I like to read, but admittedly, it's usually fiction. When I'm not out with my horses, on a day where it's impossible to attempt a ride, I'm in my den with a book propped up on the arm of my chair. A friend recently recommended a few pages to me to read over when I needed a few ideas for adjusting my home and life for my disabilities.
After perusing them, and then finding one on my own, I decided to share them and their synopsis' with you today, in hopes that a read like these could help someone the way they helped me.
Unruly Bodies: Life Writing by Women with Disabilities by Susannah B. Mintz
The first critical study of personal narrative by women with disabilities, Unruly Bodies examines how contemporary writers use life writing to challenge cultural stereotypes about disability, gender, embodiment, and identity.
Combining the analyses of disability and feminist theories, Susannah Mintz discusses the work of eight American autobiographers: Nancy Mairs, Lucy Grealy, Georgina Kleege, Connie Panzarino, Eli Clare, Anne Finger, Denise Sherer Jacobson, and May Sarton. Mintz shows that by refusing inspirational rhetoric or triumph-over-adversity narrative patterns, these authors insist on their disabilities as a core--but not diminishing--aspect of identity.
As a woman, this book means a lot to me. There's always a large stigma against women in our world, though we've been working hard to change this. The world for a disabled woman is twice as hard, so voices like those found in this book are extremely important to me.
Making the Most of It: The 11 Keys to Mastering Disability and Life by Mark E. Smith
You didn't choose your disability, but you can choose how you live with it - this is the message of Mark E. Smith in "Making the Most of It: The 11 Keys to Mastering Disability and Life."
In this first of its kind inspirational guidebook to living to our fullest with disability, Mark spells out the eleven keys that move us from merely surviving with disability to truly thriving: Through anecdotes of his own experience, the shared remarkable stories of others, and a clear wisdom, Mark takes you hand-in-hand on an empowered journey, where living is less about what's happened to you, and more about the fulfilling life that you can achieve, truly making the most of it, disability and all.
This is the book I was lent by my friend, and I can assure you it's a good read. There are a few things in it that I know I'll be taking into planning when I go over what needs to be updated in my home; quality of life is the most important part for us, after all. Try visiting the author's website as well!
Besides, we can all agree that hearing more of our voices empowers us.
Photo by Richard BH on Flickr.