Whether for someone else you know with a chronic illness or for yourself there are some interesting books out for chronic illness perspectives for Christmas gift ideas.

Chronic Illness Christmas Book List

Chronic Illness Christmas Book List

1-What Doesn’t Kill You: A Life with Chronic Illness – Lessons from a Body in Revolt

“Should be read by anyone with a body. . . . Relentlessly researched and undeniably smart.”
The New York Times

“What Doesn’t Kill You
 is the riveting account of a young journalist’s awakening to chronic illness, weaving together personal story and reporting to shed light on living with an ailment forever.
… Miller segues seamlessly from her dramatic personal experiences into a frank look at the cultural realities (medical, occupational, social) inherent in receiving a lifetime diagnosis. She offers hard-earned wisdom, solidarity, and an ultimately surprising promise of joy for those trying to make sense of it all.”

2-How to Live Well with Chronic Pain and Illness: A Mindful Guide

“In this comprehensive book, an empathetic Bernhard offers guidance to those whose lives have been turned upside down by illness. Excellent firsthand instruction for anyone dealing with a debilitating illness.” (Booklist)

This is a personal recommendation of mine by an author I love. You can find a lot of her writing online. I love her book How to be Sick and so I also got this one. I do love her perspective on living with illness and it has influenced mine in the past.

3-The Things We Don’t Say: An Anthology of Chronic Illness Truths 

“Spanning different ages, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, and diagnoses, forty-two authors from around the world open up in fifty true stories about their chronic illnesses and their search for answers, poor treatment by doctors, strained relationships with loved ones, self-doubt, and more. They share the warmth of support from family and friends, the triumph of learning coping mechanisms, and finding ways to live their dreams. These stories are honest, raw, and real, and if you have chronic illness, you will find comfort and companionship in these pages. For everyone else, if you have ever wanted to know more about your loved one’s experience with chronic illness but didn’t want to ask the wrong questions, this book will have some answers, and more importantly lead you to a new-found understanding.”

This is another personal recommendation. I wrote an essay for this anthology called ‘All About the Pain’. I own a copy and truly there are so many stories and perspectives to be found in this book.

4-Lycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnesses: A Novel

I am mentioning this YA novel because the main character has a chronic illness and it was described as ‘“Your next favorite horror-comedy.”—Syfy Fangrrls‘ and that sounds awesome. I do think youth with chronic illness need to see characters in books like them. It is not only relatable it just makes the experience less lonely and isolating.

“O’Neal persuasively pulls from her own experience with chronic illness to inform her depiction of the topic, using interactions between support group members to layer comedic banter and vulnerability that specifically addresses aspects of disability experiences.”—Publishers Weekly

“Emotional, thoughtful, and a true testament to the power of friendship, Lycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnesses is a werewolf novel that will make you look at navigating illness, supernatural or not, in a whole new way….O’Neal breaks new ground with this book and accomplishes something truly wonderful.”—Locus Magazine

5-ChronicBabe 101: How to Craft an Incredible Life Beyond

I am recommending this one not because I have read it but because I love ChronicBabe. I interviewed her on this blog and she has an awesome YouTube channel. I wasn’t aware of her book but it looks interesting. I love her perspective on chronic illness and this looks like a workbook-style book.

“Since 2005, Jenni has taught thousands of women how to take charge of their lives through her website, videos, and speeches around the world. In ChronicBabe 101, she schools you on relationships, career, emotional well-being, sexuality, personal organization, and so much more.”

Lessons in the book include:
– It All Starts with Learning to Practice Acceptance
– Learn to Kick Those Bad Habits to the Curb
– It’s Time to Turn Around Negative Thinking
– Establish Healthy Boundaries to Create Confidence
– Learn to Love Your Body Again
– Build Your “Team” to Maximize Support
– Strengthen Personal Relationships to Weave a Safety Net
– Adapt Your Education and Career to Boost Success
– Become a Talented Communicator
– Get Organized: Tips, Tricks, Tools, and Systems

6-The Lady’s Handbook for Her Mysterious Illness: A Memoir


This memoir intrigues me as it is from a woman’s perspective on her journey to diagnosis which is labelled as psychological (wow, that sounds oddly familiar):

