Book Reviews

For your convenience, I’ve added all the books to a list on Amazon. You can visit the D-Mom Blog Amazon Amazon Shop to purchase any of the books mentioned. Please note that links to Amazon are affiliate links. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement. Please read the reviews for my opinions.

Diabetes Book Reading Challenge

Diabetes Books

  • Parenting
  • Management
  • Carb Counting
  • Memoirs & History
  • For Children
  • Humor

Non-Diabetes Books

  • Fiction
  • Parenting
  • Memoir/Humor

Diabetes Book Reading ChallengeDiabetes Book Reading Challenge

I’m challenging myself to read 6 diabetes books this year. I’ll share a list of books I recommend, books I’m reading next, and even a couple for d-kids. Read all of my book challenge posts.

Diabetes Books

Diabetes Books – Parenting

Kids First, Diabetes Second by Leighann Calentine (review, purchase)

About the book: In a style both practical and affirming, Kids First, Diabetes Second presents Leighann’s advice to help parents and caregivers enable children with diabetes to thrive. Learn how to automate tasks, navigate challenges, celebrate achievements, establish a support group, relieve stress, and avoid being consumed by management of the condition, while focusing on what’s most important: raising a happy, healthy child.

Life is Short, Laundry is Eternal by Scott Benner (review-coming soon, purchase)

About the book: Witness the life and family of Scott Benner, author, activist, humorist, and 12-year stay-at-home dad. When Scott’s daughter, Arden, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of two, his world took a sharp turn, but his positive outlook on life did not waver.

Diabetes Care for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers: A Reassuring Guide by Jean Bertschart (Kids First, Diabetes Second listed resource, purchase)

About the book: Everything you need to learn to take care of your child’s diabetes, in addition to normal parenting issues, can seem overwhelming. You might even worry that you may do something wrong and harm your child. This reassuring guide will help you find a balance between good diabetes management and normal life. It explains how diabetes impacts your child’s growth and development, and gives you plenty of ideas for dealing with routine diabetes care.

Diabetes Books – Management

Bright Spots & Landmines: The Diabetes Guide I Wish Someone Had Handed Me by Adam Brown (review-coming soon, purchase)

About the book: Bright Spots & Landmines is filled with hundreds of effective diabetes tips, questions, and shortcuts, including what to eat to minimize blood sugar swings; helpful strategies to feel less stressed, guilty, and burned out; and simple ways to improve exercise and sleep. Along the way, Adam argues that the usual focus on problems and mistakes in diabetes (Landmines) misses the bigger opportunity: Bright Spots.

Think Like a Pancreas: A Practical Guide to Managing Diabetes with Insulin–Completely Revised and Updated by Gary Scheiner (review, purchase)

About the book: Few diabetes books focus specifically on the day-to-day issues facing people who use insulin. In this fully updated and revised edition, diabetes educator Gary Scheiner provides the tools to “think like a pancreas”—to successfully master the art and science of matching insulin to the body’s ever-changing needs.

Until There is a Cure: The Latest and Greatest in Diabetes Self-Care by Gary Scheiner (review, purchase)*

About the book: Respected Certified Diabetes Educator and author Gary Scheiner delivers the most up-to-date information and analysis on groundbreaking developments in the world of diabetes. Scheiner’s commentary is founded not only in his professional experiences and expertise as an educator, but also in over 25 years of successfully managing his own type 1 diabetes.

Thriving with Diabetes: Learn How to Take Charge of Your Body to Balance Your Sugars and Improve Your Lifelong Health – Featuring a 4-Step Plan for Long-Lasting Success! by Paul Rosman and David Edelman (review-coming soon, purchase)

About the book: Thriving with Diabetes empowers you to take charge of your diabetes, so you don’t just deal with your symptoms, but change the way you think to improve your health, happiness, and quality of life. Through a simple four-step process, you’ll learn how to intuitively understand your blood sugars and what causes both good and bad numbers. This proactive approach results in the ability to manage diabetes personally, not just by a set of notes from the doctor.

Balancing Diabetes: Conversations About Finding Happiness and Living Well by Kerri Sparling (review-coming soon, purchase)

About the book: In Balancing Diabetes, diabetes online community blogger Kerri Sparling compiles strategies used by people with diabetes and their caregivers to bring that elusive balance into their lives. Whether adult or child, type 1 or type 2, spouse or caregiver, male or female, people in the diabetes world will find themselves in this book and be inspired by the commonality of that continuing search for balance.

Insulin Pumps and Continuous Glucose Monitoring: A User’s Guide to Effective Diabetes Management by Francine R. Kaufman, MD and Emily Westfall (review, purchase)

About the book: A diabetes diagnosis no longer means giving up an active life. New technology, such as insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors, can help people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes stay active and flexible and maintain healthy attitudes and lifestyles. Insulin Pumps and Continuous Glucose Monitoring explains how this new technology can dramatically improve care, as well as how to prepare for the physical and psychological challenges that come with these new regimens.

