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The Book of Help: A Memoir in Remedies

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  256 ratings  ·  49 reviews
The Book of Help traces one woman’s life-long quest for love, connection, and peace of mind. A heartbreakingly vulnerable and tragically funny memoir-in-remedies, Megan Griswold’s narrative spans four decades and six continents –– from the glaciers of Patagonia and the psycho-tropics of Brazil, to academia, the Ivy League, and the study of Eastern medicine.

Megan was born i
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published January 22nd 2019 by Rodale Books
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3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  256 ratings  ·  49 reviews

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Elyse Walters
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Audiobook, narrated by the author:
Megan Griswold.
Megan is a kick. Her book begins in full swing action... with her zealous, spirited, tireless, energy. She’s a dynamo spitfire.

Once I stopped thinking “is this girl for real?” - I found her nutty book kinda brilliant.

I didn’t know what to make of Megan at first. A friend told me about this book, saying it would make a very fun book club pic. I agree: great data for some meaty and entertaining discussions.
Each chapter focuses on either a new- ‘n
Valerity (Val)
The Book of Help: A Memoir in Remedies

I won this book on Goodreads and it’s certainly a different type of book. Megan grows up with a sort of semi-lapsed Christian Science father. The mother is curious and goes into different sorts of disciplines of enlightenment, shall we say. It’s par for the course for their Southern California New Agey life anyway. Meditation with a personal mantra, and EST Children’s Training, Colors Past-Life Reading, Transactional Analysis. Communication exercises, and mo
Diane S ☔
Not rating it, since I am not finishing it. Just doesn't hold my interest.
Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ok, I have to start off by saying I feel a little guilty for reviewing a memoir. I mean, how can I sit here and critique such a personal story? So I’m not going to give a typical review where I’m making suggestions on what could and should have been included and excluded, but rather I’m going to focus on how it made me feel.

'The Book of Help' by Megan Griswold made me feel less alone. I could relate to Megan’s yo-yo diets of various self-help techniques and the emotional rollercoaster they took
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This was an unusual book. Just as described in the summary, this book is an autobiography of sorts, told through the different self-improvement classes, seminars and events that the author participated in as a child and through her adulthood.

The most interesting part about it was how much she, and her friends and family, seem only to come to begin to understand themselves and their own behavior in spite of all of these classes that are specifically supposed to lead to such self-knowledge.

In so
Lolly K Dandeneau
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
via my blog:
'It’s said when doing anything, a nearly alchemical event happens right around the ten- thousand- hour mark- you become an expert of sorts. So I suppose, in an unintentional way, I will declare myself an expert searcher.'

There is no doubt in my mind that Megan Griswold is an expert in searching for remedies of body, mind, soul and heart. This isn’t your usual run of the mill self-help book eater, nor a woman suddenly entering some spiritual awak
Esther Bradley-detally
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: memoir addicts, health professionals, women, the world and quirky men
I loved this book. I couldn't put it down, but some days I had too. Met her on Monday; saw she was reading; title and description and memoir all called to me. Megan read at Vroman's in Pasadena, last Monday night, and I was enchanted; no matter how much pathos she shared, she wrapped it in a grin and ribbons of cogent wit tied up her package. She is adorable, gutsy, honest to the bone, wondrous, not afraid; plunges into things where others fear too; and she shares. She loves deeply and hard, and ...more
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book
A Fluid Life and an Open, Honest, Hurt Heart
"New Age," Self-Help, traditional, meditation: you name it, she's probably tried it.

A post about a memoir is often, maybe always, going to seem like a judgement on the life described as much as it is about the writing, editing or design of the book. And, so, this one resonated with me — I think most everyone has been betrayed by someone they love, endured difficult familial issues, and/or sought out different wa
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book and could not stop reading. I love the format, the story telling, the vulnerability, the growth, the everything.
Zann Carter
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Copying a recommendation for this book I made in a group:

