oldlibrarian, January 20, 2010 (view all comments by oldlibrarian)
Curiosity about the thought processes of a stroke victim and how to help in the recovery caused me to begin reading this book. My curiosity was well rewarded but to my unexpected pleasure the author gives as good a plan for a happy life as I have encountered.
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Shoshana, November 15, 2008 (view all comments by Shoshana)
The 37-year old Dr. Taylor, a neuroscientist, was simultaneously horrified and fascinated to realize that she was having a stroke. Though many reviewers and interviewers focus on the insights she gained from her stroke, I was riveted by her descriptions of the physiological and behavioral processes she experienced in the first hours of the experience. The science is presented simplistically, which makes it generally accessible but may not satisfy a more sophisticated reader. Taylor's musings on right and left brain functions and moods are very interesting and may speak to the physiological seat of the sense of connection or oneness, whether you understand this as religious or as Freud's oceanic feeling. For me, though, the power of the narrative is Taylor's account of the stroke itself, both for her descriptions and for her ability to tell the story despite having had the experience.
For a science fiction novel that predates this book but has a long section with an uncanny similarity to Taylor's cognitive state during her stroke, read Connie Willis's Passage.
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lukeben, May 26, 2008 (view all comments by lukeben)
The New York Times Sunday Newspaper on May 25 had a great two page article on Jill Bolte Taylor and her book, "MY STROKE OF INSIGHT". Her book is a must read and this NY Times article - called "A Superhighway to bliss" - is worth checking out too."
MY STROKE OF INSIGHT was ranked #5 in all books sold on Amazon today and #1 in Memoirs above even Barbara Walters' memoir.
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by Robert Koehler, Tribune Media Services,
"Fascinating....Bursts with hope for everyone who is brain-injured (not just stroke patients) and gives medical practitioners clear, no-nonsense information about the shortcomings of conventional treatment and attitudes toward the brain-injured....But to my mind, what makes My Stroke of Insight not just valuable but invaluable — a gift to every spiritual seeker and peace activist — is what I would describe as Taylor's fearless mapping of the physiology of compassion, the physiology of Nirvana. This book is about the wonder of being human."
by Dick Clark, in Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2008,
"[T]here is comfort in better grasping what has gone wrong, and enlightenment for those around you when they grasp it too. None of us needs sympathy; what we do need is a helping hand and understanding. Someone like Taylor provides that, helping a terrible blow become far less so."
by The New York Times,
"[Dr. Taylor] brings a deep personal understanding to something she long studied: that the two lobes of the brain have very different personalities."
by ABC News,
"Transformative...[Taylor's] experience...will shatter [your] own perception of the world."
The astonishing New York Times bestseller that chronicles how a brain scientist's own stroke led to enlightenment.
On December 10, 1996, Jill Bolte Taylor, a thirty-seven-year-old Harvard-trained brain scientist experienced a massive stroke in the left hemisphere of her brain. As she observed her mind deteriorate to the point that she could not walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of her life — all within four hours — Taylor alternated between the euphoria of the intuitive and kinesthetic right brain, in which she felt a sense of complete well-being and peace, and the logical, sequential left brain, which recognized she was having a stroke and enabled her to seek help before she was completely lost. It would take her eight years to fully recover.
For Taylor, her stroke was a blessing and a revelation. It taught her that by "stepping to the right" of our left brains, we can uncover feelings of well-being that are often sidelined by "brain chatter." Reaching wide audiences through her talk at the Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) conference and her appearance on Oprah's online Soul Series, Taylor provides a valuable recovery guide for those touched by brain injury and an inspiring testimony that inner peace is accessible to anyone.
by ing hold,
Jill Taylor was a 37-year-old Harvard-trained brain scientist when a blood vessel exploded in her brain. Through the eyes of a curious scientist, she watched her mind deteriorate whereby she could not walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of her life. Because of her understanding of the brain, her respect for the cells in her body, and an amazing mother, Jill completely recovered. In My Stroke of Insight, she shares her recommendations for recovery and the insight she gained into the unique functions of the two halves of her brain. When she lost the skills of her left brain, her consciousness shifted away from normal reality where she felt "at one with the universe." Taylor helps others not only rebuild their brains from trauma, but helps those of us with normal brains better understand how we can consciously influence the neural circuitry underlying what we think, how we feel and how we react to life's circumstances.
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