First she thought she had bed bugs. Then she thought she was overworked. A friend suggested that she might have bipolar disorder. After a month of tests totaling almost a million dollars, Susannah Cahalan drew a clock at the request of the doctor. The drawing showed that her brain was inflamed.
Cahalan, a journalist, chronicles her journey from sane to manic to catatonic and back, relying on interviews with family and friends to shed light on the month she can hardly remember in her new book, Brain on Fire.
Read our interview with Cahalan at BookPage.com and check out this interview style trailer where she elaborates on her month of madness:
What do you think about Cahalan's experience? What are you reading right now?
Oliver Burkeman wants us to rediscover the power of negative thinking in order to reach our goals.
If this logic seems strange to you, Burkeman just might convince you otherwise in his new book The Antidote.
Burkeman’s book is indeed a witty antidote to the shelves of self-help books that don’t seem to help anyone but their authors; but it also has a serious purpose. Embracing uncertainty and detaching from our monkey-minds may help us become happier.
Do you believe in a negative road to happiness? Will you give The Antidote a try?
The title of Sally Koslow’s book says it all: Slouching Toward Adulthood: Observations from the Not-So-Empty Nest is an investigation into the “adultescent” phenomenon. Koslow, a mother of two “adultescents” herself, explores the reasons behind the growing population of college graduates moving back home. Her findings reveal that prolonged dependency might not just be the young generations fault, but also the fault of their helicopter parents.
We have been drunk— not on alcohol, but on unreasonable expectations. For our lost kids at home, it’s time to dry up and move out.
Do you have any "adultescents" in your life? What are you reading this week?
Before they moved to France, Karen Le Billon's children were picky eaters. A year later they were eating beets, broccoli, spinach and even mussels. How did the family manage this elaborate change? Because French Kids Eat Everything.
Karen Le Billon outlines the eating habits and rules of French families, like no snacking between meals and no emotional eating (but how else do you get a toddler to stop crying?). Le Billon doesn't glorify French eating like many other books on the same subject. Instead, she tells us how she used French tools to maintain healthy eating habits back in North America and how we can too!
Check out this trailer put out by William Morrow:
Be sure to check out the rest of the parenting books in our August issue!
What do you think about French Kids Eat Everything? What are you reading this week?
A Century of Wisdom tells the story of Alice Herz-Sommer, a woman who is inspiring both for what she has survived, and how she continues to live. Reviewer Sukey Howard writes:
Alice Herz-Sommer is 108 years old, the oldest Holocaust survivor and the oldest living concert pianist. She still plays the piano every day, she still laughs and still believes that life is a gift.
Does Alice Herz-Sommer inspire you?
When I moved to the South when I was 12, it was the first I had ever heard of revivalist churches or speaking in tongues. Holy Ghost Girl by Donna Johnson takes that controversial sector of American religion and sticks it all right on the page.
As a young girl, author Johnson became a part of cult leader David Terrell's traveling ministry when her mother became his organist. Traveling around the country with Terrell, she “witnessed miraculous healings, speaking in tongues and the casting out of demons.” It was an unstable and wild childhood that Johnson now presents with a "clear-eyed and compassionate view." Read more in our review.
It's both historical and personal, and it sounds just like the type of memoir I'd enjoy.
Holy Ghost Girl comes out this Thursday, October 13. Are you interested in learning more about growing up under a revival tent?
I know I posted a trailer (for the movie of The Help) just a couple hours ago, but since today is Trailer Tuesday, why not post two?
This trailer for John Pollack's The Pun Also Rises is seriously cracking me up. Join the author on a "pun safari" and spot all the cheesy/hilarious puns on the streets of NYC:
The Pun Also Rises went on sale last week, and we have a web-exclusive review by Jillian Quint on BookPage.com:
While the master punster might consider himself a-word winning and totally wit the times, apparently the trend in contemporary humor is to maintain that we’ve long ago out-groan such base verbiage. Or so says John Pollack in his new book The Pun Also Rises, which seeks to explain, esteem and indeed redeem the age-old act of wordplay. [Continue reading this review.]
Cultural commentator Sarah Vowell has tackled topics ranging from Puritans (The Wordy Shipmates) to the murder scenes of American presidents (Assassination Vacation).
Her latest book, Unfamiliar Fishes, takes readers on a romp through Hawaiian history. The book's on sale next week and you can catch a review in the April issue of BookPage—but why not take a few minutes now for this video preview?
Having never been to Hawaii, I will admit that I was unfamiliar with the "plate lunch" tradition. I suspect that we can look forward to more educational/amusing anecdotes such as this one in Unfamiliar Fishes.
What's your favorite book by Sarah Vowell? Read a review in BookPage of Assassination Vacation, and also let us know: Have you seen any good book trailers lately?
When we posted about Ron Chernow's biography of George Washington back in April, we wondered if there is really more to say about our first president, especially after Joseph J. Ellis' 2004 biography, His Excellency: George Washington.
Washington: A Life comes out today, and BookPage reviewer Roger Bishop puts our doubts to rest, writing that the biography is "magnificently written, richly detailed and always compelling."
If you're a history buff, how's this for a recommendation?—"We now know more about [Washington] than his family, friends and other contemporaries did."
For a taste of the book, watch Chernow (winner of the National Book Award in 1990) give some biographical details on Washington:
Will you check out Washington: A Life? What book trailers have you watched recently?