Your Diabetes Science Experiment: Live your live with diabetes, instead of letting diabetes live your life by Ginger Vieira (review-coming soon, purchase)

About the book: Your Diabetes Science Experiment will explain the science behind the most common reasons for your “mystery high blood sugars” and “unexpected low blood sugars.” From there, each “Science Experiment” helps you focus on one specific part of your diabetes management at time, so you can make adjustments in your insulin dosing and your nutrition to prevent those unwanted fluctuations in your blood sugar from happening as often!

Dealing with Diabetes Burnout: How to Recharge and Get Back on Track When You Feel Frustrated and Overwhelmed Living with Diabetes by Ginger Vieira (review-coming soon, purchase)

About the book: Living with diabetes is non-stop, 24 hours a day. Counting carbohydrates at every meal, constantly adjusting medication doses, taking daily injections, pricking fingers multiple times a day, and struggling with the unavoidable challenges of fancy, yet imperfect, technology can lead to burnout. With compassion, knowledge, and humor, Ginger Vieira provides the tools and encouragement needed to help you get back on track and make diabetes management a rewarding priority.

Emotional Eating with Diabetes: Your Guide to Creating a Positive Relationship with Food by Ginger Vieira (review, purchase)

About the book: Emotional Eating with Diabetes is an easy-to-read guide to overcoming the many challenges around food that can develop in a life with a disease that revolves around what we eat. This required focus on food can lead to using food in a self-destructive manner to cope with the tremendous emotional and mental burden that comes with managing diabetes. This book will help you build a relationship with food that leaves you feeling proud of your choices, never deprived, and with the knowledge that you are giving your body and your life with diabetes the compassion that you need and deserve.

Pumping Insulin by John Walsh (review-coming soon, purchase)

Carb Counting

The CalorieKing Calorie, Fat & Carbohydrate Counter 2017: Pocket-Size Edition (Kids First Diabetes Second listed resource, purchase)

Ultimate Guide to Accurate Carb Count: Featuring the Tools and Techniques Used by the Experts by Gary Scheiner (Kids First Diabetes Second listed resource, purchase)

Diabetes Books – Memoirs & History

The Insulin Express: One Backpack, Five Continents, and the Diabetes Diagnosis That Changed Everything by Oren Liebermann (review-coming soon, purchase)

About the book: In the middle of a yearlong backpacking trip around the world with his wife, Oren Liebermann is teaching English to young Buddhist monks in Pokhara, Nepal, when his body begins to fail him. He is constantly thirsty and exhausted, and by the time he steps on a scale, he has lost forty-five pounds. At a local clinic, a doctor gives him a diagnosis that will change his life forever: “I’m sorry to tell you, my friend, that you are a diabetic.”

Breakthrough: Elizabeth Hughes, the Discovery of Insulin, and the Making of a Medical Miracle by Thea Cooper and Arthur Ainsberg (review, purchase)

About the book: It is 1919 and Elizabeth Hughes, the eleven-year-old daughter of America’s most-distinguished jurist and politician, Charles Evans Hughes, has been diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. It is essentially a death sentence. The only accepted form of treatment – starvation – whittles her down to forty-five pounds skin and bones. Miles away, Canadian researchers Frederick Banting and Charles Best manage to identify and purify insulin from animal pancreases – a miracle soon marred by scientific jealousy, intense business competition and fistfights. In a race against time and a ravaging disease, Elizabeth becomes one of the first diabetics to receive insulin injections – all while its discoverers and a little known pharmaceutical company struggle to make it available to the rest of the world.

Sugar Linings: Finding the Bright Side of Type 1 Diabetes by Sierra Sandison (review, purchase)

About the book: By illustrating the sugar linings that can hold true for anyone–not just the ones unique to becoming Miss Idaho–Sierra aims to bring hope to those who may be facing a new diagnosis, and anyone else who may have a cloud casting an uncertain, but daunting forecast for his or her future.

Islands and Insulin: A Diabetic Sailor’s Memoir by Erin Spineto (review-coming soon, purchase)

About the book: Islands and Insulin is the story of a girl, given a boat, one hundred nautical miles of ocean, and way too much caffeine to reflect on how an incorrigible disease has altered her voyage into adulthood, all wrapped inside a diabetes survival manual. It is a cross between the humor of Steve Markley’s Publish This Book, the travel journal of Jimmy Buffett’s A Pirate Looks at Fifty, and the sailing of Pete Goss’s Close to the Wind minus the sixty knot winds, fifty foot waves, below freezing temperatures, and the slick escape from death… hopefully.

Adventure On: Adventure More, Worry Less, and Watch Your Motivation Soar by Erin Spineto (review-coming soon, purchase)

About the book: In Adventure On, Erin Spineto focuses on the pillars of diabetes adventure, why adventure works to lighten the burden of diabetes care, and why it’s critical that you get the motivational aspect of your diabetes care handled right now.

