The best rehabilitation books

Who picked these books? Meet our 42 experts.

42 authors created a book list connected to rehabilitation, and here are their favorite rehabilitation books.
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What type of rehabilitation book?


Book cover of Undo It! How Simple Lifestyle Changes Can Reverse Most Chronic Diseases

William W. Li Author Of Eat to Beat Disease: The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself

From the list on to help you eat to beat disease.

Who am I?

I'm a physician, scientist, and food as medicine researcher who has spent three decades studying how the body defends itself against disease to protect health. A major focus of this has been on how your body responds to what you feed it. I'm an internationally renowned physician, scientist and author of the New York Times bestseller Eat to Beat Disease: The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself. My work has led to the development of more than 30 new medical treatments and impacts care for more than 70 diseases. My TED Talk, “Can We Eat to Starve Cancer?” has garnered more than 11 million views. 

William's book list on to help you eat to beat disease

Discover why each book is one of William's favorite books.

Why did William love this book?

Dean Ornish is a legend in the world of lifestyle medicine. He was the first to show you can reverse heart disease with diet and lifestyle, and his work has gone on to study many of the diseases we care about, from diabetes to prostate cancer to Alzheimer’s disease. Undo It is a wonderful synthesis of Dr. Ornish’s research, and it suggests a unifying hypothesis for disease. This book also is co-authored by Anne Ornish, who brings a holistic dimension to lifestyle medicine.

By Dean Ornish, Anne Ornish,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Undo It! How Simple Lifestyle Changes Can Reverse Most Chronic Diseases as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • By the pioneer of lifestyle medicine, a simple, scientifically program proven to often reverse the progression of the most common and costly chronic diseases and even begin reversing aging at a cellular level! Long rated “#1 for Heart Health” by U.S. News & World Report, Dr. Ornish’s Program is now covered by Medicare when offered virtually at home.

Dean Ornish, M.D., has directed revolutionary research proving, for the first time, that lifestyle changes can often reverse—undo!—the progression of many of the most common and costly chronic diseases and even begin reversing aging at a cellular level.


Rights Come to Mind

By Joseph J. Fins,

Book cover of Rights Come to Mind

Jacob M. Appel Author Of Who Says You're Dead? Medical & Ethical Dilemmas for the Curious & Concerned

From the list on challenging ethical dilemmas in modern medicine.

Who am I?

As a physician and attorney, I’ve always been fascinated by the nexus where my two professions meet.   During the course of my career, I have been asked to advise colleagues on topics as far-reaching as whether a death row inmate should receive an organ transplant to how to offer psychotherapy ethically to a conjoined twin. Although questions like these do not arise every day, even the everyday questions in my field – on such topics as confidentiality, boundaries, and informed consent – never grow old.

Jacob's book list on challenging ethical dilemmas in modern medicine

Discover why each book is one of Jacob's favorite books.

Why did Jacob love this book?

Fins combines personal narratives of patients he has encountered who have suffered severe neurological injuries with data from the field of neurology to explore the complex question of what it means to be in a persistent vegetative state—as well as one’s prognosis for recovery. A deeply compassionate volume that will make readers question what they believe about comas, death, and the gray area in between. 

By Joseph J. Fins,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Through the sobering story of Maggie Worthen and her mother, Nancy, this book tells of one family's struggle with severe brain injury and how developments in neuroscience call for a reconsideration of what society owes patients at the edge of consciousness. Drawing upon over fifty in-depth family interviews, the history of severe brain injury from Quinlan to Schiavo, and his participation in landmark clinical trials, such as the first use of deep brain stimulation in the minimally conscious state, Joseph J. Fins captures the paradox of medical and societal neglect even as advances in neuroscience suggest new ways to mend…

Book cover of The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self

Ellen Kirschman Author Of Burying Ben

From the list on psychotherapists at the heart of the story.

Who am I?

As a police psychologist and mystery writer—I call myself a shrink with ink—I love to read how other authors portray therapists in their novels. It’s challenging to bring tension, action, and conflict to a 50-minute session that primarily involves quiet conversation, perhaps salted with tears. I started out writing non-fiction. Then I got tired of reality and began writing mysteries inspired by real police officers and their families. Writing fiction was harder, but more fun. Sometimes it’s been therapeutic. I especially enjoy the opportunity to take potshots at cops who treated me poorly, incompetent psychologists, and two of my ex-husbands.

Ellen's book list on psychotherapists at the heart of the story

Discover why each book is one of Ellen's favorite books.

