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Still Alice

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4.26 of 5 stars 4.26  ·  rating details  ·  115,546 ratings  ·  12,680 reviews
Alice Howland—Harvard professor, gifted researcher, and lecturer, wife, and mother of three grown children—sets out for a run and soon realizes she has no idea how to find her way home. She has taken the route for years, but nothing looks familiar. She is utterly lost. Medical consults reveal early-onset Alzheimer's.

Alice slowly but inevitably loses memory and connection w...more
Kindle Edition, 234 pages
Published (first published January 21st 9)
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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
    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 SockieX
    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, 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...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 h...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
    deLille
    Jan 08, 2010 deLille rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
    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
    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
    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
    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.
    Averil
    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
    Kimberly Whitney
    Feb 24, 2009 Kimberly Whitney rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
    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
    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
    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
    Judy
    May 12, 2012 Judy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
    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
    Sharon Ader
    The subject matter of this book (Alzheimer's Disease) made it a very difficult book for me to read. The author, who is a Harvard trained neuroscientist chose to write this fictional book from Alice's point of view. Most books written about Alzheimer's is from the caregivers point of view. I believe that because of her background, and the book being recognized by the Alzheimer's Association, her description of what life is like for a victim of early-onset Alzheimer's is as close to factual as one...more
    Kathy Kilen
    This book has changed me. Lisa Genova's writing style is wonderful- I feel more informed, aware, sensitive and moved by being engrossed in Alice's life and experience. As a nurse, I am a better caregiver from reading this book. As a nurse educator, I will use some brief passages from the book to help my students' understand and develop caring approaches to their clients and families. And sadly, as a niece, granddaughter and great-grandaughter of women who have suffered from Alzheimers Disease,...more
    Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
    Alice is a Harvard professor, published author, and nationally respected expert in her field of study. Early-onset Alzheimer's disease nails her in mid-career and is especially devastating to her self-esteem because so much of her identity is wrapped up in her intellectual gifts and stellar memory. The story follows the gradual deterioration of Alice's mental capacity, and the attendant frustration and heartache for Alice and those who love her. There are also small triumphs along the way. Alice...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
    Doug Bradshaw
    I'm 57 years old and sometimes forget things, especially names of actors, sometimes I can't quite come up with the right word, like I couldn't think of the word "modest" the other day. And so, reading this book about dementia was very enjoyable and insightful, even though it paints a painful picture of the reality. I loved the first person perception of what's going on, for example, when she first gets lost near her home. It was so well written I almost wondered if the author had had many of the...more
    Olga
    As highly recommended as this book is and as much as I wanted to read it, it took me a good while to muster the courage to actually do it. I was intimidated by the subject because I lived for a year with a family where the elderly grandmother had Alzheimer's, and even though there was much I didn't understand I witnessed first-hand how traumatic her condition was for the entire family. Finally I decided to just go for it, and when the novel was over I sat there for a while, heartbroken, not know...more
    Tania
    This is an amazing journey into someone's life who is slowly losing her mind. Lisa Genova does a brilliant job of showing us exactly what it would be like descending into this hell that is Alzheimer's. This book also looks at how her family responds, and how difficult it is for them to see her degenerate like this. I learned so much about this disease, but it never felt like I was being fed facts, it formed a natural part of the story. I really felt for Alice and ended up crying quite a bit thro...more
    LemonLinda
    I reread this in 2011 for a local book club discussion and can honestly say my opinion and review as written in 2010 stands as follows:

    Dr. Alice Howland is a highly respected Harvard professor in the Psychology Department specializing in psycholinguistics. She is also the much loved wife of Dr. John Howland, also a Harvard professor, and mother of three, Anna (a Harvard educated lawyer), Tom (a Harvard educated doctor) and Lydia (an actress who thus far has chosen not to attend college). Alice i...more
    Lee Anne
    Before I read a page of this, knowing it was about early-onset Alzheimer's, from the victim's point of view, I imagined it would be like Flowers for Algernon, like by the end of the book, there would be nothing, text-wise. Wrong.

    Then, I started reading, and I have to say, it starts a little clunky: places are over-explained, there's a lot of awkward phrasing. So I figured it would read like what it was: a formerly self-published book by a neurological wonk who'd never written fiction before. Wr...more
    Dawn Critchfield
    Still Alice by Lisa Genova is more frightening than a Stephen King novel. Genova is brilliant as she takes you into the mind of Alice, a fifty year old Harvard professor with early on-set Alzheimer's disease. The author hones in on the little day to day nuances of forgetfulness that make you question your own brain and its fortitude. My favorite part of the book is when Alice is referring to her Harvard colleagues and their reactions to her newly diagnosed disease. In my opinion, this very quote...more
    Beth
    Loved this book - so moving and so well written.

    Alice Howland is a Harvard professor with a great career, three beautiful healthy children and a husband who loves her. At about age 50 she notices that she has started forgetting things and initially thinks that her memory loss might be attributed to menopause.

    It turns out that Alice has early-onset Alzheimer's Disease and her struggle to cope with it, and her family's struggle to accept the diagnosis and cope with the disease is so vivid and pain...more
    Malissa
    Haunting
    Compassionate
    Disbelief
    Self-pity
    Acceptance
    Heartbreaking
    Emotionally draining yet fulfilling
    I haven't had a good cry like that of what I experienced as I read this book. My heart truly ached for John and Alice, and their three children.
    For Alice - because she realized the whole time what was happening; she realized the need to fight and yet she knew it was a losing battle. However, in some ways she was victorious over the disease.
    For John - because his manhood, his very life, was threatened...more
    Bridget
    This book really affected me emotionally. Like, really affected me. Like, I very nearly cried on the Metro during one scene and I absolutely sobbed for the last 25% of the book. I'm not sure why, exactly. My mother's grandmother had Alzheimers disease for at least a decade, but while I loved my Grandma Rose, I wouldn't say I was especially connected with her at the time of her death. (To be fair, and so I don't seem like a total dick - I was 14 and living at boarding school. Wait, I'm not sure t...more
    Lucy
    Like Flowers For Algernon and The Bell Jar, I found Still Alice to not only be an interesting novel about mental illness, but felt that its scope pushed it beyond entertainment, even beyond its own story and into the realm of important fiction. Lisa Genova’s Still Alice is not my first exposure to Alzheimer’s disease. I noticed with sadness the withdrawal of President Ronald Regan's visibility. I’ve read and watched Nicholas Spark's The Notebook (which probably doesn't count). And while I’ve tha...more
    Diane S.
    4 1/2 What a powerfully insightful but sad book about a Harvard professor who has early onset Alzheimers before she is fifty. Asks the questions what makes a person and what is left when that person is different.
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    topics  posts  views  last activity   
    Did it leave you unsettled too? 51 471 Sep 22, 2014 09:21AM  
    Worth the Read: Still Alice: September 2014 5 16 Sep 12, 2014 06:10AM  
    The ending and John 1 54 Jun 16, 2014 11:18PM  
    What did you think of the end? 6 101 Jun 16, 2014 07:38AM  
    Joyce's Reading Log: Still Alice by Lisa Genova 1 5 May 17, 2014 01:55PM  
    Still Alice - Help! (SPOILERS) 85 938 Mar 29, 2014 05:36AM  
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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. It has been translated into 25...more
    More about Lisa Genova...
    Left Neglected Love Anthony Lisa Genova Box Set: Still Alice and Left Neglected Inside the O'Briens On Pluto: Inside the Mind of Alzheimer's

    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.” 125 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.”
    104 likes
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