75 Books in 2015: February, Part II

41KZt0jTS0L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Still Alice by Lisa Genova (2009)

The movie preview looked so compelling, I knew this had to be on my to-read list. The story was painful and beautiful. Highly recommended.

From Amazon.com: In Lisa Genova’s extraordinary New York Times bestselling novel, an accomplished woman slowly loses her thoughts and memories to Alzheimer’s disease—only to discover that each day brings a new way of living and loving.
Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children and a house on the Cape, is a celebrated Harvard professor at the height of her career when she notices a forgetfulness creeping into her life. As confusion starts to cloud her thinking and her memory begins to fail her, she receives a devastating diagnosis: early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Fiercely independent, Alice struggles to maintain her lifestyle and live in the moment, even as her sense of self is being stripped away. In turns heartbreaking, inspiring, and terrifying, Still Alice captures in remarkable detail what it’s like to literally lose your mind…

51ikBi+Zo+L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_An Anatomy of Addiction: Sigmund Freud, William Halsted, and the Miracle Drug Cocaine by Howard Markel (2011)

I’d give this book a run-of-the-mill-average rating. It was fine. Some of the subject matter was fascinating, some parts fell a little flat, some completely lost my attention.

From Amazon.com: When Freud and Halsted began their experiments with cocaine in the 1880s, neither they, nor their colleagues, had any idea of the drug’s potential to dominate and endanger their lives. An Anatomy of Addiction tells the tragic and heroic story of each man, accidentally struck down in his prime by an insidious malady: tragic because of the time, relationships, and health cocaine forced each to squander; heroic in the intense battle each man waged to overcome his affliction. Markel writes of the physical and emotional damage caused by the then-heralded wonder drug, and how each man ultimately changed the world in spite of it–or because of it. One became the father of psychoanalysis; the other, of modern surgery. Here is the full story, long overlooked, told in its rich historical context.

i-am-legend-novelI Am Legend by Richard Matheson (1954)

Damn good.
I can’t believe I’ve never read this before and I’m not surprised they keep trying to make a movie out of it. I’m also not surprised that book-fans are often disappointed in the movies.

From Amazon.com: One of the most influential vampire novels of the 20th century, I Am Legend regularly appears on the “10 Best” lists of numerous critical studies of the horror genre. As Richard Matheson’s third novel, it was first marketed as science fiction (for although written in 1954, the story takes place in a future 1976). A terrible plague has decimated the world, and those who were unfortunate enough to survive have been transformed into blood-thirsty creatures of the night. Except, that is, for Robert Neville. He alone appears to be immune to this disease, but the grim irony is that now he is the outsider. He is the legendary monster who must be destroyed because he is different from everyone else. Employing a stark, almost documentary style, Richard Matheson was one of the first writers to convince us that the undead can lurk in a local supermarket freezer as well as a remote Gothic castle. His influence on a generation of bestselling authors–including Stephen King and Dean Koontz–who first read him in their youth is, well, legendary. –Stanley Wiater


2015 total books: 21
2015 total pages: 6933


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