I love to read. It’s probably my favorite hobby. I’m usually reading two (or more) books at any given time; a fiction to fall asleep to, and a non-fiction that I enjoy during bath time. With schoolbooks behind me, last year I was able to dive into many more non-fiction books. I’ve found several that I feel are worth sharing.
A few years back I said I was done reading the “cure” books. And, it’s still true. I’m not about cures but I am about feeling better. I am about learning what I can and trying different things to find what helps me the most. Then again, some of the best health books aren’t about curing but about teaching us how to live better despite our illnesses. I’ve found a few in both realms that I think are well worth sharing.
10 Books You Should Read This Year
1. The Patient’s Playbook, by Leslie Michelson – This is the guidebook for getting the best medical care. I’ve shared this book many times because I really do think that EVERYONE should read this book. Everyone, but especially those of us who are already patients. I say everyone because whether you are a patient or not, you may be at some point and if you aren’t you will probably be a caregiver. This book is so important that it shouldn’t even be read just once. I’m due to read it again because it has so much great info. Leslie Michelson is now also co-hosting a podcast that is worth listening to with even more great tips about managing your health. Read my full review of The Patient Playbook.
2. The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer – This is a biography that teaches us about the importance of asking for help and how to do it. Amanda Palmer is a singer and artist who spent years “busking” as a street performer. What she can teach the rest of us about asking for help is really amazing. This is one of those books that I basically recommended to everyone that I spoke to for months after reading it. It’s also one of those books I will be reading again.
3. Conquer Your Chronic Pain by Dr. Peter Abaci – This is a book about beating chronic pain written by a chronic pain doctor. A doctor who realized that the standard ways of treating chronic pain weren’t working and were actually making people hurt more. Throughout his writing it’s obvious that he “gets it” and he’s not just throwing out BS. He’s actually created a treatment protocol that takes the whole person into account and treats the person. Read my full review of Conquer Your Chronic Pain.
4. Daring Greatly by Brene Brown – Daring Greatly teaches us so much about pushing past our fears, facing anxieties, and the importance of being vulnerable. I’ve learned a lot from listening to Brene Brown’s TED Talks, and I learned just as much reading this book.
5. Take Back Your Life by Tami Stacklehouse – Tami is a Fibromyalgia warrior who has found her way to the other side. Now, she shares what she learned about how to live with Fibromyalgia. She acts as the Fibromyalgia Coach (aka a health coach focused on Fibromyalgia) and shares her knowledge in this book as well. Her approach is very similar to mine in the focus on holistic healing through diet and lifestyle changes. Read my full review of Take Back Your Life.
6. Women and Stress by Jean Lush and Pam Vredevelt – This is an excellent book that discusses the unique stress that many women feel. It covers topics such a care-giving, self-esteem, and guilt. I’m including this here because I think it’s important to help us understand the guilt that we carry is not unique, and is often made worse when we live with chronic illness.
7. 12,000 Canaries Can’t Be Wrong by Dr. John Molot – Dr. Molot discusses multiple chemical sensitivities and how our environment has played a huge role in the creation of these sensitivities as well as in many of the illnesses we live with today including Fibromyalgia and CFS/ME. Read my full review 12,000 Canaries Can’t Be Wrong.
8. The Whole Health Life by Shannon Harvey – Shannon is a journalist who lives with chronic illness. Like many of us she’s been diagnosed with many things and is still not sure of the correct diagnosis. Instead of sitting by waiting for doctors to find an answer she used her journalist background to seek out scientific answers to how she could feel better. The end result of that research is this book. I’ve already written about this book a couple of times (here and here) and my full review is yet to come.
9. In Sickness As In Health by Barbara Kivowitz – This is a must-read for anyone in a relationship, whether chronic illness is already a part of that relationship or not. Barbara shares many great stories of couples who have dealt with or are dealing with chronic illness and how they survived. Through those stories I learned so much about what it takes to survive chronic illness and marriage. Read my full review of In Sickness As In Health here.
10. It Starts With Food by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig – This is the guide to the Whole 30 Diet, something that I try to do at least once a year. This is a great way to clean out your system and learn what food(s) may be causing or increasing your symptoms. This book covers the science behind why certain foods might be making you sick, as well as provides the instructions for cleaning your diet and successfully completing a Whole 30.
7 Books I’ll Be Reading This Year
I’ve also got many books on my list to be read. Including these seven books
1. The Addicted Brain: Why We Abuse Drugs, Alcohol, and Nicotine by Michael Kuhar
2. Your Brain on Food by Gary Wenk
3. There is No App for Happiness by Max Strom
4. Grain Brain by David Perlmutter
5. Life Beyond Chronic Pain by Jaime Heidel
6. Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud
7. Tame Your Pain: 4 Ways You Can Ease Your Chronic Pain Today by Dr. Michael Graveley
I’m sure many other books will be added to my reading list as the year goes on. Often with health-related books I am not aware of them until they are in front of me and then I devour them. If you have a non-fiction book that you feel has been helpful for your health journey I’d love for you to share it in the comments.