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R is for READ: The more we READ, the more we know. #WeAreStrongerThanMS

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I have anticipated the letter R since the beginning of this voyage into MS alphabet land. I LOVE to read. I will read anything. When I was once accused of being a bibliophile prostitute, I didn't argue. Books are my life.

As a reviewer for Readers Favorite,  I have the unique opportunity to pretty much read for a living. No, I m not making the big bucks, but enough to keep my son in his yearly gifted camp, wearing socks without holes, and enough milk money to get him through. Of course the monetary reward of reviewing is nice, but I selfishly confess that I could not think of a better task for myself. I read EVERY day. I have a book going in every room of the house. Yes, I read multiple books at the same time, in addition to the manuscripts assigned me on line.

So, it is with great joy that MS Alphabet brings me to the letter R.

I often reference books in my blog posts, so you will not be surprised by many of the titles I list today.

Multiple Sclerosis for Dummies is a spectacular reference tool especially for the newly diagnosed or interested bystander. It breaks down our disease in simple, relate-able  language and answers basic questions about MS. When the authors are not certain of an answer they are up front with alternate sites and locations.

Chef Interrupted by Trevis L. Gleason is a colorful memoir of one man's reaction to his diagnosis. A chef by trade, Gleason makes an enormous decision to his MS to his home country of Ireland, where he communes with nature, the locals, horribly cold weather, and his own life intentions. I LOVE THIS BOOK!

MS: Living Symptom Free is Daryl H Bryant's story of living with multiple sclerosis. Much like my own book, Bryant shares his own struggles with MS. His tips and recipes, experiences and findings are told in common sense, techie-free language.

The Wahls Protocol is my latest MS reading journey. I am only about mid-way into Terry Wahls' "radical new way to treat all chronic autoimmune conditions using Paleo principles", but am convinced that her studies make good sense. As with anything in life, it is important to be able to "tweek" procedures to fit your own mode of finance and ability. This past week I have incorporated several elements of the Protocol into my daily routine. Unfortunately my finances will not allow me to go totally Wahls, but I have already seen interesting results with the small adjustments I have made.

The MS Recovery Diet by fellow MS Warriors Ann D Sawyer and Judith E Bachrach is a rather daunting book in physical appearance, but is packed full of helpful suggestions for diet, exercise, and life style. No, I have not read this cover-to-cover (yet), but I do use it along side my Multipole Sclerosis for Dummies book as a powerful reference tool.

MS Madness! is "A giggle more, cry less, story of Multiple Sclerosis" as told by Yvonne deSousa And that is exactly what it is. It is  personal story, not a medical tome of information. I have shared my copy with several people and received mixed reviews, depending on what the reader was looking for in a book about MS. Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Yvonne's journey. If you need a good laugh, this is a red that will nod your head in sympathy and association.

Moody Bitches by Julie Holland, MD, has been holding court on my desk shelf for over a year and I have yet to crack it open. Shame on me. A reference tool that concentrates on the truth behind the drugs we take and the impact said drugs make on our life. I really, really plan to tackle this book after the month of March ends and there is more time to concentrate on reading than writing. I will keep you updated.

Another title adorning my shelf is The Gathering Table: Defying Multiple Sclerosis With a Year of Pasta, Wine & Friends by Ronda Giangreco.  Diagnosed in 2008, Ronda refuses to listen to the prognosis that she would soon no longer walk. Instead she walked to her kitchen where she planned a strategy that included her culinary love, the wines of Napa Valley, and Sunday dinners loud with the presence of friends and family. Inspiring? You bet.

In This Together by Anne Romney is an interesting read and I truly appreciate Mrs. Romney's words of support, but this books reinforces the privileges of money that I have never and will never have.

Awkward Bitch: My Life with MS Mario Donato Parmelee is the first memoir type story  I read about living with multiple sclerosis. I should have waited a while before scaring myself with this one, but it is an honest narration that should not be ignored.

And then there is (Ta-Da!) I Have MS. What's Your super Power? by Moi. When I initially published this no-nonsense guide to living with MS, I was so very proud of myself for finally knocking down some walls and publicizing my disease. Since then, the opportunities that the publication of this book have  allowed me in getting the word out, have also humbled me immensely. But, for every doubt I experience with what I wrote, there is a declaration of gratitude that I dared to share my experience. That means that I accomplished my purpose. We are not alone in this MS journey.

There are SO many other tittles out there. Just go to Amazon and be amazed at the number of books on the subject. I am excited for you to share your own reading experience and offer up other titles (for me) to explore.

Now, you are probably thinking that I spend all of my reading time gorging on medical research and MS resources. Nope. Not at all. Nada.

My bedside book right now is The Broken Hearts Club by Ethan Black, a psychological thriller perfect for the last thing to do before turning out the light for a good night's sleep. Under it on my night table stack is Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige. No one ever accused me of knowing what not to read at bed time. 😯

On the coffee table with my knitting is Patridcia Hopper's latest Irish novel Corrib Red that I am just itching to get in to.

I admit it. I am a book addict. 

For my current review assignment I am reading Shearwater by D.S.Murphy, which I cannot wait to get back to as soon as I shoot this post into cyberspace. It is good, good, good.

Oh, and I haven't finished reading the morning newspaper.

Looks like I have a lot of reading to do today.

Better get busy!

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