About Me

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Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Teaser Tuesday - Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Alice Howland is at the top of her game. At just fifty years old she is a highly respected and accomplished professor of cognitive psychology and linguistics at Harvard University. She and her husband, also a researcher at Harvard, enjoy busy professional lives and the satisfaction of watching their three grown children get established in their own careers.

And then the downward spiral begins. Alice loses her Blackberry constantly, she forgets why "Eric" is on her to do list, she becomes disoriented on a familiar run and struggles to find her way home. At first she blames over scheduling and work demands. Then fears a brain tumor or complications of menopause. In short order she is diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer's disease. Still Alice is her story about her day to day struggles to maintain a normal life and cheat this debilitating disease out of one more victim. (Image- Blue Morph's Butterfly by Fran Henig)

Teaser Tuesday is described by its host Miz B over atShould be Reading as a "weekly bookish meme" open to any reader who wants to play along. If, like me, you're always curious about what people are reading or on the lookout for the next great read, then this may be your meme. If you want to play, just click on Miz B's link above for the very simple rules.

Still Alice

by Lisa Genova

"Alice placed her fingers on the top of her sternum and rubbed the blue paste stones on the wings of her mother's art nouveau butterfly necklace. . .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." p. 112

Book Description: Of all the books written about Alzheimer's disease, most deal with either treatment or the care giver's issues. Still Alice is different in that it is fiction and the story is told from the perspective of a person who is young enough to share what it means to be diagnosed with a disease of the elderly. We get a fascinating behind the scene look at the steps in diagnosis, the strategies one woman uses to maintain control of her normal functioning for as long as possible. We also witness what it means to gradually lose everything you value--ability to communicate, to work, make decisions for yourself, be in control.

If you are the care giver for a family member or friend who suffers from Alzheimer's, or you fear the disease for yourself, read this book. It's a fast read because you won't want to put it down once started. For sure you'll understand the disease a lot better. Here's a brief comment from the author about why she wrote a work of fiction about a very real disease:


Marg said...

Sounds like a touching memory to hold onto.

Here is my teaser for this week.

dale said...

Such wonderful post this is! I am much inspired form it.

Sayre said...

I think to say that I loved this book isn't exactly right. It made me uncomfortable and sad, as at the time we were reading it, there was some suspicion that my mother was perhaps at the beginning of that slide. It turned out to be something else, but having that thought and reading this book at the same time was a bit uncomfortable. At the same time, it was interesting to see from the other side.

Georgia Girls said...

This is on my Best Books list. I found it amazing how she wrote it from the inside out. Who actually knows what an Alzheimer patient is thinking or experiencing?
P.S. Craven and Durex? Cigarettes and condoms :)

kaye said...

that's true. Kaye—the road goes ever ever on

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I really want to read this one...I think I've put it off until now because the thought of this disease is so frightening....

I have this author's next book, Left Neglected, on my Kindle.

Time to grab this one. I love the teaser...so poignant.

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