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My Stroke of Insight   book icon  
by Jill Bolte Taylor (2008)

read: 18 April 2010
rating: [+]
category: non-fiction

This book about Jill Bolte Taylor’s stroke and subsequent full recovery is fascinating. I’m pretty usre my mom handed it to me, we have a tendency to swap “brain problem” books and I’m sure this was one of them. The story is pretty interesting, Taylor woke up one morning to a pounding headache and found she was having a massive brain stroke. She was [and is?] a neuroanatomist and so once she started on the road to recovery, took special note of her surroundings and what worked and what didn’t work to get her on the road back to wellness. Taylor has a brother with schizophrenia, who is mentioned early in the book as one of the reasons Taylor got into neuroscience in the first place. Most of the book chronicles her path to recovery after the stroke and what she’s learned as a result of having half her brain shut down and have to be rebuilt.

The later half of the book has a lot more of these sorts of insights, about how Taylor learned to let go of her ego and quiet her brain chatter and etc. I liked reading these parts but it wasn’t really what drew me to the book in the first place. I was really interested in Taylor’s story -- the role of her own mother in her recovery can’t be overstated -- and the more introspective chapters I found not quite as interesting.

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