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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!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The RheumatoidArthritis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Grammy4
    3 weeks ago

    Great list, I’ve read about 1/2 of them, and will be sure to check out your other recommendations. I find that I’m usually reading something non-fiction & fiction at the same time. Non fiction for education & fiction for the escape. I’ve just finished “the Butchers’ Art, about the history of medicine & Surgery prior to anesthesia & antiseptic. About Joseph Listeria & his efforts to bring science to the practice of medicine. Makes me extremely grateful to live in our time!
    I would like to thank you for your article.

  • DeborahK
    2 months ago

    I love this article and list, Angela! Thank you for compiling it – I will definitely check out some of the titles I’m not familiar with. I also highly recommend Out of Joint by Mary Felstiner – it’s a wonderfully written memoir about her life with RA that weaves in history about arthritis and how it has been conceived in western culture (she’s a history professor). I totally relate to your sense that books are incredibly comforting.

  • Angela Lundberg author
    2 months ago

    Hi Deborah! Thank you for your comment and reading the article. I’m glad you like the list! And thank you for the recommendation of Mary Felstiner’s book. I’ll check it out.

    Happy reading & happy weekend!
    Angela

  • Daniel Malito moderator
    3 months ago

    @angela I also escape to books, for sure. It’s been a while since I had one I rushed to escape into, and I’m a bit ashamed to admit it was probably the Harry Potter books. ha ha. Seriously, though, no movie or show can compare (although some come close). Keep on keepin’ on, DPM

  • Angela Lundberg author
    3 months ago

    Thanks as always for your comments, Daniel. And, hey…if I can boss you around a little bit, GO GET A NEW BOOK ASAP! 🙂

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