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Diabetes books on my bookshelf

We all know that books offer an escape from reality. At the end of the day as we slip between the sheets, exhausted, we reach for the book by the side of the bed and escape into another world. Whether you are a lover of fiction, science fiction, self-help, biography, mystery or young adult books, the power of disappearing between the pages is a treat that never grows old. It doesn't matter if the story comes in the shape of a hardcover, paperback, e-reader or an iPad, all that matters is the author's ability to transport, to inspire and to educate.

When I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1985, I was desperate to find a book about diabetes. I didn't want a medical book or a book on the history of the disease; I wanted a book about someone like me. I wanted to know that I wasn't alone and searched for years to find that book. All I found were cookbooks. So, I wrote my own book: The Smart Woman's Guide to Diabetes, Authentic Advice on Everything from Eating to Dating and Motherhood.

This is the book I wanted to write ever since I was diagnosed 26 years ago. It is a both a guide book and collection of personal stories from other women on a variety of topics. The pages are filled with stories, tips and advice from women who have walked in your shoes.

Six diabetes books everyone should read

Needles, a Memoir of Growing up with Diabetes (Scribner, 1998), by Andi Dominick

Thirteen years after I was diagnosed, Andi Dominick's coming of age memoir about growing up with diabetes was published. Needles is an emotionally rich and devastating story about the death of Andi's older sister Denise, who also had type 1 diabetes. This book was tough to read because of its honest and often heavy look at life with diabetes, but it was also inspiring. Andi writes of her decision to choose a different path than her sister, and her journey toward accepting her life with diabetes.

Cheating Destiny, Living with Diabetes, America's Largest Epidemic (Houghton Mifflin, 2006), by James Hirsch

Cheating Destiny tells the story of diabetes from the perspective of a father. Hirsch, a former reporter for the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, demonstrates the personal, economic and scientific impact of one of the fastest spreading diseases.

Bittersweet: Diabetes, Insulin and the Transformation of Illness (The University of North Carolina Press, 2003), by Chris Feudtner

Bittersweet chronicles the history of diabetes in a readable, engaging style. Feudtner is a physician who examines how the discovery of insulin has transformed a formerly fatal illness into a costly chronic illness.

The Discovery of Insulin (University of Chicago Press, 2007), by Michael Bliss

The Discovery of Insulin is a well-documented account of the lifesaving discovery of insulin that makes you feel as if you are in the lab with scientists Banting and Best during the exciting summer of 1921. This book includes black and white 'before and after' photos of the first children to have access to this new wonderdrug that brings tears to any reader's eyes.

50 Diabetes Myths That Can Ruin Your Life: And the 50 Diabetes Truths That can Save It (De Capo Books, 2009) by Riva Greenberg

This is a book everyone with diabetes, as well as friends and family members, should read. Riva has lived with type 1 for years, and her positive attitude is reflected in these pages. Writing in a voice that is warm, smart and funny, this book will transform the way you think about diabetes, one myth at a time.

Eating to Lose, Healing from a Life of Diabulimia (Demos Health, 2012), by Maryjeanne Hunt

This book is the story of one woman's journey from illness to recovery, and carves a pathway of hope and empowerment for the millions who continue to suffer with diabulimia.

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About Amy Stockwell Mercer

Amy Stockwell Mercer is a freelance writer living in Charleston, SC with her husband and three young sons. Her book, The Smart Woman's Guide to Diabetes, Authentic Advice on Everything from Eating to Dating and Motherhood, was published by Demos Health in 2010 and the follow up, The Smart Woman's Guide to Eating Right with Diabetes, What Will Work, will be published in the fall of 2012.

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