Books: Recommended

Type 1 Diabetes in Children, Adolescents and Young Adults by Ragnar Hanas, M.D. 2015 (US Edition) Published by Class Publishing, London, 2015. ISBN 1859595707. US$39.99.

In the fifth US edition of his excellent diabetes text book, Dr. Ragnar Hanas offers the most comprehensive book about type 1 diabetes, and one of the best. This book is updated to include pump therapy, continuous sensing, extensive coverage of social issues, and the latest in research. Each topic is presented in an easy-to-read style, with excellent and helpful drawings and charts. Even if you own one of the first three editions, Type 1 Diabetes in Children, Adolescents and Young Adults will make an excellent addition to your diabetes management library. Highly recommended.

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Cheating Destiny by James S. Hirsch 2010 Published by Houghton Mifflin, 2006. Hardcover, 307 pages. $25.00 ISBN 0-618-51461-9. Paperback (2007) ISBN 061891899X, $14.95.

“My son is thirsty.” So begins Cheating Destiny, Jim Hirsch’s amazing book about living with type 1 diabetes, being the parent of a child with diabetes, the diabetes industry today, the cost to the US of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, islet cell transplantation, stem cell research, the maddening nature of US healthcare, and so much more. Hirsch is a captivating writer, and as the parent of a child with diabetes, I feel a special kinship to him — he too has a child with diabetes. He has also lived most of his life with type 1 diabetes. His book is a must read for everyone whose life includes diabetes. You’ll learn more than you could have imagined. And if you, like Jim and I, have a child with diabetes, be prepared for a deeply emotional experience. Highly Recommended.

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Breakthrough: Elizabeth Hughes, the Discovery of Insulin, and the Making of a Medical Miracle by Thea Cooper and Arthur Ainsberg 2010 Published by St. Martin's Press. ISBN 978-0-312-64870-1. Hardcover, 306 pages. US$24.99.

As the parent of a child (now adult) with type 1 diabetes, there is no greater story to be told than that of the discovery of insulin. Breakthrough offers a new, richly detailed and deeply personal perspective of one young girl — Elizabeth Hughes — and her family’s struggle to keep her alive on a starvation diet so that she might one day enjoy a miracle — the discovery of insulin. I cannot help but feel our family in place of the Hughes family, sharing their emotions as they watch their daughter waste away, learn about the “Miracle in Toronto,” and do whatever it takes to get Elizbeth insulin so that she might be saved. Breakthrough brings a new emotional depth to what for many of us is truly the greatest story ever told. For pure historians, the authors have taken some liberties with some specifics in the interest of the story, but this is no work of fiction. Breakthrough is a must have addition to the library of everyone living with type 1 diabetes. Highly Recommended.

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Balancing Diabetes: Conversations about finding happiness and living well by Kerri Sparling 2014 Published by Spry Publishing, 2014. ISBN 1938170377. Paperback, 200 pages. $16.95.

There are many medical books about how to manage type 1 diabetes, but there are precious few books on what is much more important — how to live a full, happy life with type 1 diabetes. With Balancing Diabetes, Kerri Sparling reaches out to the real experts — people living with type 1 diabetes — to bring perspective to the challenges of living well with type 1. It is in the wisdom of these experts that we come to realize, as Kerri so eloquently reminds us, “Life with diabetes isn’t about the diabetes itself, but about the life of which it’s a part.” Balancing Diabetes belongs in the home of everyone with type 1. Highly recommended.

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The ABCs of Loving Yourself with Diabetes by Riva Greenberg 2007 Published by SPI Management LLC. ISBN 0615170943. Paperback, 64 pages. $19.95.

Riva Greenberg was diagnosed with type 1 when she was 18. She’s lived with diabetes for over 39 years. In The ABCs of Loving Yourself with Diabetes, Riva offers 26 delightful, emotional, wonderful pages of advice for her “fellow travelers.” One sentence sums up well her perspective: “I hope in your journey with diabetes you will arrive at that place, if you haven’t already, where diabetes is a ‘comma’ in your life, as in … ‘I love my life, and I have diabetes.'” We should all be so lucky. Highly recommended.

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50 Diabetes Myths That Can Ruin Your Life and the 50 Diabetes Truths That Can Save It by Riva Greenberg 2009 Published by Marlowe & Company. Paperback, 316 pages. $14.95 ISBN 978-0-7382-1320-0.

As I read through 50 Diabetes Myths That Can Ruin Your Life, I could remember hearing many spoken to me over the past 20 years — some by well-meaning relatives and friends. Chances are you’ve heard them too — “sugar caused my child’s diabetes,” “you can’t eat sweets,” etc. The good news is that none of these myths is true, and Riva Greenberg, with help from a star-studded team of diabetes care professionals, will help you understand what living with diabetes means today. 50 Diabetes Myths is an excellent addition to everyone’s diabetes library, and would make a nice gift for those “helpful” relatives and friends. Highly Recommended.

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