains commentaries on each of Kitwood’s chapters to bring the work up to date. But, candidly, the original remains compelling. I gobbled it up, even if I disagreed with bits of it. It introduced me to the new culture of dementia care. It was refreshing, with its talk of a ‘malignant social psychology’, which is sadly still pervasive. It also introduced many people to Dementia Care Mapping, an observational technique now used all over the world to improve the care of people living with dementia. At the centre of Kitwood’s considerations was the importance of the person, seen as a psychosocial being, not simply a biomedical one. What a surprisingly revolutionary idea!

Dementia Reconsidered, Revisited

By Tom Kitwood, Dawn Brooker (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The original Dementia Reconsidered: The Person Comes First by Tom Kitwood was published by Open University Press in 1997. It was a seminal text in the field of dementia studies and is still cited and referenced as core reading on person-centred dementia care. Tom died unexpectedly, just 12 months after the book was published. This book continues to inspire many people to challenge simplistic paradigms about dementia. Since the original book was written, however, there have been many changes in our understanding of dementia.

The editor of this new edition, Dawn Brooker was mentored by Tom Kitwood. She has drawn…


Who am I?

As an old age psychiatrist, I was naturally interested in dementia. But I’m also trained to doctoral level in philosophy. I’ve been both an honorary professor of philosophy of ageing (at Newcastle) and a professor of old age psychiatry (at Bristol). Whilst training in psychiatry at Oxford, I came across the work of Tom Kitwood. Subsequently, I’ve become great friends with Steve Sabat. His work and Kitwood’s brought home to me the complexity of personhood and its relevance to how we care for and think about people living with dementia. And the more you consider it, the more the notion of personhood broadens out to include citizenship and human rights.


I wrote...

Thinking Through Dementia

By Julian C. Hughes,

Book cover of Thinking Through Dementia

What is my book about?

Modestly, I don’t think there is another book that discusses dementia in such philosophical depth. Central to the discussion is personhood: what it is to be a person. The book looks at various models to understand dementia: as a biological disease, from a cognitive neuropsychological perspective, and in terms of social constructionism.

These models are useful and provide some insight into dementia (a term we should eradicate!); but they never tell the whole story, for which we need to turn to the human person perspective. The book is peppered with stories of fictional characters and artistic references to support the philosophy, which commends the broadest view of what it is to be a human being in the world. So, dementia teaches us about our own being.

Broadening the Dementia Debate

By Ruth Bartlett, Deborah O'Connor,

Book cover of Broadening the Dementia Debate: Towards Social Citizenship

Sabat deepened the work of Kitwood on personhood (or selfhood). These authors broaden it by showing how it integrates with the idea of citizenship. In my work, I’ve argued that as persons we are situated embodied agents. In a very exciting way, Bartlett and O’Connor show how people living with dementia are situated in a social and political context in which they can act as agents to bring about change. Indeed, since the book was written, increasingly we’ve seen this come to fruition. As noticed and predicted by these authors, people living with dementia do not have to be seen as ‘care recipients’, they can be (and are) activists, advocates, authors, artists, employees, friends, lovers, speakers, taxpayers, voters and a lot more besides. Social citizenship is an irresistible idea. 

Broadening the Dementia Debate

By Ruth Bartlett, Deborah O'Connor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Dementia has been widely debated from the perspectives of biomedicine and social psychology. This book broadens the debate to consider the experiences of men and women with dementia from a sociopolitical perspective. It brings to the fore the concept of social citizenship, exploring what it means within the context of dementia and using it to re-examine the issue of rights, status(es), and participation. Most importantly, the book offers fresh and practical insights into how a citizenship framework can be applied in practice. It will be of interest to health and social care professionals, policy makers, academics and researchers and people…

Who am I?

As an old age psychiatrist, I was naturally interested in dementia. But I’m also trained to doctoral level in philosophy. I’ve been both an honorary professor of philosophy of ageing (at Newcastle) and a professor of old age psychiatry (at Bristol). Whilst training in psychiatry at Oxford, I came across the work of Tom Kitwood. Subsequently, I’ve become great friends with Steve Sabat. His work and Kitwood’s brought home to me the complexity of personhood and its relevance to how we care for and think about people living with dementia. And the more you consider it, the more the notion of personhood broadens out to include citizenship and human rights.


I wrote...

Thinking Through Dementia

By Julian C. Hughes,

Book cover of Thinking Through Dementia

What is my book about?

Modestly, I don’t think there is another book that discusses dementia in such philosophical depth. Central to the discussion is personhood: what it is to be a person. The book looks at various models to understand dementia: as a biological disease, from a cognitive neuropsychological perspective, and in terms of social constructionism.

