Thursday, April 13, 2017

Still Alice - #BookBeginnings on Friday and The #Friday56

     Written in 2007, STILL ALICE is as relevant today as it was ten years ago. Author Lisa Genova takes her readers into the mind of Dr. Alice Howland, a Harvard professor diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's Disease. The story is an unforgettable look at this devastating disease.
     I saw the movie several years ago (starring Julianne Moore), but the book offers so much more detail. By the way, although the paperback edition of the copy I have was published by Simon & Schuster, the author says in her "A Conversation With Lisa Genova" appendix that she self-published Still Alice because she "... knew it would take years to find a publishing house" and she "...felt an urgent responsibility to get the book out immediately." So many wonderful books start with self-publishing!

Book Beginning:
September 2003
    Alice sat at her desk in their bedroom distracted by the sounds of John racing through each of the rooms on the first floor. She needed to finish her peer review of a paper submitted to the Journal of Cognitive Psychology before her flight, and she'd just read the same sentence three times without comprehending it. It was 7:30 according to their alarm clock, which she guessed was about ten minutes fast. She knew from the approximate time and the escalating volume of his racing that he was trying to leave, but he'd forgotten something and couldn't find it. She tapped her red pen on her bottom lip as she watched the digital numbers on the clock and listened for what she knew was coming.

The Friday 56 (from Page 56):
     "Okay, I'm going to tell you a name and address, and you're going to repeat it back to me. Then, we're going to do some other things, and I'm going to ask you to repeat the same name and address again later. Ready, here it is - John Black, 42 West Street, Brighton. Can you repeat that for me?"

Genre: Medical Fiction / Women's Fiction
Book Length: 292 Pages (plus appendices) - Trade Paperback Edition
Amazon Link: Still Alice
Author Website: Lisa Genova

Synopsis (from the author's website):
She didn’t want to become someone people avoided and feared. She wanted to live to hold Anna’s baby and know it was her grandchild. She wanted to see Lydia act in something she was proud of. She wanted to see Tom fall in love. She wanted to read every book she could before she could no longer read.
Alice Howland is proud of the life she has worked so hard to build. A Harvard professor, she has a successful husband and three grown children. When Alice begins to grow forgetful at first she just dismisses it, but when she gets lost in her own neighborhood she realizes that something is terribly wrong. Alice finds herself in the rapid downward spiral of Alzheimer’s disease. She is only 50 years old.
While Alice once placed her worth and identity in her celebrated and respected academic life, now she must re-evaluate her relationship with her husband, her expectations of her children and her ideas about herself and her place in the world.
Losing her yesterdays, her short-term memory hanging on by a couple of frayed threads, she is living in the moment, living for each day. But she is still Alice.
Still Alice is as compelling as A Beautiful Mind and as powerful as Ordinary People. You will gain an understanding of those affected by early-onset Alzheimer’s and remain moved and inspired long after you have put it down.

Anyone can participate in Book Beginnings on Friday and The Friday 56.
Click HERE to connect to other Book Beginnings posts (sponsored by Rose City Reads) 
Click HERE to join other Friday 56 bloggers (sponsored by Freda's Voice)

Twitter: @SandyNachlinger
Facebook: sandy.nachlinger


  1. I'd like to read this - it sounds fascinating and terrifying too. Alzheimer's is a terrible disease.

  2. I watched the movie, never knew there was a book. Thanks for sharing. Here is my post

  3. I LOVED this book...and now I want to read it again. I have the movie and have seen it several times, but you are right that more can be gleaned from the book.

    I am so glad the author self-published it in order to bring it to us sooner, as the book is one we needed to read. Many of us fear losing ourselves and our memories as we age. The book can help us see that all is not lost.

    Here's mine: “THE WIDOWER’S WIFE”

  4. I haven't read this book. Alzheimer's is such a hard disease. I hope you enjoy the read!

  5. I should have mentioned that the story is told in the point of view of Alice, the Alzheimer's patient. Most book seem targeted at caregivers, so this one is quite different.

  6. Still Alice is on the list of a book challenge I'm doing. I will definitely bookmark this page and come back to it when we start to read it. Thanks for the background information.

  7. I read this book and liked it.


    Thanks for coming by my blog earlier.

  8. I'm glad to hear this was well written, I've seen it around a lot and I'm definitely interested in reading it!

  9. The author has a background in the medical field and had access to experts who specialize in Alzheimer's Disease treatment and research. Her insight into Alice's mind is amazing.

  10. I want to read this book and am afraid to at the same time because it sounds like it was absolutely wonderfully done. I love the teasers you shared and hope you are enjoying it.

  11. I still need to read this one. I refuse to watch the film until I do. Happy weekend!

  12. I remember when this came out. It is something we all think about and fear.

  13. Julianna Moore was superb in the movie. It was difficult to watch. Don't know if I'd be brave enough to read the book. Maybe too much insight for me.

    My Friday 56 from Grim Tidings

  14. FYI: Julianne Moore won a Best Actress Oscar for this role in 2015.

  15. I read the book two years ago, and I wrote a highly favorable review. I had no idea she was an indie author! How gratifying. Thanks, Sandy.

  16. I picked this one up last year at a thrift shop and I really should get to reading it soon! I think that the concept and the message in this one is important. Thanks so much for sharing it! :)

  17. I've heard a lot of great things about this and the movie too. :)

    Lauren @ Always Me

  18. This is sitting on my TBR right now. I need to read it soon, I think. Thanks for visiting my blog; I appreciate it!

  19. My book group read this, and it was universally praised. A little scary, but well-written. It was easy to be drawn into and understand her fears, changes, and decisions.

  20. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. What a great reminder. Thanks.


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