Five Inspirational Books That I Love

This week, one of Mama’s Losin’ It’s writing prompts is “book review”. Also, a few days ago, the Blog Everyday in May prompt was “five books I love”. I don’t participate in Blog Eveyrday in May, since I only discovered it yesterday, but I love to find writing prompts. Therefore, I thought I’d combine the two and list five books I love. As it turns out, all are inspirational books.

1. Preemie Voices by Saroj Saigal (2014). This book is a collection of letters from former preemies, born between 1977 and 1982, that describe their lives now and give hope to parents of today’s premature babies and children. Many years ago, I believe Bill Silverman wrote a book of stories from former preemies titled Small Victories. I could unfortunately not get my hands on this book and am so glad I got my hands on Preemie Voices. It is so validating to know that I’m not alone on this preemie journey, even though it’s a bit annoying that the target audience is parents of today’s preemies.

2. Miracle Survivors by Tami Boehmer (2014). This is Boehmer’s second book of stories from long-term survivors who were said to have incurable cancer. I didn’t read her other book, but I think I’m going to. In Miracle Survivors Boehmer starts by listing characteristics she’s found long-term survivors of thought-to-be-incurable cancer have in common. Each contributor then tells his or her story and ends it with life lessons they’ve learned through their journey with or their overcoming of cancer. Though some people use alternative medicine and claim to have been cured by it, this is not prominently promoted. Above all, the survivors promote being on top of your own care and advocating for yourself. I feel this is an importnat message even to those who are in the healthcare system for other reasons.

3. Angels at Our Table, 2nd edition by Ann Breen (2012). This is a book of stories from parents of children (and some adults) with Williams Syndrome. People with Williams Syndrome usually have an intellectual disability and may have many health problems, but they also commonly have a very sociable personality and cute facial features. Though many families struggled with getting their children properly diagnosed and treated, particularly back when Ann Breen’s daughter was young in the 1980s, the message in the book is one of appreciation. The importance of support is also highlighted, as Ann Breen founded the Williams Syndrome Association of Ireland. I for one happen to actually like inspirational books about people wiht disabilities, so this one is a good one for me.

4. Real Families, Real Stories by Stephanie Sumulong (2014). This is a book of stories from family members of children (and again some adults) with Down Syndrome. The stories are very short, which is a bit disappointing, because i don’t get to get a deeper understanding of these families’ lives. The intention of the book is to celebrate people with Down Syndrome. For this reason, it is also sad that no adults with Down Syndrome were interviewed. However, the stories do cover many aspects of families’ lives with Down Syndrome, including prenatal diagnosis, adoption, the heart defects that commonly occur in Down Syndrome, and sibling perspectives.

5. Chicken Soup for the Soul: Recovering from Traumatic Brain Injuries by Amy Newmark, Carolyn Roy-Bornstein and Lee Woodruff (2014). I have not yet finished this book, but so far, it seems wonderful. Having myself acquired possible brain damage shortly after birth, I find the stories of brain injury survivors somewhat relatable, though of course I did not have a life prior to brain damage. A few months ago, I read a Dutch book of stories from people who had invisible disabilities due to brain injury and I loved it. Being Chicken Soup for the Soul, the stories of course have been selected for being inspirational, but so far, it looks like many aspects of life with TBI are covered.

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9 thoughts on “Five Inspirational Books That I Love

  1. Hello Astrid.

    I fossicked around for SMALL VICTORIES and found that it was written and edited by Mary Lou Pierce-Dickerson in 2000. Published by the American Foundation for the Blind. [William A] Silverman wrote the prologue. There are lots of stories in Pioneers; No Visible Trace and Learning from the Next Generation.

    I wish we had an accessible link through DAISY or something like this!

    Mama’s Losing It: I remember the day in September 1995 that I was reading a newsletter from my grandparents’ holiday in Norfolk Island. It described a preteen called Bradley who was “overfriendly to adults” according to his mother and the doctors. Bradley had Williams’ syndrome. So the sociability made a big impression! And a positive one too – very personable.


  2. Thanks for visitng my blog & leaving a comment. Glad you’re doing Mama Kat.
    I enjoyed reading through your book selections. My mom is going blind gradually just because her eyes are very old. It makes me sad as I see her having to slowly, bit by bit, love ability to do so many things she used to love to do.
    Since you’re blind, how do you blog on a computer? Just wondering.


    1. Thanks so much for your comment. I am sorry your mother is going blind. That must be tough. I use the computer with a screen reader. I know Braille and the screen reader translates the text from the screen into Braille and transmits it to a Braille display on which I read it. The screen reader can also read the text from the screen aloud, but this is harder when using English and Dutch (my native language) interchangeably because it’ll read English with a terrilbe Dutch accent or vice versa. I can touch type too, though I type so fast I make a lot of typeos. The only thing re blogging I cannot do is use photos. That is, I can post them when someone else has taken a pic and it has a descriptive file name, but I rarely ask my husband to take pics for me. He’d probably not like it if I asked him to take a pic for each of my blog posts anyway.


  3. Wow, some really interesting books there – I love inspiring books and so my list would be pretty similar in theme to yours! Thanks for linking up to #TheList


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