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A couple of weeks ago I asked for recommendations for books written by authors living with chronic ill-health. My motivation behind this request was so I could support these writers by buying their books, and I believe they have a unique perspective when writing that we can all benefit from. There is also so much talent within the chronic illness community.

Thanks to everyone who responded. Here are some of the recommendations – in no particular order. Please go check them out.

The Puzzle Solver: A Scientist’s Desperate Quest to Cure the Illness that Stole His Son

By Teacie White & Ronald W. Davis PhD

In the UK it’s going to be called “Waiting for Superman“.

I’m really excited to read this book. It’s due to be released early next year. Recommended by @JanetDafoe (Twitter)

“For the past six years, Whitney Dafoe has been confined to a bedroom in the back of his parents’ home, unable to walk, eat or speak. His diagnosis? The mysterious disease myalgic encephalomyelitis or chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) which affects 20 million people around the world who largely suffer in silence because the condition is little known and much misunderstood.

This book follows Whitney’s father, groundbreaking geneticist Ron Davis, as he uncovers new possibilities for treatments and potentially a cure. At its heart, this book is about more than just cutting-edge research or a race to find an answer – it’s about the lengths to which a parent will go to save their child’s life.”

Among Others

By Jo Walton

“Anything by Jo Walton. Among Others is her most visibly disabled book, and also my favorite.” ~ Recommended by @marendoesthings (Instagram)

Raising a Rare Girl

By Heather Lanier

“This is adjacent to your request – a mother whose daughter has a rare genetic condition. It’s sooooo good. The author really looks at all the ways we treat disability and chronic illness wrong.” ~ Recommended by @dSavannahCreate (Twitter)

Doing Harm

By Maya Dusenbery 

“Doing Harm” by Maya Dusenbery (a journalist who has arthritis)” ~ Recommended by @pain.in.my.ask (Instagram)

The Great Pain Deception

By Steve ozanich

“The great pain deception by Steve ozanich. Amazing story and recovery.” ~ Recommended by @beccafreekiss (Instagram)

Within These Four Walls

By Mindfully Evie

“Every word written in this book was written from within the confines of my home. Spanning over nearly three years this book is a testament to my time being housebound and proof that despite all the suffering, there is always happiness to be created, peace to be unearthed, and a life to be lived.” ~ Mindfully Evie

Recommended by @ALifeofPippa in her blog.post Chronic Illness Inspired Recent Reads

Also recommended by Pippa;

Take Daily as Needed: A Novel in Stories

By Kathryn Trueblood

Please Read This Leaflet Carefully

By Karen Havelin

Please head over to Pippa’s blog to read her review of these books, and more.

Brace Yourself

By S.E. Smart

“One of the best fiction but based on true life experiences ever” ~  Recommended by @MandyBrownlow (Twitter)

Kate & Clara’s Curious Cornish Craft Shop

By Ali McNamara

Ali lives with M.E. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) and writes what she describes as ‘feel-good fiction with a sprinkle of magic’. You can find her on Instagram – @alimcnamara

The State of Me

By Nasim Marie Jafry. Recommended by @Bobellsrainbows (Twitter)

Shattered: A Champion’s Fight Against a Mystery Illness

By Nick Kehoe and Peter Marshall

“Shattered by Peter Marshall& [other]. About a pro squash player from the 90s who was diagnosed with mild CFS. Covers the story familiar to those whom are sporting (at an elite level or just generally) and are then thrown into the world of CFS. I was able to relate to this book a lot.” ~ Recommended by @king_swoleeoos (Instagram)

A Girl Behind Dark Glasses

By Jessica Taylor-Bearman

Recommended by me, @lifeofpippa (Instagram) and @oshunsprite (Twitter) 

A Girl Behind Dark Glasses is one of my favourite books – please read my review here. Jessica has a sequel coming next year which I excitedly look forward to.

“Jessica is an extremely talented storyteller and her style of writing was a pleasure to read. But don’t get me wrong, the ordeals she has suffered and documented don’t make for an easy read, and her words often brought me to tears because I could feel her pain like it was my own. Like any great writer Jessica draws you in with her imaginative narrative and keeps you engaged with every page – I found myself lost in her world. I am amazed by her strength; Jessica never gave up fighting, she never gave up hope and she never lost herself or her sense of humour.” ~ Jo Moss, A Journey Through the Fog.

Encounters With the Invisible

By Dorothy Wall

“Encounters With the Invisible by Dorothy Wall xx” ~ Recommended by @CaroleBruce17 (Twitter)

Little Eden – Book One

By KT King. Recommended by Joanne Oliver

The Lady’s Handbook for Her Mysterious Illness

By Sarah Ramey

“The Lady’s Handbook for her Mysterious illness by Sarah Ramey – it’s heartbreaking but endlessly fascinating.” ~ Recommended by @missveryemergency (Instagram) & @Charkypop (Twitter)

When Bodies Break – How We Survive and Thrive with illness and Disability

By Cameron B. Auxer M. a.

“Includes a word or two from me! 😁” ~ Recommended by @NASheridan (Twitter)

“Chronic illness is life-changing and life-challenging.

Inside this book, you’ll meet 32 inspiring, resilient people who share their stories of struggle, strength and survival through chronic illness. We share our experiences in navigating life’s hurdles with chronic illness, including health care, daily life, emotions, self-care, finding our passion and purpose, and creating income. Consider us your Chronic Illness Warrior support team.” ~ Cameron B. Auxer M. a.

