“Through the Shadowlands” by Julie Rehmeyer

Subtitle: A Science Writer’s Odyssey into an Illness Science Doesn’t Understand

Julie Rehmeyer chronicles her descent into Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and her ultimate ascent into carefully managed recovery. She includes investigative journalism into why Chronic Fatigue and mold sensitivity receive so little credibility and research funding.

She chronicles her relationships as well. She was […]

“Vision For Life” by Meir Schneider

Subtitle: Ten Steps to Natural Eyesight Improvement

Recommended to me by: David Mitchell

Meir Schneider tells the story of his own vision improvement starting from near blindness using the Bates Method, and then shares detailed exercises and instructions for vision care and improvement. He founded the School for Self-Healing in San Francisco to share […]

“Death Without Denial Grief Without Apology” by Barbara K. Roberts

Subtitle: A Guide for Facing Death and Loss

This is a loving clear-eyed unflinchingly personal look at terminal illness, death, and grief by Oregon’s former governor Barbara Roberts. Her husband Frank Roberts died of cancer during her governorship. From the introduction:

I hope for a culture of loving openness in every medical office, […]

“Healing Back Pain” by John E. Sarno, MD

Subtitle: The Mind-Body Connection

Recommended to me by: Amy Bennett

What Dr. Sarno tells his TMS patients:

Resume physical activity. It won’t hurt you. Talk to your brain: tell it you won’t take it anymore. Stop all physical treatments for your back—they may be blocking your recovery.

DON’T

Repress your anger or emotions—they can […]

“My Body Politic” by Simi Linton

Subtitle: a memoir

Simi Linton is a Jewish woman, married, a professor and researcher with a Ph.D., who uses a wheelchair. Her memoir starts with the car crash that caused her disability and her slow physical recovery, and continues with her reemergence and engagement with a largely inaccessible world. She moves from gratitude for […]

“Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation” by Suzette Boon, Kathy Steele, Onno van der Hart

Subtitle: Skills training for patients and therapists

Recommended to me by: A client

This is a useful book packed full of detailed, compassionate information on dissociation. Since it is a group training manual, it is divided into short chapters meant for individual class sessions.

The authors often note that each person’s experience of dissociation […]

“The Trauma Spectrum” by Robert Scaer

Subtitle: Hidden Wounds and Human Resiliency

This book is a frustrating mix of interesting theories, solid information, and bigoted rants.

The author leads with some encouraging words about intersectionality and noticing how society’s defaults harm some people, but then devolves into “women returning to work after childbirth causes harm because babies need maternal care” […]

“Waking” by Matthew Sanford

Subtitle: A memoir of trauma and transcendence

Matt was paralyzed from the chest down at the age of 13 in a winter car crash that also killed his father and older sister. His book chronicles the numbness and dissociation that help him survive his first months and years of recovery, and his later reconnection […]

“Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me: A Graphic Memoir” by Ellen Forney

The story and drawings quickly engaged me, despite the author’s sometimes bizarre, sometimes heavy journey through mania, depression, and eventually, balance. She has the fantastic support of her mom, friends, and psychiatrist, but still struggles for years before finding a set of meds that works for her.

In depression, she can barely get […]

“Pure” by Julianna Baggott

Recommended to me by: s.e. smith at this ain’t livin’

This is a layered, well-crafted dystopian science-fiction novel offering both entertainment and examination of modern issues. It has scientific advances and their consequences, predictable heterosexual teen romances, well-developed female characters, adventures, violence, nuances of interaction, and a detailed sense of place.

Where many books […]