Books can be an invaluable resource for traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivors, their loved ones, and their caregivers who want to learn more about this condition. There are many traumatic brain injury books that are helpful for anyone who wants to learn more about TBI. 

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of top traumatic injury books that provide a wealth of information and inspiration. It includes books that describe TBI from the survivor’s perspective, evidence-based guides on treatment and care, as well as stories of hope and resilience from loved ones and caregivers of TBI survivors.


Traumatic Brain Injury Books That Describe the Experiences of Survivors

1. Over My Head: A Doctor’s Own Story of Head Injury from the Inside Looking Out by Claudia L. Osborn

At 33 years old, Claudia Osborn was highly successful in her field. She had a rewarding career as a physician and clinical professor of medicine. She was also the director of residency training at two Detroit hospitals and taught medicine at Michigan State University. 

But everything changed on a July evening in 1988. Dr. Osborn was out on a bicycle ride without a helmet when a car crashed into her. The accident resulted in a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and irreversible brain damage. 

In this memoir, Dr. Osborn talks about the events surrounding the accident that changed her life. She recounts how the effects of her TBI affected not just her career as a physician and professor but also her ability to perform even the simplest tasks, like getting dressed. 

However, this book is primarily a story of hope and perseverance. Dr. Osborn tells of the steps she and her caregivers took to reclaim her life, recover her identity, and rebuild her life as well as her career.

This inspiring yet realistic read is a must for TBI survivors looking to come to terms with their condition and needing inspiration to take the necessary steps toward recovery. Caregivers and loved ones of TBI survivors will also find this book helpful and eye-opening, as it provides in-depth information on the challenges of the rehabilitation process. 


2. Concussion by Jeane Marie Laskas 

Laskas chronicles the story of Dr. Bennet Omalu, a forensic pathologist and neuropathologist who discovered chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) after performing an autopsy on Mike Webster, a former football center for the NFL, and eight other players.

Before his death, Webster’s mental health had severely deteriorated, and he was exhibiting symptoms of psychosis and dementia despite being only 50 years old. Dr. Omalu’s findings, which he thought would help the NFL improve football and enhance the lives of its players, ended up being ignored and denied by the organization. 

Dr. Omalu’s true story is gripping, and Laskas makes it even more thrilling and unforgettable. This book is very well-researched and serves as a warning for parents and loved ones of athletes. 


3. Chicken Soup for the Soul: Recovering from Traumatic Brain Injuries: 101 Stories of Hope, Healing, and Hard Work by Amy Newmark and Carolyn Roy-Bornstein 

This collection of personal stories is one of the top traumatic brain injury books recommended by support groups. Intended for reading by TBI survivors as well as the people who care for and about them, this book is an excellent source of inspiration and motivation. 

Each story delves into a different aspect of living with a TBI diagnosis. There are chapters on rebuilding life, giving and accepting help, coping strategies, and coming to terms with the new normal. 


Traumatic Brain Injury Books That Describe the Experiences of Caregivers and Loved Ones 

4. Honey, I Smell Flowers by Ruth Ann Bartels 

This captivating story is an inspiring account of a mother’s love and support for her adult child, who is dealing with a TBI from a car accident. It is an in-depth look into her own experiences as a caregiver who had to raise her child twice, as well as her daughter’s challenges and triumphs while navigating the road to recovery after a life-altering event. 

Apart from being a true-to-life story of a TBI patient and her mother, “Honey I Smell Flowers” is a helpful primer and guide for TBI survivors, their loved ones, and their caregivers. It contains insights and guidance that were not available to the author when she was writing the book and which readers will find valuable.  


5. No Stone Unturned: A Father’s Memoir of His Son’s Encounter with Traumatic Brain Injury by Joel M. Goldstein

This book tells the story of Bart Goldstein, who, at 16, suffered a TBI in a car accident. The author, Bart’s father, is candid about the struggles they’ve gone through as a family trying to support their loved one as well as the difficulties and frustrations experienced by their son. 

The book blends facts about neuroscience with stories about Bart’s journey to recovery, an ongoing process that involves conventional medicine and emerging treatments. Those who seek to understand the challenges a family faces in the wake of a loved one’s TBI diagnosis will find this book an eye-opening read. 


