A Novel for Everything (And We Mean Everything) That Ails You [SHOWING SLIDE 9 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.

THE POISONWOOD BIBLE by Barbara Kingsolver
Kirkus Star
by Barbara Kingsolver

To resolve the problem of being too busy: In Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible, overzealous missionary Nathan Price’s quixotic spiritual goals force his family to endure endless privations—including hunger, drudgery, discomfort, and disease on hostile territory. While he works tirelessly, and wrongheadedly, to “improve” the lives of the natives, he neglects his own flesh and blood. As you look askance at his frenetic activity, ask yourself this question: “Is this really so different from my life?” If the answer is no, examine as honestly as you can how much of your to-do list is really crucial, and find ways to pare your horaire.