A Novel for Everything (And We Mean Everything) That Ails You [SHOWING SLIDE 4 OF 10]

Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin’s The Novel Cure: From Abandonment to Zestlessness: 751 Books to Cure What Ails You is something to behold: an encyclopedia of maladies both spiritual and physical; under each malady’s heading, the writers suggest books that will help you overcome that particular problem. Feeling indecisive? There’s a book for that. Caring for someone with cancer? These ladies know what you should be reading. Eclectic and infectious, The Novel Cure is one of the most revealing and bracing books about books to come along in some time. We’ve chosen 10 problems the authors highlight in The Novel Cure and excerpted a bit of their reasoning as to why these particular books will help you conquer what ails you.

by Ali Smith

To fix a fear of dinner parties: Ali Smith’s There but for the tells the story of Miles, who leaves a dinner party (having first purloined a salt cellar) and locks himself in a spare room upstairs. He stays there several weeks. Word spreads, and while the world observes him through a window from Greenwich Park, setting up camps to encourage his “protest,” he becomes a minor celebrity.