2022 Books of the Month in Review

Melissa Cook and family on sly ride 2022
Melissa Cook & Cook Family
Melissa Cook and grandchildren 12/22
Melissa Cook and Family December 2022

Happy Holidays from our family to yours!

It’s hard to believe 2022 is almost gone, and 2023 is fast approaching. We wish you the happiest holiday season.

This week, I compiled all of my 2022 Books of the Month for your review.


Book Recommendation 

Here is a summary of the 2022 Books of the Month selected by MSsymptoms.me. I select books based on my recommendation and receive no compensation for choosing them. All links to Amazon are affiliate links, however.

Two Old Women by Velma Wallis book cover
Two Old Women by Velma Wallis

January 2022

Two Old Women: An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage, and Survival (affiliate link to Amazon) by Velma Wallis is an excellent book for chronically ill people to read because I believe everyone still has something to contribute. Even though I read it years ago, I can tell you the story because it made an impression. Everyone has something to offer, and attitude is half the battle. In this story, a starving tribe leaves behind two old Athabaskan women, and the lessons they learn apply to all of us.

Read this review on The Resolution of Happiness on January 4, 2022.

February 2022

I highly recommend Dr. Beaber’s “Resilience in the Face of Multiple Sclerosis” for MSers and anyone who wants to improve their resiliency. This book is easy to read and filled with information on what makes a person resilient. Readers garner an inside look at five other people’s journeys with MS and how their resiliency improves their lives. You can purchase it on Amazon by clicking on the highlighted link in this paragraph or request a FREE copy through Twitter.

Read the rest of this review on Brandon Beaber, M.D. on February 2, 2022.

March 2022

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy is a short read, very short – about half an hour if you take time to think about what you are reading. So how can I recommend a book if it is SO short? The messages in the book are what all people need to hear, especially those facing challenges. The book has 91,500 Amazon ratings with a 4.8-star rating. An example that will stick with me long-term: Is your glass half empty or half full? I have described myself as a half-full kinda gal for decades. What about appreciating the fact that you have a glass at all? Hmm. Food for thought. I’m just happy to have a glass was the response in the book, and I smiled because I never looked at it that way, but THAT type of thinking is SO me! Messages of love, friendship, avoiding hate, accepting who we are and what we can do in life fill this book. The font was a little difficult for me to read at first. I picked up my glasses and pressed on – also a lesson in the book – when things get tough, keep going! Enjoy!

Read the rest of this review on MS Focus & MSAA Want You To Be Cool on March 2, 2022.

The Giver by Lois Lowry book cover
The Giver by Lois Lowry

April 2022

Why on earth would I recommend a middle school book? I happened to be a K-12 Alaska bush teacher in my previous life, which means I was also a middle school teacher. The Giver is so thought-provoking that I still think about the lessons I learned from it. Can you imagine a world without pain? No sadness? No challenges related to race, income inequality, competition, illness, or old age? Lois Lowry created a pain-free world shielded from unhappy memories. A Receiver holds the knowledge and uses it to make good decisions for the entire group. What happens when the holder of the memories grows old? He becomes The Giver and passes the memories on to the next Receiver. This book will show you a world with no pain or difficulties, but at what cost?

Read the rest of this review on Antibody Test for #MultipleSclerosis – At Last! on April 7, 2022.

Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson, M.D. book cover
Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson, M.D.

May 2022

Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson, MD, is my choice for the Book of the Month. I believe the story can be helpful to MSers because someone moved our cheese, and it continues to be moved. When your cheese is moved, you must adapt to the change or languish. The message of this book is to anticipate the changes and adjust to them when they arrive. MS dictates some aspects of my life – which job I can handle, limitations on my output each day, and sometimes if I do anything at all with day I’ve been given. This book is a short read that will leave you thinking about the four mice who woke up one morning to find their daily cheese missing. Two mice immediately accepted the change and moved on to discover where the cheese went, while the two remaining mice stayed behind, hoping for the cheese to return the next day, and the next, and the next. Which mouse are you? Check out this book for solid life lessons on accepting, adapting, and embracing changes we don’t ask for but face anyway.

Read the rest of this review on Precision Medicine for Multiple Sclerosis DMTs on May 4, 2022.

Our Iceberg Is Melting by John Kotter bookcover
Our Iceberg Is Melting by John Kotter

June 2022

Our Iceberg Is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions identifies the eight steps in the change process and people’s roles in facilitating effective change or hampering a smooth transition between what was and what will soon be. This fable tells the story of penguins who realize a threat to their colony and must act.

This quick read is ideal for people facing chronic illness because few of us are doing it alone, and change is happening to both ourselves and our immediate circle whether we want it to or not. I recommend this book to everyone because we all function in groups, and change is life’s middle name. I believe it is crucial to understand how we can harness the power of resistance and help everyone succeed in the new norm.

