Cancer Was Not a Gift & It Didn't Make Me a Better Person

You Can’t Judge a Book By Its Cover – An Update On My New Book

You know that old saying about not judging a book (or a person) by its cover? I guess it’s good advice. You shouldn’t do that, but on the other hand, taking this phrase literally, whenever I am about to purchase a new book, I most definitely do look the cover over carefully. I want to know what I’m paying for. I want to know what I’m getting. Don’t you? 

This is why a lot of careful thought went into my book’s description which will, of course, be on the back cover. I want people to know exactly what they are getting. I want them to know it won’t be a story about my reawakening. It won’t be about me coming out on the other side of my cancer diagnosis as a new and improved version of my former self. It most definitely will not be about how cancer was a gift. No, it will be a story about cancer as I know it. It will be about reality. My reality. Which will hopefully help others deal with theirs. Will it appeal to everyone? Of course not.

But I believe in truth-telling about cancer too. So that’s what I tried to do in my book, tell it like it is. And was. No sugar coating.

And now I would like to share my cover with you. I know Joan Lunden and Amy Robach both chose to put their faces on their new book covers. Why would I do that? No amount of air-brushing would change my mind either. I also always knew my cover would have no pink ribbons.

Instead, my book’s cover image is one of Nancy’s Point. It’s one of the very first images portrayed on my blog’s banner. It has special meaning because it reminds me of you, my dear readers. It reminds me of my favorite season. It reminds me of beauty. It reminds me of life.

And life is a gift. Cancer is not.



Just in case you can’t read the description, here’s what it says:

Are you weary of stories portraying cancer as merely a bump in the road, an experience to be grateful for or a chance for personal enlightenment? With raw candor, Nancy Stordahl shares about her breast cancer experience while intertwining memories about what is was like to be a caregiver for her mother who died from metastatic breast cancer. Originating from personal, unrestrained journal entries, this strikingly frank memoir gives readers a glimpse into cancer’s messy realities including the multitude of emotions that arise when a family is catapulted into the world of cancer chaos. This is truth-telling from a not-so-pretty-in-pink perspective, resulting in an honest, realistic portrait of family, cancer and loss that will encourage others facing similar trials to ditch the societal expectations and instead do things their own way.

My book will be out very soon. I’ll keep you posted and an excerpt is coming next week, so stay tuned.

Do you judge a book by its cover when getting ready to purchase a new book?

What are your thoughts on my cover? Share away.

Have you read Joan Lunden’s or Amy Robach’s new book?

Be sure to sign up for emails/newsletter here. (A giveaway of my new book will be coming next month just for subscribers).


36 thoughts on “You Can’t Judge a Book By Its Cover – An Update On My New Book

  1. Nancy, I am very excited about your book because of the topic you chose to write about. I can’t wait to read it and will def. share it, not only as a support tool, but also as a way to educate.

    When I purchase a book, I care a lot about the title and the theme, not so much about the cover. But it all depends what kinds of books I am purchasing. Children’s books need a lot f graphics, I think.

    Personally, I like your cover. It has a calming look to it which helps balance things out. It’s also clean and to the point. I like the idea of keeping a consistency with your blog, because most of us know you through your blog. It’s also a way to welcome others to join our community. I wouldn’t change anything.

    I am not familiar with the two books you mentioned but I can tell you I got into an nasty argument with a bc patient over Amy Robach about the time when Amy went on national television and mislead the audience about breast cancer. I was pretty upset. I know of other writers who share their experiences with cancer as being a “life-changing event for the better.” And hey, if they feel better about themselves after cancer, go ahead. I don’t. And I refuse to give any credit to cancer for anything! So you and I share the same thoughts on this.

    I have been thinking about writing a book about cancer. I think it’s important to expose certain beliefs and expectations, especially those from third world countries like mine (related to my old post “culturally-disturbed people”). I am not sure I’ll ever do it, but you certainly inspire me. The one book I need to focus on is the one about me growing up with my grandma — short stories. Wish me luck! (How do you build your discipline when it comes to writing a book?)

    Let us know as soon as your book prints!

    And again, great topic!!

    1. Rebecca, You are always so supportive. Thank you. I’m glad you like my cover. I think the image is calming, too, and that’s one more reason I chose it. I know Amy Robach has lots of fans and she has every right to share her story any way she likes, as do all of us. Still, the title of her book, bothers me, so I probably won’t read it. I do have Joan Lunden’s book. Might get to that one. I hope you do write a book about cancer and I hope you write the one about growing up with your grandma too. And short stories, that sounds like a good way to go. I wish you luck for sure. And as for that discipline thing you mentioned, well, it took me over five years to get my book done. So… not the speediest, but that’s okay. I always marvel at how celebrities get their books churned out so quickly. Thank you for reading and for sharing your thoughts about my cover.

  2. It’s so exciting that your book is getting close – I can’t wait to read it! In answer to your question, I certainly do peruse a book’s cover and maybe a few intro pages to get a good idea of what the book is about before I buy it. Your description makes your approach very clear and it would definitely help me if I was browsing book titles. I’ve always liked the photo, which I know you’ve had on your blog for a while – it looks great on the book cover!

