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Is my identity something that transcends neurons, proteins, and defective molecules of DNA Is my soul and spirit immune to the ravages of Alzheimer s I believe it is. I read this book for three reasons 1 I have never read a book about Alzheimer s disease, 2 For personal reasons, I have an interest in Alzheimer s, and 3 It has an incredibly high average rating on goodreads That being said, I have to confess that I didn t really go into this expecting to like it I picked it up from the library so I wouldn t have to spend money on it and so I could return it quickly when I realised it was nothingthan the regular Nicholas Sparks style melodramatic chick lit I started it with a bored sigh, thinking I would soon be putting it aside to distract myself with the internet or any of the million TV shows I m currently trying to keep up with But something unexpected happened.This is not chick lit, whatever you want to interpret that to mean It isn t melodramatic or emotionally manipulative It isn t the Alzheimer s equivalent of the standard forgive me cancer book Instead, this is a deeply moving psychological portrait of a woman s deteriorating mind and how this gradually affects her relationships with the people around her It s about an intelligent woman suddenly finding that she can no longer rely on her mind, she tries every day to hold onto her memories, her sense of understanding, and we are taken on a terrifying journey into what it must be like to know you are slowly losing pieces of yourself day by day I have no desire to trivialize cancer or any other disease, I have lost several people I ve loved to cancer and know how horrible it is But Alzheimer s is a whole different type of monster There s one part of the book where Alice says she wishes she could swap her disease for cancer and then instantly feels bad about it, but I understand where the feelings come from With cancer, you can fight There s chemotherapy, radiotherapy and yes, they don t always work, but you can go down fighting With Alzheimer s, there s still no way to fight it, no chance of overcoming the disease The diagnosis carries a tragic hopelessness with it, because all you can do is sit around and wait for your mind to deteriorate Sometimes you can really tell when an author knows their subject and, in my opinion, it makes all the difference I recall Split by Swati Avasthi in particular and the way the author s background working with abuse victims helped her have a deeper understanding of the characters she was dealing with and the story she was telling Genova holds a Harvard PHD in Neuroscience and there is a surety and confidence in her scientific explanations of the disease that makes this fact evident in her writing She knows the small details of what she s talking about and so the bigger picture is naturallyconvincing.On a personal note, there is a history of Alzheimer s in my family I don t understand it enough to know whether it s genetic or a coincidence that many of the women on my mother s side have suffered from the disease I do know my mum is afraid of it, though she doesn t talk about it often But every time she forgets where she put something she was holding just minutes ago, every time she reaches for a word a word she uses every day and it slips away, just out of her grasp, every single time she wonders if it s a sign of somethingserious than getting older and having a busy schedule It s this small scale stuff that makes the novel so terrifying We could all be Alice We all forget small things every day, that s just a fact and it happens to everyone, but what if one day those forgotten memories don t come back straight away And the next time, what if they go a bit longer The progression from the small things to theserious stages of the disease is truly scary.This book is frightening on both a biologial and psychological level When I think of Alzheimer s, I think of forgotten memories, of faces you can t put a name to, of everyday places that seem unfamiliar But the author s haunting descriptions of the biological truth are entirely different and frightening on a whole new level I don t think about what is really happening in the brain, neurons being destroyed bit by bit, dying someevery day, eroding pieces of who you are Memories, for me, are those things that disappear for a while but come back to you later But Alzheimer s doesn t make you forget memories, it goes in and completely destroys them As if they were never there.And that is the important question for Alice how much can she lose and still be herself If our entire personalities are built from memories, sensory experiences, from the things we ve said and done, who are we when we no longer remember any of that How can you make today matter when tomorrow you won t even remember it It s a sad book but it doesn t fail to leave you with a glimpse of light in the darkness too But I ll leave you to find out what that is for yourself.The final comment I d like to make is not so much a criticism of the book but a comment on what I d personally like to see on this subject in the future As I said at the beginning, I ve never read a book about Alzheimer s before and I may be missing a very good one that already exists, but I kept thinking while reading this that I d like to read a story about someone who wasn t as successful as Alice Alice gains comfort from the fact that she has had a fantastic career, a husband who loves her, and three intelligent children She s obviously right to cling to all the good things in her life, but I wonder how the story would be different if told about a man or woman without Alice s financial prosperity There has to be so many different stories and experiences to be told about this disease and I suddenly find myself wanting to readof them.Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube Store I spent the last hour trying to convince my family to put aside the trashy entertaining movies they usually watch and watch the movie adaptation of this one instead as if they ll ever read the book LOL But as soon as I mentioned Alzheimer, they started to lose interest I m guessing it s like that for other people too Please don t think that this is just about a disease and that it s going to be super boring and textbook y It s about so muchfamily, love, what it means to live a meaningful life, the pieces that hold us together I learned so much from this book and enjoyed it thoroughly, and you guys know how rarely I read adult fiction Hope to break that cycle soon. I give this book 5 stars not because its an amazing piece of literature but because of its impact on me I can t stop thinking about it and when I was reading it I couldn t put it down It is the story of Alice, a brilliant professor of cognitive psychology at Harvard and a world renowned expert in linguistics who discovers she has early onset Alzheimer s disease This book is beautiful and terrifying ringing true in every word To quote a reviewer, with a master storyteller s easy eloquence, Genova shines a searing spotlight on this Alice s surreal wonderland You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to read this book It will inform you it will scare you It will change you It has changed me. Update I just watched the film It was very moving, an awful depiction of a terrible disease I forget words I worry that maybe I don t even want to think of it Good as the film was, it wasn t as good as the book It could stand alone though as a separate work thatjust shared names and a title June 2015Still Alice reads like a memoir of Alzheimer s disease written by a family member but is in fact the first novel by a neuroscientist who, apart from being a great deal younger, lives the successful life of a top academic, as does Alice.The book is unputdownable I read through the night dawn came and went and still I couldn t put it down but I don t really know why The writing was ok, a bit heavy handed at times, the denoument was predetermined and inevitable but still the book was as gripping as any top ten thriller Perhaps it was the progress through a disease that strikes at random and about which we know almost nothing from the sufferer s point of view Lisa Genova self published the book and it has reached the rank of 150 in books onWhen I see a self published book with 10 or 15 glowing reviews, mostly written by people who ve never written a review before, I think they are probably the author s friends and dismiss the review in favour of one by an independent publication if there is one But when a self published book attracts 190 reviews and a 5 star rating, I know that the book is definitely worth considering, not just for my own reading pleasure but also to order for my bookshop This book isthan worthy of consideration, its ourselves, our families as we might be, and its a good read too. No one understands the high stakes associated with making a book recommendation like a serious reader, especially when it s to a good friend, co worker, or family member Books that we love say a lot about our personalities, things that we re passionate about, and even shed light on our past experiences good and bad That s a lot to share with someone Along with that pressure is the fear of introducing the wrong book to the wrong reader, or getting the timing wrong What if they absolutely hate it Where does that leave us The flip side is equally scary When someone you esteem recommends a book that they hold dear, and upon reading it, you find that you hated it, that can make things a little awkward How d you like that book I loaned you might just be the subject of your recurring nightmare I ve sometimes found myself wondering, Why on earth would this person think this book would speak to me Obviously we re not as close as I thought we were I exaggerate, but no one understands these common reading kerfuffles like readers do It s why I struggle to keep silent when I see someone bypassing a book I thought was brilliant and on sale, no less at a bookstore I want to run after them and say, Put that corny romance novel back and take this It changed my life It s also why I try to avoid talking to strangers in bookstores who want to unload all their favorites on me without knowing a thing about me On several occasions, I ve dutifully waited until said person cleared out of the store before returning Jimmy Buffet s latest book to its shelf, along with the copy of Zane s current bestseller I m not knocking them, I just know what I likeand it s not that This summer when I was shopping for books at a local thrift store, a woman shoved Still Alice into my overflowing shopping cart I was a bit annoyed She didn t know me All she kept saying was that if I hadn t read it, I needed to Apparently, it had changed her life There in that aisle, a complete stranger started