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Brain on Fire
Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness | Susannah Cahalan
An award-winning memoir and instant New York Times bestseller that goes far beyond its riveting medical mystery, Brain on Fire is the powerful account of one womans struggle to recapture her identity.When twenty-four-year-old Susannah Cahalan woke up alone in a hospital room, strapped to her bed and unable to move or speak, she had no memory of how shed gotten there. Days earlier, she had been on the threshold of a new, adult life: at the beginning of her first serious relationship and a promising career at a major New York newspaper. Now she was labeled violent, psychotic, a flight risk. What happened? In a swift and breathtaking narrative, Susannah tells the astonishing true story of her descent into madness, her familys inspiring faith in her, and the lifesaving diagnosis that nearly didnt happen. A fascinating look at the disease thatcould have cost this vibrant, vital young woman her life (People), Brain on Fire is an unforgettable exploration of memory and identity, faith and love, and a profoundly compelling tale of survival and perseverance that is destined to become a classic.
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Magdalenka
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suvata This book was crazy scary (in a medical sense). 2mo
5 likes1 comment
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Lissa00
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I took a half day off work…to do this, basically. I‘m finding this book terrifying. That your body can suddenly turn on you is such a scary thing.

RaeLovesToRead Hope the kitty snuggles are counteracting the scariness! So cute ☺ 4mo
68 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Book_Lust
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“I was a slave to the machinations of my aberrant brain. We are, in the end, a sum of our parts, and when the body fails, all the virtues we hold dear go with it.”

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Kayla8
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Both a fascinating neurological case study and harrowing suspense novel in one!

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Brennastroup
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Pickpick

Bio of a young woman in NYC who starts becoming paranoid, violent, experiencing memory loss and seizures, but no one can figure out what‘s wrong with her. After dozens of doctors and months of deterioration, one doctor comes to the rescue. Pretty wild story - will make you appreciate your health, as it can be fleeting.

9 likes1 stack add
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Kris10H
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Mehso-so

This true story is like one extremely detailed episode of House, minus House himself. I was riveted for the first half, but became somewhat indifferent to the rest. I guess that's more of a ME problem than a BOOK problem, maybe.

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Bethanyroe
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Pickpick

Fantastic book! Reminds me of how fragile and unknown the human body and especially the brain still are, despite the myriad discoveries and breakthroughs. Amazing story I think everyone should read to help increase awareness of various mental diseases. Knowing that there are treatments being discovered could help someone in the future.

suvata Really liked this book 1y
5 likes1 comment
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Tera66
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#ConflictedWorlds #Self
@Eggs & @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 🌷
This story was so terrifying, when your own body turns on you it's so scary.

Eggs This was so good 1y
britt_brooke A scary, but fascinating read! 1y
34 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Rissa1
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Pickpick

Super interesting! As a daughter of a man with an autoimmune disease (CIDP), the author's triumphs and her families frustrations are very real, and deeply felt by me. Though the diseases are extremely different the struggle for the correct diagnosis are very similar.

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shadowspeak17
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1. Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness, The Elements of Style, and Project Hail Mary
2. Heaven by Mieko Kawakami
3. Peaces by Helen Oyeyemi

#weekendreads

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rather_be_reading
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Pickpick

I watched the movie first a while back and I have to say they did a pretty good job. I just think this story was such a medical miracle bc wo that special doctor she probably wouldve ended up much different.

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rather_be_reading
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Book 64

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Allthebookclubs
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Pickpick

I absolutely loved this. I find it amazing that she was able to recover so well. Her tenacity in finding out what happened to her and then putting into words is profound. I enjoyed learning about her month of mad (longer really, when you consider her recovery). What a great memoir. Book 17 in 2021

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SNM99
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Pickpick

⭐⭐⭐Overall, it was a good read. I learned a lot about the brain and how a disease can be misdiagnosed. The first half of the book was great learning her symptoms and how she was trying to get help but no one was able to figure out what exactly was wrong with her. But then the second half of the book, once they figured out what the disease was, it then became more of an educational book, interesting, but not the book that I was looking to read.

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YoloFrancisLin
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Pickpick

See image for review.

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KristenDuck
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Pickpick

Yes!!!

Now THIS is a book worth reading. Also a film worth watching if you have Netflix!

Susannah Cahalan shares her story of the struggle to find an accurate diagnosis for her condition which was going undiagnosed at the time!

Just imagine not being able to move, communicate, or express how you‘re feeling inside. And no one can identify what is wrong with you...that‘s the scariest part!

Luckily (spoiler warning) there‘s a happy end in sight.

