The Novel Cure

The Novel Cure

An A-Z of Literary Remedies

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A novel is a story, a collection of experiences transmitted from the mind of one to the mind of another. It offers a way to unwind, a way to focus, a way to learn about life--dis­traction, entertainment, and diversion. But it can also be something much more powerful. When read at the right time in your life, a novel can--quite literally--change it.

The Novel Cure is a reminder of that power. To create this apothecary, the authors have trawled through two thousand years of literature for the most brilliant minds and engrossing reads. Structured like a reference book, it allows readers to simply look up their ailment, whether it be agoraphobia, boredom, or midlife crisis, then they are given the name of a novel to read as the antidote.

Bibliotherapy does not discriminate between pains of the body and pains of the heart. Aware that you've been cowardly? Pick up To Kill a Mockingbird for an injec­tion of courage. Experiencing a sudden, acute fear of death? Read One Hundred Years of Solitude for some perspective on the larger cycle of life. Stuck in a jam? Dip into Yann Martel's Life of Pi. Whatever your condition, the prescription is simple: a novel (or two) to be read at regular intervals and in nice long chunks until you finish. Some treatments will lead to a complete cure. Others will only offer solace, showing you that you are not alone in your feelings. The Novel Cure is also peppered with useful lists and sidebars recommending the best post-breakup books, the top ten books to read in your twenties, the best novels on motherhood, and many more.

Brilliant in concept and deeply satisfying in execution, The Novel Cure belongs on everyone's bookshelf. It will make even the most well-read fiction aficionados pick up a book they've never heard of or see familiar books with new eyes. Mostly, it will reaf­firm literature's ability to distract and transport, to change the way we think about the world and our place in it.

Publisher: Toronto : Hamish Hamilton.
Copyright Date: c2013.
ISBN: 9780670066568
Characteristics: xii, 420 pages ;,24 cm.
Additional Contributors: Elderkin, Susan


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SCL_Angela Jul 15, 2017

The back cover of this delightful book asks: May we prescribe a Literary Tonic? And it proceeds to do just that - recommending reading for everything from "Aging, Horror of" to "Broken China" to "Empty Nest Syndrome" to "Killjoy, Being a". Often just reading the entry is enough to get me out of whatever funk I'm in, but if not, the prescription is usually right on the mark.

Dec 30, 2016

Disappointing overall.

If you read the book cover to cover, you're going to have many, many unread books spoiled. Plot points are revealed, endings, character there's the downside. If you've read every book under the sun, or don't care if books are spoiled for you, then this might be fun to flip through. Or look for entries that discuss books you've read.

I lost patience with it, especially entries that cover more than one book. I ended up reading in snippets. If I wanted snippets, I'd just read stuff online. Not a bad book, I was just expecting something different.

Barbarajean Apr 14, 2015

I was disappointed in this book. In some parts it is very preachy, and the novels it recommends tend to be old classics, or books that are not well known, and are so old that they are no longer stocked at the library.

Bunny_Watson716 Oct 23, 2014

Need a cure for what ails you? Brew a pot of tea, select your malady, and read on to find novels that will help you feel better.

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