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Are You My Guru?: How Medicine, Meditation & Madonna Saved My Life Paperback – Bargain Price, September 7, 2010
All Books, All the Time
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The second book from the author of The Fat Girl’s Guide to Life (2004) finds Shanker at peace with her weight but battling a far more serious problem: an autoimmune disease called Wegener’s granulomatosis that attacks the vascular system. Shanker’s life is completely changed by the disease, which gives her agonizing joint pain and breaks down the cartilage in her nose. When Western medicine—which offers steroids and chemotherapy to treat symptoms and control flare ups—proves to be insufficient, Shanker attends a healing retreat in New Mexico to detox her body and hopefully receive spiritual guidance she can believe in. Throughout it all, Shanker holds to the words of her idol, Madonna (whom she meets professionally on several occasions), who tells her before an interview to “be brilliant.” Whether she’s describing giving herself an enema or the pain and frustration of a Wegener’s flare-up, Shanker doesn’t hold back. Her candid, introspective look at her battle with the disease, as well as the way she keeps her spirits up, is downright inspiring. --Kristine Huntley
About the Author
Wendy Shanker is the author of The Fat Girl's Guide to Life and a contributor to The Modern Jewish Girl's Guide to Guilt. She's also performed standup and two acclaimed onewoman shows.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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Author Shanker has written a hilariously upbeat and inspirational memoir/self-help book about her struggle with a) body image and b) her health and c) both.
While I was expecting alot of humor in this book, I was also amazed at how honestly and POSITIVELY Shanker talks about her situation and, in fact, manages to turn a scary event into one of opportunity - to discover and to grow - to invest some serious time in the "me" and figure out just what works and doesn't and more importantly how you relate to your own life.
I have long been fascinated by "alternative therapies" and the healing powers that lay within them. Shanker uses this premise and goes one step further - she incorporates these practices into her life - coupled with western medicine in order to get better both physically and mentally.
I have always believed that if your mind is ill - then it will manifest itself in your body - and this book has proven me right. It has also proven to me that we are all searching for something that, for the most part, remains elusive - until we are open enough to truly appreciate it.
I loved the writing - it was touching in its optimism and "never give up" attitude. I loved that Shanker admits that while her health was a concern - so was her body image - that good old body image that none of use can ever seem to shake :(