Brain Injury Book List

BrainLine
Brain Injury Book List

BrainLine compiled this list of books about brain injury to help people who have been recently diagnosed, their loved ones, and others who want to learn more about TBI. Most are memoirs, some are non-fiction, and some offer tips and strategies on living with brain injury. Our list is only a small sampling of the books out there, but they are ones that our editorial staff has reviewed and that our generous online community has endorsed or mentioned as their favorites.

We hope you enjoy the list — alphabetized by author.

Please share other suggestions you may have in the comments section below.

Happy reading!

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Where Is the Mango Princess: A Journey Back from Brain Injury
By Cathy Crimmins

When her husband, Alan, is injured in a speedboat accident, Cathy Crimmins reluctantly assumes the role of caregiver and learns to cope with the person he has become. No longer the man who loved obscure Japanese cinema and wry humor, Cathy’s husband has emerged from the accident a childlike and unpredictable replica of his former self with a short attention span and a penchant for inane cartoons. Where Is the Mango Princess? explores the very nature of personality -- and the complexities of the heart.

A Hard Chance: Sailing into the Heart of Love
By Tom Gallant

Tom and Melissa Gallant sat in their car at an intersection one early summer evening. After a decade of romance and adventure, they were at a crossroads in their lives. Melissa wanted to settle down and start a business. Tom wanted to sail their schooner around the world. They decided to go their separate ways. Then, their car was t-boned by a bus. This is the story of what happens afterward. It’s the story of a love affair full of high sea adventures and romance, of life lived far from the conventions of polite society. And it is also the story of redemption conferred by accepting the hardest things in life with an open heart.

No Stone Unturned: A Father’s Memoir of His Son’s Encounter with Traumatic Brain Injury
By Joel Goldstein

Bart Goldstein was 16 when he sustained a traumatic brain injury in a car crash in 2001. Told from his father’s point of view, the book chronicles the family’s ordeal, and flashbacks fill in Bart’s life since he arrived from Korea at the age of five months. Considering every possibility in their search for remedies to Bart’s catastrophic injuries, the Goldsteins explored several promising alternatives. Bart’s remarkable recovery resulted from a combination of conventional medicine and alternative and emerging therapies.

Life Out of Order
By Sally Laux

Life Out of Order is Sally Laux’s reflection on her life as it relates to her three brothers and of what happened to them. It is a story of holding onto oneself in the midst of six siblings and rediscovering oneself while losing them, one after another. It is a story of sibling life and sibling loss. Sally Laux lost two brothers to death then became guardian to her third brother after a car crash left him severely impaired with traumatic brain injury.

Rise and Shine
By Simon Lewis

Simon Lewis was a film producer whose life was turned upside down when his car was broadsided and sent careening into a tree. The crash killed his new wife instantly and left him severely injured. He entered a coma he wasn't expected to emerge from, but he did, and over the next dozen years he disproved medical professionals and textbooks with a full recovery while also navigating the labyrinthine insurance industry and managing to find his faith. Rise and Shine is the story of what it means to return to live after a near-death experience.

He Never Liked Cake
By Janna Leyde   

When Janna Leyde was a teenager, her father sustained a severe brain injury in a car crash. Since that day, Janna’s life has been a navigation through the inescapable struggles of her father's brain injury, a study of her mother's resilience and unconditional love, and a challenge to find her own identity and acceptance as an adult. “Growing up with a father with a TBI is complicated, un-ending grief without closure,” she writes. “It’s the opposite of resolution. It’s missing someone like hell who’s still alive and with you.”

Head Cases: Stories of Brain Injury and Their Aftermath
By Michael Paul Mason

Head Cases takes us into the dark side of the brain in an astonishing sequence of stories, at once true and strange, from the world of brain damage. Michael Paul Mason is one of an elite group of experts who coordinate care in the complicated aftermath of tragic injuries that can last a lifetime. On the road with Michael, readers encounter people with brain injuries as they struggle to map and make sense of the new worlds they inhabit.

