24 Following


Currently reading

Paddy's Lament, Ireland 1846-1847: Prelude to Hatred
Thomas Gallagher
Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One
Jenny K. Blake
When in French: Love in a Second Language
Lauren Collins
Beyond the Job Description: How Managers and Employees Can Navigate the True Demands of the Job
Jesse Sostrin
Vision and Art: The Biology of Seeing
David Hubel, Margaret S. Livingstone
Achieving Your Potential As A Photographer: A Creative Companion and Workbook
Harold Davis
Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age
Sherry Turkle
Picture Perfect Practice: A Self-Training Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Taking World-Class Photographs (Voices That Matter)
Roberto Valenzuela
Man's Search for Meaning
Viktor E. Frankl, Harold S. Kushner
Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection
Jacob Silverman

Still Alice

Still Alice - Lisa Genova Very relevant in learning about what Alzheimer's feels like, in early onset. In that respect, 5 stars. But it does not flow as a novel. It feels like it was written via a formula. More as an educational piece than "literature."On her adult children's experience of genetic testing of the Alzheimer's mutation."The odds crashed from remote to infinitesimal when they finally walked through the front door. If they were both negative, they would have just blurted it out or it would have just sprung, wild and jubilant, from their facial expression. Instead, they muscled what they knew beneath the surface as they moved into the living room, stretching out the time of Life Before This Happened as long as possible, the time before they'd have to unleash the hideous information they so obviously held." p.108"Here in Chatham, she had no schedule. She slept late, ate meals at varying times, and played everything by ear. She bookended each day with her medications, she took her butterfly test each morning, and she ran every day with John. But these didn't provide enough structure. She needed bigger bread crumbs and more of them. She often didn't know the time of day or what it was, for that matter. On more than one occasion now when she sat down to eat, she didn't know which meal she was about to be presented with. When yesterday a waitress at the Sand Bar put a plate of fried clams in front of her, she would have just as readily and enthusiastically dug into a plate of pancakes." p.144-145"Several condiment options sat on the table -- wild Maine blueberry jam, a jar of peanut butter, a stick of butter on a plate, and a tub of white butte. But it wasn't called white butter. What was it called? Not mayonnaise. Not it was too thick, like butter. What was its name. She pointed her butter knife at it. "Joh, can you pass that to me?"John handed her the tub of white butter. She spread a thick layer of it onto one of the bagel halves and stared at it. She knew exactly how it would taste, and that she liked it, but couldn't bring herself to bite into it until she could tell herself its name. Lydia watched her studying her bagel. "Cream cheese, Mom.""Right. Cream cheese. Thank you, Lydia." p. 159"As soon as she finished, she worried she'd admitted too much. She didn't want to scare her daughter. but Lydia didn't flinch and stayed interested, and Alice relaxed. "So you know when it's happening?""Most of the time.""Like what was happening when you couldn't think of the name for cream cheese?""I know what I'm looking for, my brain just can't get to it. It's like you decided that you wanted that glass of water, only your hand won't pick it up. You ask it nicely, you threaten it, but it just won't budge. You might finally get it to move, but then you grab the saltshaker instead, or you knock the glass and spill the water all over the table. Or by the time you get your hand to hold the glass and bring it up to your lips, the itch in your throat has cleared, and you don't need a drink anymore The moment of need has passed.'"That sounds like torture, Mom.""It is.""I'm so sorry you have this.""Thanks."Lydia reached out across the dishes and glasses and years of distance and held her mother's hand. Alice squeezed it and smiled. Finally, they'd found something else they could talk about." p.161-2"Her spatial perception was a bit off. Objects sometimes appeared closer or farther or generally somewhere other than where they actually were. She'd had her eyes checked. Her vision was fine. She had the eyes of a 20-year-old girl. The problem wasn't with her corneas, lenses, or retinas. The glitch was somewhere in her occipital cortex, said John. Apparently, she had the eyes of a college student and the occipital cortex of an octogenarian." p.197"Alice walked over to her and crouched down. She put her hand on the hole. Only it wasn't empty space she felt. She ran her fingers over the looped wool of a black rug. Her black hallway rug. It'd been there for years. She smacked it with her open hand so hard the sound she made echoed. ....Alice stood in the hallway lone, fury and fight raging madly through her veins. She opened the door and began pulling at the rug. She yanked with all her strength and was knocked down. She got up and pulled and twisted and wrestled it until it was entirely outside. Then, she kicked and screamed wildly at it until it limped down the front steps and lay lifeless on the sidewalk." p. 211"Okay, Alice, can you spell the word water backwards for me?" he asked.She would have found this question trivial and even insulting six months ago, but today it was a serious question to be tackled with serious effort. She felt only marginally worried and humiliated by this, not nearly as worried and humiliated as she would have felt six months ago. More and more, she was experiencing a growing distance from her self-awareness. Her sense of Alice -- what she knew and understood, what she liked and disliked, how she felt and perceived -- was also like a soap bubble, ever higher in the sky and more difficult to identify, with nothing but the thinnest lipid membrane protecting it from popping into thinner air." p.142"I had some terrible falls. Even at home, I keep forgetting about the raised thingy in all the doorways, and I trip into every room I go in I've got tons of bruises.""Okay, John, I would either remove the doorway thingies or paint them a contrasting color, something bright, or cover them in a brightly colored tape, so Alice can notice them. Otherwise, they just blend right into the floor." p.146 "They were talking too quickly and using too many pronouns. And the baby in pink had begun to fuss and cry, distracting her. Alice couldn't figure out who or what they were talking about. But she could tell by their facial expressions and tones it was a serious argument. And the women in pajamas were on the same side." p. 162