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The Novel Cure: From Abandonment to Zestlessness: 751 Books to Cure What Ails You Hardcover – September 26, 2013


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The Novel Cure: From Abandonment to Zestlessness: 751 Books to Cure What Ails You + The Goldfinch: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction) (National Book Critics Circle Award: Fiction Finalists)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The; First Edition edition (September 26, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594205167
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594205163
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The Guardian (UK)
"An exuberant pageant of literary fiction and a celebration of the possibilities of the novel." --Guardian (UK)

The Economist
"Astute and often amusing . . . a charming addition to any library. Time spent leafing through its pages is inspiring - even therapeutic."

Publishers Weekly
"A delightful reference guide… [Berthoud and Elderkin] tackle serious and not-so-serious ailments with equal verve… elegant prose and discussions that span the history of 2,000 years of literature will surely make readers seek out these books. Taking two novellas and calling the bibliotherapists in the morning sounds welcome indeed."

 Kirkus
"A fine remedy for bibliophiles."

Vogue (UK)
Brilliant . . . A perfect gift


Library Journal
"This appealing and helpful read is guaranteed to double the length of a to-read list and become a go-to reference for those unsure of their reading identities or who are overwhelmed by the sheer number of books in the world.
"

About the Author

Susan Elderkin and Ella Berthoud started giving novels to each other when they met as English students at Cambridge twenty-five years ago. A novelist, travel writer, writing teacher, and fiction reviewer for the Financial Times, Elderkin now lives in Connecticut with her husband and son. Berthoud lives in Sussex with her husband and three girls and paints in a hut in her back garden. They have run a bibliotherapy service out of The School of Life in London since 2008, prescribing books to clients all around the world.

TheNovelCure.com


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Customer Reviews

I had read quite a few already when I borrowed and read the book from the library.
Dorothy Halligan
P.S. There is no table of contents per se for the hardback edition of this book as well as (apparently) the Kindle version.
G. Charles Steiner
Does it make total sense for are looking for an alphabetical list of books to read!
Susanne

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By rosie may on October 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
NB This book is a bit of fun, read it for it what is , it is not a literary dissertation . I often read this book in my lunch break and come back cured of something whatever it is ( my addiction to coffee!!!) The novel cure is a book bursting with lists and names of books for you to read whatever your mood or ailment is, from the mundane of having "constipation" to the ridiculousness of being a "Goody Goody" and seriously feeling like "all hope is lost". These two writers have cleverly created a wonderful labyrinth of authors and titles that is amazingly clever , beautifully compiled with wonderful explanations to accompany it all. I guarantee this book will totally draw you in and increase your literary knowledge whilst at the same time mop up all your emotional needs WHATEVER they are.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Erin Britton on November 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I absolutely love this book! I'd always suspected that a favourite book can be good for what ails you but with The Novel Cure Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin have conclusively proved that, for every possible malady, irritation or quirk, at least one novel exists that is sure to alleviate all symptoms. Whether your issue is "idiot, feeling like an", "mundanity, oppressed by", "stagnation, mental" or even "constipation" then the answer to your problems can be found here. Of course, Berthoud and Elderkin can't actually make you read the sections that would benefit you the most - I'm sure I'm not the only one to skip over "book-buyer, being a compulsive" after all - but after reading (or even skimming) The Novel Cure you're bound to pick up a bit of fortuitous wisdom for life, the universe and everything as well as significantly expanding your "to read" list. The Novel Cure is a beautiful, fascinating book and would make a perfect gift for the bibliophile (hypochondriac or otherwise) in your life.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By G. Charles Steiner TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This review is for: The Novel Cure: From Abandonment to Zestlessness: 751 Books to Cure What Ails You

This is a disappointing book at 400 pages and 26 bucks plus tax and/or shipping for the hardback, but probably not so much of a disappointment with the Kindle at less than half the price of the hardback. However, you will not find Shakespeare or Chaucer here. They are of no help to you psychologically (apparently) since they did not write novels.

I did not even find my own favorite authors here: Anais Nin, Anna Kavan, Alberto Moravia, May Sarton, Ayn Rand, Gertrude Stein -- and they did write novels. Jack London gets one mention. Herman Hesse gets one mention. Willa Cather gets one mention. D. H. Lawrence gets a whopping two references!

The scale of ideas here is mostly superficial since it mixes important issues like loneliness, aging and suicide with trivial matters such as what books to read on a train or what books to read when you have a headache. All these topics are all one continuum to these authors. There's a silly, humorous flavor to the whole book.

And what's worse, at least for this reader, is when these bibliotherapists prescribe a novel for a serious issue, they provide breezy Reader's Digest-like plot summaries -- spoilers! -- such that the final result is repulsion and disgust, although these bibliotherapists have a novel prescription (no pun intended) for that issue as well. Seriously, they do.

Here's a pathetic prescription made by these authors: have you suffered the loss of a limb? Read "Peter Pan" and learn to wear your hook -- or prosthetic -- with pride!
Read more ›
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Susanne on March 27, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I find this book just positively delightful. Not only delightful, in its format - ie with titles like "Ten Best Books to Read
in a Hammock". . .but the writing itself. But beyond delightful, this book would seem to be an essential addition for anyone who's a voracious reader of novels. I read the customer reviews - it looks like people either love it - 5 stars; or find the organization really not helpful - which equals two stars.

I am totally taken in by the way the authors have organized the book. Does it make total sense for are looking for an alphabetical list of books to read! Heck no. But what a way to come across a beloved author - or an author totally unknown to me. I've been dealing with alot of loss this past year and found several authors totally new to me under
headings like "Caring for someone with cancer". And the sheer joy of seeing a list of authors listed under "The Ten Best Novels to read in the Bathroom". . .with the authors ranging from Kurt Vonnegut, through Raymond Chandler, J.M. Coetzee, Italo Calvino and Samuel Beckett. . .well, how can you help but love IF all you get is a laugh, that's great - but I'm finding alot of books I'd never have tried.
I am of course reminded of Nancy Pearl's indispensable books - Book Lust, and More Book Lust; Pearl divides books so well based on genre. . .and based on whether a reader likes "plot driven" or "character driven". I think The Novel Cure belongs on the bookshelves of anyone who finishes one novel, looks up and says "Now what - a familiar name or
shall I find someone totally new?"
I've
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