Favorite Books

Wells - A Delicate Balance

A Delicate Balance: Living Successfully with Chronic Illness

by Susan Milstrey Wells

A beautifully written book that examines all aspects of coping with chronic illness, from working with doctors to making accommodations in the workplace. Includes personal interviews with patients, family members, and caregivers.  Read my review.

Piburn Beyond Chaos

Beyond Chaos: One Man’s Journey Alongside His Chronically Ill Wife

by Gregg Piburn

An inspiring and thought-provoking book that encourages readers, both healthy and ill, to become open, honest, and courageous in dealing with the sensitive and difficult issues surrounding chronic illness. The author shares his experiences and insights with a unique combination of wit and sensitivity.  Read my interview with the author.

How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers

by Toni Bernhard

This book is one of my recent favorites, and you don’t have to be a Buddhist or a meditator to benefit from this book (though those who are should find it especially brilliant). It’s an eloquent and inspiring personal account of the author’s own illness experience and a guide to how to live well despite illness.

Managing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia: A Seven-Part Plan

by Bruce Campbell

One of the most useful books I know for learning to live with these illnesses.  It’s chock full of practical tools for improving your life.  Even though there is no cure for either illness, Bruce Campbell’s approach is based on the belief that there are many things you can do to take charge of your condition. The strategies and techniques in the book have the potential to change the effects of your illness and perhaps even its course over time. This is the thoroughly revised edition of our introductory course textbook.

Berne Running on Empty

Running on Empty: The Complete Guide to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFIDS)

by Katrina Berne

Although a bit dated (published in 1995), it’s still one of the most comprehensive guides to CFS with detailed information on the history, symptoms, possible causes, and more.

Sick and Tired of Feeling Sick and Tired

Sick and Tired of Feeling Sick and Tired: Living with Invisible Chronic Illness

by Paul J. Donoghue and Mary Elizabeth Siegel

This book is one of my favorites in that it perfectly describes the anguish of coping with illness that others can’t see and provides understanding and practical guidance for coping.

Munson Stricken

Stricken: Voices from the Hidden Epidemic of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

by Peggy Munson

A powerful collection of essays that covers every aspect of living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, eloquently compiled and edited by an award-winning writer and poet who is herself a CFS sufferer. Probably the single best book I’ve read on the topic and a must-read for patients, their friends and family, and the public.

Fennell Chronic Illness Workbook

The Chronic Illness Workbook: Strategies And Solutions for Taking Back Your Life

by Patricia Fennell

If you or someone you love has been recently diagnosed with a chronic illness, the first thing you should do is buy this book. The author presents a well-researched and comprehensive guide to learning to live well with illness. Reading it feels like having a wise and caring friend along for your journey.