We read novels for entertainment, but we also read to learn about life and ourselves.
Here, at last, is a delightful, witty reference book that enables us to harness that power.
“The Novel Cure” is an apothecary of both contemporary and classic literary solutions for whatever troubles you. The authors have trawled 2,000 years of literature for novels that effectively promote happiness, health and sanity.
The book is arranged alphabetically so you can look up your ailment — be it anxiety, a stubbed toe or a midlife crisis — and find the best novel to read as an antidote to your suffering.
Whatever your condition, the prescription is simple: a novel (or two) to be read at regular intervals.
Most of all, The Guardian notes, it will “reaffirm literature’s ability to distract and transport, to resonate and reassure, to change the way we see the world and our place in it.”
Ailments and prescriptions include:
•Being a Daddy’s Girl: “Emma,” by Jane Austen
•Dissatisfaction: “Cannery Row,” by John Steinbeck
•Extravagance: “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” by Truman Capote
•Gluttony: “The Debt to Pleasure,” by John Lancaster
•Homesickness: “The Namesake,” by Jhumpa Lahiri
•Hypochondria: “The Secret Garden,” by Frances Hodgson Burnett
•Low Self-Esteem: “The Shipping News,” by Annie Proulx
•Miscarriage: “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” by Audrey Niffenegger
•Nameless Dread: “Something Wicked This Way Comes,” by Ray Bradbury
•Shame: “The Help,” by Kathryn Stockett
•Toothache: “Anna Karenina,” by Leo Tolstoy
•Unrequited Love: “Bel Canto,” by Ann Patchett