Diabetes Book Reading Challenge | January 2018

by Leighann on January 1, 2018

Summary: I’m challenging myself to read 6 diabetes books this year. Here is a list of books I recommend, books I’m reading next, and even a couple for d-kids.

Diabetes Book Reading Challenge

I’m not a “make a resolution” type of person, but I do like having some goals. Each year I start (and try to complete) a reading goal for the year on Goodreads. In 2017 I had a goal of reading 18 books and surpassed it with 20. I tend to listen to audiobooks, but in 2018 I won’t have as much time for audiobooks. I’m planning to listen to them when I walk on the indoor track at the local community college, which allows public use at no charge.

I love historical fiction and thrillers, but the genres I read vary widely.

I have a stack of diabetes-related books that I keep meaning to get to. I’m going to find the time to read them this year! My goal is to read 6 diabetes books during 2018. That’s doable, right?

I would love for you to join me in reading some diabetes focused books. I’ll offer my recommendations and reviews as I go through them.

I also challenge d-kids to get in on the action and will list some of our faves.

To help get you started, here is my first recommendation list.

My Recommendations

Kids First, Diabetes Second: tips for parenting a child with type 1 diabetes (my book!)

by Leighann Calentine

(learn more about Kids First, buy it)

My thoughts: Of course I recommend my book, especially for parents of a recently diagnosed child. I offer lots of information and support…everything I wish I had known when my own child was first diagnosed. Feedback has been great and many parents have found it to be a very useful resource.

About the book: Raising a child is a difficult job. Raising a child with a chronic illness such as diabetes can be a difficult job with a side order of special challenges. Leighann Calentine’s D-Mom Blog is an invaluable resource for parents and caregivers of children with diabetes. Leighann shares her family’s experiences with her daughter’s type 1 diabetes in a forum that is intimate, informative, and inspirational. 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.

Breakthrough: Elizabeth Hughes, the Discovery of Insulin, and the Making of a Medical Miracle

by Thea Cooper and Arthur Ainsberg

(my full review, buy it)

My thoughts: I thought it was going to be one of those books that I should read that I would have to plod through like a boring text book on the history of medicine. But I have to say it was quite captivating! The book tells the story of Banting, a Canadian who had a crazy epiphany about the pancreas in relation to diabetes. Even crazier, he thought he could just walk right into a university and demand funding for his research!

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. Relive the heartwarming true story of the discovery of insulin as it’s never been told before. Written with authentic detail and suspense, and featuring walk-ons by William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, and Eli Lilly himself, among many others.

Sugar Linings: Finding the Bright Side of Type 1 Diabetes

by Sierra Sandison, Miss Idaho

(my full review, buy it)

My thoughts: Because of the attitude that we have chosen to take, I appreciate that Sierra is looking at the bright side of her type 1 diabetes and the ways in which it has made her life better by bringing her experiences, allowing her to travel and meet people, and giving her a way to be of service. I think that Sierra’s positive attitude makes her a role model for other people, especially tweens and teens with diabetes who may have an even more difficult time during this life stage because of their diabetes.

About the book: Sierra Sandison, Miss Idaho 2014, is best known for launching the #showmeyourpump campaign and proudly wearing her insulin pump on the Miss America stage. Sierra now travels the country, speaking at schools, diabetes conferences, and keynoting at various events. She tells audiences of her journey from diagnosis to the Miss America stage, and spreads her message of overcoming adversity, as well as loving the things that make us unique, rather than hiding the things that make us different. Now, with the launch of her new book, Sugar Linings: Finding the Bright Side of Type 1 Diabetes, she hopes to send a new message: one of hope and positivity for diabetics and non-diabetics alike. She tells her story, and also discusses the positive sides of living with type 1 diabetes: finding strength, making connections, and sometimes even forming priceless friendships with others facing similar challenges. She discusses how diabetes can help one discover his or her passion and a way to make a different in the world, develop a greater ability to show compassion and empathy, and other sugar linings that can make each of our journeys with diabetes a little less gloomy. 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.

Think Like a Pancreas: A Practical Guide to Managing Diabetes with Insulin–Completely Revised and Updated

by Gary Scheiner

(my full review, buy it)

My thoughts: This is my go to book when I think about making changes to I:C ratios and testing basal rates.

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. Comprehensive, free of medical jargon, and packed with useful information not readily available elsewhere, this new edition covers the many strides taken in diabetes education and management since the first edition seven years ago. Think Like a Pancreas includes critical information, such as day-to-day blood glucose control and monitoring, designing an insulin program to best match your lifestyle, up-to date medication and technology, and new insulin formulations and combinations.

What I’m Reading Next

The Insulin Express: One Backpack, Five Continents, and the Diabetes Diagnosis That Changed Everything

by Oren Liebermann

(review coming soon, buy it)

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.”

Bright Spots & Landmines: The Diabetes Guide I Wish Someone Had Handed Me

by Adam Brown and Kelly Close

(review coming soon, buy it)

About the book: Adam Brown’s acclaimed diaTribe column, Adam’s Corner, has brought life-transforming diabetes tips to over 600,000 people since 2013. In this highly actionable guide, he shares the food, mindset, exercise, and sleep strategies that have had the biggest positive impact on his diabetes – and hopefully yours too! 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. By identifying what’s working and finding ways to do those things more often, we can all live healthier, happier, and more hopeful lives. Whether you are newly diagnosed or have had type 1 or type 2 diabetes for over 50 years, this book delivers on its promise: practical diabetes advice that works immediately.

For D-kids

Ballerina Dreams: A Book for Children with Diabetes

by Zippora Karz

(review coming soon, buy it)

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.

Caillou: Emma’s Extra Snacks: Living with Diabetes

(review coming soon, buy it)

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. He doesn’t want her to do anything, even go down the slide. But when Emma outruns Caillou in a race, he realizes that diabetes isn’t like a cold or the flu. It’s something Emma has to live with every day ― and she’s doing a pretty good job of it.

Places where you can find my recommendations and reading lists:

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. Please read the disclosure statement regarding affiliate links. “About the book” descriptions are taken directly from the book or from online sources.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Rick Phillips January 4, 2018 at 6:18 pm

Breakthrough, and Think like a pancreas are two of my favorite books. I give them the highest recommendation.


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