BarbaraTheBibliophage I loved this book even though it‘s soooo harrowing. The audio is excellent. And I‘d like to watch the movie, just worried about the stress I‘ll feel. 2y
KristenDuck @BarbaraTheBibliophage Hi Barbara! This book meant so much to me because I felt like she was expressing exactly how I felt going through my relapses and fight for treatment this past year with my multiple sclerosis. It was what finally prompted me to self publish my book You Don‘t Look Sick! 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @KristenDuck Congrats in the self-publish journey! I self published in 2014, so I know the feelings. You‘ll see I commented on another of your posts ... sounds like we have some common experiences, although some different diagnoses. 2y
KristiAhlers I loved this book! 2y
73 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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KristenDuck
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Two reasons this quote just brought me to tears:

1. “I was shocked he knew nothing about the disease.” When I was in the hospital this past winter for my first two relapses for multiple sclerosis, I had more than one neurologist tell me they were unfamiliar with multiple sclerosis which was why I was there!! It was terrifying. And heartbreaking.

2. “I realize now that my survival, my recovery... is the shocking part.” Yes ma‘am. Enough said.

Nikki_E How can a neurologist be unfamiliar with MS? Time to find a new doctor. 2y
KristenDuck @Nikki_E oh no I‘ve since left that hospital!! My neuro then had been familiar but the problem was I was admitted to the hospital and various neuros would visit my room and say “now I didn‘t study MS. Tell me about it.” It was rough. 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage It‘s crazy how thin the slice of medical specialization is these days! I had a really hard time finding a neuro near me with migraine expertise. SMDH 2y
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jb72 It‘s hard dealing with neurological disorders. I have Charcot Marie Tooth and many neuros are not familiar with it. 2y
Megabooks So true!! I‘ve had to travel many times to see doctors/have surgery. @BarbaraTheBibliophage is right, things are too specialized!! And there are too many decision trees and less thought. I had GI specialist in the hospital forget (or not know 🤷🏻‍♀️) to tell me I was blood test positive for celiac, which was then found months later by another GI that actually reads charts carefully. Smdh is right! (edited) 2y
58 likes6 comments
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TieDyeDude
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#3books... That I own (and haven't read) that were adapted into movies (that I haven't seen) 😁

ValerieAndBooks This reminds me I still have Devil in a Blue Dress in my TBR (for a long time). Haven‘t seen the movie either! 2y
26 likes1 comment
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AmyK1
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Pickpick

Wow. This was terrifying and captivating. I couldn‘t put it down.

Another spot for #bookspinbingo @TheAromaofBooks

DieAReader I loved this book so much. It‘s one that will always remain with me. She published another in November 2019 & I‘m chomping at the bit to start it! 2y
AmyK1 @Squidget I had no idea she had another one. I‘ll have to check it out. 2y
DieAReader @AmyK1 Let me know if you‘re be interested in doing a buddy read😉 2y
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 2y
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AmyK1
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I should not be allowed out of the house 😂 We went to 2nd & Charles today after our other plans got cancelled. The tagged was wrapped as a “Blind date with a book” and the description written on it sounded good. So I went for it. Opened it up and...bonus! It‘s already on my TBR list.

Book buying mood is still going strong @Clwojick and @TheAromaofBooks 🤣

Clwojick Apparently my comments aren‘t saving lol. Hopefully this doesn‘t double post. I loved Brain on Fire. I hope you enjoy it too! 🧡 3y
AmyK1 @Clwojick Litsy has been acting weird lately. I only see it once. I hope so too-I‘m thinking i will 😊 3y
Meghan1 Brain on Fire was awesome! 3y
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AmyK1 @Meghan1 I‘m looking forward to it! 3y
TheAromaofBooks Oh I feel you - I definitely didn't order another stack of books from Book Outlet the day before yesterday! 😂 @Clwojick 3y
Crazeedi You scored! So I'm thinking you made wise decision!! 3y
AmyK1 @TheAromaofBooks 😂 glad it‘s not just me! 3y
AmyK1 @Crazeedi Right! They were meant to be mine 😉 3y
33 likes8 comments
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Efriedland
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Interesting

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MelKelsey
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Pickpick

Book 74
I listened to this memoir about a woman in her 20s who gets sick with a hard-to-diagnose illness. Hearing her experience was fascinating mainly because, I believe, it's elucidates, from a safe distance, what is possible. Noticeable from the writing, the author is a reporter. It's an interesting book, but is found lacking from a literary standpoint.

