Book reviews

A Woman’s Guide to Living with Heart Disease” (Johns Hopkins University Press)

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Early Reviews:

“If you are a woman, or love a woman, this is a book for you! Cardiovascular disease is the leading killer of women. Here is a book focused on women’s cardiovascular health. It is all here – prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Read it for the people you love.”  

  Edward K. Kasper, MD, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, co-author of Living Well With Heart Failure: The Misnamed, Misunderstood Condition

“This work is an important contribution to the discussion about heart attack and misdiagnosis in women. Thomas’s personal story—alongside the stories of millions of other women—provides a needed reminder of recognizing one’s symptoms, avoiding denial, and seeking medical attention. This elegant book is a unique addition to women’s health books and a necessary read for women and the people who care about them.” 

♥  Roger S. Blumenthal, MD, Director, The Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease

“This is an important book – in fact, indispensable for women and their families whose lives have been affected by heart disease. It should be required reading for student health professionals as a lesson about listening to and taking seriously the voices of female patients. Carolyn Thomas interprets research in an easy to understand language and her writing style is elegant. Significantly, much of the information is based upon many of her own experiences living with heart disease and the many comments of other women who are avid readers of her blogs.

“She writes about my journey as a survivor myself of a heart attack. For weeks and months after the crisis I followed her blogs on Heart Sisters. The support I received from the many comments and Carolyn herself was and remains invaluable.

“This is the very best book of its kind, a must read for health care professionals to better understand the challenges of women facing the trauma of living with heart disease.”

Dr. Barbara Keddy, Professor Emerita, Dalhousie University, Halifax

“Her book gives women the knowledge they need to become their own advocates in a healthcare system that continues to be weighted against them.”

♥  Foreword Reviews

“Carolyn Thomas has given the world the gift of knowledge and personal experience, for sure, but it’s her down-to-earth writing and compassion that makes for compelling and essential reading.”  

  Kathy Kastner, Toronto author/patient advocate

“Carolyn Thomas writes with the empathy of one who has experienced heart disease herself. Her personal story, as well as comments from other heart disease survivors from her Heart Sisters blog, are all interwoven with commonsense advice and guidance to help the heart patient and her loved ones advocate for the best care possible at every stage. The author includes a wonderful plain-language glossary of medical terms, and her detailed notes section is a testament to the depth of research that backs her work. This book brings a needed focus to a leading killer of women today, and offers insight regarding the patient’s perspective. It is a must-read for women and their loved ones. For all women’s health practitioners and collections.” 

  November 2017 issue of Library Journal, reviewed by Crystal Renfro

“I just finished reading your book and I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed it – every last little bit of it! I’m no longer a practicing physician and I don’t have heart disease, but I am a person who lives with chronic illness, as well as a person who just lives. I think anyone on this earth can get a lot of out of your book. It is incredibly well written, with great humour and intense honestly. I especially love the part where you “teach” health care professionals how to relate to patients.

“And in terms of Chapter 7 – that reviewer doctor who didn’t like it clearly has never been a patient with a serious disease. It was right on, and I’m so glad it was there.

“Carolyn, you did a great thing by putting out this book. I know it cannot have been an easy thing to do, but you have left a wonderful legacy for all women as well as the medical profession. I am very happy to have read it and I wish you much success with it.”

  Dr. Ruth Simkin, retired palliative care physician, Victoria, BC

Reviews on social media:

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  Dr. Victor Montori, Mayo Clinic, author of Why We Revolt

♥  Burt Cohen, journalist and founder of

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Marie Ennis-O’Connor, Digital Health Strategist, patient advocate, Ireland

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Dr. Kelli Roig, Cardiac Specialist, Oregon

Screen Shot 2017-11-20 at 4.25.33 PM Review by Toronto journalist Kathleen Dore
And then came this response to Kathleen’s review . . .

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  Susan Kjos, kidney transplant patient

Reviews from Amazon

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Thanks so much to heart attack survivor Jodi Jackson (quoted not once but twice in my book!) for organizing a Facebook contest way back in April – seven months before the book was even available! – that offered a copy of my book as the prize!

Visit the Facebook page for “A Woman’s Guide to Living with Heart Disease”

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