We’ve pulled together a list of brain tumour book titles that we think might be helpful. These books could be useful to anyone living with a brain tumour, having lost someone to the devastating disease, or understanding the challenges facing those who work in front line of treatments.
Mummy Has A Lump by Simone Baldwin
Simone Baldwin was diagnosed with a brain tumour when her son was just six years old and struggled to know how to tell him about her diagnosis. She was inspired to write a book to support telling young children that a parent has a “lump” without using the words “tumour” or “cancer”.
This beautifully-illustrated poem is aimed at children aged four to eight years, and can be read together as a supportive way to open discussions. The book includes a description for adults of the author’s own experiences of a brain tumour diagnosis and treatment and how she told her family.
Simone has also produced Daddy Has A Lump and a Welsh language version.
- Purchase Mummy Has A Lump from Amazon
- Purchase Daddy Has A Lump from Amazon
- Purchase Mae gan Mam lwmp from Amazon
All In My Head by Jessica Morris
All In My Head is a memoir by a woman who in her early fifties received a life-shattering diagnosis. It is about her determined search for effective treatment, the birth of a campaign to get proper data and funding for research into glioblastoma (GBM), and finally her coming to terms with the knowledge that she has reached the end of the road.
Jessica Morris takes the reader on a whirlwind journey. How does an ordinary person who last studied biology aged sixteen negotiate with world-renowned doctors and surgeons about cutting-edge treatments she must decide between? How do you remain positive when the median statistics suggest you have only fourteen months to live? How instead do you cast those fears aside and bounce back?
All In My Head is much more than a book about GBM. It takes the reader into the life of a woman who when confronted by devastating news chooses to be strong. It is about fighting adversity with hope and finding reasons to be positive in the darkest moments.
A Heart That Works by Rob Delaney
Rob Delaney's beautiful, bright, gloriously alive son Henry died. He was one when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. An experience beyond comprehension, but
an experience Rob must share. Why does he feel compelled to talk about it, to write about it, to make people feel something like what he feels when he knows it will hurt them? Because, despite Henry's death, Rob still loves people. For that reason, he wants them to understand.
A Heart That Works is an intimate, unflinching and fiercely funny exploration of loss - from the harrowing illness to the vivid, bodily impact of grief and the blind, furious rage that follows, through to the forceful, unstoppable love that remains.
All Recommended Reading:
A Brain Tumour’s Travel Tale: Cards On The Table, I Pooed Myself - Claire Bullimore
After her shock diagnosis with a brain tumour, life-saving surgery and years of rehabilitation, Claire, the founder of Aunty M Brain Tumours, a blog and website dedicated to people affected by the disease, has written a book to help others.
Having had it all, a good job, nice boyfriend, lovely friends, Claire discovered she had something she didn’t want – a brain tumour. Even 12 years on, Claire, who underwent surgery for an intraventricular meningioma, is heavily reliant on seizure medication, suffers with fatigue and spasms on one side, has trouble finding words and is partially blind.
Her new book is a story of hope, of recovery and what happens when life doesn’t go according to plan, with the aim of helping others gain a better understanding of how brain tumours can be life-changing, with fundamental physical and mental effects.
Admissions: A life in Brain Surgery – Henry Marsh
Henry Marsh has spent a lifetime operating on the surgical frontline. There have been exhilarating highs and devastating lows, but his love for the practice of neurosurgery has never wavered.
Bitter Sweet – Gordon Shaw
This comic book has been created by graphic artist Gordon Shaw, following his diagnosis with a brain tumour to help people gain a greater understanding of cancer and the effect it has on patients. Gordon, who has named his tumour Rick (from the word ‘turmeric’), was diagnosed with a low-grade brain tumour in 2012 which quickly progressed to being high-grade. He is donating 5% of the proceeds from sales to Brain Tumour Research.
Purchase this book here.
Read Gordon’s brain tumour story here.
Brain Tumours: Living low grade – Gideon Burrows
Slow growing brain tumours change lives forever. This readable and moving non-technical guide is about living with a low grade tumour, a diagnosis given to thousands of people every year.
