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Still Alice

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4.29 of 5 stars 4.29  ·  rating details  ·  167,051 ratings  ·  18,338 reviews
Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At fifty years old, she’s a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a world-renowned expert in linguistics with a successful husband and three grown children. When she becomes increasingly disoriented and forgetful, a tragic diagnosis changes her life--and her relationship with her family and the world-- ...more
Paperback, 292 pages
Published July 6th 2007 by iUniverse
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Annalisa
After you read this, you will never look at Alzheimer's the same again. Nor will you ever forget it. Oh the irony.

I'd always correlated Alzheimer's disease with old age and heard the best way to combat it was to exercise your brain. I do my fair share of reading, can solve a Sudoku puzzle faster than 98% of the population, and I shun mindless chick flicks for your more intelligent thrillers, but I'll never be as brilliant as Alice, a 50-year-old Harvard professor diagnosed with early-onset Alzhe
...more
Emily May
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 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
...more
Shannon
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, ...more
Petra X
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 that more just shared names and a title. June 2015
_____

Still 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, li
...more
Cheryl
The Postscript offers A Conversation with Lisa Genova:

What is STILL ALICE about?

The book is about a young woman's descent into dementia through early-onset Alzheimer's disease. Alice is a fifty-year-old psychology professor at Harvard when she starts experiencing moments of forgetting and confusion.

As Alice loses her ability to rely on her own thoughts and memories, as she loses her cerebral life at Harvard, where she'd placed all her worth and identity, she is forced to search for answers to q
...more
Eve
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 ha ...more
deLille
Jan 08, 2010 deLille rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People living with Alzheimer's
Recommended to deLille by: Theone Rutledge
Shelves: medical
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 been more effective.) I felt that I was reading nothing more than ...more
Noeleen
It's difficult to write that I really enjoyed Still Alice considering the subject matter, which is not an easy one to read about. Lisa Genova has provided a really insightful and intuitive account into the world of the early onset of Alzheimer's Disease. This is a very well written book and rather than it being told in an overly dramatic way, which could have been the manner some authors may have approached the story, Genova related it in a most respectful, considerate and compassionate manner. ...more
Debbie
Fifty year old Alice Howland, a world-renowned expert in linguistics and a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. Still Alice is the story of the unraveling of Alice's life as her disease progresses.

I started out not enjoying this book. The author's main character wasn't very likeable – she seemed too focused on how smart she was and how important and prestigious her job was, but I was quickly won over. Lisa Genova wrote from Alice's perspect
...more
Hunger For Knowledge
This book made me sad, perhaps it even took few of the screws out of my well sealed and protected heart.

Still Alice is one of those books that is not extraordinary well written. In fact, it's a book with a writing that contains a lot of elements I don't usually enjoy. It was simplistically stiff, not always very flowing yet it was capable of captivating my interest in ways I consider to be quite rare for me.

I am not sure why Still Alice had such an strong impact on me. Was it because there has
...more
Suzanne
I chose to read this book whilst taking a break from a very heavy read. What a great choice.

It seems I'm behind the eight ball again, having only just read my first novel by this outstandingly talented author.

What an inspiring, emotional and ultimately rewarding read, on a topic that is real and wretched and terribly sad.

Alice is a brilliant and gifted Harvard Processor that hits her 50's with early onset Alzheimer's. I was taken in by this lovely lady, a beautiful character that Genova creat
...more
Jason
I avoided this book for a long time, though I’m not exactly sure why. I think the premise (or at least what I understood to be the premise) reminded me of a book I read last year that was so horribly executed I felt very little inclination to get into something similar again. Who wants another lousy memory loss story, anyway? Well, put me in the “wrong again, asshole!” category because where the first book failed, converting an otherwise interesting idea into cheesy mindless schlock, this one de ...more
Barbara
I couldn't put this book down. And, I agree with other reviews of this book that it was heartbreaking. But, I saw something else in this story. Pain and heartache and change comes into everyone's life in some form and not everything that comes from that is bad. Genova does a good job of showing the devastation in Alzheimers but also the beauty in redefined relationships.
Lynne King
There are an estimated five hundred thousand people in the United States with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease (as at 2007 when this book was first published). Early-onset is defined as Alzheimer’s under the age of sixty-five. Symptoms can develop in the thirties and forties.