Bright Not Broken: Gifted Kids, ADHD, and Autism

By Diane M. Kennedy, Rebecca S. Banks, & Temple Grandin.

“For kids with spectrum disorders. Bright not broken, read this when my son was younger & had issues. Temple Grandin is autistic & co authored.” ~  Recommended by @WhalePrincesGF (Twitter)

The Collected Schizophrenias

By Esme Weijun Wang

“I’ve got Esme Weijun Wang’s The Collected Schizophrenias on my reading list, she won yet another award for it this week!” ~ Recommended by Scarlett Yates (Facebook)

Verity Writes Again

By Maria Mann

“This book was recommended in one of the UK ME charity magazines. I didn’t realise it’s a sequel, but it doesn’t matter. The author has had ME for decades, the main character is Verity Red (= Very Tired!) Diary style, easy to dip in and out of!” ~ Recommended by @SergiCathy (Twitter)

Constellations: Reflections From Life

By Sinéad Gleeson

“Constellations by Sinead Gleeson, is a beautiful account of her battles with chronic pain and cancer. She also talks about feminism, hospital architecture, motherhood & art. My favourite book of 2019.” ~ Recommended by @Gra_Tynan (Twitter)

When Breath Becomes Air

By Paul Kalanithi

Recommended by @girlcallednaomi (Twitter)

At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, the next he was a patient struggling to live.

When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a medical student asking what makes a virtuous and meaningful life into a neurosurgeon working in the core of human identity – the brain – and finally into a patient and a new father.

Get a Life, Chloe Brown

By Talia Hibbert

“Talia Hibbert has fibromyalgia and has written a number of fiction books.  ‘Get a Life, Chloe Brown’ in particular covers chronic illness.” ~ Recommended by @RatherHazy (Twitter)

Patient 002

By Floyd Skloot. Recommended by @ahimsa_pdx (Twitter)

‘Seabiscuit’ and ‘Unbroken’

by Laura Hillenbrand

“Always loved anything by Laura Hillenbrand; especially Seabiscuit and Unbroken. All painstakingly and thoroughly researched and beautifully written while suffering with ME/CFS, with chronic vertigo. Took her years.” ~ Recommended by Rita Wood (Facebook)

Furiously Happy

By Jenny Lawson

“If you’re including depression then add Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson” ~ Recommended by @ahimsa_pdx (Twitter)

How To Be Sick

By Toni Bernhard

Recommended by @theslowlane_ME (Twitter) & Hannah M-j (Facebook)

“In 2001, Toni Bernhard got sick and, to her and her partner’s bewilderment, stayed that way. As they faced the confusion, frustration, and despair of a life with sudden limitations–a life that was vastly different from the one they’d thought they’d have together–Toni had to learn how to be sick. In spite of her many physical and energetic restrictions (and sometimes, because of them), Toni learned how to live a life of equanimity, compassion, and joy.”

Too Late to Die Young

By Harriett McBryde Johnson

“I enjoyed “Too Late to Die Young”, a memoir by Harriett McBryde Johnson. She was a disability activist born with a severe neuromuscular disease.” ~ Recommended by @markandrewmin (Twitter)

The Chimera of Prague

By Rick Pryll. Recommended by @TinaTinawhite1 (Twitter)

Think Like a Tree

By Sarah Spencer

“Think like a tree by Sarah Spencer, really good” ~ Recommended by Laura Bean (Facebook)

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating

By Elisabeth Tova Bailey

Recommended by @ahimsa_pdx (Twitter) and Shona Smith (Facebook)

While an illness keeps her bedridden, Elisabeth Bailey watches a wild snail that has taken up residence in a terrarium alongside her bed. She enters the rhythm of life of this mysterious creature, and comes to a greater understanding of her own confined place in the world. In a work that beautifully demonstrates the rewards of closely observing nature, she shares the inspiring and intimate story of her close encounter with Neohelix albolabris a common woodland snail.

On Being Ill

By Virginia Woolf. Recommended by @ahimsa_pdx (Twitter)

Turtles All The Way Down

By John Green

“Definitely recommend @lifeofpippa and @jayletay book/s. If you’re including Mental Health authors, I’d recommend Matt Haig’s latest book The Midnight Library & John Green’s Turtles All The Way Down {John has OCD & main character in that book does)” ~ Recommended by @louiseslittlelife

Carve The Mark and The Fates Divide

By Veronica Roth 

“Also a bit of a random one but Carve The Mark and The Fates Divide by Veronica Roth Veronica lives with chronic pain and one of the main characters lives with pain.” ~ Recommended by @louiseslittlelife

And lastly, here are a couple of my recommendations from my blog post My Top Ten Health-Related Book Recommendations click here for some more suggestions.

Dear Chronic Illness

Compiled by Pippa Stacey (charity book)

Dear Chronic Illness features a collection of short letters collaboratively written by 16 young people, addressed to their conditions. The letters are not your typical sob stories, and provide a light-hearted and humorous commentary on the writers’ various experiences, yet they also give insight into the challenges of navigating life whilst learning to live with their conditions.

M.E. and Me: A Doctor’s Struggle with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

By Dr. K N Hng

M.E. and Me: A Doctor’s Struggle with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is an honest account of life with ME/CFS by a doctor who developed the condition, but it’s also an important educational tool. Dr Hng bravely tells her story, and in doing so she has written a concise, informative and moving introduction to this debilitating illness.