I just devoured Megan Griswold's The Book of Help / a memoir in remedies. It's her story told in short sections, each one relating to the myriad of self-help, self-actualization methods she and her family tried from the 60s on. I generally don't read non-fiction as quickly as I read fiction, but this book just carried me along.
I think it's because I could relate - while my family was not as involved with so many things, my parents were C
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Prepub (Jan 2019). Megan Griswold grew up embracing various religious and self help practices and tells a humorous/tragic journey of trying to find answers, peace, and love. While this is a memoir, I would almost consider it a self-help book. She learns and teaches the reader about the various practices and new age teachings that she learns. She has an amazing sarcastic voice which made this memoir extremely readable. There were so many great lines and quotes. Just the perfect book for anyone go ...more
Sarah Shatz
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Megan’s stories are a heart-filled workout for our capacity to wonder, empathize, giggle and reflect on our own life experiences. The only equipment needed to read her wonderful book is a box of tissues to help with eye popping anecdotes and the waterworks that arrive just in time for the release you didn’t know you needed. Megan’s pen is her wand into the depths of our hearts. Buy a copy for yourself. And another for your friends, because you won’t want to part with it when you’re done.
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
I admired the author's ability to maintain a balance of skepticism and open-mindedness of the various therapies she describes in the book. While I thought the structure of each chapter being based on a different self-help strategy was an interesting idea, in practice it made it a bit difficult to get back into the book after putting it down for a while. Overall, I thought it was an effective memoir with equal parts humor, self-deprecation, and emotional depth.
Kriz M
Sep 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting √
Kept Me Hooked While Going Through The Various Stories Megan Presented In The Book √
Light Reading √
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaway-winner
I won this book on Goodreads and I’m so happy I did. I enjoyed the journey and highly recommend the book.
Samantha Nowatzke
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Real. Raw. Relatable.

Loved this memoir. Griswold is witty, self-aware, funny, and honest. She takes the reader along her journey of relationships with lovers, family, and friends as well as her expansive search into self-healing and growth. Her efforts are admirable and it was delightful to be able to tag along sometimes laughing, sometimes crying, and all the while appreciating how the book is a great reminder that none of us are in this alone.
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was such a captivating read! This book was different from any other one that I have ever read. Megan Griswold’s writing definitely kept me on my toes, wanting to hear more of her story. The book is very well-written and she definitely has a very unique story that is worth every page! I will recommend this book to everyone I know!
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book of Help & Remedies had me rolling down laughing and other times pillow crying. It is a true story of a woman (Megan) who tries every self-help thing imaginable to help herself navigate this thing called life. Who doesn't want help? She even writes down everything she ever tried. Out of all of her Navigation system, I tried 32 of hers and plenty more of my own. I laughed straight up until Fucking Tim... I'm glad she could find peace with Tim I did not, I think I'm going to buy a voo ...more
Summer Petersen
Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
"I refuse to believe there's something wrong with curiosity. The world is a big place with lots of creative solutions, especially if I look hard enough and stay curious." With this statement, she snared me. I'm a native SoCal girl from the same generation as the author. It goes with the territory here that like a lot of Californians from the last few decades, various family members have tried all kinds of wacky diets, health food fads, new age groups, neo-spiritual practices, even pseudo-Christi ...more
Apr 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: best-self
Not a review...more a reflection.
I liked this book AND I found so much of myself in it, that I didn't like this book. Or rather, it has given me a lot to think about, as well as, the sense that I am not alone, and its reassuring in a sad way. This is not a review obviously. Way too self-centered to be a review of the book. It called to me. I answered. Now I have to decide what to do with the message.

Ok, this is more like a review-review. I admired the author's courage to be vulnerable, sharing v
Kari Janine
I’m not sure why I’m supposed to care about this woman. I’m sorry all that awful stuff happened to her, but awful stuff happens. Wacky, new-age therapies aren’t always the answer. Actually, they’re never the answer.

The style of the book was original, but it didn’t take long for the novelty to be replaced by an urge to find this woman and shake her.
Mostly Book Reviews
Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great littel book, filled with inspiring book about not giving up, and some instructional craftiness! Great book to give to a loved one.
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I started with the e-book but switched to the audiobook as read by the author. I was smitten with the book before even beginning it thanks to the brilliant cover. I mistakenly took it for a book like Amy B Scher’s “How to Heal Yourself When No One Else Can.” It’s really not like that book at all.