Read the rest of this review on World MS Day Celebrations & New Research on June 1, 2022.

Managing MS by Debbie Petrina bookcover
Managing MS by Debbie Petrina

July 2022

No need for anyone to write a newbie’s multiple sclerosis book again—it has already been written. Kirkus Review says, “A bravely told and brutally honest self-help work.” This book is ideal for patients with multiple sclerosis, caregivers, family, friends, and anyone with an MSer (that’s what we call ourselves) in their personal or work lives. Knowing how MS affects the body and mind is crucial to identifying ways to help when needed.

Debbie Petrina is an MS veteran who volunteered for the National MS Society, MS community, and other institutions for over four decades. She writes from the heart with a compassionate voice giving sound information and advice. “What to do?” sections present options for managing and treating various symptoms and issues.

Read the rest of this review on Food Allergies & MS Connected? on July 6, 2022.

The Alchemist book cover
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

August 2022

I do not like to waste time; I seldom watch the same show twice and almost always donate my books to the local library when I am done reading them. I save a few books on my shelf because I just might want to read them again, but only a few. And then there is The Alchemist, a book I have read so many times that I have lost count. It is a book in its own category when it comes to my reading habits.

So why have I read this book so many times? I pick up The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho anytime I need to find myself or my next mountain to climb. 

Read the rest of this review on Blaming Multiple Sclerosis for Everything on August 3, 2022.

September 2022

The Doctors Book of Home Remedies: Simple Doctor-Approved Self-Care Solutions for 146 of the Most Common Health Conditions helps me manage minor medical issues saving the travel to and cost of a doctor’s appointment. When I lived in remote Alaska for twenty years, accessing medical information on hand was especially important because we had no doctor in town, and online access was limited.

Sometimes we forget the common sense advice our mothers gave us over the years. The Doctor’s Book of Home Remedies includes simple advice on

Read the rest of this review on DMTs – It’s Time for a Change on September 7, 2022.

How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie book cover

October 2022

How To Win Friends & Influence People is a classic book by Dale Carnegie from 1936. It has over 79,000 rankings on Amazon, with a 4.7-star rating. I read this book when I was in graduate school twenty years ago.

Years later, I purchased the book a second time. I remembered pieces of the excellent advice I found in How To Win Friends & Influence People, and I wanted to study them again now that I am a retired teacher, author, and volunteer firefighter-EMT. I recommend this book to MS warriors and their support systems because we work together as a team. Knowing how to support your team (win friends) and solve challenges (influence people) is the most productive and positive way to a happier and healthier life…

Read the rest of this review on Fall Colors In Wyoming – Living My MS Life on October 5, 2022.

Bookcover MS Madness by Yvonne deSousa
MS Madness by Yvonne deSousa

November 2022

MS Madness by Yvonne deSousa

If you have multiple sclerosis, MS Madness! by Yvonne deSousa, will resonate with you. If you don’t have MS, this book will give you a peek into the life of an MS warrior. Reading Yvonne’s memoir of her diagnosis and first year of becoming an MSer took me down memory lane. I had forgotten the cognitive testing, feeling alone, and the sudden surprise when I recognized ignored MS symptoms from my past. I dreaded shot day just like Yvonne and agonized over giving myself shots for years. I felt Yvonne’s pain and fears, just as I had experienced years ago during my first year…

Read the rest of this review on Thriving Over Surviving MS Podcast Guest on November 2, 2022.

December 2022

“Can you imagine coming down with multiple sclerosis as a first-year teacher and mother of three young boys in bush Alaska without access to medical practitioners? This happened to Melissa Cook in the spring of 1996. For the next two decades, Melissa managed her MS from remote Alaska with the help of specialists in Seattle and Wyoming. The Call of the Last Frontier is her adventure story and multiple sclerosis memoir.” – Charmaine Jones wrote this introduction for my upcoming Dragon Claw presentation.

The Call of the Last Frontier‘s first written review on Amazon came from nwmsdoc, “…provides a roadmap for those with a chronic illness who need a guidelight to hope for life amidst adversity.” 

Read the rest of this review on Could Diabetes Medication Cause MS? on December 1, 2022.

The Call of the Last Frontier book displayed with Christmas garland
Happy Holidays – Available on my affiliate link Amazon

Upcoming Appearances

December 7, 2022 – (to be posted on YouTube around December 21, 2022) – CureTalks – Speaking with experts about precision medicine

December 10, 2022 – 2 pm – 7 pm – Cody Craft Fair, VFW Building at 808 12th St, Cody, WY 82414

December 13, 2022 – Dragonclaw.net guest speaker on Zoom

About the Author

Melissa Cook
Melissa Cook is the author of www.MSsymptoms.me. As a retired high school teacher and school district administrator, she chooses to share her MS story in hopes of benefiting others.