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Ovarian cancer will be diagnosed in 1 of 72 women; 14,000 will die. Please know the symptoms and risk factors: read Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir. Books at www.amazon.com. ALL PROCEEDS GO TO GYNECOLOGIC CANCER RESEARCH. I am a member of Rave Reviews Book Club and Rave Writer's International Society of Authors, and Patient Leadership Council for Tesaro, Inc. I WILL NOT USE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS FOR ANY OTHER PURPOSE THAN CONTACTING YOU DIRECTLY. ALL ORIGINAL CONTENT COPYRIGHT 2011 THROUGH 2018.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Books, Books, & More Books

My grandmother and mother were both avid readers which influenced me to begin reading as a child. I still love to read and many books have become my "friends." I love the smell, feel, and weight of books whether light or heavy. I like to fold down corners, make notes in the margin, or underline special sentences and paragraphs. I have come to appreciate the e-book and reading off of my I-PAD or I-Phone, but if I was to be honest, I do miss the "real" book. A good story teaches me about life, people, history, spirituality, health or social issues. Fact or fiction books both contribute to my learning curve.

This week I am going to recommend a variety of books that I have found interesting, informative and/or inspiring. Some of them I have read recently while others might be from many years ago. And, yes, some I have read several times. Like I said, they are my friends. There are hundreds of books that deserve to be here, but I narrowed the list to just 25, and there is in no special order nor are they categorized.

1. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
2. Out of Africa by Isak Dinensen
3. My Stroke of Insight by Jill Taylor
4. The Forsythe Saga by John Galsworthy
5. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
6. Strength Renewed by Shirley Corder
7. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
8. Desire by Annemarie Selinko
9. After You, Marco Polo by Jean Shor
10. Saint Gaudens and the Gilded Era by Louise Hall Tharp
11. Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah
12. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
13. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
14. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
15. Have A Little Faith by Mitch Albom
16. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
17. Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
18. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
19. Reverence for Life by Albert Schweitzer
20. The Spiritual Woman by Harriet Hodgson
21. The Greater Journey by David McCullough
22. Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
23. Tree Spirited Woman by Colleen Baldrica
24. Damaged Goods by Charlotte Hunt
25. Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir by Karen Ingalls (I did have to include this one!)

Now that I am a published author (it seems strange to say that), I have far greater appreciation for the writer who wants to be an author; the author who goes through the process of publication; and the rewards and challenges that go with being an author.

I want to recognize and  commend the authors of those ovarian cancer books, whose stories informed and inspired me. Those books are: Facing Cancer with God's Help by Jeanne Martin, Torch by ovarian cancer survivors, Bearing Witness by Kathryn Carter, No Time to Die by Liz Tilberis, A Guide to Survivorship for Women with Ovarian Cancer by F. J. Montz, and A Feather in My Wig by Barbara Van Billiard.

Please share what your favorite books are. Which stories gave you insight, excitement, or enrichment to your life?


  1. I also love the smell of book pages...just holding a book in my hands brings back so many memories. When I had the brain injury, I could not read a book; it would make me too nauseated.

    I got an envelope in the mail a few days ago. It's my Proof! It was amazing to see a book I wrote all bound up with a cover, and everything! So thank you for writing this lovely post. Books are good friends indeed.

    My Favorites also include many classics that you have listed; Gone with the Wind and Treasure Island. I'm still nostalgic about the Nancy Drew Mysteries even though they're not a 'novel', and I love anything Nicholas Sparks especially The Wedding. I crave twists and turns, unpredictability, and sentiment. Thanks for the memories!

    Dr. Margaret Aranda

  2. I have a love for the classics too, and there are so many more books I could have listed. I was not able to read during, and for some time after, my chemotherapy so I appreciate what you went through. I had lost so much concentration and not being able to read made getting through chemotherapy more difficult.

    I look forward to reading your recently published book, No More Tears. I encourage my readers to follow you on your blog (www.drmargaretaranda.blogspot.com). She always has interesting and informative blogs.

  3. For insight, a book that comes to mind is "Animals Make Us Human" by Temple Grandin.

    This book is about animals - wildlife, birds, pets, cows, chickens, horses, pigs, and zoo animals. The light bulb came on as I read about "core animal emotions" (her words).

    As Grandin described the core emotions, this led me to think about quality of life for animals AND humans.

    The importance of Play to animals was most meaningful to me. Thinking back, play is an activity that I mostly skipped during my adult years. I took everything too seriously - inside and outside maintenance of my home, cleaning gutters, mowing grass and leaves, general yard work, and my job (blizzard? overtime? no problem). The result? There was little time left for Play.

    After my diagnosis, I regretted that I had not played enough throughout my journey.

    Reading this book about animals extended my awareness of all creatures. Play is a vital activity. That is foremost on my mind as I forge ahead.


    1. Such wonderful insight! I have not had a pet for the past 8 years, which is the first time since I was born. Here in Florida I am surrounded by wonderful wildlife so for the last 3 days I have thought about your comments above.
      I too did not spend enough time "playing" when I was raising my kids, working, and managing a home. My husband and I do like to play and I did try to incorporate it into my journey with cancer, but probably not enough. I will read Grandin's book and thank you for your comment.