    1. Lisa, Thank you for your kind words. I do want my description to make it clear what people are getting, so I’m glad you think it does. Thanks again.

  3. I do judge a book by it’s cover, it’s often the thing that catches my eye and makes me pick up a book in a bookstore and read the first few pages. I love your cover. It draws me in, and the title is fantastic; so interesting, so candid, so different than most of the books I’ve seen on the subject. I like the cover and the back cover content, and think it is just perfect. I also love the meaning behind the cover, that it is actually a picture of Nancy’s Point (you should mention that somewhere, perhaps, as it will give it even more meaning to readers, it did for me, I was quite touched by your explanation above). Congratulations, how wonderful that you’re now publishing a 2nd book, Nancy.

    1. Claudia, I find a book’s cover can definitely draw me in, or not, too. I’m glad you like mine and I’m glad you like the title. I hadn’t really thought about explaining the image somewhere in my book, but it might be too late for that now. I’ll consider it though. Thank you so much for always being so supportive.

  4. yes… the cover is important. It will MAKE me pick it up. Love the photo – it looks good on your blog and on the cover. Congratulations to YOU! xoxo

  5. Nancy,

    I’m getting excited about the release of your new book! The description sounds wonderful. I steer away from celebrity I-defeated-cancer books. Of course, everyone has their own truth, and I can’t wait to read yours in your memoir!!

    Congratulations! The book cover looks great! I don’t judge a book by its cover, by the way….most of the time, anyway.

    1. Beth, I appreciate your kind words and all the support you continue to give me and my writing. I don’t mind reading celebrity stories, well, some of them I should say. I don’t think I’ll be reading Amy Robach’s as I just can’t get past that title, “Better”, but maybe there’s something in there I’m missing, that’s why I was wondering if anyone had read it yet. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  6. Nancy
    Your book cover is very eye catching and such a serene scene…but even more it is the real truth about cancer. How exciting! Can’t wait to read it. I love your writing.

    I actually have read both Joan Lunden and Amy Robach’s books..checked them out at the library. The title of Amy’s book comes from a poem her 10 year old daughter wrote when Amy told her children she had is at the beginning of the book.

    I am not a fan of either woman but wanted to see how they portrayed their story. I actually found Amys book better because she wrote in more detail about the effects of chemo, being sick, the pain from her madtectomies and the effect it had on her marriage. But there is a large middle section about her growing up years.

    I found Joan Lundens book to be the typical rah rah cancer is a gift knid of book and almost quit reading it. She often wrote about her fans and riding in limos, etc and a life thatmost of us have never known, or even want to know. So for me Amy’s book was more real which surprised me.

    Anyway I am glad someone (you) is writing a real book about what breast cancer is really like. You go girl!

    Mary Ellen

    1. Mary Ellen, Thank you for your input about Joan Lunden’s and Amy Robach’s books. I guess that is more proof, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover! I didn’t know that about the poem. I love memoirs, so I am always interested in reading them. And of course, everyone certainly has the right to talk about and write about their cancer experience in any way they choose. But my story will not be of the rah-rah variety. Thank you for you kind words and I’m glad you like my cover.

  7. Well, heck, Nancy! You know how I feel about this subject. So, yes, I would certainly buy a book with that title!! Very excited for you, too. Kudos, my friend!

    1. Eileen, I am not sure it is a much-needed book, but it was a must-tell story for me to share. I’m glad you like the title. It sort of says it all. Thank you for your comment.

  8. Nancy,
    I was one of those dummies who actually said, “breast cancer was a gift.” I must have been out of my mind, or on drugs, perhaps–chemotherapy. There’s no pink, no oh, happy day, no gifts. So happy you’re writing this book!

    1. Brenda, I certainly believe a person has every right to refer to her cancer as gift if she feels that way, but that just does not work for me. At all. Thank you very much for your kind words and for your ongoing support. I appreciate both very much.

  9. Nancy, your book with the startlingly honest title is long overdue. I think this will be picked up BECAUSE of the cover – its lack of pinkness and the title – it makes you want to know more. I am meeting more women ready to hear this truth and you give them the power to tell and own their own stories, and I am grateful for you.

    1. Linda, Thank you very much for your kind comment. I am humbled by it. I do believe everyone’s story matters, not just the stories of celebrities and the like. I hope in some small way I can encourage others to share their truths. Thanks again.

  10. I look forward to it. A refreshing perspective and much needed. I like the cover and no I don’t buy a book based on the cover. I’m interested in what the author has to say, when I know they have something important to say. I can’t wait to get my hands on it! Good luck with it!

  11. Love this Nancy. You are going to help a lot of women embrace their new reality knowing that they didn’t have to magically become a better person and that they don’t have to get over it. Cancer sucks. <3

  12. Can’t wait to read it, Nancy! Especially love that there is no pink in sight on your cover. The title and its contents speaks to SO many of us who find the “rah-rah” positivity surrounding a cancer diagnosis quite disheartening. Again, can’t wait to read it. Congrats!

  13. Dear Nancy, I would so greatly enjoy receiving a copy of your new book, so please pick Me to get a free copy, courtesy of You, of course! Have a Great Thanksgiving, I am thankful We are still here to enjoy it, to the best of our ability.

    Sincerely, Janet Juarez

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