Having worked in the pharmaceutical industry, I’ve always been interested in disease, genetics, clinical trials and finally being able to see, after so many years of research and many failures included, a medicinal product
...more
Sharon
Alice Howland is a fifty years old and is a psychology professor at Harvard University. Her career keeps her busy with teaching, speaking, engagements and plenty of research. She is married to John and they have three adult children who also lead busy lives.

During Alice's busy schedules she starts to notice that she is having moments of forgetfulness. She puts this down to stress, lack of sleep or perhaps the start of menopause. As the weeks pass by things start to get worse so Alice makes an ap
...more
Ruth
I wanted to like this book, I really did. I picked it because my mother suffered from dementia and I expected to relate to it.But I almost gave up on it in the first few chapters. Good writing is of paramount importance to me, and the writing here, while not godawful, has first book written all over it. Way too many "information drops," where the author tells us all about something or somebody in a chunk of info instead of just letting it unfold in naturally ocurring parts of the story. I'm glad ...more
Ave
I have never, in all my reading years, sobbed quite so much or ached as deeply as I did while reading Still Alice. I am sobbed out, hollowed out.

My beloved Nanna was only diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in the last year or so and thus, the reading of this novel took on an even more personal meaning for me.

Lisa Genova's expert and exquisite depiction of Alzheimer's disease (in Alice Howland's case - early onset) is riveting, enthralling, and breathtakingly tragic. This book reads as a thrille
...more
Carol
What a great heartfelt book. Takes you into the world of dementia and the frustrating lives of those with Alzheimer's, and at the same time, keeps you interested in the characters and plot unable to put the book down.

Update: June 12, 2015 Finally watched the movie......thought book was so much better!

Becky
I bought this book in June of 2009, and since then I have picked it up or at least thought about reading it about 200 times. But every time, I couldn't do it. I knew it would hurt, and I knew it would scare me, and I knew it would make me feel like every little thing I forget or misplace, and every time I lose track of time or just fall into a daze while driving a route I take all the time and suddenly look up to realize I'm there, and have no memory of the getting there... I knew that this book ...more
Shelby *wants some flying monkeys*
This book scared me. I'm just a few years away from the age that Alice was in this book. I felt her emotions as she realized that soon she would be a different person. I cried when she opened a file that she had sent herself and couldn't remember doing it. I don't want to say what the file contained and spoil the story. Heartwrenching and powerful book.
Kimberly Whitney
Feb 24, 2009 Kimberly Whitney rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: yes
Recommended to Kimberly by: my mother
Having this diease affecting my husbands mother (frontal lobe dementia; onset at age 58) this book shed a lot of light on some things for me. I do not have a medical background, and I had not spent much time with my mother-in-law because we have not lived close to each other, this book helped me to understand better what exactly she is going through.
Some of the situations Alice experiences brought back some memories of things my mother-in-law had done in the past, signs that possibly we chalked
...more
Judy
May 12, 2012 Judy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone with even an inkling about Alzheimer's Disease
Recommended to Judy by: YLTO monthly read
Dear potential reader of Still Alice,

You are considering reading this book for one or more reasons. Perhaps, a friend recommended it. Maybe you are hoping to learn more about Alzheimer's Disease. It might be you just want to know why everyone is talking about it. I don't know your reason(s), but if you want to know the answers to the following questions, read it.

*Can genetic testing determine if you will get Alzheimer's?
*Does Early-onset Alzheimer's differ from Alzheimer's Disease?
*What is it li
...more
Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈

Read a book that made you cry.

This was really a beautiful book. And I am so full of emotion and tears, and feels and OH MY FREAKING GOD WHAT HAS THIS BOOK DONE TO ME?

I read Genova's other book Left Neglected a few years ago, and while I remember enjoying it, it in no way made any sort of lasting impression on me. Still Alice is about a woman who is dealing with early onset Alzheimer's Disease. And that is probably one of the most tragic things that can happen to a person. At one point, Alice beg
...more
Dem
Still Alice by Lisa Genova is a beautifully written, heartbreaking novel about the devastating affect Alzheimer's has on its victims and their families.