Why did Ellen love this book?

I first read this book in the mid-1990s as I was honing my skills as a therapist.

It hit me hard, as if the author, a psychiatrist, had been a fly on the wall of my childhood home. Miller holds no punches about what drives some people to become clinicians.

Part One of her book is titled “The Drama of the Gifted Child and How We Became Psychotherapists.” It helped me get clear about my choice of career. It was painful reading, but critical to my skills as a clinician and my own mental well-being. I’ve never forgotten it.

Whether you are a therapist, thinking about becoming one, or want to read a book that tears the cover off the myths of childhood, this is essential reading. 

By Alice Miller,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Drama of the Gifted Child as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Why are many of the most successful people plagued by feelings of emptiness and alienation? This wise and profound book has provided thousands of readers with an answer,and has helped them to apply it to their own lives.Far too many of us had to learn as children to hide our own feelings, needs, and memories skillfully in order to meet our parents' expectations and win their "love." Alice Miller writes, "When I used the word 'gifted' in the title, I had in mind neither children who receive high grades in school nor children talented in a special way. I simply…

Among You

By Jake Wood,

Book cover of Among You: The Extraordinary True Story of a Soldier Broken By War

Joe Talon Author Of Counting Crows

From the list on spooky minds and old soldiers who never give up.

Who am I?

I’ve written about war for years. To be honest, it all began in school when we studied the terrible events of The Great War. Hearing the hearts shatter of men on the frontline never left me. I wanted to understand. I needed to understand. PTSD is something I’m familiar with, even if I’ve never been on the front line in battle. I’m also obsessed with myths, legends, ghost stories, and mysteries. My Lorne Turner series combines my passions and the books shine a light, in fiction, on what happens to old soldiers when they come home.

Joe's book list on spooky minds and old soldiers who never give up

Discover why each book is one of Joe's favorite books.

Why did Joe love this book?

This is a story that deals with old soldiers who never give up. It’s the story of Jake surviving Afghanistan as a serving soldier. I write about soldiers with PTSD, so it’s important I study the area, and it can be tough. Really tough. Heartbreaking to read about the effects of war on the mind of a soldier. I’ve read several, but this one really knocked me for six. It’s an educated, intelligent narrative about a young life full of honour, duty, passion, and hope. Then he goes to war. If we are ever to understand why war is so terrible, then we need to listen to those on the front line. Highly recommended for those brave enough.

By Jake Wood,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Among You is the gripping real-life story of a soldier serving on the front line in Iraq and Afghanistan, and an unforgettable, unflinching account of the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Jake Wood lives parallel lives: encased in the glass tower of an international investment bank by day, he is also a dedicated TA soldier who serves on the front line during the invasion of Iraq, later returning to the war zone to conduct surveillance on insurgents. Disillusioned with the dullness and amorality of the banking world, he escapes back to the army for a third tour of duty. But…

Book cover of The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science

Thomas R. Verny Author Of The Embodied Mind: Understanding the Mysteries of Cellular Memory, Consciousness, and Our Bodies

From the list on neuroscience and the mind.

Who am I?

As a thirteen-year-old boy, I read Sigmund Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams and I became totally fascinated by Freud’s slow, methodical questioning that eventually revealed deeply hidden unconscious conflicts in the lives of his patients. Then and there I resolved to become a psychiatrist. As a psychiatrist, I explored my patients’ early memories. Over the years, I authored seven books, including The Secret Life of the Unborn Child, published in 28 countries now. I have previously taught at Harvard University, the University of Toronto, York University (Toronto), and St. Mary’s University. This book takes my studies of memory a step further and drills right down to the intelligence of cells.

Thomas' book list on neuroscience and the mind

Discover why each book is one of Thomas' favorite books.

Why did Thomas love this book?

Norman Doidge is a Canadian psychiatrist and award-winning science writer, currently on the Faculty of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto and Research Faculty at Columbia University. In this book, he provides a fascinating synopsis of the current revolution in neuroscience with an emphasis on neuroplasticity. Essentially, Doidge cites many case histories illustrating the power of positive thinking in healing neurological diseases.

Doidge’s focus as the seat of the problem is always the brain. His book is highly readable and holds out hope for many people with neurological impairments.