Broken Brain: Brutally Honest, Brutally Me - Dr Aria Nikjooy
Broken Brain: Brutally Honest, Brutally Me is a no-holds-barred account of Aria Nikjooy’s life with a brain tumour. Painfully funny and honest, it is hoped that anyone affected by cancer – patients, family and friends – will draw hope and strength from the book. Raw and inspiring, the book also serves as a manual for medical professionals to understand what a patient goes through and to inspire them to remember the people behind the patients.
Christine Rowe: My Words– S. L. Perrin and Christine Rowe
Christine Rowe was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in February 2021. She died on 21st May, just three months after her diagnosis.
At her funeral, the vicar read out a poem that Christine wrote in the 1960s for her then boyfriend Keith, who she would later marry. Her family discovered that she had written many more poems, which have now been compiled into a book published by her nephew, Steve Perrin.
Christine Rowe: My Words is an eclectic mix of traditional rhyming poems, free verse poems, folk songs and more, covering a range of topics from love and friendship to her favourite band, The Rolling Stones. The book also contains photos and touching messages from Christine’s family.
Proceeds from sales of the book will be donated to Brain Tumour Research in memory of Christine.
Danny’s Journey – Chris Green
The true story of Danny Green’s battle with brain and spine cancer, as told by his dad Chris Green.
Dark Days - Sue Hammond
This book came about after Sue lost her husband Jeff to pancreatic cancer and then her son Tom, 30, to brain cancer, only for her father to die a week later. These tragic events all happened during a devastating 10-month period with Tom coming home to die with his family, rather than remaining alone in a hospice during lockdown restrictions. He left two children aged three and 10.
Sue began writing the book, which started off as a journal, after she found counselling wasn’t helping and she was sliding into alcohol dependency. The book charts events leading up to the deaths of these three hugely significant men in Sue’s life and her grief at their terrible loss, but also shares lovely memories and funny anecdotes.
Sue hopes that her book will help others grieving for loved ones and raise awareness of the symptoms of brain tumours, while highlighting “not to be fobbed off by doctors”.
All proceeds from Dark Days will go to Brain Tumour Research to help find a cure for brain tumours.
Do No Harm – Henry Marsh
“Why has no one ever written a book like this before? It simply tells the stories, with great tenderness, insight and self-doubt, of a phenomenal neurosurgeon…” – The Observer
Every Day is a Battle (Fighting Demons, Jihadis and terminal cancer) - Rian Ilett
In March 2019, after being caught up in an explosion and flown home from the Middle East, Royal Marine Rian Ilett was diagnosed with an aggressive glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain tumour and given less than 18 months to live. Applying the same positive thought process he had adopted in the military, Rian pushed his body to overcome the doctors’ prognosis. Now nearly three years post-diagnosis, Rian has published a book about his battlefield and brain tumour experiences.
Every Day is a Battle (Fighting Demons, Jihadis and terminal cancer) shares Rian’s unique journey of positivity and ‘never giving up’. It is available from Amazon here.
Everything That Makes Us Human - Case Notes of a Children's Brain Surgeon - Jay Jayahohan
“An unflinchingly human memoir- pacy. poignant and ultimately inspiring - by consultant paediatric neurosurgeon at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford and start of the acclaimed BBC fly-on-the-wall series 'Brain Doctors' - Jay Jayahohan"
Fightback from a brain tumour: A patient’s book of hope and survival - Jason Oliver
“Having survived three craniotomies, with the last being in 2011, and reaching the age of 40, Jason Oliver from Suffolk wanted to do something to help others. Knowing he couldn’t run a marathon, Jason decided to write a book about his brain tumour journey to bring hope and inspiration to others – and this book became his personal marathon".
Hope: My inspirational life - Tom Parker
As Tom said: “This is not a book about dying: it's a book about living. It's a book about finding hope in whatever situation you're dealt and living your best life no matter what.”
It's All In My Head: How to Survive a Brain Tumour and Find Peace of Mind – Jo Barlow
Jo’s real life story of feeling constantly dizzy and drunk for 4 months at the start of 2016, finally getting a MRI, and finding out she needed urgent brain surgery on a Hemangioblastoma (a benign blood vessel tumour) in her cerebellum. Written in the hope that her explaining how she felt both emotionally and the odd physical sensations that worried her, will support and help others who have been diagnosed with a brain tumour, or anyone needing brain surgery.
Jack and Jen – Jeni McCrea
The true story of how your world is tipped on its head following a brain cancer diagnosis at a young age.