Welcome back to the blog!
If you noticed, I’ve been relatively quiet and disappeared from social media lately, that’s because, I’ve been taking some necessary me time. So, I just kind of stayed away from social media as much as possible. And, part of how I spent my me time was, by doing some readings. This is why, I’ve now returned with a blog post on some of my most recent reads.
This is actually not the first time I wrote a book recommendations blog. A little while back, I wrote the first 5 book recommendations blog, which you could check that one out also. In the past, I also wrote several literary review blogs for an academic course. But, for today’s book recommendations, it sort of has a theme, and that theme is: Books on disability and illness. Currently, this has been the type of books I’m only interested in reading, and if you’re also, feel free to check out these books. Or, if you’ve read any of the books listed, feel free to leave your thoughts or comments below, so we could perhaps have a conversation together. So, without further ado, let’s jump right into it:
Sitting Pretty: The View From My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body By Rebekah Taussig
Believe it or not, this is the first autobiography about people with disability that I have ever read. This book is written by disability advocate Rebekah Taussig, on her personal life and the disability culture, as a disabled, wheelchair user living in the United States. I first heard about this book through the disability community on Twitter, and it got me interested. Even though I’m not a wheelchair user myself, I can still relate, at least simply from being a disabled person, fighting ableism, and navigating a society that is often not designed and function with the disabled in mind.
Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories From the Twenty-First Century Edited by Alice Wong
In my opinion, this is a book that every disability advocate, disability educator, and anybody that’s interested in reading stories and experiences told purely by disabled people, should give this book a read. This book consists of collective essays, stories and experiences told by disabled people. Some of these stories can be very raw and sensitive, but to me, they are so close to heart and relatable.
The editor of this book, Alice Wong, is an Asian American disability rights activist, and the founder of Disability Visibility Project, which is “an online community dedicated to creating, sharing, and amplifying disability media and culture.” Each essay from this book has a unique story to tell, and an important lesson to learn from. So, this book may be your starting point to understand disability and the lived experiences of people with disabilities.
Diagnosis: Solving The Most Baffling Medical Mysteries By Dr. Lisa Sanders
Before I even heard about this book, I first heard about the Netflix original documentary series, with a similar name called Diagnosis from the New York Times. I watched the documentary series just about the same time I read the book. The documentary is slightly different from the book itself but, what’s important is, this doctor and the way she treats her patients, with such care and dedication. The author of this book, Dr. Lisa Sanders is a physician at Yale University. She has a fascination for hard-to-solve medical mysteries.
There is a reason why I almost felt a need to read this book and to watch the documentary, and that reason is very simple. This kind of doctor is so hard to find! I, like many other young adults with a chronic illness, have had experienced a lot of difficulty finding a doctor that is genuinely and so committed to treat us young patients. Instead, many doctors have looked at us as “drug/attention seekers” “fakers” or even as “difficult patients.” Personally, I never met Dr. Sanders and probably I never will, but, from having read the book and watched the documentary, I believe, whoever that comes for care to this doctor, they’re likely going to be well taken care of. In addition to this book, I also recommend an earlier book written by Dr. Sanders called Every Patient Tells A Story: Medical Mysteries and the Art of Diagnosis. I really wish, that every doctor in this world could be as dedicated and committed in treating her patients as well as this doctor.
Kika and Me: How One Extraordinary Guide Dog Changed My World By Dr. Amit Patel
I’ve lost count of how many times I was both in tears and in laughters while reading this book, the emotional rollercoaster got so real at times, but in a good way! Kika & Me is an autobiography, written by Dr. Amit Patel, about being a doctor, working in the busy A & E, and losing his sight completely in merely 36 hours. To some degree, I can personally relate to so many things and details mentioned in this book, especially about the sight loss experiences, as I’m a visually impaired person myself. But more so, it is about how Dr. Patel’s journey of meeting his new four legged friend and companion, guide dog Kika, and how that journey changed his life forever, is what I believe, the more appealing part of this book.
Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law By Haben Girma
Haben Girma’s memoir Haben is moving, inspiring, and it gives the reader strengths. At least, that’s how I felt from reading this book. Haben Girma is an American human rights lawyer, she is also the first deafblind woman graduated from Harvard Law. The book illustrates Haben’s life of being deafblind since childhood, up until when she graduated law school and started her work as a lawyer. Haben is brave and resilient, she basically advocated her way through her student life. And ultimately, her advocacy did not only just helped her, but, it also paved the way for many other disabled students after her.
This conclude today’s blog on part two of 5 Book Recommendations. I really enjoyed reading these books, because I learned a great deal from them. I hope you’ll consider reading one or more of these books, too. And if you have, don’t forget that we can have a conversation about these books together. Do you have any other books titles that’s disability and illness related, that you think I should check them out? Feel free to leave that in the comments section below, too!
Until next time,
The Invisible Vision Project