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Still Alice

4.3  ·  Rating Details ·  233,145 Ratings  ·  23,292 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 (first published 2005)
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Kendal Stoneystreet Definitely! In the film there are a few events that are missing, some unimportant but some that I feel actually contribute to the plot. Also, although…moreDefinitely! In the film there are a few events that are missing, some unimportant but some that I feel actually contribute to the plot. Also, although the book is told in 3rd person, Alice shares her opinions and it helps you become more emotionally involved to the story and enlighten how a person suffering from Alzheimer's disease views their situation. (less)
Maggie There's some verbal irony I suppose if you look at Alice as being "down the rabbit hole" so to speak - that rabbit hole being Alzheimer's. Maybe…moreThere's some verbal irony I suppose if you look at Alice as being "down the rabbit hole" so to speak - that rabbit hole being Alzheimer's. Maybe something about that journey. As Alice Howland discovered with her disease things get "curiouser and curiouser" but not in the whimsical, positive way of AIW. However, I've heard TONS of symbolism theories for AIW, and subconsciously there could've been a tie. Interesting question. You have me thinking. Darn you. Haha(less)

Community Reviews

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Jun 22, 2011 Annalisa rated it it was amazing
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
Emily May
Apr 16, 2016 Emily May rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, contemporary
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 li
Mar 01, 2009 Shannon rated it it was amazing
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 smoke fish no cigar
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
Raeleen Lemay
Sep 12, 2015 Raeleen Lemay rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
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.
Oct 23, 2014 Eve rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, read-2014
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
Jan 08, 2010 deLille rated it liked it
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
Aug 05, 2016 Noeleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Gabriela Silva
Feb 03, 2016 Gabriela Silva rated it it was amazing
“... 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 life
I would definitely recommend. Just GO read this book.
Jun 25, 2015 Suzanne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, leant, favourites
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
Feb 21, 2009 Debbie rated it really liked it
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
Dec 30, 2013 Jason rated it liked it
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
Aug 16, 2012 Ruth rated it liked it
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
Feb 23, 2009 Barbara rated it really liked it
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
Nov 09, 2014 Lynne King rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 10, 2014 Sharon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, own-read
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
Aug 13, 2012 Averil rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 15, 2015 ❀Julie rated it really liked it
This book was very unsettling but I think it's a book everyone should read. I liked how it was written from the perspective of Alice. I think seeing her experience her memory loss through her eyes made it feel more realistic and left a stronger impact. Even though it was difficult to get through some parts, I like how she takes a gentle approach to the difficult topics. She enlightens the reader on the subject matter but also does an amazing job of expressing her characters’ most candid thoughts ...more
Jun 12, 2015 Carol rated it it was amazing
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!

Dec 31, 2015 Rosie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an amazing book. I can't believe it took me so long to read it! I think Lisa Genova does a wonderful job of portraying what Alzheimer's Disease would be like and how a person with Alzheimer's is still a person with wants, likes and dislikes. I felt for Alice and all the members of her family. I was so moved by this story that I cried in parts. There is a good balance between the science and facts about the disease and an actual storyline. I have a whole new understanding of the disease. ...more
Oct 17, 2016 AMEERA rated it it was ok
wasn't good but ok
Feb 13, 2016 Becky rated it really liked it
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 *trains flying monkeys*
Jun 01, 2010 Shelby *trains flying monkeys* rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2010
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.
May 12, 2012 Judy rated it really liked it
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
Sep 27, 2016 Fahime rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: فیدیبو
آلیس هولند، استاد روانشناسی پنجاه ساله ی دانشگاه هاروارد مبتلا به آلزایمر زودرس می شود. آلیس تدریس می کند، پژوهش می کند، در کنفرانس های مختلف سخنرانی می کند. علاوه بر این، آلیس مادرِ سه فرزند است... حال با آلزایمر چکار کند؟ کتاب، روایت مواجهه ی آلیس و خانواده اش با آلزایمر است.
مادربزرگ من آلزایمر دارد. خوب می دانم آلزایمر بر فرد و خانواده چه تأثیراتی دارد. اما همیشه برایم سوال بود که آیا فرد مبتلا به آلزایمر فراموش کردن را به یاد می آورد؟ می تواند جای خالی خاطرات را احساس کند؟ آلیس در ابتدا نوع
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
Nina (Every Word A Doorway)
Hands down one of my favourite books on mental health ever. To this day, I still consider Still Alice to be Genova's most outstanding work.

Still Alice is a perfect balance between fiction and science. Genova's writing is wonderful to read, and she breaks down hardcore neuroscience to a comfortable and understandable level. Her characters are engaging, especially Alice. The plot is quite gripping despite the obvious direction the story is going to take as Alice's mental health declines and her me
Chantal  (Every Word A Doorway)
Still Alice was undoubtedly an excellent book and one I would recommend to everyone. It truly gives you a lot of insight into the mind of someone living with Alzheimer's and you can tell extensive research went into it, both from an emotional and scientific perspective. The writing style was very simplistic and sometimes didn't flow very well which bothered me at points, but at the same time I also believe that this was the only writing style fitting for the story. It reminded me a bit of Little ...more
Jan 28, 2015 Aditi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-reviews, family
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
Kimberly Whitney
Feb 24, 2009 Kimberly Whitney rated it it was amazing
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
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Lisa Genova graduated valedictorian, summa cum laude from Bates College with a degree in Biopsychology and has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Harvard University. Acclaimed as the Oliver Sacks of fiction and the Michael Crichton of brain science, she is the author of the New York Times bestselling novels Still Alice, Left Neglected, Love Anthony, and Inside the O’Briens.

Still Alice has spent 59 weeks
More about Lisa Genova...

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“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.”
“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.” 234 likes
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