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erzascarletbookgasm
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Pickpick

Based on the many interviews with doctors, nurses, family, & friends; medical records; her father‘s personal journal; hospital video footages; & her notebooks; Susannah pieced together the events of the most traumatic period of her life. Her family‘s & boyfriend‘s faith in her were remarkable. Part memoir, part medical mystery (the medical descriptions are not overwhelming & easy to understand) 🔽

#ReadYourSign #Aries
#YourElementInTheTitle 🔥

erzascarletbookgasm (continues) ..it‘s a very scary account of her illness & misdiagnosis told in an engaging narrative. 3y
EadieB Looks like a very interesting book! 3y
Clwojick I loved this book! And the Netflix special. 3y
89 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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DieAReader
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#7days7books

Books that changed me or had a lasting impression on me.

Day 5 (I missed yesterday)

Wanna play @hes7 🧐🤗

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DakotaWilde
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#7days7books

Day 2:

Brain on Fire is a story that left a deep impression on me because of how hard she had to fight fo have her voice heard. She could have been easily dismissed as needing psychiatric assistance. But she was persistent in the midst of what she was experiencing.

reading_rainbow this was a really good one 3y
JaclynW I'm going to have to see if my library has this. I've been thinking about this one for awhile now. 3y
DakotaWilde @JaclynW Now having read it I'm going to make time to watch it on Netflix. I'm curious to see if it will hold up to the book! 3y
JaclynW @AJBowers It's on Netflix too?! I will have to remember that when I'm done reading. I did get the audiobook from my library this morning. I just have to hurry and finish 2 others before I get to it. 3y
93 likes3 stack adds4 comments
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ONH
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“I live with that constant refrain— not of self-pity but the real question of why my body decided to turn on itself.” 🧠

This book is 3/5 stars for me; I definitely recommend reading as it is a great medical mystery case, very well-told. However I found that the author didn‘t explore her identity as deeply as I‘d hoped. I found that part a bit shallow, but I think most people will still really enjoy this book!

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Mirarenee
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Pickpick

Read this! It is captivating and brave and beautifully written. I couldn‘t put it down.

violabrain This book is amazing! 3y
11 likes1 comment
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Mirarenee
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“Sometimes, just when we need them, life wraps metaphors up in little bows for us. When you think all is lost, the things you need the most return unexpectedly.”

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Pam.Kokomo
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Pickpick

Fascinating!

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NatalieR
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Mehso-so

My rating of this book is completely a personal preference. It‘s not a reflection of this author‘s courage to share her story nor the narration. I can‘t even begin to imagine what it‘s like to be ill and have no idea why. *Print credit goes to @mypoesoul (https://poesoulstudio.com) #MountTBR

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EmilyM
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Oops! I did it again....went to Barnes and Noble....came home with two books🤦

DieAReader One of my favourite books in the last few years! I hope you really like it! I bought & will be starting The Great Pretender by Susannah Cahalan soon. 👏🏻📚 3y
EmilyM Thanks @SquidgetsRoom! I've read good things about it! 3y
23 likes2 comments
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jen_hayes7
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Pickpick

Hokey Pete was that an intense read. I can‘t begin to imagine what Susannah‘s experience was like or even that of her family. I‘d never heard of this condition before or how scary it could be. Susannah‘s writing was fantastic and I totally devoured this book.

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jen_hayes7
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Final day of a short vacation in Utah. Everyone else spent the trip skiing or snowboarding; I had a morning routine of meditating, yoga, and qigong followed by a nap then reading by the fire. Pretty sure I made the better choice. 😉

umbrellagirl I agree! 3y
28 likes1 comment
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Texreader
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Buy one get one half-off at Barnes and Noble today!

britt_brooke Good choices! 3y
Bookzombie I really liked the Preston book and the other is on my TBR. 3y
KathyWheeler Brain on Fire is good. I haven‘t read the Preston book. 3y
See All 6 Comments
TracyReadsBooks The Preston book is really, really good. 3y
Texreader @britt_brooke @Bookzombie @KathyWheeler @TracyReadsBooks Thanks y‘all! It looks like I made splendid impulse buy choices today! 😁 3y
Lizpixie I have the Preston book on order from Booktopia after reading his phenomenal The Monster Of Florence. I‘ve seen the movie based on Brain On Fire starring Chloe Grace Moretz and that was really interesting, I need to read the book. 3y
87 likes6 comments
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DimeryRene
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Pickpick

You can so tell she‘s a journalist!

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DimeryRene
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I have felt that odd whir of wings in the head.

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BekaReid
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Pickpick

Fascinating and terrifying. I couldn't put this book down as Susannah Cahalan tells her story with courageous, beautiful prose.

