10 of the Best New Nonfiction Books to Read for Disability Pride Month


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Kendra Winchester is a Contributing Editor for Book Riot where she writes about audiobooks and disability literature. She is also the Founder of Read Appalachia, which celebrates Appalachian literature and writing. Previously, Kendra co-founded and served as Executive Director for Reading Women, a podcast that gained an international following over its six-season run. In her off hours, you can find her writing on her Substack, Winchester Ave, and posting photos of her Corgis on Instagram and Twitter @kdwinchester.

Happy Disability Pride Month! Now through the entire month of July, Disability Pride recognizes and honors disabled, chronically ill, neurodivergent, and Deaf people. In the United States, Disability Pride is held every July because, on July 26th, 1990, congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the first legislation of its kind to protect disabled people’s rights in the United States. Although it’s not officially recognized nationally, Disability Pride Month is still celebrated across the country, and several major cities hold Disability Pride parades to honor the occasion.

Of course, for those of us here on the bookish internet, this means plenty of recommendations for books by disabled authors. Disabled people write in every genre — like Rivers Solomon’s speculative fiction or Talia Hibbert’s romance novels — but every Disability Pride, I’m drawn to true stories. There’s something special about reading disabled folks sharing their life experiences. As a chronically ill disabled person, I read these authors’ books and feel seen, validated, and less alone.

In honor of Disability Pride Month, I’ve gathered together some incredible nonfiction titles by disabled, chronically ill, Deaf, and neurodivergent authors. There are some old favorites — like Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha and Alice Wong — and new-to-me authors, including Stephanie Foo, Alice Hattrick, and Jules Sherred. Whatever kinds of books you enjoy, there is sure to be something on this list for you!

a graphic of the cover of Intoxicated: Race, Disability, and Chemical Intimacy Across Empire by Mel Y. Chena graphic of the cover of Intoxicated: Race, Disability, and Chemical Intimacy Across Empire by Mel Y. Chen

Intoxicated: Race, Disability, and Chemical Intimacy Across Empire by Mel Y. Chen

Mel Y. Chen examines the intersection of race, sexuality, and disability. They focus on British and Australian imperial power’s use of opium to target Aboriginal peoples in the 19th century. They follow that thread through time to illustrate how colonialist empires use disability — via intoxication — as a weapon of white supremacy.

a graphic of the cover of What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Healing from Complex Trauma by Stephanie Fooa graphic of the cover of What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Healing from Complex Trauma by Stephanie Foo

What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Healing from Complex Trauma by Stephanie Foo

Award-winning radio producer Stephanie Foo seemed to have it all — an incredible job, an amazing partner — but she felt crushed by anxiety and cried her way through her days. Eventually, she was diagnosed with complex PTSD, and the process began of working through her traumatic past to help build herself a better future.

a graphic of the cover of Disability Worlds by Faye Ginsburg and Rayna Rappa graphic of the cover of Disability Worlds by Faye Ginsburg and Rayna Rapp

Disability Worlds by Faye Ginsburg and Rayna Rapp

Disability studies scholars Faye Ginsburg and Rayna Rapp write about their shared experiences and field of research, all centering around disability communities in New York City. Disability Worlds highlights topics — education, healthcare, parenting, etc. — and the range of challenges disabled people face in these areas. In particular, Ginsburg and Rapp illustrate their commitment to disability justice and disability futures.

a graphic of the cover of Ill Feelings by Alice Hattricka graphic of the cover of Ill Feelings by Alice Hattrick

Ill Feelings by Alice Hattrick

After Alice Hattrick’s mother was diagnosed with pneumonia, she never really recovered and was eventually diagnosed with ME (also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). When Hattrick came down with similar symptoms, she eventually received the same diagnosis. Ill Feelings examines both Hattrick and her mother’s cases, expanding on ideas at the intersection of feminism and disability women writers. She features writers like Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Virginia Woolf, and Alice James, who all lived — and created their art — with chronic illness.

