Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin have a firm grasp on bibliotherapy in all forms and they’ve written a 420 page prescription, The Novel Cure: From Abandonment to Zestlessness: 751 Books to Cure What Ails You.
The authors have cataloged a plethora of mental, physical, and intellectual maladies such as Change, Resistance To and Idiot, Feeling Like An and Misanthropy. Clearly these are common grounds all readers have shared at one time or another and frequently these issues rear their therapy-inducing heads during book discussions.
Suffering from a loss of faith? Crack open Salmon Fishing in the Yemen or The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. Tired of listening to the group hypochondriac? Read The Secret Garden. Ingested too many drugs? Start flipping through Trainspotting or Less Than Zero.
Readers have their own special infirmities. Sometimes we suffer from overhype of a book. Our authors have a cure for that. Shelve the book in the tool shed. Wrap it up in old wallpaper. Tuck it somewhere out of the way. When you next discover it, you’ll be surprised to find it and reminded that you always wanted to read it.
Perhaps you have a partner who is a non-reader. The good book doctors suggest converting or deserting. Find a book that appeals to your partner, introduce audiobooks during a long car trip. But above all, caution the authors, protect your own reading time.
No matter what’s bothering you, headache or heartache, there’s a novel that speaks to your condition.