By Norman Doidge,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Brain That Changes Itself as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An astonishing new science called neuroplasticity is overthrowing the centuries-old notion that the human brain is immutable. Psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Norman Doidge, M.D., traveled the country to meet both the brilliant scientists championing neuroplasticity and the people whose lives they've transformed-people whose mental limitations or brain damage were seen as unalterable. We see a woman born with half a brain that rewired itself to work as a whole, blind people who learn to see, learning disorders cured, IQs raised, aging brains rejuvenated, stroke patients learning to speak, children with cerebral palsy learning to move with more grace, depression and anxiety…

Half Broke

By Ginger Gaffney,

Book cover of Half Broke: A Memoir

Candace Wade Author Of Horse Sluts: The Saga of Two Women on the Trail of Their Yeehaw

From the list on horse journeys not to be missed.

Who am I?

The me of me is a “late in life rider” and freelance writer—with an edge. I learned to ride horses in my ‘40s when we left the wonders of California for sweet tea, okra, and equine “yard art” of Tennessee. Horses and writing mixed to create Horse Sluts. My political bent led me to craft an exposé on the brutal “training” of Big Lick TN Walking Horses. I still ride and explore the more humorous sides of aging and riding. A stickler for "writing worth reading,” I eschew self-conscious, wandering-lost writing. The books I recommended are well crafted.

Candace's book list on horse journeys not to be missed

Discover why each book is one of Candace's favorite books.

Why did Candace love this book?

I tend to flee from memoirs and “horse story” books. Then I read Half Broke by Ginger Gaffney.

Ginger is a schooled writer, horse trainer, clinician, rider-trainer and, in my opinion, a master observer. She was asked to help the tooth-bearing, ear-pinning, predatory gang of horses tended by the Livestock Team of resident “multiple offenders and felons” at an alternative-prison ranch in New Mexico. As a memoir, Half Broke is a “peeling off” of emotional bandages—for her, for the raw souls of the inmates and for the horses.

Ginger’s style is straightforward, non-judgmental, and thought challenging. No gooey anthropomorphizing.

By Ginger Gaffney,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

At the start of this remarkable story of recovery, healing, and redemption, Ginger Gaffney answers a call to help retrain the troubled horses at an alternative prison ranch in New Mexico, a facility run entirely by the prisoners. The horses are scavenging through the dumpsters, kicking and running down the residents when they bring the trash out after meals. One horse is severely injured.

The horses and residents arrive at the ranch broken in one way or many: the horses are defensive and terrified, while the residents, some battling drug and alcohol addictions, are emotionally and physically shattered. With deep…

My Stroke of Insight

By Jill Bolte Taylor, Jill Bolte Taylor,

Book cover of My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey

Devesh Dahale Author Of The 5000th Baby: A Parent's Perspective and Journey through the First Year of Life

From the list on patient/family experience in healthcare.

Who am I?

Life caught me by surprise when our youngest son was born with a birth defect that launched our family into the world of surgeries, and treatments. After experiencing the management of chronic care for our child firsthand, I realized how important it is to share personal stories and experiences. It enables empathy and a deeper understanding and appreciation of what patients and families go through. Autobiographical accounts of patients and families are still very limited. We need more people to come forward and share their own patient/family experiences in order to promote the betterment of healthcare and healing through relating with others and learning from others’ experiences.

Devesh's book list on patient/family experience in healthcare

Discover why each book is one of Devesh's favorite books.

Why did Devesh love this book?

This is an enlightening memoir recounting the story and journey of experiencing and recovering from a stroke. I love this book because it uniquely combines perspectives of the author being a researcher (neuroscientist), patient (experiencing the stroke), and just a common person with a normal life - which was turned upside down by the stroke. The author walks you through the arduous physical and emotional roller coaster of recovery, a few neurons at a time. The human brain candidly expressing what happened to itself, is a marvelously fascinating concept that you get to learn by reading this book.

By Jill Bolte Taylor, Jill Bolte Taylor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Transformative...[Taylor's] experience...will shatter [your] own perception of the world."-ABC News

The astonishing New York Times bestseller that chronicles how a brain scientist's own stroke led to enlightenment

On December 10, 1996, Jill Bolte Taylor, a thirty-seven- year-old Harvard-trained brain scientist experienced a massive stroke in the left hemisphere of her brain. As she observed her mind deteriorate to the point that she could not walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of her life-all within four hours-Taylor alternated between the euphoria of the intuitive and kinesthetic right brain, in which she felt a sense of complete well-being and peace, and…

Small Steps

By Louis Sachar,

Book cover of Small Steps

Violet Plum Author Of Little Chicken Classic - Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er

From the list on for children which are also loved by adults.

