April 23 is designated as World Book Day. It’s also called World Book and Copyright Day. If you’re interested in learning the details as to when and why it was started, click here.
But who really cares about all that?
Every day is World Book Day or should be, right?
You might be thinking, oh there she goes again talking about her books. But you’d be wrong!
Well, I will mention mine later, but I decided World Book Day would be the perfect day to share about a few of my favorite cancer-related books. And I am hoping you will share about YOURS as well in the comments.
So, let’s talk cancer books.
Of course, not everyone who’s been diagnosed with cancer wants to read about cancer. I get that. I do.
You might think since I’ve had a cancer diagnosis, have written and continue to write about about cancer, that’d be enough. MORE than enough.
Call me weird, but I can’t seem to read enough about the subject.
In fact, I seem to be drawn to books, articles and even movies that are cancer related. Of course, I’m drawn to other topics, too, but that can be a topic for another day. And my favorite genre of all (cancer or no cancer) is memoir.
Probably no surprise there, right?
I divided my favorites into sections. So, let’s get to it.
1. Favorite science-based cancer book – The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, by Siddhartha Mukherjee
Hands down, it’s this one. I reviewed the PBS Ken Burns documentary just in case you’re interested and haven’t seen it. Mukherjee’s second book, The Gene, was excellent as well, but a bit (okay, a lot) too detailed for me. Took me FOREVER to get through it. But I’m a slow reader these days.
Read my review of The Gene: An Intimate History here.
2. Favorite cancer memoir – The Mercy Papers: A Memoir of Three Weeks by Robin Romm
This was a tough call as there are a bunch I love. But this one is so raw and so honest. In case you’re wondering about those three weeks – the book is about a daughter who goes home to spend time with her mother who’s dying from metastatic breast cancer. Yeah, it’s a tough read. But so good for so many reasons. Loved it.
3. Cancer-related poetry books:
April…In Pieces: Seven Sisters Writing About Covid and Cancer by Lisa Valentine (and her sisters)
Read my review here.
Dancing with Cancer by Janet Cosner
Read my review.
Fine Black Lines by Lois Tschetter Hjelmstad
Metastatic Madness by Carol A. Miele
4. Favorite advocacy book – Pink Ribbon Blues by Gayle Sulik
This book opened my eyes. It’s a must read.
You might want to read my review.
5. Favorite comic-style books – The Little Pink Book of (Mostly) Cancer Cartoons by Kate Matthews and In-Between Days by Teva Harrison.
I reviewed Harrison’s book here.
6. Favorite book with general breast cancer info – Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book by Susan M. Love, MD with Karen Lindsey and Elizabeth Love.
This book remains the go-to book for learning about breast cancer. Really good resource.
You might want to read my review.
7. Cancer-related books by fellow bloggers
Okay, this list is long.
As a blogger/author myself, I feel it’s super important to support other bloggers/authors in the cancer genre, so sharing these titles just makes me happy.
If you’re able to, please support these writers by buying, reading and reviewing their books when and where you see fit.
If I forgot someone, apologies. Feel free to send me a reminder. I have books all over my house, and my memory sorta sucks. Plus, I haven’t read them ALL yet. But I’ll get to as many as I can.
Here’s my list so far of ones I’ve read. The ones with links, I reviewed.
Being Sarah by Sarah Horton
Beyond the Pink Moon: A Memoir of Legacy, Loss and Survival by Nicki Boscia Durlester
Braving Chemo: What to Expect, How to Prepare and How to Get Through It by Beverly A. Zavaleta, MD
Does This Outfit Make Me Look Bald? by Jennifer Pellechio-Lukowiak
The Dog Lived (and so will I) by Teresa J. Rhyne
From Zero to Mastectomy by Jackie Fox
I Never Signed up for This by Darryle Pollack
I’m Still Standing by Wendy Watson
Kicking Cancer to the Curb by Carol A. Meile
Mourning Has Broken by Jan Hasak
Not Done Yet by Laurie Kingston
Persevere: A Life with Cancer by Lisa Bonchek Adams
Resurrection Lily: The BRCA Gene, Hereditary Cancer & Lifesaving Whispers from the Grandmother I Never Knew: A Memoir by Amy Byer Shainman
39 Things to Make a Cancer Patient Smile by Susan Rief
Ticking Off Breast Cancer by Sara Liyanage
The Throbbing Moon and the Three Season Tango by Michele Wheeler
Wear the Damn Swimsuit: Lessons and Stories From Cancer and Life by Ashli Brehm
A Woman’s Guide to Living with Heart Disease by Carolyn Thomas (Yeah, I know this one technically isn’t cancer related, but then again it is. Read it and you will understand what I mean.)
8. Other cancer-relater books I recommend:
Bright-Sided by Barbara Ehrenreich
The Cancer Journals by Audre Lorde
Everything Happens for a Reason and Other Lies I’ve Loved by Kate Bowler
Finding Peace by Adelyn Zara
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan
Prostate Cancer Strikes: Navigating the Storm by Gogs Gagnon
Resilience by Elizabeth Edwards
The Unwinding of the Miracle by Julie Yip-Williams
What We Have by Amy Boesky
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
You knew I had to mention mine, right?
I am proud of my three contributions thus far to the world’s book shelf. Okay, that’s a stretch, but you know what I mean.
If you’ve read any or all, thank you. If you haven’t, I hope you will.
And remember to write a review – not just for my books, but for any author’s book you like. Sure, reviews take a little work and a little time, but authors sure appreciate them. A lot!
Do you read cancer books? Why or why not?
If you do, share one or two of your favorites.
What are you reading right now or what’s on your to-read list? (cancer related or not cancer related)