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Still Alice

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  323,569 ratings  ·  29,070 reviews
Still Alice is a compelling debut novel about a 50-year-old woman's sudden descent into early onset Alzheimer's disease, written by first-time author Lisa Genova, who holds a Ph. D in neuroscience from Harvard University.

Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children and a house on the Cape, is a celebrated Harvard professor at the height of her career when she
Paperback, 292 pages
Published July 6th 2007 by iUniverse
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ScrappyMags 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 somet…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)

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Average rating 4.31  · 
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Jul 24, 2009 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
Jul 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary, 2013
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
Feb 24, 2009 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: all work & no play makes you poor.On hiatus
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
Ahmad Sharabiani
Still Alice, Lisa Genova

Still Alice is a 2007 debut novel by Lisa Genova, set in Boston. The novel is about a woman who suffers early-onset Alzheimer's disease.

Alice Howland, a 50-year-old woman, is a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and is a world-renowned linguistics expert. She is married to an equally successful husband, and they have three grown children. The disease takes hold swiftly, and it changes Alice’s relationship with her family and the world.

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Oct 19, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Oct 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
Feb 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was a tough read.

Enjoyed it but I think the movie is better!
Dec 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Alice Howland is a well-respected Harvard linguistics professor who, at age 50, finds herself starting to lose her mind - forgetting words, not recalling why she walked into a room, unsure of the recipe for a dessert she’s made for several years. Through a series of doctor appointments and tests, Alice learns that she has early onset Alzheimer’s disease.

In Still Alice, she attempts to cope with this new life along with her family, which includes her husband, her two grown daughters, son, and so
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
"What is having Alzheimer`s disease like from the point of view of the person with Alzheimer's?"

Incredible! - a must read.
Andy Marr
Dec 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating and heartbreaking and without a single wasted word. Incredible.
Aug 16, 2012 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
Mar 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 Professor who hits her 50's with early onset Alzheimer's. I was taken in by this lovely lady, a beautiful character that Genova create
Read this on my birthday while I still have enough marbles to appreciate how well the author illustrated Alice’s gradual disintegration with Alzheimer’s. Alice tried to leave herself reminders and notes, and I suspect I would do the same, but as you lose your memory, you may not trust your former self or even recognise that person, so perhaps it’s pointless.

Alice Howland is only 50, a Harvard professor of cognitive psychology and in a perfect position, one would think, to chronicle how she wil
Gabriela Silva
Nov 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
“... 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 26, 2012 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
Jun 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is one that I still think about to this day. It’s so real and scary at the same time. I cried reading so many parts of this book and it left a profound impact on me and my thoughts as I get older of how external fears are not as great as the fear of losing our minds. I recommend this book.
Jun 09, 2012 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!

Feb 21, 2009 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 27, 2013 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
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
2011 F.A.B. Bookclub pick # I.❤️. F.A.B.

A very sad view of what it’s like being someone who has Alzheimer’s. Alice is a brilliant professor, so she’s quick to notice her own symptoms. The part where her family is discussing her, right in front of her, but not consulting her was heartbreaking. It’s a sad read!
Jul 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Intensely readable, relatable, and devastating. I read this when my children were still so little and I distinctly remember rushing off to the other room every chance I got to read a page here and a page there. Thus began my love for Lisa Genova. 5 stars
Lynne King
Nov 04, 2014 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 produc
Oh my gosh. Why did I do this to myself? Did I just think, "Hey, I haven't cried and felt miserable in a while. I should fix that." Or what?

Yeah, normal Jilly doesn't cry. If I'm really upset I'm more likely to spiral into a dark depression and retreat from everyone and everything. You know, like a well-adjusted person. But tears? No, not a thing. Yet, this book brought a few.

Maybe the old tear ducts need a good cleaning once in a while. It's probably healthy.

Next time, this is how I'll clean th
Feb 23, 2009 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. ...more
Elsa DeGelder
Sep 25, 2012 rated it did not like it
What makes a novel truly good is that it can stand on the quality of the writing alone.
To coast along (saleswise or otherwise) on the coattails of subject matter, is, I think, cheating.
That Still Alice is about Alzheimer's Disease is, I would guess, a good part of the reason that so many people have responded so well to it.
Fair enough: Every reader brings their personal history to every book they read. And if they have witnessed lives of dear ones being derailed by Alzheimer's, they will read th
Apr 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
A wonderfully written book about a heartbreaking subject. I finished this book in under a day and was left emotionally drained but touched in so many ways. I meant to write my review the moment I finished the book as I prefer to do when fresh in my mind. Even though it's been a few weeks I feel this book will stay with me for a long time to come. Strongly recommend for everyone but people who are affected by this disease will also benefit. It made me realize there was so much I did not
Mar 19, 2013 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 01, 2015 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 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I put off reading this for many, many years, and I'm kind of glad I did. Not because its a bad book, no, because its terrifyingly accurate.

I worked for many years in a nursing home, specifically in the dementia ward. It was heartbreaking and incredibly difficult work, but also very rewarding. When this was published in 2007 I was on my way to becoming burnt out. It was hard to work with these wonderful, beautiful people, and to see their minds ravaged by this horrible, insidious disease. I was h
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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, Lisa has captured a special place in contemporary fiction, writing stories that are equally inspired by neuroscience and the human spirit. She is the New Yo

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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.” 271 likes
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