Who am I?

I love writing and illustrating all sorts of children's stories. The only thing my stories have in common is that none of their heroes eat meat, drink milk, or take part in the egg and spoon race. I write the kind of stories I want to read. I don't want to read about sex or violence. And I don't want to read foul language. I want something meaningful, something with a concluding note of optimism. Consequently, well-written children's stories often appeal to me. In fact, I've come to the conclusion that these are not just children's stories, they're good stories that anyone can enjoy.

Violet's book list on for children which are also loved by adults

Discover why each book is one of Violet's favorite books.

Why did Violet love this book?

Armpit (aka Theodore), after his release from Camp Green Lake Juvenile Correctional Facility, follows his counsellor's advice to take small steps to get his life back on track. Unfortunately, because of how other people perceive him, one of his steps – avoiding situations that might turn violent – is not always easy to do. I've read this a few times and love it because Theodore is such a kind character. If you've ever been in a situation where you're trying to do the right thing while juggling the conflicting needs of a friend who wants help, and a boss who depends on you, you'll relate. The story is fast-paced, funny at times, filled with diverse characters, and has plenty of dialogue, which I love.

By Louis Sachar,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Armpit and X-Ray are living in Austin, Texas. It is three years since they left the confines of Camp Green Lake Detention Centre and Armpit is taking small steps to turn his life around. He is working for a landscape gardener because he is good at digging holes, he is going to school and he is enjoying his first proper romance, but is he going to be able to stay out of trouble when there is so much building up against him? In this exciting novel, Armpit is joined by many vibrant new characters, and is learning what it takes…

Prison by Any Other Name

By Maya Schenwar, Victoria Law,

Book cover of Prison by Any Other Name: The Harmful Consequences of Popular Reforms

James Kilgore Author Of Understanding Mass Incarceration: A People's Guide to the Key Civil Rights Struggle of Our Time

From the list on mass incarceration.

Who am I?

I've been a social justice activist all my life. In my younger years, I turned to violence to bring about liberation. That landed me a federal arrest warrant which I avoided for 27 years by living as a fugitive. I spent most of that time in southern Africa, joining freedom movements against apartheid and colonialism. Arrested and extradited to the U.S. in 2002 I spent 6 1/2 years in California prisons while observing the impact of mass incarceration. I vowed to direct my energy to end mass incarceration through grassroots organizing. Since then I've been a writer, researcher, and activist in my local community of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois as well as being partner and father to my two sons.

James' book list on mass incarceration

Discover why each book is one of James' favorite books.

Why did James love this book?

As public awareness of mass incarceration has grown, reformers, and even law enforcement, have attempted to build alternatives, policies, and institutions they argue are alternatives to prisons and jails. These alternatives include policies like electronic monitoring, drug courts, halfway houses, lockup mental health facilities, and court supervision. In this book, Law and Schenwar systematically demolish the notion that such initiatives do anything more than widen the net of incarceration. In their view, these “alternatives” create programs and institutions based on the notion that altering the form or style of punishment will eliminate mass incarceration. Instead, they argue this requires the elimination of the paradigm of punishment and the establishment of programs outside the criminal legal system that provide freedom and opportunities for targeted populations. 

By Maya Schenwar, Victoria Law,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Prison by Any Other Name as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With a new afterword from the authors, the critically praised indictment of widely embraced "alternatives to incarceration"

"But what does it mean-really-to celebrate reforms that convert your home into your prison?" -Michelle Alexander, from the foreword

Electronic monitoring. Locked-down drug treatment centers. House arrest. Mandated psychiatric treatment. Data driven surveillance. Extended probation. These are some of the key alternatives held up as cost effective substitutes for jails and prisons. But in a searing, "cogent critique" (Library Journal), Maya Schenwar and Victoria Law reveal that many of these so-called reforms actually weave in new strands of punishment and control, bringing new…


By Sarah Hepola,

Book cover of Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget

Carol Weis Author Of Stumbling Home: Life Before and After That Last Drink

From the list on addiction memoirs I wish I had when I got sober.

Who am I?

I come from a family of “functional” alcoholics, where feelings were never discussed and drinking was the way to solve (or more likely avoid or cause) problems. After 25 years of abusing alcohol (and drugs), I finally got sober. And for the first time ever, I started writing, because all those feelings I pushed down wanted a voice. All that childhood trauma needed more than AA and talk therapy to heal.  So I gifted those feelings with written words, as did the writers I mention in my list. Recovery is something to pass on and telling our stories is another healing way to do it.

