Is Alzheimer’s an epidemic? Or are more people simply living long enough to develop it? Either way, there is so much to fear in it that I’m including it in my in-impromptu Friday book series on epidemics. For my family it is our collective terror–it took away my grandmother. Her mother had “normal” dementia. Any time one of us repeats something we fear it–that’s how my grandmother started down the trail to forgetting us. So, today’s list is short but poignant. I haven’t made myself read much because I fear it so strongly.
A Contemporary Nonfiction Classic
I read this book when it came out because of a) my Dad’s “cousin the nun” was a huge influence in my life and b) most important–my Grandmother died with Alzheimer’s. The book is very readable–it is not a dark tome of science. You can get that part here: Healthy Aging and Dementia: Findings of the Nun Study. I admired the ladies (nuns) for donating their brains to research, too.
The New Book
This popped up in my new books search. I haven’t looked into the author, but with Maria Shriver doing the foreword I’m guessing this is supposed to “empower” us in some way. I do plan to look it over. I picked it up yesterday at the library (yes, they are still open–you must sanitize your hands before doing ANYTHING though). The XX Brain by Lisa Mosconi
The Novel I’ve Read
Alzheimer’s was a subplot in this book–it was the current day story in a novel of historical fiction. Elderly Elise knows she has the disease and names it “Agnes.” She uses various coping mechanisms to stay independent as long as possible. The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner.
The Novel I Want To Read
But am Too Scared To Pick Up
How could you live being 50 years old and learning you had Alzheimer’s? I’m 58–that someone YOUNGER could have it….[cold chills]. After reading and loving Lisa Genova’s Every Note Played [which has a disastrously bad new cover] I may be strong enough to read Still Alice–her debut novel about that 50-year-old Alice, a Harvard professor, and her diagnosis and life thereafter. Still Alice by Lisa Genova.
Have you read a book with an Alzheimer’s storyline? Leave me a comment or a link to your post.