In the beginning part of the book, I got a bit bogged down with the details of her childhood and a bit disenchanted with the memoir. The household was so eccentric that I found my interest flagging. Som
Bree Taylor
May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
I wasn't sure what I was getting into when I started the Book of Help. I picked it up thinking it was a way to learn about different remedies from psychological to spiritual. (I somehow missed the "MEMOIR" part in the title.) It was NOT that. But, it is a memoir of a woman who has an interesting upbringing and a very different way of looking at life.

An interesting combination of Eat Pray Love and Glass Houses, Megan Griswold takes us through her complicated life and how she attempted to deal wit
Jen Bojkov
I was unable to finish this one because there were others waiting for it. I don't know if I will go back and revisit it or not. The set up was unique. The author explores all the ways in which she (or her parents) took on various methods, therapies, etc to try and improve herself. Each chapter outlines whatever it is she's trying, how old she was, the duration of the treatment, coursework, workshop, etc. and a description of what it is that is being taught. Then she tells a story about her exper ...more
Sarah Marton
I began reading The Book of Help to stop receiving relentless marketing ads, pop-ups, and other recommendations through social media.

TBoH is cleverly designed around therapies/treatments rather than chapters. At least it was clever until I began wondering whether anyone actually had the time, money, or inclination to experience these remedies.

The story at its core is fascinatingly incomplete in some areas and painfully over analyzed in others. I ended the book feeling much the same as when I fi
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It took me a while to get into, whether it was because of my own tasks on hand or the way its format was divided into bite-sized chunks that you could read (like a study) and then contemplate. Once I got about a third of the way through it, there was no turning back. I read about half of the book in the last 3 days.

Most of the book covers the author’s years from her late teens to early 40’s. Her work, relationships, self-evolvement and yearning for understanding and personal growth. Some humoro
Jun 09, 2019 rated it liked it
This book found me. A Minneapolis friend left it behind in LA because it didn’t fit in her suitcase after receiving it in her GOOP swag bag. If that’s not an origin story I don’t know what is. I loved the format of the short reflections, almost diary like, and the playing with the timeline kept things interesting. At times I kept wondering oh dear white woman, and at other times I thought, are we all on a journey of seeking, of finding? Above all it helped me want to adventure more. For this, I ...more
Deanna Gold
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have tried many of the modalities this author described, and enjoyed her journey very much. However it was way too long- I found myself skimming over sections because they became too tedious. Some of her lines seemed to come right from Eat Pray Love, but I can forgive that, as many of us have been influenced by Elizabeth Gilbert's famous novel. But the editor should have slashed great sections of rambling pages when the story just meandered and became too self-indulgent. Still it was fun and i ...more
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So hard to write a review for a memoir! I really enjoyed the first half of the book. It was funny and awkward and brutally honest. I loved it. It did hit a bit of a slump for me half way through, but i did love the ending. I’ll probably reread again, just because I feel like I know her now and her story is so interesting! I would definitely recommend if you’ve ever been moderately obsessed with finding yourself through new age philosophy and yoga. Lord knows I have.
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“I had grown weary of so many rules. That's the thing about every discipline. There's often a format, a belief that if you don't follow the structure to the tiniest detail, you won't get the maximum value: mantras are private. Om is the most perfect sound in the universe. Never lay a sacred text to chant on the floor. If you are in a seminar, always wear a name tag. Put your name in the upper right hand corner of every essay. Just breathe. No, scream. No, cry or hit something. But don't lose yourself. Never do yoga on the full moon. Walk clockwise around a temple. Don't eat protein and starch in the same meal. Always begin the day with fruit. Don't eat any fruit. Never utter the word of G_d. There is no God. There are multiple gods. To be a good acupuncturist, "check your stuff" at the door. Bring all of you. Never do work on the Sabbath. Don't cary anything in your pockets. Consciousness is constant work. Accept Jesus. Read the Bible. There is no suffering. Acknowledge suffering as a noble truth. Tread lightly on the Earth. Leave no trace. Make your mark. Get noticed. Travel silently through life. Attend to the needs of others. Follow your bliss. Suppress. Express. Withhold. Let go. Let it in. Get off the grid. Join the marketplace. Go toward the light. Hadn't I heard enough?” 0 likes
“I think that's what family is supposed to feel like: a group that works together, regroups together, and helps one another make life a little more comfortable - looking out for those around and among you.” 0 likes
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