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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.
Published: Penguin Group on May 12, 2008
ISBN: 9781101213971
List price: $12.99
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Jill Bolte Taylor, a neuroanatomist, awoke one morning to find she was experiencing a massive stroke in the left hemisphere of her brain, depriving her of language and greatly altering her perception of the world. In this book, she recounts that experience and urges us to share in her new-found metaphysical understanding.As a medical story the journey is genuinely compelling, leaving the reader with a clearer understanding of what a dreadful experience it must have been for her and others like her; as a recovery guide the many helpful instructions for would-be carers of stroke survivors are undeniably valuable; as a memoir the story is captivating; however her 'insight' is, as far as I can tell, white noise. When I read phrases such as 'at one with the universe' or 'life force power' I instinctively retreat. I initially suspected that she was writing metaphorically, but it soon became apparent that she really does believe this stuff (with the inevitable talk of positive and negative 'energies', whatever that might mean). When, towards the end of the book, she told of her habit of verbally encouraging her body's cells, I all but gave up hope.Put simply, the stroke aspect is intriguing and a worthwhile read, and I am sure many people – stroke survivors and their relatives – will benefit greatly  from reading it, but the insight is, disappointingly, nothing but New Age nonsense.read more
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If you have a stroke survivor or family or friend of one, this book is a must, for Chapter 13 alone with concrete suggestions of what Taylor most needed to recover. Top needs: To have caregivers believe she would fully recover and have them believe in the plasticity of her brain. There's also an appendix in the back with a list of "40 things I needed most." Indispensable.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Fascinating look at how the brain works, from the inside. The author is a neuroanatomist, so she understands clearly how brains are structured, and what areas do what functions. She also experienced a stroke in the left hemisphere of her brain, and lived to tell about it. It took her 8 - 10 years to recover, but this is the story of that stroke, and what it did to her brain and to her mind, simultaneously. Fascinating and unique!read more
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Jill Bolte Taylor, a neuroanatomist, awoke one morning to find she was experiencing a massive stroke in the left hemisphere of her brain, depriving her of language and greatly altering her perception of the world. In this book, she recounts that experience and urges us to share in her new-found metaphysical understanding.As a medical story the journey is genuinely compelling, leaving the reader with a clearer understanding of what a dreadful experience it must have been for her and others like her; as a recovery guide the many helpful instructions for would-be carers of stroke survivors are undeniably valuable; as a memoir the story is captivating; however her 'insight' is, as far as I can tell, white noise. When I read phrases such as 'at one with the universe' or 'life force power' I instinctively retreat. I initially suspected that she was writing metaphorically, but it soon became apparent that she really does believe this stuff (with the inevitable talk of positive and negative 'energies', whatever that might mean). When, towards the end of the book, she told of her habit of verbally encouraging her body's cells, I all but gave up hope.Put simply, the stroke aspect is intriguing and a worthwhile read, and I am sure many people – stroke survivors and their relatives – will benefit greatly  from reading it, but the insight is, disappointingly, nothing but New Age nonsense.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
If you have a stroke survivor or family or friend of one, this book is a must, for Chapter 13 alone with concrete suggestions of what Taylor most needed to recover. Top needs: To have caregivers believe she would fully recover and have them believe in the plasticity of her brain. There's also an appendix in the back with a list of "40 things I needed most." Indispensable.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Fascinating look at how the brain works, from the inside. The author is a neuroanatomist, so she understands clearly how brains are structured, and what areas do what functions. She also experienced a stroke in the left hemisphere of her brain, and lived to tell about it. It took her 8 - 10 years to recover, but this is the story of that stroke, and what it did to her brain and to her mind, simultaneously. Fascinating and unique!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
On this morning of Dec 10, 1996, Jill Taylor , a thirty-seven year old Harvard-trained brain scientist, experienced a massive stroke when a blood vessel exploded in the left side of her brain..She shares her unique perspective on the brain and its capacity for recovery.
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I feel bad rating this book so low. The premise was very interesting, however I felt like it was repetitive and a little boring; I really had to force myself to finish it. Also, the end sort of freaked me out when she started talking about communicating with her cells. Though the beginning and the end were rough, the middle section was really well done and easy to read. Still, I probably wouldn't recommend. Props to her for wanting to spread the message and advocate for stroke victims.
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This is an incredible story not only of survival and recovery, but also of how amazing our brain is--and not just our brain but our entire body and our spirit. Dr. Jill Taylor is a brain scientist who got the unique opportunity to discover her own brain in an entirely new way when she suffered from a stroke. She vividly describes what it was like to experience the stroke and the disabilities it caused. Most remarkable is how it gave her a whole new perspective of her connectedness to a spiritual plane, as her talkative left brain was turned off and her contemplative right brain took over. The story of her recovery also shows how important the way we treat ill people is to their recovery. This book was fascinating, the audio version is narrated by the author herself. While she may not have the best voice for narration it was interesting to her her tell her story in her own voice. She certainly has a passion to share the message of what she feels she learned through this experience. Give this one a read or listen if you love to learn new things about our fascinating bodies and minds.
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