Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
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 woman’s 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 she’d 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 family’s inspiring faith in her, and the lifesaving diagnosis that nearly didn’t happen. “A fascinating look at the disease that…could 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.
Amazon Indiebound Barnes and Noble WorldCat Goodreads LibraryThing
Pick icon
100%
review
Rachel.Rencher
post image
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 2w
JenReadsAlot I won her new book on goodreads and really looking forward to it- loved this one! 2w
Erika13137 The movie is on Netflix and it‘s pretty intense. 2w
See All 6 Comments
Rachel.Rencher @Erika13137 I watched it and loved it! 2w
Rachel.Rencher @JenReadsAlot Her new one sounds really interesting! 2w
Rachel.Rencher @Crazeedi I cant either... losing control would be like my worst fear 😬 2w
104 likes8 stack adds6 comments
blurb
Rachel.Rencher
post image

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 😅 2w
CouronneDhiver It‘s a pretty interesting story! 2w
Rachel.Rencher @Oldschool_millenial I've had them for so long that I couldn't tell you where they're from. 🙊 2w
95 likes3 comments
blurb
Rachel.Rencher
post image

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! 3w
rabbitprincess Just got this from the library! 3w
86 likes4 stack adds2 comments
review
Readage
post image
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 •

review
InnerSavvy
post image
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 1mo
InnerSavvy @mcctrish I agree. 1mo
18 likes1 stack add2 comments
blurb
ahngelahh
post image

It‘s almost 8:30 and I‘m thoroughly engrossed with Brain on Fire. #summerreads #teacherreads

7 likes1 stack add
blurb
Kdgordon88
post image

#audiobook #30Junebooks These are my current audiobooks. Brain on Fire is intense and I am close to finding out whodunit in the Christie.

@howjessreads

blurb
kindergartenkat
post image

#nonfiction2019 I finished two NF books today. #somethingpersonal = Brain on Fire and #somethingwithtravel = The Motorcycle Diaries

Riveted_Reader_Melissa Great job! 2mo
13 likes1 comment
blurb
ke1lbe1l
post image

Listening to my audiobook from my Amtrak bedroom. I‘ve been doing this trek from the east coast to the Midwest so many times this year - on plane, train, and automobile - with my mom‘s unexpected & serious illness that I decided now that she‘s stabilized back home, I‘d treat myself on the way back East this last train ride (hopefully) for a while.

blurb
Kimberlone
post image

Went thrifting with a friend today and while she was looking at clothes I was looking at books. Picked up this like new copy for $1.99.

hermyknee Oh I loved this book! 3mo
Skyrimir This book is so good! 3mo
Kimberlone @hermyknee @Skyrimir yay! I‘m excited 3mo
Weaponxgirl I really liked this one too 3mo
RadicalReader Definitely can‘t wait to read this then watch the movie afterwards 3mo
32 likes1 stack add5 comments
blurb
MaleficentBookDragon
post image

📖 Brain on Fire
🎥 Scanners
🎶 There's a Zombie on Your Lawn

https://youtu.be/Yy86WS7pzoM

#manicmonday @joscho

JoScho 🧡🤯🧡 3mo
44 likes1 comment
blurb
TheSpineView
post image

#manicmonday @JoScho

📘 Brain on Fire
📽 A Beautiful Mind
🎶 Brain Stew by Green Day

JoScho Good song choice! 3mo
TheSpineView @JoScho Thanks! 3mo
31 likes2 comments
blurb
Butterflyamore
post image

Why are these specific books in my cart? Check out my latest BookTube video to find out! https://youtu.be/ngKwixH3mek

#booktube #thriftstorebooks #bookcommunity #bookfun

review
EmilieGR
Pickpick

Read it in one sitting- completely engrossing, terrifying, fantastic

blurb
Brewychock48

Some books I plan on reading this year:
1.Brain on Fire
2. Educated
3.Becoming
4.Audacity
5.What Happened

suvata 1 and 2 are really good. At least, I enjoyed them. 4mo
Lcsmcat 2 and 3 are both good! 4mo
Eggs Welcome to Litsy 🤗 4mo
DyAnne I read 2 and 3. Both are great. 4mo
43 likes4 comments
review
SarahSaysRead
post image
Mehso-so

Interesting, and scary. A bit long though, I had to jack the speed up to 1.5 in the last quarter of the book or so because I was just ready to be done with it. The narrator may have been part of the issue.

