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The Novel Cure: From Abandonment to Zestlessness: 751 Books to Cure What Ails You

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  1,716 ratings  ·  360 reviews
The Guardian (UK)
"An exuberant pageant of literary fiction and a celebration of the possibilities of the novel."

A novel is a story transmitted from the novelist to the reader. It offers distraction, entertainment, and an opportunity to unwind or focus. But it can also be something more powerful—a way to learn about how to live. Read at the right moment in your life, a nove
Hardcover, 420 pages
Published September 26th 2013 by Penguin Press (first published August 1st 2013)
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3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,716 ratings  ·  360 reviews

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i made a booknerd giftgiving list over on riffle! enjoy!

bibliotherapy is the self-help application of readers' advisory. i did the whole library science schooling thing, with a specialization in readers' advisory, for which it seems i have an aptitude (summa cum laude, bitches!), but we never once talked about bibliotherapy, so this was an interesting book for me to read. practitioners of readers' advisory train in how to help someone select a book for th
Amalia Gavea
This is a book that had been waiting patiently in my TBR list and I had been waiting for the right moment to start reading. I wanted to be focused, my mind concentrated, because the concept of the book- a combination of feelings and daily problems and the way they are depicted in various novels- was so interesting and unique. However, when that moment came, I discovered that this was a self-help book (or an attempt to create one) and an overall disappointing read.

What I liked was the snippets of
A good book, read at the right moment, should leave you uplifted, inspired, energized and eager for more. With so many books to choose from, what’s the point of reading even one more that leaves you cold?

For anyone new to the concept of bibliotherapy or interested in finding out more, this is a learned and at times tongue-in-cheek book of advice about what fiction to read if you’re suffering from any sort of malady – physical, psychological, or imagined. (Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin are two
Diane S ☔
Aug 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
I love the idea of a book doctor, one who prescribes fiction as an antidote for many of lives ills. This is a book about books, tells one what books to read if one is feeling a certain way or facing a certain challenge. Not only does it names the books but it describes why that particular book was picked. Many classics, many I never heard of and too many that I added to my TBR.

Well written, loved the layout of the book and how it is presented. This is a book I will probably buy as it is a great
Jan 26, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
I was trying to stubbornly work through this despite the fact I found it incredibly condescending and tone deaf, but this sealed the deal. On being broke, seemingly written by someone who has never even brushed poverty:

Finally, return to The Great Gatsby and do what James Gatz should have done: inhabit and accept your impoverished self and find someone who loves you as you are. Then quit wasting money on lottery tickets, downsize, and learn to budget. If your job still doesn’t bring in enough fo
Mar 17, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 0-uk, ebook
Finalmente l'ho finito! Dopo quattro anni! Beh, ho finito di leggere il libro, ma non la mia sfida di "curarmi" con i libri. In sé il libro è troppo lungo e noioso. Sì, alcune volte è divertente, ma alla lunga stanca. Devo però ammettere che mi ha fatto scoprire autori e libri che non conoscevo (alcuni molto validi), e mi ha dato un motivo per leggere finalmente libri che avevo da lungo tempo nella lista desideri. Spero di riuscire a leggere tutti i libri inseriti nella recensione ma la vedo dur ...more
Oct 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great idea for a list book! Do you have a problem? Are you listless, bored, sad, unemployed, ill, just lost the love of your life....? There is almost assuredly a book, a very good book, to see you through your problem time and help you come smiling out the other side. Conversely there are books to help you, the unsuspecting reader, avoid pitfalls others have been snagged and tripped by, suffering along the way.

Ella Berthoud provides dozens and dozens of books to assist us all on our paths throu
Apr 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
An A-Z Guide to reading for what ails you.

If you asked me for a book recommendation for someone who was depressed I could easily find one in non-fiction that would fit the bill. I could choose from what the reader needed, an explanation of the causes, perhaps a memoir by someone who's been there or some type of self-help book. But what if I wished to help someone find fiction that would aid in helping that person feel better? The Novel Cure: From Abandonment to Zestlessness is just that; a nove
Serena.. Sery-ously?
Questo libro è fighissimo ma ATTENZIONE: se non volete trovarvi la wish list che si allunga la notte.. non leggetelo!!
Me lo aspettavo un po' diverso, invece sono rimasta piacevolmente sorpresa dalle due autrici, che spesso si rivolgono direttamente al lettore come se stessimo facendo due chiacchere viso a viso e dalla "familiarità" che ci accoglie leggendo questo libro.. Insomma, una specie di rimpatriata letteraria!!
Mi è piaciuto molto il fatto che più di una volta io abbia avuto l'impressione
May 12, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I liked the general idea of a novel cure, books for all circumstances and troubles. From the titles mentioned I found the ones I have already read fitting the relevant problems. A bit odd I often thought the lists of the 10 best books in a certain situation.
I read the German translation of this book and noticed something quite curious: the German version only lists 253 books whereas the English one lists 751. And not all of the ones from the English version appear in the German but were replaced
“Sick? Tired? Lost your job? Take one dose of literature and repeat until better.”

