When you think about reading a book about diabetes, fun is not necessarily a term that comes to mind. Informative, well-written and engaging are all terms that might come to mind, but not necessarily fun.
Chuck Eichten's new boldly illustrated guide, The Book of Better, is definitely fun! So fun, in fact, that when I showed it to my husband, he wondered why I was reading a comic book. The book details Chuck's own personal philosophy that when it comes to diabetes, any little bit better is... well, better! Always.
On the first page, in big bold letters, the book states: "Any bit better counts." And Chuck has found some very unique and appealing illustrations, graphics and fonts to help explain exactly how that translates to what you can do to better your own diabetes care.
It's no surprise to learn that Chuck, 49, who has lived with the diabetes since he was 13 years old, is a former newspaper graphic designer and now works at Nike's headquarters in Oregon as creative director in their Archives department. His day job is to help create ways to tell stories about Nike's past, in order to help educate their employees about the company's accomplishments.
So it's fitting that in his free time he would be finding creative ways to share stories about diabetes and dealing with D-devices, blood sugar control, food and exercise — plus all the emotional issues that come along with trying, over and over again, to do things better.
Chuck is not a medical professional, and The Book of Better is definitely one man's personal take on life with diabetes, so some of the stuff might not jive with everyone. For instance, Chuck believes insulin pumps make things much better. As someone who is currently on a pump vacation, I know that's not necessarily true for everyone. But his humorous, self-deprecating, and "tell it like it is" explanations of the intricacies of life with diabetes make it worth the read. More often than not, I found myself nodding my head and thinking, "My husband needs to read this — maybe now he'll understand diabetes!"
The Book of Better is a work of art, with every page containing some kind of graphic or design element. It's hard to talk about the content of the book without also talking about the design. But it's not just pretty and fun to look at. It's also informative, well-written, and engaging! Quite the impressive feat! It might not seem possible that reading about insulin pumps, exercise and the Diabetes Police would make you giggle... but I dare you to read this book without cracking a smile.
On a recent trip to Oregon, I had the opportunity to sit down with Chuck at Nike's campus, close to where Chuck lives with his wife and three kids. He filled me in on the origins of his theme of "Better," the creative process of writing and illustrating the book, and what he's personally working on doing better with his own diabetes.
The Book of Better is available on Amazon for $10.95
The DMBooks Giveaway
Once again we're giving you the chance to win a free copy of our latest book reviewed. If you'd like to win an autographed copy of the The Book of Better, check out the instructions below!
Entering for your chance to win is as easy as leaving a comment.
Here's what to do:
1. Post your comment below and include the codeword "DMBooks" somewhere in the comment (beginning, end, in parenthesis, in bold, whatever). That will let us know that you would like to be entered in the giveaway. You can still leave a comment without entering, but if you want to be considered to win the book, please remember to include "DMBooks."
2. This week, you have until Friday, May 25, at 5pm PST to enter. A valid email address is required to win.
3. The winner will be chosen using Random.org.
The contest is open to anyone, anywhere. Best of luck!