This topic may have been discussed previously, but I’d like to re-introduce it: Inspiring Cancer Books. There are probably about a zillion non-fiction, self-help books out on bookshelves, but there are also many fictional (most semi-autobiographical) books to choose from. I’d like to share my inspirational (and non-inspirational) fiction books and hear from others what fiction books have inspired you (or not).
Let’s start with The Bad – “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” is popular but isn’t really about Rachel, the dying girl, a Leukemia patient who basically gives up fighting. It’s about Greg and Earl, the two filmmakers. This book was not a “cancer book” and very much irritated me because the patient gave up. If you’re looking for inspiration, don’t bother. Another non-inspirational book is “Side Effects”. This book is about a 14 y/o with NHL struggling through diagnosis and treatment. But, as I found out through a little research, the book was actually written by the patient’s mother, so the reader gets no sense of the emotions the patient experiences. It’s mainly snarky dialogue. Not good.
The Good: “The Fault in Our Stars”. Yes, cliché, I know. But it was a good book. It was sad and more about coping than fighting, but still a very good book. Read it. (Or, if you have to, watch the movie.) Two other inspirational young-adult novels are “Radiate” by Marley Gibson and “Touched by Cancer” by Teri Rose. Both of these are autobiographical accounts of the authors’ diagnosis and treatment. Both let the reader experience the same emotions as the patient. Both main characters cope with and fight their disease, and get busy living. “Touched” also explores longer-term effects such as sterility. I highly recommend these two books if you want to share in two patients’ victories.