Carol's book list on addiction memoirs I wish I had when I got sober

Discover why each book is one of Carol's favorite books.

Why did Carol love this book?

This is another memoir that pulled me right in. Like Hepola, I loved the excitement of the whole bar scene, and quite often, drank until I blacked out. Trying to blackout things from my childhood that caused me so much anxiety and pain. And then having to remember and heal from it all when I got sober. 

By Sarah Hepola,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A memoir of unblinking honesty and poignant, laugh-out-loud humor, Blackout is the story of a woman stumbling into a new kind of adventure -- the sober life she never wanted.

For Sarah Hepola, alcohol was "the gasoline of all adventure." She spent her evenings at cocktail parties and dark bars where she proudly stayed till last call. Drinking felt like freedom, part of her birthright as a strong, enlightened twenty-first-century woman.

But there was a price. She often blacked out, waking up with a blank space where four hours should be. Mornings became detective work on her own life. What…

The Sober Diaries

By Clare Pooley,

Book cover of The Sober Diaries: How One Woman Stopped Drinking and Started Living

Hilary Sheinbaum Author Of The Dry Challenge: How to Lose the Booze for Dry January, Sober October, and Any Other Alcohol-Free Month

From the list on dry months and dry lifestyles.

Who am I?

I’ve been completing Dry Januarys (and other sober months) since 2017! In turn, I’ve felt more energized, more positive, have experienced better sleep and better skin, among other benefits. I think giving up alcohol for any amount of time is beneficial and I encourage people to try it.

Hilary's book list on dry months and dry lifestyles

Discover why each book is one of Hilary's favorite books.

Why did Hilary love this book?

This book is about a mom of three (and a former party girl) who started an anonymous blog about giving up alcohol. It documents her first year with hope and humor. It's great for anyone who is looking for a relatable read. It also comes highly recommended by a number of websites, reviews and readers, with a large fan base.

By Clare Pooley,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


How one mother gave up drinking and started living. This is Bridget Jones Dries Out.

Clare Pooley is a Cambridge graduate and was a Managing Partner at one of the world's biggest advertising agencies, and yet by eighteen months ago she'd become an overweight, depressed, middle-aged mother of three who was drinking more than a bottle of wine a day, and spending her evenings Googling 'Am I an alcoholic?'

In a desperate bid to turn her life around, she quit…

Book cover of The Emotional Incest Syndrome: What to Do When a Parent's Love Rules Your Life

Sophie Stocking Author Of Corridor Nine

From the list on coming to peace with your hippy parent’s suicide.

Who am I?

I’m a Canadian writer, and a mother of three. I think I do qualify as an ACOH (Adult Child of Hippies). My mom taught elementary school, and my dad was a university professor, but otherwise they fully embraced the hippy movement. It was a rich childhood in terms of nature, literature, art, and foreign cultures, but dysfunctional and confusing on the emotional front. Sadly, dropping a lot of acid leads to a lifetime of anxiety and depression. My father descended into mental illness and opiate addiction when I was an adult, eventually leading to his suicide. I came to terms with his death by writing Corridor Nine

Sophie's book list on coming to peace with your hippy parent’s suicide

Discover why each book is one of Sophie's favorite books.

Why did Sophie love this book?

Although this book isn’t about suicide, I include it because families with mental health issues, often exacerbated by the “anything goes” ethos of hippy culture, can suffer from confused or “enmeshed” parent/child boundaries. It was one of the first, and I think best self-help books I ever read. With great clarity, it showed me what was destructive in my family of origin. Enmeshment or “parentification,” basically using a child to meet the emotional needs of an adult, is not widely understood and often goes undetected (versus more obvious physical or sexual abuse).

Dr. Love’s book gave me straightforward guidelines for being a non-destructive parent myself, something I think I did achieve due to much self-education and counselling prior to having kids. It’s always been obvious to me that my father’s mental illness and substance abuse took root in his very unhappy childhood. I think my father would be glad that…

By Patricia Love,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From Dr. Patricia Love, a ground-breaking work that identifies, explores and treats the harmful effects that emotionally and psychologically invasive parents have on their children, and provides a program for overcoming the chronic problems that can result.