I would like to be known as a Bibliotherapist; it is on my twitter profile so it must be true. I received this book for Christmas from the most amazing person (my wife) and now I finally have the textbook to officially hand out some bibliotherapy. You have a shopping addiction, please go away and read American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis (that’s what it recommends); I can tell you after that book you’ll not want to
Diane Barnes
Sep 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm going to review this book now, even though I have not read the whole book yet, because it is quite possible I may never finish. By that I mean that it will stay on my bedside table to be perused when I have a few minutes to spare for some witty and passionate synopses of books I would like to read, or have already read, or to put in the hands of friends who need to read them. I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway, and was very excited to find it in my mailbox. I love books about books, and ...more
Quanto le parole (e i libri) possono lenire,
possono essere balsamiche, analgesiche, sedative, euforizzanti , antipiretiche persino blandamente antibiotiche

Questo libro è un ironico manuale che contiene tantissimi rimedi ,sperimentati e di provata efficacia ,per numerosi malanni e diversi disturbi di lettura
C'è tutto quanto , indicazioni, modalità di somministrazione consigliate , interazioni ;
dai classici, consolidati, ricostituenti
ai tonici omeopatici contemporanei
dai balsami balzachiani
Jun 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
A biblioterapia é uma "actividade" que começa a ganhar cada vez mais adeptos. Acho que qualquer leitor comprova as capacidades "medicinais" que certos livros exercem em nós em determinados momentos da nossa existência.
Aqui encontramos várias sugestões (a juntar ao número infindável de listas de livros para ler que a maioria dos leitores ávidos tem) para curar maleitas, estados de espírito e afins...
Este livro, em si, já é um remédio. Aconselho vivamente a qualquer apaixonado da leitura a lê-lo,
Great concept and easy format makes this readers' book a pleasurable read. I did not always agree with some of their Cures but did have a good time thinking of different or more fitting books for various Ailments.

A solid addition to any library.
Bah, “Curarsi con i libri”, sembrava allettante. In effetti nel Prontuario medico libresco ci son libri per rimedi di ogni genere. Fisici, psicologici, sociali, non scendo nei dettagli. O magari sì: Libri contro l'impotenza, il priapismo, la sfiga, l'abbattimento, il cuore spezzato, il bullismo, l'avidità, la mancanza di denaro, l'arrivismo, il vittimismo e chi più ne ha, più ne metta. Ci sono anche i dieci migliori libri per fasce d'età o situazione(per ventenni, trentenni, centenari e tutte le ...more
This book is a great reference for mood reading, an art in which I specialize :D
Jan 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
È stata una scorpacciata di letteratura! Originale nell’associare alcuni libri alle tematiche ordinate alfabeticamente. C’è molta letteratura angloamericana moderna, che a me quasi sempre non piace, ed è per questo che gli affibbio 3 stelline.
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

"One sheds one’s sicknesses in books—repeats and presents again one’s emotions, to be master of them." —D. H. LAWRENCE, The Letters of D. H. Lawrence

I loved this book! It took me about two months to read, and it's the first reference work I've actually read from cover to cover! I made just about 600 highlights and countless number of notes throughout my reading. It was hilarious, charming, and made my pile of books to-read much larger. I really appreciated their compilation of lists for everyth
♥ Ibrahim ♥
This book reminds me of devotional books we would get and keep handy in order to get a dose of inspiration. Sometimes these books did a good job, other times they were just trying to hard, poor thing! But this book brings out the the best novels to you, uses them in dealing with common issues such as abandonment, adultery, etc. and shed the light on what these novelists have to say, allow the characters to mouthpiece the author's wisdom, and generally it is sound wisdom, down-to-earth, and you d ...more
Nov 01, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Un libro (antologia?) piuttosto furbo, il cui unico interesse è quello di proporre liste infinite di libri interessanti.

Diciamo che offre infiniti spunti di lettura, ma che la lettura del testo, di per se stessa, non è questo granchè. Non è nemmeno terribile se è per questo, ma alcune "malattie" lasciano perplessi (e che palle tutti quegli orgasmi, averne troppo pochi, sesso, farne troppo o troppo poco, flatulenze ?!?) e anche alcune cure proposte.