I Am the Central Park Jogger
By Trisha Meili

Shortly after 9 p.m. on April 19, 1989, a young woman jogs alone near 102nd Street in New York City's Central Park. She is attacked, raped, savagely beaten, and left for dead. Hours later she arrives at the emergency room — comatose — with a fractured skull, an 85-degree body temperature, and she has lost so much blood that her doctors believe it's a miracle she's still alive. Meet Trisha Meili, the Central Park Jogger.

Broken Arrow Boy
By Adam Moore

When Adam Moore was 8 years old, a fluke accident resulted in an arrow piercing his brain. The accident led him into a world of hospitals, operations, and physical therapy. Just one year later, Adam was inspired to use his experiences to create a book, Broken Arrow Boy. It tells of his remarkable recovery from brain injury. He entered his book into the 1989 Landmark Editions' National Written & Illustrated by ... Contest, open for students ages 6 to 19. Adam won the Gold Award.

Head Games: Football’s Concussion Crisis from the NFL to Youth Leagues
By Christopher Nowinski

America's favorite sport has a serious problem. Many of the NFL's top players — including Troy Aikman, Steve Young, Merril Hoge, Ted Johnson, Al Toon, and Wayne Chrebet — have had their careers ended by head injuries. But few realize that most NFL players are suffering multiple concussions during their career, and shocking new studies reveal that these players suffer higher rates of depression, cognitive disorders, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Over My Head: A Doctor's Own Story of Head Injury from the Inside Looking Out  
By Claudia Osborn

Locked inside a brain-injured head looking out at a challenging world is the premise of Claudia Osborn’s memoir. Over My Head is the story of how one woman comes to terms with the loss of her identity and the courageous steps — and sometimes hilarious missteps — she takes while learning to rebuild her life. The author — a 45-year-old doctor and clinical professor of medicine — describes the aftermath of a brain injury that stripped her of her beloved profession.

Successfully Surviving a Brain Injury: A Family Guidebook, From the Emergency Room to Selecting a Rehabilitation Facility
By Garry Prowe

In 1997, Garry Prowe’s wife, Jessica, sustained a severe brain injury in a car crash. Since then, he has been studying how people recover from serious brain injuries and live purposeful lives. This book is a result not only of his research and personal experiences as Jessica's caregiver, but also of the shared expertise of a panel of more than 300 people with brain injury, caregivers, family members, and medical professionals. His book, he says, is a labor of love. All profits are donated to brain injury organizations in the U.S. and Canada.

Learning by Accident
By Rosemary Rawlins

On a sunny spring day, in an ordinary kitchen, Rosemary Rawlins — a wife and mother of twin teenage girls — answers an unexpected phone call. A car has hit her husband, Hugh, who was out on his bike for a workout. Learning by Accident celebrates how shedding fear and starting over can lead to peace, and in that place of peace, possibilities appear, and lives flourish.

Crash: A Mother, a Son, and the Journey from Grief to Gratitude
By Carolyn Roy-Bornstein

After 25 years of caring for children, first as a nurse, then as a pediatrician, Carolyn Roy-Bornstein finds herself on the other side of the stretcher when her 17-year-old son, Neil, is hit by a teenage drunk driver while walking his girlfriend, Trista, home after a study date. Trista did not survive her injuries. Neil carries his with him to this day.

The Water Giver: The Story of a Mother, a Son, and Their Second Chance
By Joan Ryan

Both a medical drama and meditation on motherhood, The Water Giver is Joan Ryan's honest account of her doubts and mistakes in raising a child with a learning disability and the story of how his near-fatal accident gave her a second chance as a parent.

To Love What Is: A Marriage Transformed
By Alix Kates Shulman

One day it happens: the dreaded event that will change your life forever. For Alix Kates Shulman, it happened in a remote seaside cabin on a coastal Maine island — where the very isolation that makes for a perfect artist’s retreat can also put life at risk. Alix woke to find that her beloved husband had fallen the nine feet from their sleeping loft and was lying on the floor below, deathly still. Though Scott would survive, he suffered an injury that left him seriously brain impaired. He was the same — but not the same.

I’ll Carry the Fork
By Kara Swanson

“The curious thing about the auto accident that ended my life was that I lived through it. On January 31, 1996, Death sneaked through a red light disguised as a minivan going 50 miles an hour. ’Course, nobody told me that when they finished pulling me out of my car, they were putting me right on the bus…. That’s what I call the process of recovering from traumatic brain injury: ‘getting on the bus.’” So writes Kara Swanson in her wickedly funny and honest memoir about living with a brain injury.