#nonfiction #audiobook

ItsAngel The end of it dragged on a bit... 4mo
Catt I liked this book overall, too. But don‘t watch the movie. The movie is horrible. 3mo
19 likes2 comments
blurb
Cinfhen
post image

#AnglophileApril Susannah Cahalan seemed to finally be living the life she always dreamt of, at 24 she had a great job, supportive boyfriend until she began having moments and bouts of unexplained #paranoia. Soon this happy, talented woman was unable to concentrate / function at her daily job or perform menial tasks. Nobody had a valid reason what was happening to her, every one was quick to assume stress & anxiety ~ but they were wrong.

vivastory I've heard about this book, it sounds terrifying. 4mo
KathyWheeler It is a terrifying book, but it‘s a good one. 4mo
tpixie Yikes!!! 4mo
See All 14 Comments
TrishB Sounds interesting 👍🏻 4mo
Kalalalatja Sounds good! 4mo
JennyM I enjoyed this, but the Netflix version wasn‘t that great 4mo
Cinfhen I was wondering about the screen version @JennyM The book is such a fascinating read @vivastory @KathyWheeler @tpixie @TrishB @Kalalalatja all the medical jargon is understandable and the story unfolds like an episode of HOUSE 4mo
Caroline2 I really enjoyed the Netflix film but I haven‘t read the book yet! Stacked! 4mo
tpixie I need to read this!!! 4mo
Reviewsbylola I don‘t remember this book at all but apparently I gave it a pick. 😆 4mo
Mdargusch Yikes is right! 4mo
emilyhaldi I‘ve always avoided this book bc it makes me too #paranoid 😳😳😳 4mo
Suet624 @emilyhaldi I tried reading it and my Lyme brain freaked out and slammed the book shut. Nope. Too close for comfort. 😁 4mo
Cinfhen I can only imagine @Suet624 😓 4mo
110 likes5 stack adds14 comments
blurb
WellReadCatLady
post image

25 likes1 stack add
review
heyitsMacall
post image
Pickpick

This year I decided to read more about patient experiences to ready myself for clinical work. I am about 1 year from being an OTR/L and a little cognitive assessment could have hurried this lady‘s progress along. But alas, a detailed history of waking up in a hospital, afraid, is needed to understand the patient experience.

review
BritanyA
post image
Mehso-so

⭐️⭐️⭐️: Really interesting perspective on how Susannah‘s life was turned upside down with a genetic autoimmune disease.

blurb
hermyknee
post image

Thanks for the tag, @Chrissyreadit !

1. Fiction, if I have to choose
2. Tagged!
3. Algebra 1 & 2
4. Early Modern England: (Shakespeare & Tudor Court literature 💕)
5. If you haven‘t done this one yet, consider yourself tagged!

#frideas #saturdayedition @SailorMoon

Crazeedi The tagged book looks interesting! 6mo
SailorMoon Thanks for playing!!! 💕🤟🏻🌙 6mo
Geeklet Ooh! I know it‘s a day late but I wanna do this one. 6mo
See All 6 Comments
hermyknee @Geeklet do it! I was a day late on it, too 6mo
hermyknee @Crazeedi I really enjoyed reading it - very well written and extremely intriguing 6mo
Crazeedi @hermyknee going to check it out 6mo
64 likes2 stack adds6 comments
review
violabrain
post image
Pickpick

This is an amazing first-person account of the journalist who seemingly went psychotic out of nowhere, who was later diagnosed with a treatable illness. The author does an excellent job of describing what it felt like to descend into madness, and she also does a wonderful job of explaining the scientific and medical concepts in a very clear and understandable way.