E odio le liste tipo "i dieci migliori libri per
Jun 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
Awful waste of time for me. I got a few suggestions but none excite me. And I was reminded of a few older books I want to read, but those didn't seem to be, imo, apt cures the for the condition tagged. I have plenty of books on my shelves, and I keep getting charmed by the shiny displays at the library, and when I read a good book I add the author's oeuvre, *and* goodreads has far too many ways to get recommendations. Why do I continue to read books like this? I must stop.

EtA: So, I did the rese
Jan 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant book. Aesthetically it looks great, it's well written and it has hundreds of ideas for new books to read. This is a really interesting concept, using books to cure ailments, from the silly to the serious. There are book suggestions for just about anything and I think I'll be dipping in and out of this for many years to come. Very much recommended.
Pamela Colin
"No es fácil sacar tiempo para leer, así que no querrás desperdiciarlo ni siquiera en libros normalitos. Busca la exce-lencia en todas tus lecturas."

Para mí definitivamente no es un libro que puedas leer de corrido, sin embargo, no estaría mal tenerlo como un libro de cabecera.

Su estructura son palabras de la A a la Z, y estas palabras son: sentimientos, dolencias, transtornos, etc., que suelen pasar los seres humanos. Y cada palabra viene acompañada de una recomendación de algún libro que tra
Sep 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I was fortunate enough to receive this novel as a part of the Goodreads First Reads and I couldn’t be any more ecstatic. This novel, set up like a reference book, is a read for book lovers. Whatever your ailment, you can look it up and find a recommendation of what would be best suited. My first reaction when I got this book was to flip through and find some of my “ailments.” While I found some great book recommendations in relation to my ailments, my favorite part are the nice lists with quirky ...more
Sep 24, 2013 rated it liked it
As someone who writes a lot about bibliotherapy over on my blog, I knew I had to read this!

First of all, the hardback edition is beautiful. It seems destined to be the ultimate coffee table book: it's sturdy, eye-catching and clearly quite intellectual. Inside the book, the pages are alphabetically structured in a way that makes it so easy to flick through without feeling overwhelmed by text, and the 464 pages do not seem at all dense or crowded.

Now, to the important stuff. Firstly, I didn't exp
Che volume esaltante! Le autrici individuano tutta una serie di malattie che possono essere curate tramite la lettura di specifici libri (il tutto in chiave ironica, chiaro). Niente di fenomenale, ma un'occasione per parlare di molti libri in modo magari anche un po' inedito. Il libro è organizzato in modo alfabetico e anche se non consiglio comunque di leggerlo come se fosse un romanzo o un normale saggio, devo dire che è difficile mollare la lettura dopo solo due o tre malattie! Ovviamente è a ...more
Arun Divakar
May 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
Ailments both physical and mental have a cure in books and that is an idea that I can attest to from personal experience. The physical ailment side I am not very sure of but mentally one can find a great deal of solace, comfort and much needed distraction in books. The authors come up with an alphabetical arrangement of ailments and their recommendation of books as cures for them.

Beyond this there was very little that aroused curiosity, interest or excitement in me. There were lists of books but
Mij Woodward
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this collection of recommendations of novels. Based on some of their blurps, I have added eight books to my "to read" list here on Goodreads.

However, the proof is in the pudding. I will revisit this review after I read each of those eight books and see how their recommendations hold up.

For now, I am just grateful for some ideas about what to read. I love that.

Anche questo è un testo che non si finisce, ma non per gli stessi motivi di cui direi dei libri di Pema Chodron. Questo non si finisce, come non si finisce un dizionario: ogni tanto lo si apre a caso e si da' una sbirciata, al limite.

Puo' essere utile per scovare qualche titolo sconosciuto: mi ci sono affidato e devo dire che non ho preso male, anche se il libro letto faceva riferimento ad un concetto che non ho poi ritrovato cosi' prepotentemente. Ovviamente la soggettività delle coltissime re
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Bibliotherapy (the novel cure) 1 10 May 14, 2015 02:48AM  
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Ella Berthoud started reading on a journey from Tehran to London, on the parcel shelf of a Wolsey 1300 when she was five. She spent the next thirteen years reading books in inappropriate places like ski-lifts and trampolines. She studied English Literature at Cambridge University, where she read as many novels as she could at once. She continued on to University of East London where she studied Fi ...more
“The revisiting of an especially admired or loved book can become, perhaps, a five-year ritual, marking the passage of time in your life, helping you to see how you have changed, and how you have remained the same. Do not go always rushing after the new. Like the best friendships and wine, the best novels get better over the years.” 2 likes
“In many ways sci-fi is a natural progression from the magical worlds we inhabited as children. Speculative fiction opens up parallel universes to which we can escape and exercise our love for all things beyond our ken. close off these speculative worlds at your peril.” 2 likes
More quotes…