Sunday, July 12, 2015

Distiller: Doni Faber
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Cure for: Everything!

The Novel Cure: From Abandonment to Zestlessness: 751 Books to Cure What Ails You
by Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin
Penguin Books
Dec. 30, 2014
(420 pages)

Have you ever heard of bibliotherapy?  It's where you contact someone who is very well read and tell them of a malady you have.  It may be physical like a stomach ache or it may be psychological like malaise.  The bibliotherapist asks you more questions about your reading diet and then prescribes a book (usually fiction) to address your issue.

Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin are bibliotherapists who have prescribed cures for everything from being a dictator (The Successor) to egg on your tie (Restoration.) They operate out of the School of Life in London.

This really is more of a reference book than one that you would necessarily want to read straight through. And I haven't tried any of the suggestions yet, so I don't know how apt they are. One warning: the plot summaries are quite thorough and give away spoilers. But the books were often ones I had never even heard of before, so I enjoyed the broader exposure.

This book inspired me to do a little bibliotherapy of my own. So, from now on, instead of pairing my book with a drink, I will be "distilling" books into ailments and cures.

The Novel Cure is the cure for a little bit of everything. If there's something missing, maybe some of my future reads will help fill in the gaps.


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