• You Want Me to Do What? by B. Lynn Goodwin (Dec 16, 2008). Lynn Goodwin has developed a brilliantly simple concept: a pocket-sized journal that allows overstressed caregivers to jot down their thoughts in pilfered moments: waiting in doctor’s offices, sitting by hospital bedsides, or over a cup of tea at midnight.  Her simple yet insightful writing prompts can help caregivers locate inner feelings that have long been pasted over with to-do lists.
  • I Know How Hard You Work: A Journey Through Stroke Recovery by Paul Sybert (Dec 11, 2007). This book relates author Paul Sybert’s inspiring journey from a debilitating stroke to his remarkable return to health. Through a mixture of instruction and support, Paul shares each step of his healing process to help stroke survivors learn to cope. Each chapter also includes a set of therapeutic topics ideal for exploring your patients’ frustrations and hopes during their recovery.


Stroke Memoirs:

A number of memoirs about the experience of stroke or brain injury have been published in recent  years–and I hope mine will soon be one of them.  These are a few of my favorites:

  • My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey by Jill Bolte, Ph.D. Taylor (May 26, 2009). A fascinating, terrifying journey through stroke told step-by-step as it happened to brain scientist Jill Bolte Taylor. From Publishers Weekly: “Her holistic approach to healing will be valuable to stroke survivors and their caregivers, who can pick up suggestions from Taylor’s moving accounts of how her mother faithfully loved her back to life.”
  • One Hundred Names for Love: A Stroke, a Marriage, and the Language of Healing by Diane Ackerman (Apr 4, 2011). An inspiring and poignant story of two writers, married for many years, who face the shock of his loss of language to stroke. They pull together, using goofy exercises she devised to help him regain language skills. Booklist calls it “A gorgeously engrossing, affecting, sweetly funny, and mind-opening love story of crisis, determination, creativity, and repair.”
  • Different Strokes: An Intimate Memoir for Stroke Survivors, Families, and Care Givers by Steven Boorstein (October 26, 2011).  An in-depth look at what surviving, or not surviving, a stroke can mean. And Steven Boorstein should know—at age fifty-two, he suffered a stroke after a hit on the ski slopes of Vail. Part-memoir, part-how-to, Steven Boorstein’s book offers tips for stroke recovery, through experience and those of other stroke survivors, for both patients and their loved ones.
  • Happy: A Memoir by Alex Lemon (Dec 29, 2009). A college athlete suffers a stroke and in the face of continuing health problems, descends into drug and alcohol abuse until he is nursed back to health by his mother.