Sometimes you just want to read a book about cancer that gives you this face. The kind of book that makes you think, FINALLY somebody said it.
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There’s a good reason why people all over the world take to a good book when trouble strikes. They make you laugh, they surround you with friends, and they provide a little escape. But what if you would rather face the hardship head-on than take your mind off your problem?
These books that laugh at cancer are just the answer. Written by clever people with great stories, they sprinkle humor, lessons, and companionship over what concerns you the most: cancer.
We know that new biographies of cancer survivors come out every day, sadly way too many for us to review. And since we don’t want you to read (or gift) yet another cheap “sassy” celebrity book that drops a lot of names and very little content, we’ve taken extra care in selecting these books. They are all unique, genuinely fun and come from a place of honesty. Not all of them may appeal to all audiences, but there is at least one book in here for all of us. We’re sure of it.
by Janet Sheppard Kelleher
Probably the most “classic” of the cancer storybooks on this list, “Big C, little ta-ta” is a great first book to go to if you’ve never read anything in this nice before. It’s hopeful and funny, but doesn’t dodge any of the hard realities like chemotherapy, biopsies, and bad decisions. The book is made up of short stories and illustrations and makes for a quick and easy read. So quick and easy, in fact, that you may very well find yourself getting through it in one sitting, drawn in by Janet’s very natural, heartfelt way of storytelling.
by Micki Myers
Poet, teacher, and mother of two, Micki Myers is our next choice of an author that might just make you smile. While poems are usually a hard sell, and poems about cancer just sound like a bad idea altogether, somehow, almost miraculously, she makes it work. And boy does it work! Somehow, the combination of self-irony, political incorrectness, and underhanded dark humor had us in stitches. While it can be quite dark at times, and some of the medical procedures are shockingly descriptive for a poem (or a horror script, for that matter), the overall effect is enthralling.
by Michael Solomon
Definitely the underrated hidden gem of the lot, “Now It’s Funny: How I Survived Cancer, Divorce and Other Looming Disasters” is an absolute must-read. If nothing else, you should pick it up just because there is no other volume out there quite like it, cancer-oriented or not. It’s intense and fast, and at times feels almost like you’re reading a mystery/thriller/police novel. Then it turns around and becomes the private journal of someone you know very well, who happens to be a hilarious person. Like many other books on this list, it may not always be for the easily offended, as Solomon tends to put a tiny filter between his brain and his pen. But if you’re someone who is looking for gritty reality in all of its hilarious glory, it doesn’t get any more real than this.
by Kris Carr
Winning the prize for most controversial book on our list (By a country mile) is Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips by Kris Carr. Let’s get one thing straight, if you take this book at face value as a book of “tips” you are not getting your money’s worth. Sure, at first glance it might seem like that should be the point of the book, right? But it really isn’t. In a story that starts with the notion that going to yoga is a cure for hangovers, you know the depth (or lack thereof) of literature that you’re getting into. What you do get, however, is a book that reminds us very much of that intense, crazy, funny girl we all know and can only stand for half an hour at a time. Sure, her ideas about nutrition are completely insane, and she gives you way too many details about her colon; but she knows how to party, and she always has a smile on and she will drag you out of a funk whether you like it or not. If you can stand a bit of celebrity gossip and hen talk, and feel that the occasional romp out with the girls is refreshing and just the thing you need, then this book is for you.
5. Alisa Grodsky’s Cancer Crackup: A book of chemo-induced wit, whimsy, and warrior. All proceeds (read 100%) go to cancer research
by Alisa Grodsky
How can you possibly go wrong with a book full of grace, wit and humor (and beautiful illustrations) that donates all of the proceeds to cancer research? Let’s face it, even if you hate the book you’ve still done a good deed. There is absolutely no reason on earth not to buy this book right now. Good deed notwithstanding, “Cancer Crackup” does genuinely enchant and amuse, and we loved spending time in Alisa Grodsky’s universe of humor in the face of insurmountable odds.
by Jen Meyers
We can’t help but mention this lovely little book as a bonus to our list. While it may not be a book about anyone’s personal experience, it is a charming gift to give to yourself or someone you love. It contains coloring pages ranging from simple to mindbogglingly complex and sneaks in positive messages wherever it can. While it may seem silly at first, coloring has a soothing effect on morale. Coloring profane language doubly so! If you feel like your day could be improved by the addition of crayons, this book is for you. Best of all, a portion of the proceeds is donated to supporting research dedicated to finding a cure for cancer.