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The Book of Help: A Memoir in Remedies

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3.73  ·  Rating details ·  704 ratings  ·  115 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
...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published January 22nd 2019 by Rodale Books
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Average rating 3.73  · 
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 ·  704 ratings  ·  115 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
...more
Diane S ☔
Not rating it, since I am not finishing it. Just doesn't hold my interest.
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
...more
The Starry Library
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
...more
Melise
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
...more
Lolly K Dandeneau
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/
'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
...more
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
Stephanie
Aug 18, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a very interesting memoir. I loved the set-up, how each chapter was a different self-help technique that the author was trying; There were a lot that I had never heard of that were interesting. Megan's family dynamic was interesting and SO different from what I grew up with. I was fascinated. It was funny but also heartfelt and thought provoking. Really enjoyed this. This books will count for my NEWTs 2019 for an O in Herbology (still need to read my E!) for a "book with a flower on the ...more
Stephanie
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book
A Fluid Life and an Open, Honest, Hurt Heart
http://fangswandsandfairydust.com/201...
"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
...more
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
...more
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.
Emily
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.
Mallory Flynn
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I don't think I've ever sobbed more when reading a book in my whole life. Newly 30, struggling with the complete inability to give in and trust a partner enough to move for them, to fully commit and jump in... I was touched by this book over and over and over. It was absolutely painful, but absolutely worth it and it both comforted and saddened me to read someone's pain with such detail. I am trying to take all the lessons she shared and all of the hardships she faced with me in my future t ...more
Jamie K
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Pretty much loved everything about this one. The way it started with the long list, and how I got to the first chapter and thought “ohhhh that’s how this book is going!”. Starting each chapter with the short bits of info. Short bites that were each chapter. All leading up to the last chapter which was the perfect end to the book. I don’t know what else to say about this one except I wasn’t sure what I was in for when it started, but the journey was interesting and you’ll learn about many forms o ...more
Kimmy
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, first-reads
I went back and forth between mildly enjoying and really disliking this book. It was tough to get into, I think mainly because of the format that it's written in. It's divided up into chapters based on what self-help topic the author was into at that time of her life and each chapter begins with a quick assessment of where her life's at at the moment. This includes quick facts such as relationship status, location, cost of the self-help nonsense she's currently into, and humiliation factor of a ...more
Lottie
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 part is more like a review-review. I admired the author's courage to be vulnerable, shar
...more
Kerri
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.
Rebecca
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 √
Rebecca
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.
Kelly
I mostly skimmed this one when I realized after 50 pages the style, voice, and writing were very much not going to connect with me. It wasn't what I thought it would be. I'd hoped for some more actual insight into the practices but there was very little of that. Stalking God: From Laughing Yoga to Burning Man, My Unorthodox Search for Something to Believe In did it better. ...more
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.
Nicole Rawling
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a book where you either really understand where the author is coming from and love it, or you may not enjoy it at all.... I LOVED IT! I really enjoyed the author's honesty and humor while writing about the ups and downs of her life (so far). I found myself inspired (and madly underlining) many words in this book that I will, undoubtedly, return to again and again. I feel like she may be my soul sister!
Martha
Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
funny and sad at the same time - memoir of a woman who tries everything she can find to support her efforts to be a better human - she has some great self deprecating humor in her telling of her fascinating life story. An editor should have cut out a bit, but mostly an interesting read!
Gretchen
Oct 22, 2019 rated it liked it
3.25? I think worth a read for anyone who has an interest in self-help, or deeply personal memoirs. I appreciated Griswold's candor and I liked the structure a lot, although I did at times wish for more of the nuts and bolts of various practices, and while she acknowledged her privilege and role in dabbling in other cultures somewhat, I would have appreciated a more nuanced discussion of both of those aspects of her life.
Paula Lyle
Apr 02, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
I found this book to be compelling reading, but I'm not sure I liked it. I found her constant searching to be unproductive and her constant need to be kind, self-destructive. I do hope she has found a good place.
Susan
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!
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
Jodell
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: angsty, true-story
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 voodoo ...more
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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?” 1 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.” 1 likes
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