A Three Dog Life
By Abigail Thomas

When Abigail Thomas’s husband, Rich, was hit by a car, his brain shattered. Subject to rages, terrors, and hallucinations, he must live the rest of his life in an institu­tion. He has no memory of what he did the hour, the day, the year before. This tragedy is the ground on which Abigail had to build a new life. How she built that life is a story of great courage and great change, of moving to a small country town, of a new family composed of three dogs, knitting, and friendship, of facing down guilt and discovering gratitude. It is also about her relationship with Rich, a man who lives in the eternal present, and the eerie poetry of his often uncanny perceptions.

In an Instant: A Family's Journey of Love and Healing
By Lee and Bob Woodruff

In January 2006, Lee and Bob Woodruff seemed to have it all — a happy marriage, four beautiful children, and marvelous careers. Bob had just been named co-anchor of ABC’s World News Tonight, but then, while he was embedded with the military in Iraq, an improvised explosive device went off near the tank he was riding in. He and his cameraman, Doug Vogt, were hit, and Bob suffered a traumatic brain injury that nearly killed him. In an Instant is an extraordinary drama of marriage, family, war, and nation.

 

 

Posted on BrainLine December 19, 2013.

Comments (48)

My colleagues and I have drafted a very useful book for educators that serve students with Brain Injury. It is available on Amazon.
Traumatic Brain Injury & Post Concussion: What Every Educator Should Know (English Edition) Versión Kindle

I would just like to put out there that I too have published an accounting of our life experience with TBI. It is called Rise Above It: A Caregiver's Life After TBI, published by Xlibris.
Thank you.
Niko Doggett

Rebooting My Brain by Maria Ross should be on this list. It changed my life!

I’d like to add To Root & To Rise: Accepting Brain Injury. It’s full of strategies to help survivors who are grieving the loss of their old lives and selves.

Surviving Head Trauma by Terry Smith

Please add Traumatic Brain Injury A Caregivers Journey by Lydia Greear

Do you mind if I add our story? The Syrup Maze: An Inspirational Journey Through Recovery from a Traumatic Brain Injury.  

Have just seen this article about Phil Rink's book Brain Injury -  for young people: http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20160131/LIVING/160139956

Becoming the Healer The Miracle of Brain Injury by Deborah Schlag

​Finalist in category of health at International Book Awards

Coping with Concussion and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: A Guide to Living With the Challenges Associated with Brain Trauma" by Dr. Diane Roberts Stoler, Ed.D and Barbara Albers Hill.

"Being With Rachel" Karen Brennan was such a good read because I could totally relate.  Her daughter suffered her severe TBI about the same age and even how it happened.  I wish I could get to know their family, it would be fun to know someone in my world.  It was a really good read....

THE DAY MY BRAIN EXPLODED - BY ASHOK RAJAMANI

There's a new Young Adult novel available at Amazon called EVA ZORELLI BRINGS ON THE RAIN.  The subject of brain injury is sensitively and powerfully explored. A must-read for teens (and anyone!).

http://natelytle.com/sample-page

Please add Prayers from Fiji by Ellen Murkison:   About a seven year old TBI survivor and his first year and a half of recovery.

http://www.ellenmurkison.com/#!prayersfromfiji/csgz

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Journey through the fog is also an excellent book that addresses the importance of a source of support during recovery.

I would like to add the newly released book "Chicken Soup for the Soul" Recovering from traumatic Brain injuries" - awesome and inspiring!

"Still Standing" by Steve Hirst,  (former Air Force Academy Grad and Fighter Pilot)

Head Injury Recovery in Real Life - by Larry Schutz, PhD

It was the first book that I read that really explained to me what was going on in my brain and what I could do about it. I think the 1st, 2nd, and last chapters should be required reading from every medical professional. I learned more about from those 3 chapters than I learned during 4 years of medical school.

