StrokeLine’s top 10 stroke books

Monday, May 07 2018, 4:21PM

  1. The brain that changes itself by Norman Doidge

Stroke survivors often tell us this book changed their lives. On top of that, this book also changed the world. Combining science with stories, this is the book that brought neuroplasticity into popular understanding.


2. Stronger after stroke: your roadmap to recovery by Peter G. Levine

This guide to self-managed stroke rehabilitation comes highly recommended by stroke survivors. Written by a medical researcher who specialises in stroke recovery, it combines the science on neuroplasticity with practical advice on how to work your recovery.


3. How I rescued my brain by David Roland

Australian stroke survivor and psychologist David Roland’s story of how he drew on the principles of neuroplasticity to re-wire his brain. David’s search brought him into contact with doctors, neuroscientists, yoga teachers, musicians, and a Buddhist nun, and this book outlines how he found the tools to restore his sense of self. 


4. Reinventing Emma by Emma Gee

Written by an Australian occupational therapist and young stroke survivor, this incredible book provides rare insight into what it’s like for a health professional to journey to ‘the other side’ and to painstakingly build an incredible life.


5. My stroke of insight by Jill Bolte Taylor

Harvard-trained brain scientist and TED talk favourite, stroke survivor Jill Bolte Taylor tells her story in this best-selling book. 


6. My year off by Robert McCrum

Another best seller, this time by a literary editor. Expect a well-written account of a traumatic stroke event, a hard-won recovery, and as with so many stroke books, an exploration of how love and connection can save us when life gets tough.


7. Falling and laughing: the restoration of Edwyn Collins by Grace Maxwell

Edwyn Collins wrote that fantastic song ‘I’ve never met a girl like you before’ and his wife wrote this fantastic book. After his stroke, Edwyn could only say a few words. He eventually returned to the stage and toured the world. Grace's story is a beautiful account of what you do to survive when your husband is all but taken away by a stroke.


8. How to be sick: a Buddhist inspired guide for the chronically ill and their caregivers by Toni Bernhard

Stroke survivor Desney King (search her name here on EnableMe for a great interview on how she came to terms with a recovery that wasn't what she hoped for) recommended this book to us. It’s a dive into Buddhist practices and how they can help anyone facing not the life they wanted but the life they got. It has a handy overview at the back that matches mindfulness and meditation practices to particular situations and feelings.


9. Flat out: an unusual autobiography by Danny Furlong

A sentimental favourite, written by an Australian stroke survivor and all-round legend. Danny self-published this funny, honest and well-written book, and it is out of print, but we have a copy we can lend you if you are interested. If you’ve ever wondered what happens when a dashing ex-commando has a stroke and becomes a non-verbal quadriplegic, this is the book for you. 


10. Love after a stroke by Megan C. Nosol

A children’s book that tells the story of a grandparent’s stroke and aphasia rounds out our top 10. Speech pathologist Megan Nosol wrote this book with her own children in mind, thinking about how she would explain this complicated communication disorder to her curious, young sons.


Do you have a favourite book we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below.