Best Eating Disorder Books

Top 10 Best Eating Disorder Books : Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain, Purge: Rehab Diaries, Perfect, Brave Girl Eating: A Family's Struggle with Anorexia, Second Star to the Right, Gaining: The Truth about Life After Eating Disorders, Appetites: Why Women Want, Slim to None: A Journey Through the Wasteland of Anorexia Treatment, A Legacy of Madness: Recovering My Family from Generations of Mental Illness, Goodbye Ed, Hello Me: Recover from Your Eating Disorder and Fall in Love with Life

Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain
AuthorPortia de Rossi
"I didn't decide to become anorexic. It snuck up on me disguised as a healthy diet, a professional attitude. Being as thin as possible was a way to make the job of being an actress easier . . ."

Portia de Rossi weighed only 82 pounds when she collapsed on the set of the Hollywood film in which she was...
Purge: Rehab Diaries
AuthorNicole J. Johns
Purge is a beautifully crafted memoir that has a Girl, Interrupted feel. In this raw and engaging account of her months in rehab, Nicole Johns documents her stay in a residential treatment facility for eating disorders. Her prose is lucid and vivid, as she seamlessly switches verb tenses and moves through...
AuthorNatasha Friend
Depicting with humor and insight the pressure to be outwardly perfect, this novel for ages 10-13 shows how one girl develops compassion for her own and others’ imperfections.

For 13-year-old Isabelle Lee, whose father has recently died, everything's normal on the outside. Isabelle describes...
Brave Girl Eating: A Family's Struggle with Anorexia
AuthorHarriet Brown
In Brave Girl Eating, the chronicle of a family’s struggle with anorexia nervosa, journalist, professor, and author Harriet Brown recounts in mesmerizing and horrifying detail her daughter Kitty’s journey from near-starvation to renewed health. Brave Girl Eating is an intimate, shocking,...
Second Star to the Right
AuthorDeborah Hautzig
Leslie Hiller is a bright, attractive, talented teenager who leads a privileged life in New York City. She is also a perfectionist. When Leslie starts to diet, she finds herself becoming obsessed, getting thinner and thinner, until she is forced to realize that her quest for perfection is killing her....
Gaining: The Truth about Life After Eating Disorders
AuthorAimee Liu
I had mixed feelings about this book. It's easy to absorb and follow and she's writing about a topic that is addressed so little in the literature, that it's important. It's a start. I found myself struggling with personality categories that seemed too distinct, too limited, and too inflexible. Three...
Appetites: Why Women Want
AuthorCaroline Knapp
By the middle of Appetites, I wanted to quote every single word Caroline Knapp wrote. In this memoir, she addresses three of my favorite topics: feminism, eating disorders, and sexuality. Knapp integrates these issues by sharing her own battle with anorexia and analyzing hunger through a psychological...
Slim to None: A Journey Through the Wasteland of Anorexia Treatment
AuthorJennifer Hendricks
"[Jennifer Hendricks] ... fought to be cured of anorexia nervosa. But as the diary she kept shows, a widespread lack of understanding about eating disorders and scattergun treatment programs make the battle almost insurmountable . . . a sorrow to read."

--The New York Times

A Legacy of Madness: Recovering My Family from Generations of Mental Illness
AuthorTom Davis
The story of a loving family coming to grips with its own fragilities, A Legacy of Madness relays the author's journey to uncover, and ultimately understand, the history of mental illness that led generations of his suburban American family to their demise. Dede Davis had worried, fussed, and obsessed...
Goodbye Ed, Hello Me: Recover from Your Eating Disorder and Fall in Love with Life
AuthorJenni Schaefer
Jenni Schaefer and Ed (eating disorder) are no longer on speaking terms, not even in her most difficult moments. In her bestseller,"Life Without Ed", Jenni learned to treat her eating disorder as a relationship, not a condition—enabling her to break up with Ed once and for all.

In "Goodbye...
After the Strawberry
AuthorKathryn Pope
Lydia Poole wants to be a good person—the kind of person who does everything right and deserves to be loved. To accomplish this, she eats only one cup of Cheerios per day and lets her weight drop below ninety pounds. When Lydia’s sister introduces Jesse, a new friend and filmmaker, Lydia agrees to...
AuthorWally Lamb
In this extraordinary coming-of-age odyssey, Wally Lamb invites us to hitch a wild ride on a journey of love, pain, and renewal with the most heartbreakingly comical heroine to come along in years.

Meet Dolores Price. She's 13, wise-mouthed but wounded, having bid her childhood goodbye....
AuthorJulia Bell
"I'm fat," I hear myself saying. I look in the mirror. My face has gone hot and red; I feel like I'm going to explode. "I'm fat." It sizzles under my skin, puffing me up, pushing me out, making me massive.

