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Showing 1-10 of 45 reviews(5 star). Show all reviews
on August 25, 2008
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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on October 28, 2011
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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TOP 100 REVIEWERon October 22, 2008

"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. Taylor was able to thus relate the cognitive deficits she was experiencing to the underlying biology.

Therefore, there are also labelled diagrams in this book. (I counted almost twenty.) Thus, the reader is never lost. As well, there is one dramatic black and white photograph.

What I personally found from reading this book is with regard to the cerebral hemispheres. The cerebral hemispheres are the two symmetrical (at least superficially--histologically they are known to be distinguishable in a variety of ways) hemispherical halves of the cerebrum or more generally but incorrectly, of the brain. The right hemisphere is associated with creativity, the mystical, the metaphysical, and inner peace while the left hemisphere is associated with logic and rationality. (Note that I have mentioned some differences--there are more.)

Finally, one appendix to this book is entitled "Forty Things I Needed Most [after my stroke]." I found this very interesting and informative. This information should be shared with anyone who may benefit from it.

In conclusion, this is a unique book authored by a brain scientist who had a stroke. I leave you with the words of "The World's Oldest Teenager," Dick Clark, who suffered a stroke late in 2004 :

"There 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 [Jill Bolte] Taylor provides that, helping a terrible blow become far less so."

(first published 2006; introduction; 20 chapters; main narrative 175 pages; 2 appendices; the Harvard Brain Bank)

<<Stephen Pletko, London, Ontario, Canada>>

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on June 26, 2016
i read this book in a day because i just couldnt put it down! this is very well written also,understandable if you're unfamiliar with medical terms and procedures. i recommend this to everyone who can read or listen to audio books as the information is really so much more valuable than gold to us all ! you are with her during her ups and downs and its like youre by her side during it all. one of my all time favorite brain books :0)
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on February 12, 2010
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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on March 15, 2011
Everyone should read this. We all need to know more about our brain. It is our biggest power. Let's make it our friend by understanding how it works. Jill Bolte Taylor gives us this insight through a terrifying experience that she handles with her cool analytical mind trained in scientific research.
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on June 14, 2009
This was an educational and informative read that all people contemplating reaching 50 must read and those under 50 should read. We learn about the brain and its reaction to harm, in a very entertaining style. I recommend it not only as a good read, but also as a reference book for the brain!
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on August 30, 2009
This is not a book I would not usually read. I purchased this book because of close family members whom had strokes. The book gave me a better understanding of their struggles. I think this book should be used in schools to teach students a better understanding of this condition.
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on November 9, 2012
My Stroke of Insight is a very insprational book and shows us how resilient the human body is and
how interconnected body, mind and spirit are! I talk to everyone about how great this book is and
it is now being passed on to family and friends. I am grateful to have met Jill through her book!
She adds the perfect amount of humour to her writing...I loved this book.
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on June 4, 2013
Taylor has made a familiar but mysterious medical event accessible to lay people. Her description of experiences with left/right brain during her recovery are thought-provoking. I bought this book for my niece who training as a practical registered nurse. Chapter 13 speaks to professionals who are caring for those recovering from a stroke.
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