Rethinking Madness

By Paris Williams,

Book cover of Rethinking Madness: Towards a Paradigm Shift in Our Understanding and Treatment of Psychosis

Bruce E. Levine Author Of A Profession Without Reason: The Crisis of Contemporary Psychiatry―Untangled and Solved by Spinoza, Freethinking, and Radical Enlightenment

From the list on psychiatry for freethinkers.

Who am I?

I am a practicing clinical psychologist, often at odds with the mainstream of my mental health profession. I have a strong interest in how society, culture, politics, philosophy, and psychology intersect, and my previous books about depression, activism, and anti-authoritarianism reflect that. The late historian Howard Zinn described me this way: “It is always refreshing to find someone who stands at the edge of his profession and dissects its failures with a critical eye, refusing to be deceived by its pretensions. Bruce Levine condemns the cold, technological approach to mental health and, to our benefit, looks for deeper solutions.”

Bruce's book list on psychiatry for freethinkers

Discover why each book is one of Bruce's favorite books.

Why did Bruce love this book?

I found Rethinking Madness to be a highly original book. Clinical psychologist Paris Williams interviewed individuals who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and other psychoses, and he integrated this research with prominent alternative explanations for madness. In contrast to the gloomy picture painted by establishment psychiatry, Williams describes how full recovery from schizophrenia and other related psychotic disorders is not only possible but is surprisingly common, and that many people who recover from these psychotic disorders do not merely return to their pre-psychotic condition, but often undergo a profound positive transformation with far more lasting benefits than harms.

By Paris Williams,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

As the recovery research continues to accumulate, we find that the mainstream understanding of schizophrenia and psychosis has lost nearly all credibility:

* After over 100 years and billions of dollars spent on research looking for schizophrenia and other related psychotic disorders in the brain, we still have not found any substantial evidence that these disorders are actually caused by a brain disease.
* We have learned that full recovery from schizophrenia and other related psychotic disorders is not only possible but is surprisingly common.
* We've discovered that those diagnosed in the United States and other "developed" nations are…


By Jessica Fechtor,

Book cover of Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals That Brought Me Home

Heather Frimmer Author Of Better to Trust

From the list on brain dysfunction.

Who am I?

I am a radiologist specializing in emergency room and breast imaging and a lifelong book nerd. Though I chose radiology as my medical specialty, I have always been fascinated by the complicated workings of the human mind. I majored in psychology in college and strongly considered careers in both psychiatry and neurology. Books exploring the fragility and fallibility of the human brain never fail to catch my attention. These stories explore the essence of what it means to be human and highlight the resilience of the human spirit.  

Heather's book list on brain dysfunction

Discover why each book is one of Heather's favorite books.

Why did Heather love this book?

This touching memoir reminds me of my father who was hospitalized in midlife with a new diagnosis of Crohn’s disease. Unable to tolerate food, he watched The Food Network from his sick bed, ultimately becoming an accomplished, amateur chef.

Jessica Fechtor was twenty-eight years old graduate student when an aneurysm suddenly burst in her brain. Left with multiple disabilities which made her life challenging to navigate, Fechtor turned to cooking to nourish her wounded soul. Will exploring the world of food help heal her broken brain?

By Jessica Fechtor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A national bestseller and winner of a Living Now Book Award, Stir is an exquisite memoir about how food connects us to ourselves, our lives, and each other.
At 28, Jessica Fechtor was happily immersed in graduate school and her young marriage, and thinking about starting a family. Then one day, she went for a run and an aneurysm burst in her brain. She nearly died. She lost her sense of smell, the sight in her left eye, and was forced to the sidelines of the life she loved.

Jessica’s journey to recovery began in the kitchen as soon as…


By John Berryman,

Book cover of Recovery

Corey Mesler Author Of Memphis Movie

From the list on by poets.

Who am I?

Corey Mesler has been published in numerous anthologies and journals including Poetry, Gargoyle, Five Points, Good Poems American Places, and New Stories from the South. He has published over 25 books of fiction and poetry. His newest novel, The Diminishment of Charlie Cain, is from Livingston Press. He also wrote the screenplay for We Go On, which won The Memphis Film Prize in 2017. With his wife he runs Burke’s Book Store (est. 1875) in Memphis. I have a fondness for novels written by writers who are primarily poets. These five books are my favorites in that contracted genre.

Corey's book list on by poets

Discover why each book is one of Corey's favorite books.

Why did Corey love this book?

