RA Reading List

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”   --Charles W. Eliot

A friend recently asked me to create and share a reading list on my new bookish Instagram page (@biblioange), which I plan to do soon. Thinking about this tonight, while trying to decide which books I want to put on the list to recommend to others, I thought: Hey, maybe I should make an RA and health-related one! Would anybody be interested? Is anybody else out there also reading these books or other good ones? I'm not sure, but I'm going to give it a go and see if there are any other bookworms out there with RA who might like it.

Some health-related books to deal with living with RA/chronic illness

The following is a list of health-related books that I've read and have really enjoyed, in no particular order. Some of them I've written about, too, relating my own journey with RA and chronic pain/illness to the books and the authors who wrote them.

  1. Ask Me About My Uterus: A Quest to Make Doctors Believe in Women's Pain by Abby Norman
  2. Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones
  3. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
  4. Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande
  5. On Being Ill by Virginia Woolf
  6. Still Alice by Lisa Genova
  7. Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan
  8. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
  9. A Sense of the World: How a Blind Man Became History's Greatest Traveler by Jason Roberts
  10. Let Your Life Speak by Parker J. Palmer

Right now, I'm reading a couple of books and one of them is a collection of essays on pain called, "Pain Woman Takes Your Keys and Other Essays from a Nervous System" by Sonya Huber--who also struggles with RA. I've only just started the book, but I've heard some fantastic things about it and I'm excited (and maybe a little scared) to delve into it. I know I'll be able to relate to many of the experiences Huber shares about living with her own chronic pain.

Connecting with others going through similar experiences is comforting

I think this is one of the reasons maybe why I'm drawn to reading books about health and pain and illness--I'm looking to connect my story with someone else's. RA is often a very lonely, isolating, and complicated disease, and I think we all feel lost and alone as we struggle to live our lives with its unrelenting pain and sickness.

Since I was a small child, I've always felt that books are comforting and great friends to have. They help us learn and grow and understand others and the world around us.  And through books, I always welcome the chance to try to understand myself, my health, and others' own health journeys more. I hope you do, too.

Please join me!

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