a graphic of the cover of But Everyone Feels This Way: How an Autism Diagnosis Saved My Life by Paige Laylea graphic of the cover of But Everyone Feels This Way: How an Autism Diagnosis Saved My Life by Paige Layle

But Everyone Feels This Way: How an Autism Diagnosis Saved My Life by Paige Layle

TikTok influencer Paige Layle received an autism diagnosis at 15, and with her platform, she’s strived to raise awareness for the different ways autism can change your life. Now in her memoir, Layle expands on her ideas, giving readers a peek behind the curtain of her life. Layle’s memoir gives voice to her experience with autism spectrum disorder and how it’s impacted her life.

a graphic of the cover of Sex with a Brain Injury: On Concussion and Recovery by Annie Liontasa graphic of the cover of Sex with a Brain Injury: On Concussion and Recovery by Annie Liontas

Sex with a Brain Injury: On Concussion and Recovery by Annie Liontas

After Annie Liontas receives a head injury during a bike accident, their world is turned upside down. Interspersed with their account of disability and recovery, Liontas includes research on TBIs (traumatic brain injuries), illustrating how little we truly know about the human brain. Sex with a Brain Injury is a much-needed exploration of the world of TBIs and the irrevocable ways they can change people’s lives.

a graphic of the cover The Future Is Disabled: Prophecies, Love Notes and Mourning Songs by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinhaa graphic of the cover The Future Is Disabled: Prophecies, Love Notes and Mourning Songs by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

The Future Is Disabled: Prophecies, Love Notes and Mourning Songs by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Leah Laksmi Piepzna-Samarasinha follows up their incredible book Care Work with The Future Is Disabled. Piepzna-Samarasinha writes about the last two years of surviving COVID-19 as a disabled femme of color in an ableist world that isn’t interested in protecting disabled folks. They also discuss mutual aid and disabled joy in the face of isolation and discrimination.

a graphic of the cover of Crip Spacetime: Access, Failure, and Accountability in Academic Life by Margaret Pricea graphic of the cover of Crip Spacetime: Access, Failure, and Accountability in Academic Life by Margaret Price

Crip Spacetime: Access, Failure, and Accountability in Academic Life by Margaret Price

In her new book on the experiences of disabled people in academia, Margaret Price argues that disabled workers possess “a unique experience of space, time, and being,” which Price refers to as “crip spacetime.” Based on her own personal experience, research, and hundreds of interviews, Crip Spacetime analyzes the systemic issues with academic institutions’ disability accommodations and argues for a more inclusive learning and work environment for disabled people.

a graphic of the cover of Crip Up the Kitchen: Tools, Tips, and Recipes for the Disabled Cook by Jules Sherreda graphic of the cover of Crip Up the Kitchen: Tools, Tips, and Recipes for the Disabled Cook by Jules Sherred

Crip Up the Kitchen: Tools, Tips and Recipes for the Disabled Cook by Jules Sherred

The kitchen is the most ableist room in the house, but Jules Sherred believes it shouldn’t have to be. With dozens of recipes, complete with labels on how many “spoons” each dish will take, Sherred takes back the kitchen and helps other disabled cooks to do the same.

a graphic of the cover of Disability Intimacy: Essays on Love, Care, and Desire by Alice Wonga graphic of the cover of Disability Intimacy: Essays on Love, Care, and Desire by Alice Wong

Disability Intimacy: Essays on Love, Care, and Desire edited by Alice Wong

The editor of the much-acclaimed essay collection Disability Visibility is back with a new anthology. This time, disabled people from a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences share their perspectives on ideas around intimacy. These essays aren’t just about sex. They give glimpses into the intimate moments — platonic, familial, communal — between human beings.


Whether you enjoy accessible cooking or love reading books on disability studies, there is sure to be a book on this list for you. For even more books by disabled, chronically ill, Deaf, and neurodivergent authors, check out 10 of the Best Disability Books of 2023 and 10 Books about Disability for Kids and Teens.





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