“In her harrowing, defiant, and unforgettable memoir, Sarah Ramey recounts the decade-long saga of how a seemingly minor illness in her senior year of college turned into a prolonged and elusive condition that destroyed her health but that doctors couldn’t diagnose or treat. Worse, as they failed to cure her, they hinted that her devastating symptoms were psychological.
     The Lady’s Handbook for Her Mysterious Illness is a memoir with a mission: to help the millions of (mostly) women who suffer from unnamed or misunderstood conditions–autoimmune illnesses, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic Lyme disease, chronic pain, and many more. Ramey’s pursuit of a diagnosis and cure for her own mysterious illness becomes a page-turning medical mystery that reveals a new understanding of today’s chronic illnesses as ecological in nature, driven by modern changes to the basic foundations of health, from the quality of our sleep, diet, and social connections to the state of our microbiomes. Her book will open eyes, change lives, and, ultimately, change medicine”

7-Get a Life, Chloe Brown: A Novel (The Brown Sisters Book 1) 

I chose this novel, again, because the main character has a chronic illness. This one though is a romance. I found a few non-fiction books tackling the subject of relationships and chronic illness but when I read the blurb for this one I just had to share it. I love reading fantasy fiction, and writing it, but when I am in the mood I also really get into the romance genre as well. I have never read one with a chronically ill main character. This blurb with the idea of ‘getting a life’ and making a list to do so… totally appeals to me.

“This stunning romance tackles important topics, such as living with disability and surviving emotional abuse, without ever getting bogged down in despair. Hibbert’s prose sparkles, and the heat is high…” – Library Journal (starred review)

“Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamorous family’s mansion. The next items?

  • Enjoy a drunken night out.
  • Ride a motorcycle.
  • Go camping.
  • Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.
  • Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.
  • And… do something bad.

But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job”.

8-Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened

Allie Brosh has a blog called Hyperbole and a Half and if you’re not familiar with it I bet you are familiar with her pain scale cartoon that has gone viral for Years, without credit. She is hilarious and very open about her depression experience. Anyway, she is a humour blogger and she does these doodle cartoons that are also in her book.

“This full-color, beautifully illustrated edition features more than fifty percent new content, with ten never-before-seen essays and one wholly revised and expanded piece as well as classics from the website like, “The God of Cake,” “Dogs Don’t Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving,” and her astonishing, “Adventures in Depression,” and “Depression Part Two,” which have been hailed as some of the most insightful meditations on the disease ever written.”

9-Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things

This is a personal book, a humour book, about depression and anxiety. A lifelong battle with mental illness. “A hysterical, ridiculous book about crippling depression and anxiety? That sounds like a terrible idea.” But it doesn’t. I can totally relate to a book like this.

Furiously Happy is about “taking those moments when things are fine and making them amazing, because those moments are what make us who we are, and they’re the same moments we take into battle with us when our brains declare war on our very existence. It’s the difference between “surviving life” and “living life”. It’s the difference between “taking a shower” and “teaching your monkey butler how to shampoo your hair.” It’s the difference between being “sane” and being “furiously happy.”

Lawson is beloved around the world for her inimitable humor and honesty, and in Furiously Happy, she is at her snort-inducing funniest. This is a book about embracing everything that makes us who we are – the beautiful and the flawed – and then using it to find joy in fantastic and outrageous ways. Because as Jenny’s mom says, “Maybe ‘crazy’ isn’t so bad after all.” Sometimes crazy is just right.”

10-Get Back into Whack: How to Easily Rewire Your Brain to Outsmart Stress, Overcome Self-Sabotage, and Optimize Healing from Fibromyalgia and Chronic Illness

I have recommended this book before because I follow this author. I still have not gotten around to adding it to my To-read pile yet… but that is because that to-read pile is never-ending, rather high stacked and predominantly fiction with the occasional non-fiction book that intrigues me. But every time I come across it, I remind myself I want to get to it.

“…incredible guidance and techniques for helping the fibromyalgia community.” -Jacob Teitelbaum, MD bestselling author of From Fatigued to Fantastic!

“…a refreshingly easy-to-read guidebook which explores the psychological aspects of brain function and the powerful impact the mind has on our health and wellbeing.” -Kristen Willeumier, PhD, Neuroscientist

“…skillfully connects BOTH mind and body approaches to healing!” -Jessie Jones, PhD, Former Director, Center for Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain, California State University, Fullerton

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you I will earn a commission if you click on a link and make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Disclaimer noted on the side of my site.

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