13 likes2 stack adds
review
shortsarahrose
post image
Pickpick

I went into this #audiobook thinking it would be an intriguing medical mystery and it is, particularly part two. But as a woman with an autoimmune disease, I was taken aback by how similar our experience of getting ill (part one) and recovery (part three) were. Like Susannah, I still sometimes struggle with coming to terms with the lost time of my illness and how the experience profoundly changed me.

Possibly TW - hospitals, illness, psychosis

review
Arkrayder
Pickpick

I found this fascinating to read. The thought of losing memories, days and oneself seems to me like a nightmare scenario. The author balances her experiences with simple medical terminology, cites doctors notes and watches hospital footage of herself in an attempt to chronologically regain her lost month and the interactions she had with family, friends and work colleagues.

review
BookFreakOut
post image
Pickpick

So early in the year to be reading one of my 2 annual nonfiction books! 😆 This was really good as an audiobook, and wow that reader can really rattle off her eventual 18-syllable diagnosis. Seriously, I counted. The second half is like a real-life episode of House, which is good in that I don't feel obligated to keep up with the medical talk since they're inevitably wrong but also bad in that it was easy to tune out. Still, would recommend!

review
jlowery999
Pickpick

A fascinating (and frightening) medical mystery. I can only hope this saves a lot of lives.

blurb
BookFreakOut
post image

I've been enjoying this, but it's starting to feel like an episode of House, where I tune out all the new medical theories because the book is only 50% done and I'm just waiting for the reveal closer to the end.

blurb
Becker
post image

Fascinating story but a bit unnerving to read. I like the book but I can‘t wait until it‘s finished. 🧠

20 likes1 stack add
quote
yvil
post image

While sorting through/erasing old phone pictures, stumbled upon this one from an old read... Gotta love how life sends you reminders of the things you need at just the right times or when you didn‘t think you need it at all.

review
Ashley_Nicoletto
post image
Pickpick

I avoided this book like the plague since it came out. I was convinced I wouldn‘t find it interesting. But it was on sale last week and I picked it up and oh my word. This story is terrifying and incredible and I devoured it.

Laura317 Fascinating book. The movie wasn‘t bad, but the book is much better. 7mo
valeriegeary It's so good! 7mo
77 likes4 stack adds2 comments
review
LizzyFara
post image
Pickpick

This story is so eye opening and as much fascinating as it is frightening. Susannah Cahalan is a fantastic writer. I enjoyed that her medical explanations were informative and easy to digest, and she reveals all of the important information true to the timeline of when and how it all happened. It was a really fast read for me, I could hardly put it down.

review
Weaponxgirl
post image
Pickpick

This was such an interesting and scary read. If you like a medical mystery then this is the book for you but what got me the most was just how damn lucky the author was. She acknowledges this but if she hadn‘t had her family around her being strong advocates for her we wouldn‘t in all probability have this book at all.
The medical stuff is made easily understandable for the lay person and I can‘t say much other than wow knowing that it‘s true.

britt_brooke This story is so scary, but fascinating. I listened to it on audio and her narration was phenomenal. 7mo
Weaponxgirl @britt_brooke I bet that was so good! I devoured the print version at work and then had to finish it as soon as I got home. 7mo
66 likes1 stack add4 comments
review
cmwilliamson316
Pickpick

Great book!

review
iamtoddseal
post image
Pickpick

This is an incredible story that will leave you whispering “Jeez...” to yourself at the end of nearly every chapter. It‘s both terrifying and interesting A few chemicals out of balance, some blocked receptors, and it all completely changes. Because of her unique situation, Cahalan manages to write an autobiography with both distance and closeness, keeping readers in the moment while also sharing an outsider view. You haven‘t read anything like it.

blurb
wallacereads
post image

My newest acquisitions.

blurb
OrangeMooseReads
post image

Finally got around to watching this on Netflix. It was good. #booktomovie

TheReadingMermaid Wasn't it good? Have you read the book yet? 8mo
OrangeMooseReads @TheReadingMermaid It was good. Yes I read it earlier this year and it‘s really good. (edited) 8mo
49 likes2 comments
blurb
wallacereads
post image

I may have bought some stuff.

