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My Stroke of Insight [Paperback]

Jill Bolte Taylor
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 27 2009 0452295548 978-0452295544 1 Reprint
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.

Frequently Bought Together

My Stroke of Insight + The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science + Rewire Your Brain: Think Your Way to a Better Life
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"Transformative...[Taylor's] experience...will shatter [your] own perception of the world."
-ABC News

"[Dr. Taylor] brings a deep personal understanding to something she long studied: that the two lobes of the brain have very different personalities."
-The New York Times

"Fascinating...invaluable...fearless...This book is about the wonder of being human."
-Robert Koehler, Tribune Media Services

About the Author

Jill Bolte Taylor is a neuroanatomist who teaches at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Bloomington, Indiana. She is the National Spokesperson for the Mentally Ill for the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center (Brain Bank) and the Consulting Neuroantomist for the Midwest Proton Radiotherapy Institute. Since 1993 she has been an active member of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Her story has been featured on the PBS program Understanding Amazing Brain, among others. She was interviewed on NPR’s Infinite Mind and ABC News, and was named one of The 100 of the World’s Most Influential People of 2008 in Time Magazine.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Transcendent Power of Neuroplasticity Aug. 25 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is Dr. Taylor's gripping account of her own "neuroplastic" rehabilitation, very accessibly described --as only a neuroanatomist and neuroscientist could describe it.

Dr. Taylor gives hope to all who have suffered, not only stroke, but any loss of mental function --such as the tragic brain damage that follows inhalant abuse by vulnerable children and adolescents.

Dr. Taylor describes beautifully her personal growth and sublimation that followed her stroke-induced transcendental experiences.

Her mother's loving and untiring therapy -- which masterfully and intuitively engaged the healing power of brain neuroplasticity-- was truly inspirational.

I highly recommend this wonderful story of Dr. Taylor's healing journey to all mental health workers.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
By Stephen Pletko TOP 50 REVIEWER

"The story that follows is my stroke of insight into the beauty and resiliency of the human brain. It's a personal account, as seen through the eyes of a neuroscientist [or brain scientist, which the author is], about what it felt like to experience the deterioration of my left brain [that is, the author experienced a rare form of stroke or cerebrovascular accident in the left cerebral hemisphere of her brain at age 37] and then recover [or survive] it. It is my hope that this book will offer insight into how the brain works in both wellness and in illness. Although this book is written for the general public, I hope you will share it with people you want to help recover from brain trauma [not just stroke patients] and their caregivers."

The above is found in this insightful book authored by Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D. Note that this book is a record of Taylor's "personal journey" of having and recovering from a stroke. She tells us:

"Every brain has a story and this is mine."

This book falls into four parts:

(1) Pre-stroke:

This part introduces the reader to who Taylor was before she had her stroke.

(2) Stroke:

Recounts the events of the morning she had her stroke. She provides a step-by-step account of the deterioration of her cognitive abilities, as seen through the eyes of a brain scientist.

(3) Recovery:

Here, Taylor shares chronologically her journey to recovery.

(4) What she has learned:

That is, what Taylor has learned about the brain after having and recovering from a stroke.

This book may be unique in that the person who had the stroke was a neuroscientist, neuroanatomist,
or brain scientist.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Jill's journey from a left brain to right brain lens on the world after her stroke is a revelation. Her unique ability to articulate the left/right duality reveals not only how the brain works, but why we have so much trouble empathizing and relating to those who literally process the world around them totally differently from ourselves. Massive implications for business life, just for starters-- her lessons hold the keys for better collaboration between the right and left brainers. An utterly fascinating read; as the cliche goes, I could not put it down.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Stroke of Insight Aug. 20 2010
By May
Thank you for giving me the 'insight' into a stroke patient's mind. The intro chapters were great as it gave me a basis for an understanding of the brain before reading Jill's recount. Jill's recount of the "day" of the stroke and shortly after was truly an 'insight' for me as I deal with my mother's stroke. "How to talk to a stroke victim" gave me more empathy in dealing with Mom. Thank you for giving me HOPE as we were told by the doctors after a few months had past, that "this is as good as it gets and you'll never have your Mom back." She's back. Love, support and daily diligence with my Mom has brought her further than we were given any hope of by the doctors. Healing is slow but it continues...........
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading for everyone! Feb. 12 2010
By pbjelly
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read this book from my library, and felt it was so important that I bought my own copy. This is an utterly fascinating account of a young brain scientist's stroke - she tells her story from the point of view of the sufferer and also as a scientist who knew what was happening at the moment. It would be valuable reading for anyone who will ever have a stroke, or who loves someone who has. It is especially useful in showing us how to help someone in that situation during the long months of recovery. I can't recommend it highly enough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good choice; bad choice Feb. 17 2011
Our book club comprised of six members read this book in February and each member reported essentiall the same thing: the book was a tremendous insight into the brain of the stroke victim and provided information that one would never otherwise have available. It was a personal account of a catastrophic event with a happy ending. For myself, I could recommend it to anyone who is close to a stroke victim or to someone who has a history of stroke in the family. Undeniably the book is a great resource; I will keep it on the shelf but I have to say it's not what I would consider a good book club choice. Read it if you need to but don't expect to enjoy it during the long cold winter when you have a day to devote to a book and the fireplace.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
An amazing experience--very inspirational for those who may suffer a stroke. There is HOPE!
Published 6 days ago by Gloria
5.0 out of 5 stars A gift to all humanity
Everybody should view her 18min TED Talk on this subject. It summarizes the gist of her amazing stroke. This book should be in everybody's personal library of treasured books.
Published 2 months ago by Ironman
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent book. You will learn a lot from reading it.
Published 2 months ago by V. Brewster
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very easy to read. Very interesting and intertaining
Published 2 months ago by Audrey Bennett
3.0 out of 5 stars DON"T BUY THE AUDIO VERSON
I bought the audio book and couldn't stand her whiny voice. Why do authors read their own voice. Get a professional voice to read it. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Dianne O
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Magnifique livre, très inspirant.
Published 4 months ago by Pier
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 4 months ago by Nancy Crapper
5.0 out of 5 stars Great condition, love it.
Truly inspiring story. The book is much more detailed than what the author conveys on TED talks, a highly recommended read to all those who have been personally, or whose loved... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Brooke
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Book!
I have referred it to sooooo many people since reading it. Amazing insight into the brain, how it work, how we think and feel everyday. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Jess Adelman
5.0 out of 5 stars Very informative
I loved reading Jill's account of her experience. So much information that is easy to absorb and for anyone interested in how the brain works, this book is a must read! Julia
Published 11 months ago by AJ
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