Don't Go It Alone: 9 Books That Will Help You Clean Up Your Life
smoking, laughing more, being kinder to Mom—for whatever you've
decided to do differently this year, we have a thoughtful, ins
story to help you succeed.
By Leigh Newman
Original Content |
January 06, 2012
Francine Prose reviews The Addict by Michael Stein, a doctor's exploration of new methods designed to curb addiction to prescription pain killers.
Playful, radical experiments with spelling, syntax, and punctuation are Cummings's poetic signature. Less well known—his gift for erotic verse: "i like my body when it is with your / body."
When I heard Tina was pregnant again [Fey had a second daughter in August], I thought, That's great, but I
hope she's writing a second book."
"After a loss, you have to learn to believe the dead one is dead. It
doesn't come naturally." That seemingly simple observation is just one
of the many profound thoughts in Meghan O'Rourke's The Long Goodbye
(Riverhead), an achingly moving memoir about her mother's death in 2008
at age 55.
A Tale of Two Cities begins and ends with some of English literature's most famous lines. Find out more about what's in between the pages of this Oprah's Book Club selection.
Authors Andrew Newberg, MD, and Mark Waldman, researchers at the Center
for Spirituality and the Mind at the University of Pennsylvania, have
interviewed and scanned the brains of the actively faithful, including
Franciscan nuns in contemplative prayer, Buddhists meditating, and
Pentecostal church members after inviting the Holy Spirit to enter them.
The various practices, the authors found, evoke different feelings as
well as corresponding changes in the brain.
"This novel radicalized me. It changed my life. It made me a dedicated advocate of organizing and collective bargaining," says Ashley Judd, who came upon the classic when she was a young actor just starting out. "It was about 1991, and my acting teacher, the great Bob Carnegie, kept the fees at the school very low so that we didn't have to waste our time working as waiters. He wanted us to be able to go to museums, to see theater, to read. And I took him seriously: I read one Steinbeck novel after another, and the next thing I knew I had read his entire works—I even read the journal he kept while writing Grapes."
Norris Church Mailer's book, A Ticket to the Circus, is a funny, generous, shockingly forthright memoir about life with the lion of literature, Norman Mailer.
"This is a book that manages to distill the idea of America," says David Duchovny. Estimating that he has reread the novel about once a decade since high school, he mentions a passage on the final page in which the narrator imagines an early explorer in a state of wonder as he sees America. "The brilliance of Fitzgerald is that, for Gatsby, Daisy was something commensurate with his capacity for wonder," Duchovny says. "So it's the biggest story and the smallest story. It's about the human imagination being sparked by nature and God, but also by this woman." What's more, the story seems to tell itself. "His writing is so clear and simple. I don't like watching people work if they're making art. Fitzgerald makes it look like it flows out."