talking to me about caring for her mother who had Alzheimer s, and how this book turned the tables by giving the reader the perspective of the victim of the disease Before I knew it, I was sharing my story about my grandmother, and her current battle with ALS, an equally progressive degenerative disease with no cure Talk about books bringing people together Though I didn t get her name, I left the store with this book based solely on that woman s recommendationand I absolutely loved it I wish I could tell her how right she was This book hit a raw nerve, and really took me out of the caregiver role in order to focus on the real heroes battling neurological disorders every day What must it be like to wish for a logical disease that one could fight with medication or radiation One particular question that Alice, the protagonist, asks really struck me to the core Is the part of my brain that s responsible for my unique me ness vulnerable to this disease Or is my identity something that transcends neurons, proteins, and defective molecules of DNA Is my soul and spirit immune to the ravages of Alzheimer s I m going to be as equally pushy as my nameless thrift store friend Read this book Don t make me chase after you, because I wear my running shoes to the bookstore nowadays That is all. The biggest problem with self published work is the lack of an editor who tells you how to go from good to great Still Alice has a wonderful premise let s tell the story of Alzheimer s from the patient s point of view, but somehow the book sounds like a professor telling you the Alzheimer s story from a patient s point of view, rather than having the patient tell her own story Using first person rather than third would have beeneffective I felt that I was reading nothingthan an extended patient case study in a research journal Additionally, the character of Alice blurred with the author s identity at times I found myself asking, Who s really telling the story here, Alice or Lisa Genova Or, one minute you felt like you were inside Alice s head, you really knew what she was thinking, but then the frame of reference would shift to being outside of her observing from someone else s perspective I never totally felt connected with Alice as a real person.I thought that the supporting cast around Alice could have been better developed, but her children were fairly one dimensional people and her conversations with them were about one subject only given that the children had only one thing that defined each of them i.e., having a baby, auditioning for a play The one relationship that rang partly true was the one she had with her husband, who waffled between wanting to do his best to support his wife but also feeling that he needed to look after his own interests given that Alice might not be around in his future His practicality tended to overrule his emotions, which is typical in many men.Having lived with Alzheimer s in my family, I felt that the book glossed over some really hard hitting aspects of Alzheimer s While it touched on the concept of suicide, the book sidestepped the issue by making Alice unable to find her pills when she momentarily realized that the time had come Therefore, the book was able to end with Alice presumably slipping away into oblivion in the arms of a warm, loving, happy family Ha My own personal experiences with Alzheimer s would suggest that this is not an accurate portrayal of what it feels like to actually DIE of Alzheimer s I felt bad that Alice had been unable to find her pills and therefore would have to go through something that she when she was still lucid enough to write her thoughts down had adamantly expressed that she did not want to have to deal with. This was a very powerful book I had never really intended to read this, but after watching the movie recently, I couldn t resist I would definitely recommend both the book and the movie, but read the book first if you don t want to spoil the experience for yourself The way it s written really adds a lot of feeling to the story. *Free Pdf ☚ Still Alice ↝ Still Alice Is A Compelling Debut Novel About AYear Old Woman S Sudden Descent Into Early Onset Alzheimer S Disease, Written By First Time Author Lisa Genova, Who Holds A Ph D In Neuroscience From Harvard University Alice Howland, Happily Married With Three Grown Children And A House On The Cape, Is A Celebrated Harvard Professor At The Height Of Her Career When She Notices A Forgetfulness Creeping Into Her Life As Confusion Starts To Cloud Her Thinking And Her Memory Begins To Fail Her, She Receives A Devastating Diagnosis Early Onset Alzheimer S Disease Fiercely Independent, Alice Struggles To Maintain Her Lifestyle And Live In The Moment, Even As Her Sense Of Self Is Being Stripped Away In Turns Heartbreaking, Inspiring And Terrifying, Still Alice Captures In Remarkable Detail What S It S Like To Literally Lose Your Mind just because butterflies lives were short didn t mean they were tragic See, they have a beautiful life Lisa Genova, Still Alice Strong message Made me cry and think about the lifeI would definitely recommend Just GO read this book. This book is one that I still think about to this day It s so real and scary at the same time I cried reading so many parts of this book and it left a profound impact on me and my thoughts as I get older of how external fears are not as great as the fear of losing our minds I recommend this book.