These models are useful and provide some insight into dementia (a term we should eradicate!); but they never tell the whole story, for which we need to turn to the human person perspective. The book is peppered with stories of fictional characters and artistic references to support the philosophy, which commends the broadest view of what it is to be a human being in the world. So, dementia teaches us about our own being.

Dementia and Human Rights

By Suzanne Cahill,

Book cover of Dementia and Human Rights

I doubt it’s a mere coincidence that Cahill’s book has the same publisher as the Bartlett and O’Connor book and that it has a Foreword by Sabat. For there is a movement afoot towards broadening the way we see people living with dementia: not simply as biological beings, not solely as psychosocial, not just as citizens in the polis, but now as the bearers of rights. Because, personhood entails that people living with dementia are situated in the legal field as well as the political, and so on. Building on the work of disability rights campaigners, the case for including dementia within the purview of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is given trenchant support. Moreover, Suzanne conveys the urgency of this human rights perspective.

Dementia and Human Rights

By Suzanne Cahill,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The time has come to further challenge biomedical and clinical thinking about dementia, which has for so long underpinned policy and practice. Framing dementia as a disability, this book takes a rights-based approach to expand the debate.
Applying a social constructionist lens, it builds on earlier critical perspectives by bringing together concepts including disability, social inclusion, personhood, equality, participation, dignity, empowerment, autonomy and solidarity. Launching the debate into new and exciting territory, the book argues that people living with dementia come within the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and therefore have full entitlement to all the…

Who am I?

As an old age psychiatrist, I was naturally interested in dementia. But I’m also trained to doctoral level in philosophy. I’ve been both an honorary professor of philosophy of ageing (at Newcastle) and a professor of old age psychiatry (at Bristol). Whilst training in psychiatry at Oxford, I came across the work of Tom Kitwood. Subsequently, I’ve become great friends with Steve Sabat. His work and Kitwood’s brought home to me the complexity of personhood and its relevance to how we care for and think about people living with dementia. And the more you consider it, the more the notion of personhood broadens out to include citizenship and human rights.


I wrote...

Thinking Through Dementia

By Julian C. Hughes,

Book cover of Thinking Through Dementia

What is my book about?

Modestly, I don’t think there is another book that discusses dementia in such philosophical depth. Central to the discussion is personhood: what it is to be a person. The book looks at various models to understand dementia: as a biological disease, from a cognitive neuropsychological perspective, and in terms of social constructionism.

These models are useful and provide some insight into dementia (a term we should eradicate!); but they never tell the whole story, for which we need to turn to the human person perspective. The book is peppered with stories of fictional characters and artistic references to support the philosophy, which commends the broadest view of what it is to be a human being in the world. So, dementia teaches us about our own being.

Slow Puncture

By Peter Berry, Deb Bunt,

Book cover of Slow Puncture: Living Well With Dementia

A love of cycling brought Peter Berry and Deb Bunt together as friends. Deb had not encountered a person with dementia until she met Peter. His positive attitude about living well with dementia and his poetic and insightful musings on his condition inspired her to write his memoir, to preserve his story. This is a deeply moving book, full of beautiful, lyrical language.

Slow Puncture

By Peter Berry, Deb Bunt,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is an account of a year in the life of Peter Berry, an ordinary man living in a sleepy Suffolk village. Happily married and running a successful business, Peter's life changes when, at the age of fifty, he is given a terminal diagnosis of early-onset dementia. Since that day, he has learned to live with his very own 'dementia monster'. From depression and suicide attempts through to his determination to confront his dementia, Peter has embarked on a series of challenges to show that 'life isn't over with dementia, it's just a little different'. Peter has now raised thousands…

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.


I wrote...

Blue Hydrangeas

By Marianne Sciucco,

Book cover of Blue Hydrangeas

What is my book about?

What if the person who knew you best and loved you most forgot your face, and couldn't remember your name? Memory care is everyone's solution for what to do about Sara but Jack can't bear to live without her. He’s committed to saving his marriage, his wife, and their life together from the devastation of Alzheimer’s disease. They retired years ago to the house of their dreams and operated it as a bed and breakfast named Blue Hydrangeas. Jack has made an impossible promise: They’ll stay together in their beautiful home no matter what the disease brings.

He takes them on an impulsive journey to confront their past and reclaim their future. In the end, he realizes that staying together at any cost is what truly matters.

A Face for Picasso

By Ariel Henley,

Book cover of A Face for Picasso: Coming of Age with Crouzon Syndrome

This first-person account of what it’s like to grow up visibly different is beautifully written, and manages to be both heartrending and uplifting at the same time. Henley does a stellar job of keeping the reader invested in her struggles, and her musings on how pervasive the idea of arbitrary physical traits and one’s value as an individual is, makes for an uncomfortable but necessary read. A must-read for anyone who’s ever felt like they don’t fit in.

