‘The Novel Cure’ is quite the novel cure

by Rachel on October 25, 2013

In the book world, fall is an absolutely magical time.  Countless books are released, each one begging you to pick them up and add them to your ever-growing ‘To Be Read’ pile.  (Of course, there is always the opportunity for these books to become beloved gifts for some lucky people, so there’s that idea, too.)

The Novel Cure:  From Abandonment to Zestlessness:
751 Books to Cure What Ails You

by Ella Berthoud & Susan Elderkin

If you’re a bibliophile,  a book about books is a dream come true.  And one that combines literary history and criticism is pretty wonderful, too.  But one that does all of these things and offers to “cure what ails you”— that’s just plain amazing.

“This is a medical handbook— with a difference.  First of all, it does not discriminate between emotional pain and physical pain— you’re as likely to find a cure within these pages for a broken heart as a broken leg… Whether you’ve got the hiccups or a hangover, a fear of commitment or a sense of humor failure, we consider it an ailment that deserves a remedy.”

And so begins The Novel Cure, a charming book with a simple, wonderful cover, filled with creative, witty, and thoughtful literary remedies for most (if not all?) of the things life throws at you, good and bad.  Suggested remedies include books new and old, fiction and non-fiction, poetry and prose.  Authors Berthoud and Elderkin point out that it isn’t just that the titles they suggest for certain situations are meant to make you feel better or provide comfort, but that specific books, especially when read at just the right time in one’s life, can have a profound and everlasting effect on someone.

Also included in The Novel Cure is a list of  Reading Ailments  and their respective cures, such as “Amnesia, reading associated (CURE: Keep a reading journal)” or “Find one of your books, inability to (CURE: Create a library).”  There are also the severely charming Ten Best lists, including Ten Best Books for Plane Journeys, Ten Best Books for When You’re Locked Out, Ten Best Books to Drown Out Snoring, and Ten Best Audiobooks for Road Rage, to mention a few.

So, what ails you?

You can learn more about the authors and their intriguing work on The Novel Cure site.