- Maria Romanas, MD, PhD

I would like to add In Search of Wings and To Wherever Oceans Go by Bev Bryant. Bev was a leader in telling the survivor story. She was passionate about the importance of the survivor voice.  Sadly, Bev passed away in January this year. She was my mentor, colleague and dear friend.  Her books are available through Brain Injury Voices at http://www.braininjuryvoices.org/Beverley_Bryant_Books.html  

Regaining Consciousness: My Encounter with Mild Brain Injury--The Silent Epidemic by Deb Angus (2014) sierranovapublishing.com

THE DAY MY BRAIN EXPLODED: A TRUE STORY

by ashok rajamani
 

I also read "I Forgot to Remember" by Su Meck. Love the title. It was a very interesting book. She's come a long way.

My book, "Prisoner Without Bars: Conquering Traumatic Brain Injury" is searching for a literary agent and/or publisher now. Wish me luck.

You can read about our journey at either link below.

Sincerely, Donna O'Donnell Figurski

survivingtraumaticbraininjury.wordpress.com

donnaodonnellfigurski.wordpress.com

I am a life-long R.N. and will soon have another MRI to see where I am at in terms of changes resulting from two TBI's and many falls with head knocks.  Now I find that being 63 years old poses even more challenges for me.  I am scared of the results, know I might have to give up my life-long profession and livelihood.  I am looking forward to reading the books on this list.  Thanks to all authors and all would-be-authors out there.  Wish me luck and perseverence!

Plenty of Time When We Get Home is a harrowing and inspirational true story about a young man and woman who fell in love while serving in the military during active combat. The man is brain injured by an IED and his later-to-become wife will not leave her fallen comrade behind. Happy ending.

The the most extraordinary book I've read is by the renowned psychologist A.R. Luria: "The Man With a Shattered World." While Luria's name is on the cover, he says "its real author is its hero." Zasetsky, Luria's patient, was severely injured in 1943 during the war. He lost his life, his memory, and most of his vision. The book is partly Luria's observations, and much in Zasetsky's own words--excerpts from the diary he painstakingly wrote over the course of 25 years. From the book flaps: "[It] is not only a unique psychological document but also a testimony to the capacity of the human spirit to fight against incredible odds." Read it.

I wrote poems for my own healing after suffering TBI and it turned into a book.  Doctors are recommending it to their patients with TBI, stroke, epilepsy, other neuro disorders and to mentally ill patients who have to put the pieces of their lives back together again.

You can see praise for it at:  http://www.pearlsong.com/alifeinterrupted.htm

"A Life Interrupted: Living with Bain Injury"

******    I wrote a book titled  ' He Will Never Walk  He Will Never Talk '   ******       (That is what the Doctors said after working on me for over 24 hours in Westmead Hospital ) after I had a Bad MVA in 1992 resulting in an ABI along with over 10 broken bones etc, etc.  Enter into google  ' David J Taylor JP '   to see the preamble of my book.   I think I proved the Doctors very wrong.

Thank you for sharing your list.  As a Survivor of two separate traumatic brain injuries from auto accidents, I would like to add my book.  "A Mosaic Of The Heart:  Inspirational Artistry" is a collection of my original artwork in the form of paintings, poems, photos and design.  I tell about my heart to art journey of hope and healing.  Many of the paintings were done at an art studio in Rochester, Michigan called "Paint a Miracle".  The book includes a poem entitled "My Identity", which focuses on TBI, faith, hope, and love.  For more information, visit my website:  www.AMosaicOfTheHeart.com; also, find author videos and book trailers on u-tube or click the media tab at my website.  Heart to Heart, Bernadette R LaCrosse

"Gifts from the Broken Jar" by PJ Long is an excellent read.  Her TBI resulted in problems so similar to mine.

"The Day My Brain Exploded," by Ashok Rajamani is Excellent!

I'll Carry the Fork is excellent for a. "mild" brain injury. The writer was sent home after a car crash and this is her story of recovery. FYI, there is no such thing as "mild" brain injury. It WILL change your life.

Kaitlyn's Hope: One Family's Journey Through Traumatic Brain Injury, by Brian Johanson

I Had Brain Surgery, What Your Excuse by Suzy Parker is not only a fun read but in retrospect it is very empowering.  It points out that it is not always us.