A Face for Picasso

By Ariel Henley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Raw and unflinching . . . A must-read!" --Marieke Nijkamp, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of This Is Where It Ends

"[It] cuts to the heart of our bogus ideas of beauty." -Scott Westerfeld, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of Uglies

I am ugly. There's a mathematical equation to prove it.

At only eight months old, identical twin sisters Ariel and Zan were diagnosed with Crouzon syndrome -- a rare condition where the bones in the head fuse prematurely. They were the first twins known to survive it.

Growing up, Ariel and her sister endured numerous appearance-altering procedures. Surgeons would…

Who am I?

I’ve been fascinated by the way people respond to physical beauty since childhood—my teachers heaped praise on the pretty kids, reserving hard words for the less genetically blessed. This experience drove me to explore the pervasive ways in which unconscious beauty bias perpetuates injustice, and how it intersects with racism and privilege. Prison plastic surgery might sound like a punchline but for many, it was a lifeline. UK-born, I now live in San Francisco and have a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, New York. My work has been published by The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Wired, and Fast Company, among others.


I wrote...

Killer Looks: The Forgotten History of Plastic Surgery in Prisons

By Zara Stone,

Book cover of Killer Looks: The Forgotten History of Plastic Surgery in Prisons

What is my book about?

In 1965, Douglas Lipton, an idealistic 28-year-old psychologist offered free plastic surgery to people incarcerated in Rikers Island. He believed the socioeconomic boost of a nose job or facelift might curb recidivism. Three years later the data was in: a 36% drop in reoffending from prisoners who’d said yes to the scalpel. 

Lipton’s study was part of a broader picture: some 500,000 prisoners across the US, the UK, and Canada, received free surgeries between 1920 and 1995, the tab picked up by the government. Killer Looks provides a deep dive into the history of prison reform through the lens of beauty and explores how physical appearance can simultaneously empower and remove agency. The intersection of appearance bias, racism, and privilege continues to impact people today.

Motivational Interviewing

By Stephen Rollnick, William R. Miller,

Book cover of Motivational Interviewing: Helping People Change

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is not so much a therapeutic intervention as a technique, a way of talking to another person to help them move in a different direction. The fundamental idea, brilliant in its simplicity, is that people don’t change because you tell them to. They change because they tell themselves to. MI does precisely what Socrates did: question and draw people out, getting them to see the contradictions in their own thinking as a way of motivating them to change their beliefs (and ultimately their life). If Socrates were a therapist (and in a way he was), he’d be doing MI (and in a way, he did).

Motivational Interviewing

By Stephen Rollnick, William R. Miller,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This bestselling work for professionals and students is the authoritative presentation of motivational interviewing (MI), the powerful approach to facilitating change. The book elucidates the four processes of MI--engaging, focusing, evoking, and planning--and vividly demonstrates what they look like in action. A wealth of vignettes and interview examples illustrate the "dos and don'ts" of successful implementation in diverse contexts. Highly accessible, the book is infused with respect and compassion for clients. The companion Web page provides additional helpful resources, including reflection questions, an extended bibliography, and annotated case material.

This book is in the Applications of Motivational Interviewing series, edited…


Who am I?

As an emeritus professor of philosophy now working as a licensed therapist, I feel uniquely qualified to span the two worlds of philosophy and psychotherapy. In addition to dozens of academic articles which no one has ever read, I’ve published books on modern China, ancient Greek Stoicism, Bob Dylan, and the TV show The Sopranos, which at least a few people seem to have picked up.


I wrote...

Blogging The Plague: Camus, Covid-19, and the Current Chaos

By Peter Vernezze,

Book cover of Blogging The Plague: Camus, Covid-19, and the Current Chaos

What is my book about?

Peter Vernezze set out to reread Camus’ classic and apply it to events in real-time. The result, Blogging The Plague: Camus, Covid-19, and the Current Chaos chronicles a crucial four-month stretch when the pandemic transformed from smoldering fire to a full-blown inferno, inflicting death and suffering on a scale not seen in America for more than a century while simultaneously devastating the economy and upending most of life as we know it. Vernezze uses his reading of The Plague as a jumping-off point for Camus-inspired observations on everything from One World at Home to Black Lives Matter, from Neflix’s Pandemic to the conspiracy film Plandemic, from the Coronavirus task force briefings to the Michigan state capitol protests. What emerges is a Camus who not only anticipated the psychology of a pandemic and contemplated its ethical dilemmas but a Camus who can provide soul-sustaining insight absent from the current landscape. This book will change the way you look at the pandemic, at Camus, and at yourself.