DieAReader @BekaReid I just heard about her newest book & it‘ll be one of the 1st books I read in 2020!! 3y
BekaReid @SquidgetsRoom same here! Definitely adding her 2nd to my list. 3y
DieAReader 💖📚🎶 3y
12 likes3 comments
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sblbooks
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#NFNov I didn't fill the board, but I got two bingos!
Thank you to @Clwojick and @rsteve388 for hosting this event! I hope we can do it again!

Clwojick WOOHOO! 1 pt 3y
30 likes1 stack add1 comment
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sblbooks
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#NFNov book 4
Bingo card prompt "Health & Medicine
@Clwojick @rsteve388

Clwojick 6 pts! 3y
sblbooks @Clwojick This should only be one point too. 3y
20 likes2 comments
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sblbooks
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#NFNov Book 5 finished.
Other litsy reviews have said this book is scary or terrifying. They're right!! I highly recommend it. It makes you wonder how many people have been misdiagnosed with some form of psychotic disorder.
#TIL Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis is an autoimmune condition, in which antibodies from the immune system attack a person's brain. @rsteve388 @Clwojick

Clwojick I loved this book! the movie was well done too. 3y
KendallHershey This was such a crazy read! All I could think about was... wtf would I do if this was me?! 3y
Clwojick also! 9 pts! 3y
24 likes3 comments
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ErikasMindfulShelf
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Pickpick

This was scary, but great on audio. Available on #Hoopla

53 likes2 stack adds
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Tamra
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Bailedbailed

Unpopular opinion: I enjoyed the mystery of Cahalan‘s illness, but the recovery part of the narrative was so excruciatingly detailed I couldn‘t continue on to finish it. For me, this is why memoir (and some NF) is not in my wheelhouse. Sometimes shorter is more impactful.

monalyisha I love memoirs (especially on audio) but this one wasn‘t a stand-out for me either. I‘m with you. 3y
Tamra @monalyisha 😁 Thanks for sharing! 3y
77 likes2 comments
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Rachel.Rencher
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Pickpick

This book was so incredibly fascinating. Susannah Cahalan was a normal 24 year old, who was in the midst of launching her career as a journalist when she had a complete psychotic breakdown. She stayed in a hospital for a month where her only recollection of what happens comes from videos where she barely recognizes herself and stories from her family. This book thankfully has a happy ending, but my goodness the story itself is terrifying.

Crazeedi I can't even imagine, I have this on my tbr 3y
JenReadsAlot I won her new book on goodreads and really looking forward to it- loved this one! 3y
Erika13137 The movie is on Netflix and it‘s pretty intense. 3y
See All 6 Comments
Rachel.Rencher @Erika13137 I watched it and loved it! 3y
Rachel.Rencher @JenReadsAlot Her new one sounds really interesting! 3y
Rachel.Rencher @Crazeedi I cant either... losing control would be like my worst fear 😬 3y
106 likes6 stack adds6 comments
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Rachel.Rencher
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Sitting on the balcony in my jammies to watch the sunset and read my book. 😁

Yes, I'm drinking coffee at 9pm. I'll fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow. 4 hours of sleep + 9 hours of teaching = one very tired Rachel. 😴

Oldschool_millenial Random: I might have those same pj bottoms 😅 3y
CouronneDhiver It‘s a pretty interesting story! 3y
Rachel.Rencher @Oldschool_millenial I've had them for so long that I couldn't tell you where they're from. 🙊 3y
96 likes3 comments
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Rachel.Rencher
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I wandered over to the used bookstore after Lucas' hair cut and found this gem. I'm going to start reading it now because Susannah's story is so interesting, and it makes me wonder how many other people this has happened to. 🤔

rather_be_reading She has a new book coming out soon! 3y
rabbitprincess Just got this from the library! 3y
87 likes4 stack adds2 comments
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bibliobliss
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Panpan

• I love a good mental health memoir but this one just failed to impress me. I'm giving it 2/5 ⭐️ bc it often felt like the author was reading from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. I get it, she had this crazy physical/mental problem with the strangest symptoms and it's certainly a story worth telling; however, the delivery did nothing to keep my interest. I finished the book on audio--but quite listlessly •

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InnerSavvy
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Pickpick

Good memoir of having her brain attacked by her immune system. Scary yet encouraging that there is hope.

mcctrish Also HUGE testament to knowing your ‘normal‘ and not accepting no as an answer to care 4y
InnerSavvy @mcctrish I agree. 4y
18 likes1 stack add2 comments
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ahngelahh
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It‘s almost 8:30 and I‘m thoroughly engrossed with Brain on Fire. #summerreads #teacherreads

8 likes1 stack add