6. Brain Injury Rewiring for Loved Ones: A Lifeline to New Connections by Carolyn E. Dolen 

This book is a companion to Brain Injury Rewiring for Survivors. It is both a factual guidebook for caregivers and loved ones of people with TBI as well as an inspiring story of Dolen’s recovery despite all odds. After the car accident that left her injured, her doctors gave her a poor prognosis but eventually proved them wrong. 

Dolen also describes for laypeople what happens to the brain when it’s injured and how many aspects of a person’s health and wellness are often affected. There are also chapters that guide readers and their caregivers on the types of care TBI survivors need to recover physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. 


7. He Never Liked Cake by Janna Leyde  

In this book, Leyde talks about what it’s like to be a child growing up with a brain-injured parent. She writes honestly and compassionately about her father’s struggles after experiencing a TBI after a car accident to gain access to the care he needs to recover. 

The book also discusses how Leyde’s father’s TBI affected their family. She recounts the “new normal” they transitioned to after the accident and describes her mother’s resilience in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges. Ultimately, “He Never Liked Cake” is an inspiring story of a family who had to deal with a life-altering blow and how they learned to embrace their new lives with grace and hope. 


Educational and Informative Traumatic Brain Injury Books 

8. Successfully Surviving a Brain Injury: A Family Guidebook, from the Emergency Room to Selecting a Rehabilitation Facility by Garry Prowe 

TBIs are often a result of unforeseen circumstances. As such, few families are prepared for the many changes that a TBI diagnosis brings to both the survivor and their loved ones. 

There are countless things to learn about and do, from filing insurance claims to finding the right doctor and treatment plan. This book aims to help readers through the recovery period by providing the practical information and resources they need to navigate the recovery process.  


9. The Traumatized Brain: A Family Guide to Understanding Mood, Memory, and Behavior after Brain Injury by Vani Rao Author and Sandeep Vaishnavi 

Two neuropsychiatrists wrote this John Hopkins Press Health Book. Vani Rao and Sandeep Vaishnavi. It contains a wealth of helpful information for TBI patients and their loved ones. In it, you will find eye-opening insights into brain injuries’ effects on the brain. 

It also provides guidance on treatment options for the behavioral, emotional, and neurological symptoms of TBI. Additionally, it offers advice on managing changes to cognitive functions like attention and language. 

Coping with a TBI can be extremely challenging, and the road to recovery may seem long and fraught with obstacles. This book aims to smoothen the path to healing by providing evidence-based, targeted tips and suggestions on everything from treatments and medications to counseling. 


10. The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science by Norman Doidge

This book delves into neuroplasticity, or the lifelong ability of the brain to change and adapt in response to learning, experiences, and even brain trauma. Neuroplasticity challenges the established notion that the brain is unable to be changed. 

The book’s author, Norman Doidge, M.D., a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, talks about how neuroplasticity works in terms that are easy to understand. Additionally, the book is peppered with stories of people who have regained or developed senses and abilities despite limitations, such as brain injuries. 

While the science in it may be slightly dated, as it was originally published in 2007, this book is a worthy read for those who want to read hopeful stories of personal triumph over TBIs and other conditions affecting the brain. 


Get Personalized Care and Support When Navigating A Traumatic Brain Injury 

Moody Neurorehabilitation Institute is a pioneer in post-acute brain injury treatment and rehabilitation. We offer a holistic approach to care, providing personalized treatment plans that consider patients’ cognitive, behavioral, and physical challenges. 


Our services include: 


Through our services, we aim to help TBI survivors improve their quality of life as well as provide ongoing support to their loved ones throughout the rehabilitation journey. 

Learn more about our program, facilities, and services by reaching out to us. You may give us a call at (409) 762-6661 or fill out our online form to inquire about scheduling a tour. 



Moody Neurorehabilitation Institute (Moody Neuro) provides personalized care to treat the unique challenges of brain injury with the singular purpose of achieving the best possible outcome for patients and their families.

Tags: brain injury, traumatic brain injury,

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