Top positive review
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Every avid reader should read this book, and so should non-readers to learn what they're missing
on 20 September 2013
Every avid reader should buy this book, and so should non-readers to learn what they're missing.
The idea is to suggest novels to read that might act as a "cure" for an amazingly comprehensive list of emotional, psychological, serious and trivial problems, or, at least take one's mind off them. According to Wikipedia, "bibliotherapy" is a technique known even to the ancient Greeks, and was much used after World War 2 in the treatment of soldiers.
I think it was Frank Muir who said he read a medical dictionary, and found he had every disease "except frontispiece and xenophobia". Well this book lists everything from abandonment to zestlessness - including xenophobia, and recommends a novel remedy for every one! It is written in the most delightful light-hearted and witty style and the way in which each "problem" is defined and analysed by the authors, even before the "cure" is suggested betrays a remarkable understanding and experience of human life.
I haven't read a novel for years, but will definitely begin again as soon as I can get a copy of Caribou Island, £6.47 from Amazon, the cure for DIY, an affliction of mine, for which the entry reads:
"If you are feeling an irresistible urge to build that lean-to, customise your IKEA unit, or sandblast your patio, make sure a copy of Caribou Island is sitting just inside your toolkit, ideally between you and the drill. After you read this, the absolute folly of attempting DIY will become indisputable."
But apart from this, there are, in effect excellent reviews of at least 300 novels, and so even those believing they have no worries at all can use this as an excellent compendium of ideas for reading.