I wanted to read this novel for a long time and had nominated it at local book club but now after reading it I am glad it was never chosen as I really think this is a book you personally choose to read because of the difficult subject matter, and the fact that so many people have family members who suffer from Alzheimer's may find this a very dif
...more
LeeAnne
Still Alice
by Lisa Genova




"Forever is composed of nows.” ― Emily Dickinson


A few facts about Alzheimers

* Dementia and Alzheimer's is now the leading cause of death for women in England and Wales.

* Two thirds of the population suffering from Alzheimer's are women.

* Out of approximately 5.4 million Americans with Alzheimer’s, more than half do not know they have it.

* Nearly half of all adults over the age of 85-years have Alzheimer's.


About the Author:
Lisa Genova has a Ph.D. in neuroscience fr
...more
Aditi
Alice: I miss myself

----Julianne Moore, as Dr. Alice Howard in the film Still Alice

Honestly speaking, I never heard of this book until I watched the movie, Still Alice, directed by Wash Westmoreland and Richard Glatzer. Soon after, I purchased a paperback copy of the book online and read it, and that is when I realized that I missed those clever undertones of Lisa Genova, hence I had to watch the movie one more time.

The American author, Lisa Genova, created a masterpiece with her heart-wrenchi
...more
Jenny
This book was great. If you have gone through Alzheimer's Disase before with a loved one, you will recognize and love this character. The twist is that she has early-onset AD, so she is only 50 years old, her children are grown and she has a successful career. This was a great book. The story was great, the characters seemed real and believable, the writing was clear and direct. In fact, it reminded me a lot of Kite Runner because there too I just loved the story and the characters, but the writ ...more
Elaine
Alice is 50, a respected Professor of cognitive psychology at Harvard University, extremely happily married and a much loved mother. We join her as she starts to get a little forgetful, nothing too serious – she loses things and occasionally words “are on the tip of her tongue” but then she gets lost just around the corner from home. We then follow Alice through the diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimers Disease and the impact it slowly has on her, her career and her family as bit by bit her mind s ...more
Charlene
This was a sad story. It wasn't particularly well written but it was hard hitting, despite shying away from the possible ending which was alluded to several times during the narrative.

I wasn't fond of the author's narration at first, but it did grow on me.

Surprisingly, despite the degradation of Alice's mind and memory, there were some good things that came out of her Alzheimer's disease. I think that's one of the components that made this seem more like a non fiction story at times. This book a
...more
Camie
I have read plenty of thought provoking books and very rarely does one move me to tears, however this story about 50 year old Harvard linguistics professor Alice Howland , who is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease , had me sobbing out loud. Written by a neurologist who has obviously done extensive homework, it not only includes a lot of information but also takes you on an almost too realistic journey into the emotional devastation of this heartbreaking disease. It was easy to unders ...more
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978484
I'm a Harvard-trained Neuroscientist, a Meisner-trained actress, and an entirely untrained writer!

My first novel, STILL ALICE, winner of the 2008 Bronte Prize, nominated for 2010 Indies Choice Debut Book of the Year by the American Booksellers Association, and winner of the 2011 Bexley Book of the Year Award spent over 40 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. There are over 2.1 million copi
...more
More about Lisa Genova...
Left Neglected Love Anthony Inside the O'Briens Lisa Genova Box Set: Still Alice and Left Neglected Lisa Genova Ebox Set: Still Alice, Left Neglected, and Love Anthony

Share This Book

“She liked being reminded of butterflies. She remembered being six or seven and crying over the fates of the butterflies in her yard after learning that they lived for only a few days. Her mother had comforted her and told her not to be sad for the butterflies, that just because their lives were short didn't mean they were tragic. Watching them flying in the warm sun among the daisies in their garden, her mother had said to her, see, they have a beautiful life. Alice liked remembering that.” 187 likes
“You're so beautiful," said Alice. "I'm afraid of looking at you and not knowing who you are."
"I think that even if you don't know who I am someday, you'll still know that I love you."
"What if I see you, and I don't know that you're my daughter, and I don't know that you love me?"
"Then, I'll tell you that I do, and you'll believe me.”
179 likes
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