This book is more autobiographical, based on his struggle with alcoholism. Berryman had already written a book of poems, The Dream Songs (my favorite book of poems), which practically reads like a novel. It’s full of wit and playfulness and jerry-rigged syntax. Recovery is also witty but not quite as playful. It’s darker, of course. Perhaps one’s perception of it is colored by the knowledge that Berryman had committed suicide in 1972, a year before its release. So, it’s a melancholy book, yet its difficulties are human and common and, here, well-wrought by a poet’s grace.

By John Berryman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the author's words, Recovery is a novel about "the disease called alcoholism, recognized by the American Medical Association only in 1964."

Drop The Rock

By Bill P., Todd Weber, Sara S.

Book cover of Drop The Rock: Removing Character Defects - Steps Six and Seven

Shelly Marshall Author Of Escaping Myself: Lee B's Biography, a true story of sobriety and his best tall tales

From the list on turning sobriety into a super power.

Who am I?

Most drunks struggle to accept that they have a disease called “alcoholism” and feel shame, intertwined with fear, having to admit it. I, on the other hand, embraced it. Being alcoholic meant I wasn’t “crazy” after all like Grandma. At 21, I embraced the disease along with 12 Step recovery, thanking my lucky stars that there was something I could do about my chaotic hippied lifestyle. “Don’t pick up the first fix, pill, or drink and you can’t get drunk.” Could the solution be so simple? It is. From the moment I set down the drink and drugs, I knew I had to share this amazing revelation with others and my writing career began.

Shelly's book list on turning sobriety into a super power

Discover why each book is one of Shelly's favorite books.

Why did Shelly love this book?

One alcoholic helping another is the way the 12 Step program works.

This book explores Steps 6 and 7 from the personal experiences of others in recovery. It helped me examine my defects, you know, the rocks I held that were sinking me. But I am not alone in my quest to drop these rocks.

This book includes personal stories that let me know how others have overcome the same roadblocks as myself. They talk to me, addressing my need to spiritually surrender my shortcomings. Various insights help contribute to my sobriety which, after all, is what I strive for in a clean and sober life.

By Bill P., Todd Weber, Sara S.

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A practical guide to letting go of the character defects that get in the way of true and joyful recovery.

Resentment. Fear. Self-Pity. Intolerance. Anger. As Bill P. explains, these are the "rocks" that can sink recovery--or at the least, block further progress. Based on the principles behind Steps Six and Seven, Drop the Rock combines personal stories, practical advice, and powerful insights to help readers move forward in recovery. The second edition features additional stories and a reference section.


By Rebecca Clifford,

Book cover of Survivors: Children's Lives After the Holocaust

Helen Roche Author Of The Third Reich's Elite Schools: A History of the Napolas

From the list on childhood in Nazi Germany.

Who am I?

Why did I end up spending almost a third of my life researching Nazi boarding schools, and childhood under the Third Reich more generally? I sometimes wonder if it was because I myself was sent to boarding school at the age of nine – somehow, I can sympathise with what these children had to endure, as well as knowing full well from a historian’s perspective which hardships were truly unique to a National Socialist elite education, and which were simply the kind of heart-ache that’s common to any institution which takes children away from their parents at a young age… 

Helen's book list on childhood in Nazi Germany

Discover why each book is one of Helen's favorite books.

Why did Helen love this book?

I first had the privilege of reading Survivors when we were searching for a new professor of transnational history in my department at Durham University; Rebecca is now a treasured colleague, and her ability to tell these child survivors’ stories is second to none! Her writing is humane, passionate, and exquisite. I would recommend this book to anyone who truly wants to understand the impact of the Holocaust on those who survived it as children.

By Rebecca Clifford,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Shortlisted for the 2021 Wolfson History Prize and a finalist for the 2021 Cundill History Prize

Told for the first time from their perspective, the story of children who survived the chaos and trauma of the Holocaust-named a best history book of 2020 by the Daily Telegraph

"Impressive, beautifully written, judicious and thoughtful. . . . Will be a major milestone in the history of the Holocaust and its legacy."-Mark Roseman, author of The Villa, the Lake, the Meeting

How can we make sense of our lives when we do not know where we come from? This was a pressing…

The Crossway

By Guy Stagg,

Book cover of The Crossway

Stefanie Wilson Author Of The Backpack Years: Two Memoirs, One Story

From the list on the healing power of travel.

Who am I?