Weight has always been a big issue in Carmen's life. How could it not? Her mom is obsessed with...
AuthorGrace Bowman
A bright, beautiful teenager, popular with her peers, Grace lived a perfectly ordered, ordinary life. Until one day, aged 18, she went on a diet. That didn’t stop. Then couldn’t stop. That trapped her in ‘a secret world of eating-related happiness and unhappiness’. And saw her weight swiftly...
Anatomy of Anorexia
AuthorSteven Levenkron
Anatomy of Anorexia is a tremendous tool for families: now more than ever, early diagnosis and treatment, and family participation, are crucial in helping the anorexic. Preeminent therapist Steven Levenkron demystifies this life-threatening disease and shows how the millions of girls and women...
Going Hungry: Writers on Desire, Self-Denial, and Overcoming Anorexia
AuthorKate M. Taylor
Here, collected for the first time, 19 writers describe their eating disorders from the distance of recovery, exposing as never before the anorexic's self-enclosed world. Taking up issues including depression, genetics, sexuality, sports, religion, fashion and family, these essays examine...
Diary of an Anorexic Girl
AuthorMorgan Menzie
Morgan Menzie takes readers through a harrowing but ultimately hopeful and inspiring account of her eating disorder. Her amazing story is told through the journals she kept during her daily struggle with this addiction and disease. Her triumphs and tragedies all unfold together in this beautiful...
The Golden Cage: The Enigma of Anorexia Nervosa
AuthorHilde Bruch
First published more than twenty years ago, with almost 150,000 copies sold, The Golden Cage is still the classic book on anorexia nervosa, for patients, parents, mental health trainees, and senior therapists alike. Writing in direct, jargon-free style, often quoting her patients' descriptions...
Hunger Point
AuthorJillian Medoff
“[An] unusually honest, painfully funny novel about a tight-knit family’s struggle.”  —Entertainment Weekly

"My parents may love me, but I also know they view me as a houseguest who is turning a weekend stay into an all-expense-paid, lifelong residency, and who (to their horror)...
AuthorSarah Darer Littman
From acclaimed author Sarah Darer Littman, a striking story about a girl's recovery from bulimia in the tradition of CUT, PERFECT, and GIRL INTERRUPTED.

Janie Ryman hates throwing up. So why does she binge eat and then stick her fingers down her throat several times a day? That’s what the...
AuthorEireann Corrigan
A startling autobiographical account of a young woman's battle with eating disorders that put her in and out of hospitals over a span of four years and led to her own parents fighting for the right to commit her. When her last source of support, her boyfriend, attempts suicide and ends up in a coma, she is...
AuthorAdrienne Maria Vrettos

I'm telling you because if I don't, I will choke on it. Everybody knows what happened, but nobody asks. And Elvis the EMT doesn't count because when he asked, he didn't even listen to me answer because...
The Edible Woman
AuthorMargaret Atwood
Marian is determined to be ordinary. She lays her head gently on the shoulder of her serious fiancé and quietly awaits marriage. But she didn't count on an inner rebellion that would rock her stable routine, and her digestion. Marriage a la mode, Marian discovers, is something she literally can't stomach......
Monkey taming
AuthorJudith Fathallah
"You've eaten too much, you fat pig."

When Jessica was thirteen years old, she met the Monkey.

The Monkey lived inside her: a driving, fiery voice telling her that thinness was the only way. The only way to be safe, to be good, to be acceptable and above all, to escape from the cold, looming...
AuthorSteven Levenkron
KESSA is the compelling sequel to THE BEST LITTLE GIRL IN THE WORLD that can also be read independently. Here again readers are drawn into the world of a teenage girl suffering from anorexia nervosa. Kessa's character is strongly believable as Levenkron describes her encounters with family, friends...
Biting Anorexia: A Firsthand Account of an Internal War
AuthorLucy Howard-Taylor
My name is Lucy. I am in recovery from anorexia nervosa and major depression, each of which almost killed me.

So begins Biting Anorexia, an extraordinary account of a teenage girl's descent into the tortured existence of anorexia and her arduous, remarkable recovery. Much of this unflinchingly...
A Girl Called Tim
AuthorJune Alexander
The younger of two daughters, June Alexander grew up with a seemingly idyllic childhood on a dairy farm in south-east Australia. She is her dad's shadow, helping him on the farm and exploring the outdoors. Eleven is a memorable age for June, it is the year she developed an obsession with food and her weight....
Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls
AuthorMary Pipher
#1 New York Times Bestseller

The groundbreaking work that poses one of the most provocative questions of a generation: what is happening to the selves of adolescent girls?

As a therapist, Mary Pipher was becoming frustrated with the growing problems among adolescent girls. Why...
AuthorMadeleine George
An unforgettable debut novel about the way we look at others, and the way we see ourselves. Meghan Ball is both the most visible and the most invisible person in school. Her massive size is impossible to ignore, yet people freely spill their secrets in front of her, perhaps because they think she isn't...
AuthorJenefer Shute
a pretty intense, heartrending novel from the p.o.v. of an anorexic woman in an eating disorder treatment center. a lot of flashbacks. some unfortunate, but, i suppose earned, melodrama. came recommended by marylou, who is awesome.

