The Book of Help traces one woman's life-long quest for love, connection and peace of mind. A heartbreakingly vulnerable and tragically funny memoir-in-remedies, Megan Griswold's narrative spans four decades and six continents — from the glaciers of Patagonia and the psycho-tropics of Brazil, to academia, the Ivy league, & the study of Eastern medicine.
Megan was born into a family who enthusiastically embraced the offerings of new age California culture — at seven she asked Santa for her first mantra, and by twelve she was taking weekend workshops on personal growth. But later, when her newly-wedded husband calls in the middle of the night to say he's landed in jail, Megan must accept that her many certificates, degrees and licenses had not been the finish line she'd once imagined them to be, but instead the preliminary training for what would prove to be the wildest, most growth-insisting journey of her life.
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Early Praise for The Book of HelpMore Praise
In a world full of spiritual seekers, Megan Griswold is an undisputed All-Star. She has spent her life examining her existence in patient, courageous, and microscopic detail, and now she has written about her search with tender and comic honesty. What a delightful journey!
The Book of Help is a bright, self-effacing, celebratory, gut-wrenching and hilarious chronicle of one woman's attempt to heal both herself and the parts of the world she intersects. It reminds us, in these dizzyingly corrupted times, of the redemption to be found in good friends, good dogs, and good therapy, and urges us to make the world we want to live in, one act of compassion at a time. Megan Griswold is the best girlfriend you never had, this book is an all night sleepover ouija board/tarot card/magic eight ball session of delight.
By turns funny and aching, The Book of Help is Eat, Pray, Love on speed. Not even the Buddha was as determined as Griswold to find inner peace.
Megan's memoir is driven by a voice that won't let go. The ideas, the characters, and the hilariously improbable situations Megan finds herself in make for a compulsively readable, genre-bending narrative. I found myself laughing at the phrasing, aching from moments of loss, and missing people I'd never met. The book makes me hold my girlfriends tighter, forgive myself for my blindspots, listen more attentively to my inner voice, and itch to get out into the big, weird world. In other words, everything you'd want in a memoir.
An inventive, deeply original plummet into self-exploration that is part emotional repair manual, part memoir and entirely wonderful. You'll be wiser for having read it, feel less alone in the world when you're done, and endlessly grateful to Megan Griswold for creating her one-of-a-kind life that lead to this one-of-a-kind book.
The Book of Help is a homecoming of healing. If you think you know what a memoir is, this book subverts everything you know. In her honest, openhearted prose, Griswold examines her life through remedies, from the simple to the wild. This book is a tender, and at times, a heartbreaking account of what it means to have relationships, from your parents to your spouse. The Book of Help will split you open, wrench your heart, and offer a kind of redemption. Griswold's compassion and humor is on every page, as she logs her various endeavors to be a loving human in the world. This book is not about being lost and found; it's about the voyage our lives take. You are her fellow pilgrim on her journey of grace. A brave and insightful debut.
Megan Griswold's fantastic memoir is part-medicine for our time, part-balm for our collective wounds, part-instruction manual. Unexpectedly hilarious, self-deprecating, moving, and a story for all women in this time, I couldn't put it down. I read it aloud to my fiance?, to our daughter, to my friends. It's the book that makes you jog the elbow of the person sitting next to you and say, 'You've GOT to read this.' You've got to read this. Megan is in touch with where the rest of us may have limped off course.
Megan Griswold's intimate, chatty, marvelous voice scooped me up on the first page of The Book Of Help and she never left my side until the last. This open hearted, soul searching, intensely readable memoir reminds us that we are far from alone on our journey and how ever much we might want them - there are no finish lines, just resting stops where we can heal, learn, gather strength and, most importantly, keep going.
From Ashtanga yoga, EST, Christian Science, acupuncture, Ivy-league degree, Tai Chi, veganism, surfing, Gestalt, colon hydrotherapy, Burning Man, wilderness school, cranial sacral therapy, Tarot, EMDR, and Qigong, to the expected mix of more traditional psychological therapies, Megan Griswold has sought answers in them all. Self-deprecating, funny, generous, and exacting, The Book of Help does what great memoirs do; out of the densely personal it discovers our shared story. In the end it's the writing that proves the ultimate therapy, both, I suspect, for the author, and for the reader.
I marvel at how much Griswold accomplishes as a thinker and a storyteller in this rollicking, heartfelt memoir. I flew through the book and found myself thanking the Universe (or whomever) for the seemingly countless therapies of the body, soul, and mind to which the author subjected herself, yielding this hilarious, touching portrait of a 21st-century consciousness.
As a mountain adventurer, I appreciate the way Griswold brings the salve provided by our natural world to the fore in this wild journey. Hard to put down and filled with humor, I think everyone will find just a little bit of themselves in this beautiful book.
Soul-searching has never been more comprehensive.
Griswold's vulnerability and deeply honest writing will captivate and bolster readers in their own search for improvement.
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