I love travelogues and wrote a dual POV travel memoir with my husband. Travel writing allows us to see the world through others’ eyes, and my favorites are by those who used travel as a way to escape or heal. I’m more invested when I know this person not just wants, but needs this journey. I understand this feeling. I empathize with them, I root for them, and I am happy for them when they reach their destination. I adore Eat, Pray, Love and Wild, and want to recommend five other memoirs that have stayed with me as examples of brave people who left home behind in search of something better.

Stefanie's book list on the healing power of travel

Discover why each book is one of Stefanie's favorite books.

Why did Stefanie love this book?

Guy left his demons in England and set out on a pilgrimage. After mental health issues and a year of being afraid to leave his home, Guy re-entered the world by trekking through 10 countries in 10 months, hoping the journey would heal him. He traveled down ancient paths through changing landscapes, and the charity of everyday strangers kept him and his hope alive.

He finally arrived in Jerusalem, and though neither his physical nor emotional journey ended in the climax he’d hoped, he’d gained understanding. I’ve experienced the clarity that can come with putting physical distance between you and your issues, and though they say not to run away from your problems, sometimes a really long walk can actually help.

By Guy Stagg,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner - Edward Stanford Travel Memoir of the Year 2019.
Shortlisted - Rathbones Folio Prize, Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize, and Somerset Maugham Award 2019.

'An extraordinary travelogue, strange and brilliant' - i

In 2013 Guy Stagg walked from Canterbury to Jerusalem. Though a non-believer, he began the pilgrimage after suffering several years of mental illness, hoping the ritual would heal him. For ten months he hiked alone on ancient paths, crossing ten countries and more than 5,500 kilometres. Travelling without support, he had to rely each night on the charity of strangers.

The Crossway is an account of…

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

Andrew E. Budson and Maureen K. O'Connor Author Of Six Steps to Managing Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia: A Guide for Families

From the list on to understand dementia.

Who are we?

As a neurologist and neuropsychologist team who have spent their entire clinical, teaching, and research careers focused on individuals and their families experiencing memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia, our goal is simple. We want to empower individuals and their families with the tools they need to manage memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia. We work to balance pharmacological and nonpharmacological management, as well as the needs of the individual with those of their family. Reading books like the ones in our list plus articles in medical journals keeps us current with the progress in the science of dementia and the humanity of individuals and families living with the disease. 

Andrew's book list on to understand dementia

Discover why each book is one of Andrew's favorite books.

Why did Andrew love this book?

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. 

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…

Quit Like a Woman

By Holly Whitaker,

Book cover of Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice to Not Drink in a Culture Obsessed with Alcohol

Laura Cathcart Robbins Author Of Stash: My Life in Hiding

From the list on ‘quit lit’ to change how you think about addiction.

Who am I?

My name is Laura Cathcart Robbins and I am the author of the ‘Quit Lit’ memoir, Stash, My Life In Hiding. When I got sober in 2008 I was full of shame and reluctant to share my struggles with addiction with my friends. Because I’ve always been a voracious reader, I scoured bookstores for stories like mine. It was on these shelves that I found my community, addiction stories to which I could relate and connect. These books were the foundation of my recovery. Now they live on my bookshelves at home and I lend them (with enthusiasm) to anyone who wants to examine their relationship with substances.

Laura's book list on ‘quit lit’ to change how you think about addiction

Discover why each book is one of Laura's favorite books.

Why did Laura love this book?

Quit Like A Woman (QLAW) gave a whole new perspective on ‘big alcohol” and the messaging we all receive every day about how alcohol is a panacea for anything that causes us discomfort. 

Holly’s description of her own struggles with drinking and her sobriety journey allowed me to see my own recovery through a different lens. I loved how celebrities posted about QLAW on social media, crediting it for their sobriety. And was especially delighted to see it featured in And Just Like That (the Sex and The City series sequel built an entire episode around it). 

I recommend this book to literally everyone who wants to examine their relationship with alcohol.  But I especially recommend it to women because of how QLAW calls out dating culture for permitting and encouraging alcohol use as a so-called social lubricant.

By Holly Whitaker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Quit Like a Woman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “An unflinching examination of how our drinking culture hurts women and a gorgeous memoir of how one woman healed herself.”—Glennon Doyle, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Untamed

“You don’t know how much you need this book, or maybe you do. Either way, it will save your life.”—Melissa Hartwig Urban, Whole30 co-founder and CEO

The founder of the first female-focused recovery program offers a groundbreaking look at alcohol and a radical new path to sobriety.

We live in a world obsessed with drinking. We drink at baby showers and work events, brunch and book…