Book cover of Autobiography of a Face

Perhaps it takes a gifted poet to write about loneliness and pain in a way that is free of self-pity. Lucy Grealy is that poet, and this is the book I recommend in my grief self-help workbook (published in 2014).

Ms. Grealy, diagnosed with cancer at only 9, lost a third of her jaw and eventually underwent 30 torturous surgeries. She endured not only ridicule from classmates, but her own feelings of ugliness and rejection. This memoir is full of wit, insight, and beautifully crafted sentences that spare the reader from much of the frightening details. If ever there was a book that made you dig deeper for your own buried strength, this is it.

Lucy said before her death that she didn’t want to be anyone’s inspiration or role model; she wanted to be recognized as a serious writer. She did both.

I. Love. This. Book.

Autobiography of a Face

By Lucy Grealy,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Autobiography of a Face as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A New York Times Notable Book

"Grealy has turned her misfortune into a book that is engaging and engrossing, a story of grace as well as cruelty, and a demonstration of her own wit and style and class."—Washington Post Book World

“It is impossible to read Autobiography of a Face without having your consciousness raised forever.” – Mirabella

In this celebrated memoir and exploration of identity, cancer transforms the author’s face, childhood, and the rest of her life.

At age nine, Lucy Grealy was diagnosed with a potentially terminal cancer. When she returned to school with a third of her…


Who am I?

Loss, with its many contours, finds us all. For me, it came quite unexpectedly. During a long decade of profound grieving, I found inspiration in books. Through real characters and fictional ones, I learned and questioned and found strength. Adversity should evoke more than sadness. When we cheer for the characters on the page, we learn about ourselves. These are books that have helped me dig deeper into my own loss and to live fuller. I start with The Right Stuff because I know what it means to be married to a test pilot and to get the knock on the door. Loss does not have to be the end.


I wrote...

Flight through Fire

By Carol Fiore,

Book cover of Flight through Fire

What is my book about?

On October 10, 2000, an experimental test aircraft crashed on takeoff, dragging a wing, before turning into a fireball. Barely alive and suffering horrific burns, test pilot Eric Fiore was the only survivor hauled from the wreckage. He has asked his wife to promise him something.

Based on actual events, Flight through Fire is an unforgettable love story centered on a deep devotion to aviation. Deftly interweaving the past and present, the author takes the reader on a wondrous adventure around the world with a complicated and passionate man who was born to be a pilot. Insightful, brutally honest, and unexpectedly humorous, this is the story of what it takes to be a test pilot, and what it costs to love one.

All Things Consoled

By Elizabeth Hay,

Book cover of All Things Consoled: A Daughter's Memoir

Most of us have complicated feelings about our parents, and Elizabeth Hay is no exception. The time Hay spends filling in the family back story pays off by making the elder-care journey more poignant and nuanced than a sparser portrait would have produced. I read this memoir at the height of my own care-taking marathon, and while I appreciated every gorgeous word, the whole book would have been worth it for this sentence alone: "Yes, I volunteered to take [the care of my aging parents] on, but there was never a moment when I didn't wish to be let off the hook." I breathed a huge sigh of relief: I am not a monster, and I am not the only one to feel that way. I still feel grateful for that sentence.

All Things Consoled

By Elizabeth Hay,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From Elizabeth Hay, one of Canada's beloved novelists, comes a startling and beautiful memoir about the drama of her parents' end, and the longer drama of being their daughter. Winner of the 2018 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonficiton.

Jean and Gordon Hay were a colourful, formidable pair. Jean, a late-blooming artist with a marvellous sense of humour, was superlatively frugal; nothing got wasted, not even maggoty soup. Gordon was a proud and ambitious schoolteacher with a terrifying temper, a deep streak of melancholy, and a devotion to flowers, cars, words, and his wife. As old age collides with…

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.


I wrote...

A Funny Kind of Paradise

By Jo Owens,

Book cover of A Funny Kind of Paradise

What is my book about?

A Funny Kind of Paradise is a novel about a strong, independent woman who, because of a debilitating stroke, ends up in an extended care facility, partially paralyzed, mute, and tube-fed. But Francesca still has a strong will to live, and a great sense of humour, and she is surprised to find herself deeply engaged in the lives the residents she lives with and the workers who look after them all. The daily routines and dramas Fran witnesses lead her to reconsider her past, in particular her role as a single parent to her children.

A Funny Kind of Paradise is a warm and insightful novel about one woman's opportunity for reinvention--for unconditional love, acceptance, and closure--in the unlikeliest of places.

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