Thank you for your suggested reading list. There are many good books on the list, which I've already read. (6) There are many more that I intend to read. Here are several more titles that would be a great addition to your list. You can read about them on my blog at donnaodonnellfigurski.wordpress.com.

Musings by Donna TBI – Traumatic Brain Injury – One Size Does Not Fit All

You can also read additional posts by searching for traumatic brain injury posts in the search box by typing tbi.

There is more about my husband's experience with TBI at my website at donnaodonnellfigurski.com

I have also written a book and am searching for an agent and a publisher now. It's a book that I believe will offer hope to patients suffering from traumatic brain injury and encouragement to their caregivers.

Thank you for your very informative site.

Donna O'Donnell Figurski

Becoming the Healer The Miracle of Brain Injury by Deborah Schlag

This is an amazing book, written from the perspective of the person who has lived it. This is a book that should be read by everyone who has ever suffered a brain injury because it offers so much hope for recovery. It should also be required reading for anyone who is involved in the treatment and recovery of a person with a brain injury, in particular those physicians, nurses, therapists, family members, and friends for whom understanding the process and the possibilities for recovery is essential to helping rather than discouraging. This book is not about a state of disease or trauma as much as about the very real, very human struggle of one woman--and her amazing family--who simply would not give up. 




Balboapress.com

amazon.com

Dixie Coskie has written articles for Brainline.org and has written two books to help other family members and health care professionals survive a Child's TBI. For more info about Unthinkable, check out her website as an added resource - www.dixiecoskie.com

METAMORPHOSIS, SURVIVING A BRAIN INJURY BY DAVID A GRANT...I read this as a TBI survivor & caregiver!!!!  A MUST READ!

The Little Book of Neuroscience Haiku by Eric Chudler (W W Norton, 2013)

I appreciate this list and look forward to reading a few of them soon.

We would like to share our website too:

www.blinkofaneyefoundation.org   Our daughter, 25, suffered massive seizures from anorexia 3.5 years ago and now she remains non-cognitive (like a 6-month-old baby) and we are her full time caregivers and conservators.

It is our desire to help others on two different levels:  First, the prevention of eating disorders and its consequences but also to embrace those with brain injuries who are being cared for at home.  This is often so overwhelming that there is little time to grieve, cope and maintain a peace and love in the home environment or have the energy to fight for the best resources, etc. - It is our desire to embrace the family and hopefully give them tools to still love life and live life fully with joy in the midst of their tragedy...and create the best atmosphere for their loved one that is injured.

Feel free to contact us with any questions...and God Bless you all that are suffering from any kind of brain injury!!

Sandy, Steve and Trina @ Blink of an eye  :)

May I add my memoir?  I wrote My New Brain, Memoir of a Brain Injury, An Unexpected Change in 2008, 25 years post TBI, to help me reconcile my experiences that resulted because of my injury.  I (self) published it with the hope it would help others.  Outskirts Press published it, you can read about it at www.outskirtspress.com/mynewbrain. 

Thank you and happy, happy holidays to everyone.  Lori

I wrote my autobiography, "Finding Purpose In Being a Brain Injury Survivor". It tells about my brain injury and how I compensate for it.  It tells how I found "Purpose" by Forming Helmets For Kids. Giving 1,000's of free helmets away each year. It tells about my 5 cross country bicycle rides in all 50 states, DC, and Canada. See helmetsforkids.org for my story and to purchase my book.

I wrote a book about why we 'lose' our sense of self following brain injury. It describes the experience of living on the 'inside' in depth which is helpful to survivors and families alike. It is called 'My Latent Self, Recovering my Soul after Brain Injury.'

I realised that having worked out how we can feel like we 'lost our soul' that I couldn't move on with my life without sharing this. This sense of loss is very common after TBI and I believe that if we understand why this happens that we can recover quicker....

My book, I Forgot To Remember, is coming out February 4, 2014.

I have read Over My Head, A Three Dog Life and Head Games...all good reads.  Thank you for this list!

Let's not forget :Metamorphosis, Surviving Brain Injury" by Brainline.org contributor David A. Grant!  ;-)

A Matter of Panache by Debra Sanders