Elle & Coach: Diabetes, the Fight for My Daughter’s Life, and the Dog Who Changed Everything by Stefany Shaheen (review-coming soon, purchase)

About the book: Stefany Shaheen tries everything to manage her daughter Elle’s deadly and unpredictable disease. Overcoming the skepticism that a dog can provide answers that medical science is still seeking, the family finds a resounding sense of peace and reassurance through Coach’s near miraculous abilities as a medic-alert dog, specially trained to detect dangerous changes in blood sugar levels.

My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor (review-coming soon, purchase)

About the book: The first Hispanic and third woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor has become an instant American icon. Now, with a candor and intimacy never undertaken by a sitting Justice, she recounts her life from a Bronx housing project to the federal bench, a journey that offers an inspiring testament to her own extraordinary determination and the power of believing in oneself.

Not Dead Yet: My Race Against Disease: From Diagnosis to Dominance by Phil Southerland and John Hanc (review, purchase)*

About the book: Part memoir, part sports adventure, Not Dead Yet tells the inspirational story of Phil Southerland’s battle with Type 1 diabetes and how he overcame all odds to start his own bicycle racing team and twice win the Race Across America.

The Sugarless Plum: A Ballerina’s Triumph Over Diabetes by Zippora Karz (review-coming soon, purchase)

About the book: For dancer Zippora Karz, a rising young star with the famed New York City Ballet, being diagnosed with diabetes could easily have ended all her dreams. She was just twenty-one when she was plucked from the corps de ballet to dance solo roles like the Sugarplum Fairy in The Nutcracker. It was near the end of a grueling season when she became exhausted, dizzy, and excessively thirsty.

A Cure for Emma: One Mother’s Journey to Oz by Julie Colvin (review, purchase)

About the book: Overnight, Julie Colvin leaves her medical career to become a full-time surrogate pancreas for her daughter Emma, who is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Millions of parents around the world will relate to Julie’s roller coaster of despair, frustration, and hope as she seeks balance not just for Emma and her family, but most importantly, for herself.

Diabetes Books – For Children

Ballerina Dreams: A book for Children with Diabetes by Zippora Karz (review-coming soon, purchase)

About the book: This is the story of Zippy, a young girl who falls in love with ballet. With hard work she dances all the way to her pointes and the leading role in the performance. But soon Zippy and her family learn that she has type 1 diabetes. Will she still be able to dance in the performance? Zippy proves that she can take care of herself and still live her passion.

Even Superheroes Get Diabetes by Sue Ganz-Schmitt (review, purchase)

About the book: When a mysterious doctor uncovers that Kelvin has superpowers, the story reveals itself as the genesis of a new kind of superhero. Kelvin is monikered ‘Super K’ and uses his superpowers to help other kids with diabetes. The discovery of Super K’s superpowers is akin to the discovery of one’s inner strength in the face of adversity–in the face of illness.

Taking Diabetes to School by Kim Gosselin (review-coming soon, purchase)

About the book: This color illustrated book for elementary age children contains an instructive story of a grade-schooler with diabetes who tells his classmates about the disease and how he manages it. The story offers sensitive insight into the day-to-day school life of a child with a chronic illness.

Caillou: Emma’s Extra Snacks: A Story About Type 1 Diabetes (review-coming soon, purchase)

About the book: Caillou is confused when Emma is allowed to have extra snacks at preschool. He’s even more confused when Miss Martin explains that Emma has juvenile diabetes (type 1). Caillou is worried about his friend Emma and becomes very protective of her.

Diabetes Books – Humor

One Lump or Two: Things That Suck About Being Diabetic by Haidee Soule Merritt (review-coming soon, purchase)

About the book: A collection of cartoons inspired by the diabetes lifestyle, these illustrations span a period of more than a decade. Starting out as nothing more than a few doodles and growing to represent a lifetime of personal struggles and experiences after life changing eye surgeries in the author’s early 20s.

Finger Pricks: Small, Quick, and Only Slightly Painful by Haidee Soule Merritt (review-coming soon, purchase)

About the book: ALL the diabetic humor, witty narrative, and personal insight you could possibly desire—-wrapped neatly into one convenient package! The FingerPricks™ cartoons—-small, quick and only slightly painful—-tell it like it is. FingerPricks™ is the eagerly anticipated second volume in the series, following the first release, One Lump or Two.


The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson (review, purchase, highly recommend the audiobook)

My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares (review, purchase)

The Last Summer (of You and Me) by Ann Brashares (review, purchase)

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards (review, purchase)

In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez (review, purchase)

The Help by Kathryn Stockett (review, purchase)

Young Adult Fiction

Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez (review, purchase)



How To Raise an Adult: Break free of the overparenting trap and prepare your kid for success by Julie Lythcott-Haims (review, purchase)*


Bossypants by Tina Fey (review, purchase)

Yes Please by Amy Poehler (review, purchase)

When did I get like this? : the screamer, the worrier, the dinosaur-chicken-nugget-buyer, and other mothers I swore I’d never be by Amy Wilson (review, purchase)*

*I received these titles free of charge for review consideration. Please read the disclosure statement regarding affiliate links.

Links to bookstores are affiliate links and are provided so that you can find the books easily. I personally utilize the public library quite a bit, especially for audiobooks and fiction.

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