True Story: bought this at Powell's in Portland directly...
Feeling for Bones
AuthorBethany Pierce
At sixteen, Olivia Monahan is uprooted from her home when a scandal in the local church costs her father his ministry. The family retreats to the seclusion of a small Pennsylvanian town, where a host of rich characters all play part in Olivia's struggle to understand her disillusionment with Christianity...
My Sister's Bones
AuthorCathi Hanauer
At sixteen, Billie Weinstein has plenty of problems: She's the only Jewish girl living in the all-Italian neighborhood of West Berry, NJ; she's trying hard to please her know-it-all father who listens to opera at full volume and drives full speed, and her too-accommodating mother who is either taking...
AuthorTracey Porter
I want to stretch to the moon, Delia thought. Far, far away.

Twelve-year-old Delia Ferri doesn't remember her mother, or her family the way it used to be. All she knows is that her sister, Pearl, and her father are fighting more and more. Pearl is withdrawn and angry, so Delia vows not to give her...
More Than You Can Chew
AuthorMarnelle Tokio
Marty Black has retreated from a difficult family situation into the area she can best control, her own appetites. She may not be able to control her parents’ behavior, but she can decide what she will and will not eat. Eventually, she stops eating altogether. Marty is close to death when she finally...
Food and Loathing: A Life Measured Out in Calories
AuthorBetsy Lerner
With warmth, wit, and not a trace of self-pity" (Entertainment Weekly), Betsy Lerner details her twenty-year struggle with depression and compulsive eating in Food and Loathing, a book that dares to expose the insidious nature of women's secret life with food.
"Alternating between hilarious...
Lighter Than My Shadow
AuthorKatie Green
Like most kids, Katie was a picky eater. She'd sit at the table in silent protest, hide uneaten toast in her bedroom, listen to parental threats that she'd have to eat it for breakfast.

But in any life a set of circumstance can collide, and normal behavior might soon shade into something sinister,...
Dying to Be Thin: Understanding and Defeating Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia--A Practical, Lifesaving Guide
AuthorIra M. Sacker
I have saved this book for lo these 31 years plus for one reason only: the HORRIBLE MOTHER, Sarah, who wrote the chapter about her daughter's battle with anorexia, entitled, "The Picture of Health: Jeanette's Story." This is a brilliant, albeit, unintentional, dreadfully perfect (think, David Sedaris...
Mercy, Unbound
AuthorKim Antieau

Mercy O'Connor is becoming an angel. She can feel her wings sprouting from her shoulder blades. They itch. Sometimes she even hears them rustling. And angels don't need to eat. So Mercy has decided she doesn't need to either. She is not sick, doesn't suffer from anorexia, is not trying to kill herself....
AuthorHarriet Brown
In our appearance-obsessed society, eating is about much more than hunger and sustenance. Food inspires pleasure and anxiety, shame and obsession. We are constantly judged on how we look, so we’ve come to judge ourselves (and others) on what and how we eat.

These evocative essays, from...
Perfect: Anorexia & Me
AuthorEmily Halban
Emily Halban developed anorexia in her final year of high school. She went on to college at an Ivy League school where her disease took on a powerful dimension. By her final year she was so debilitated that she had to take her exams in a separate room where she could be fed continuously. With heartbreaking...
Starving for Attention: A Young Woman's Struggle with and Triumph Over Anorexia Nervosa
AuthorCherry Boone O'Neill
Read this in 1982-1984.
This is a good book, and memorable, just because it is so awful--I found Cherry's lack of insight extremely disturbing and creepy, while at the same time I did not judge or blame her for her disease, and I certainly sympathized with her disease.
What I remember regarding...
AuthorPeach Friedman
In 2000, Peach Friedman, a college senior freshly broken up from her boyfriend, set out to beat the blues by beating herself into shape. Running ten miles a day and taking in as little as 800 calories, she fell from 146 pounds to 100 in three months and was at serious risk of cardiac arrest. What Friedman...
The Anorexia Diaries: A Mother and Daughter's Triumph Over Teenage Eating Disorders
AuthorLinda Rio
"Last night I asked my mom some questions about bulimia and anorexia. I thought for sure she would know what I was doing to myself. How could a mother not know the terrible things her daughter was doing?"

"Tara seems fine these last few days. The questions she asked me the other night scared me....
Empty: A Story of Anorexia
AuthorChristie Pettit
More than five million adolescent girls struggle with eating dis-orders, and more than 80 percent of American women are unhappy with their bodies. Christie Pettit knows these statistics firsthand. As a college student with a tennis scholarship, she found herself eating less and less, compulsively...
AuthorJennifer Kinsel
"I thought that once I had lost the weight, I would feel better about myself and maybe I would be something special. Well, I have lost weight, I do not feel better about myself, and I am still nothing special." "Restricted" takes readers into the mind of a nineteen year old girl named Erin. Brought on by the...
AuthorCherie Bennett
Beauty pageant winner, homecoming queen--Lara has the world at her feet.  Until she gets fat.

Despite a strict diet and workout schedule, Lara is soon a nameless, faceless, 200-pound-plus teenage blimp.  She's desperate to get her to-die-for body back--and to find an explanation...
Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It
AuthorGary Taubes
An eye-opening, myth-shattering examination of what makes us fat, from acclaimed science writer Gary Taubes.

In his New York Times best seller, Good Calories, Bad Calories, Taubes argued that our diet’s overemphasis on certain kinds of carbohydrates—not fats and not simply excess...
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