cathysaid Nah. “Re-homing.” 8mo
Bklover Good for you! 8mo
51 likes3 comments
quote
Quin
post image

The existence of forgetting has never been proved: we only know that some things do not come to our mind when we want them to. - Friedrich Nietzsche

blurb
jmofo
post image

I dunno about this book but I got it on some sale a while ago and I needed a book to listen to. I have to open tomorrow but I‘m too restless to sleep so I‘m trying some #audiomarmalading with my new love: yuzu. Dang these little guys are beautiful. Yesterday Roommate and I had some yuzu and honey tea and it was proper gorge.

zsuzsanna_reads Audiomarmalading is a new one for me! Love it! 9mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage This book was so intense! 9mo
DivineDiana Applaud those skills! 👏🏻 9mo
42 likes1 stack add3 comments
quote
iamtoddseal
post image

“I have a gift. I can age people with my mind. This is who I am. And they cannot take this away from me.”

blurb
Kappadeemom
post image

Driving to Augusta to watch my son play basketball. This book is so good so far!

Samplergal I loved it. Those medical themes resonate with me. We will be in Augusta for thanksgiving. Enjoy your time there! 9mo
cathysaid Really enjoyed this one! 9mo
68 likes2 comments
blurb
Stephuhhnieee
post image

I love learning about the brain. Psychology was my favorite course in high school, and I took three courses in college. I remember learning about H.M., and it being one of my favorite cases to study. A man lived his whole life believing he was only 27... It sounds blissful and absolutely terrifying all at once.

blurb
Stephuhhnieee
post image

An empty inbox = reading time. 👀📚

blurb
ErinC
post image

September wrap up. I loved Brain on Fire and Faithful Place. The rest ranged from meh to good.

gibblr Brain on Fire is amazing 11mo
TheBookStacker Brain on Fire was so good! Movie version not so much 11mo
Reviewsbylola Great month, I enjoyed Faithful Place too! 11mo
See All 7 Comments
BlameJennyJane I found a signed first edition of Faithful Place at the consignment shop down the road last weekend. I left without it and immediately regretted it. I went back the following day and spent half an hour combing stacks until I found it! Lol 11mo
Jee_HookedOnBookz How was The Other Woman? 10mo
ErinC I liked it a lot! @Jee_HookedOnBookz 10mo
Jee_HookedOnBookz @ErinC pheeeeewwww... Great to know that! It's on my TBR! 😅 10mo
64 likes7 comments
blurb
Stephuhhnieee
post image

Book mail 1/3 came in 😬

Butterflyamore Brain on Fire was great! 11mo
Stephuhhnieee @Butterflyamore I watched the movie on Netflix and really wanted to read it! I‘m excited! 11mo
Butterflyamore I watched the movie, too! I think you‘ll love the book! 11mo
22 likes1 stack add3 comments
blurb
cinann
post image

My currently reading and tbr #bookstack. Brain on Fire is on my kindle and is for my book club.

#readingresolutions @Jess7

erzascarletbookgasm Pretty shot 🙂 11mo
14 likes1 comment
review
keys_on_fire
post image
Pickpick

Took a break from #MakeMeReadIt to finish my book club pick from July! 😂😂

This story was so compelling. The author did a great job of explaining the medical concepts in a very accessible way. I can‘t imagine what she went through, even after following her journey. It is so easy to write off your own symptoms & not push for more answers. Kudos to her family for not simply accepting diagnoses. Wonderful read!

Bookdragon69 One of my top favorite books. 👍🏼 11mo
keys_on_fire @Bookdragon69 I was surprised the first night how long I kept reading. I stayed up 2 hours longer than I intended to and didn‘t even notice! 😂 11mo
92 likes2 comments
blurb
crazyspine
post image

I didn't even know this was turned into a movie. I loved the book; this movie seems kinda terrible so far though.

Kayla.Adriena I loved the book and felt meh about the movie 11mo
Purrfectpages Never read the book, but I enjoyed the movie. 11mo
66 likes2 comments
review
sahilbert
Pickpick

A great read! I was able to keep up with what was going on. Not too technical.