What I Happen to Be Reading At the Moment

"A thirteen-year-old is a kaleidoscope of different personalities, if not in most ways a mere figment of her own imagination. At that age, what and who you are depends largely on what book you happen to be reading at the moment.”

 

While not 13 anymore, the desire to read almost anything and everything in order to read for fun and for experience is still around. I'm currently working on my PhD in a physical science, but I love to read and books are one of my non-science hobbies.

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness - Susannah Cahalan Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness is the author's, Susannah Cahalan's, attempt to reconstruct a month of her life she lost from a major brain injury. She begins as a happy, normal 24-year-old with a steady job and boyfriend when her world unravels, at first because she thinks she has bedbugs in her house, then because she thinks her boyfriend is cheating, and finally because she has multiple seizures and believes her parents are kidnapping her. Her condition deteriorates, and she later uses medical documents, diaries, and interviews with her family to reconstruct what happened. Her condition is rare and takes a specialist before even a correct diagnosis can be made. Meanwhile, she is undergoing a major brain trauma from her own immune system, causing inflammation that limits her ability to make new memories as well as limiting other major brain functions. This autobiography (memoir somehow doesn't fit because Cahalan herself admits her memories are hazy, except for some of her especially vivid hallucinations) uses a good combination of personal experience and science in order to tell the story. The human brain is fascinating, and the personal experiences of someone who is misdiagnosed several times because of her rare disease reads like a true life episode of "House, MD." (Incidentally, one of her early episodes occurs when watching TV, an episode of "House"). It's a captivating and exciting read--I finished it in one sitting. The reader already shows Cahalan makes it out with most of her motor function and ability to form a story intact (we are reading her book after all), but how she and her family react to a devastating, mysterious disease makes this memoir incredible.

Currently reading

Native Son
Richard Wright
The Great Glass Sea
Josh Weil
The Elder Edda
Anonymous, Andrew Orchard