My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D.

My Stroke of Insight Book Review | Retropulser.comIn My Stroke of Insight: A brain scientist’s personal journey by Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D., Jill shares the inside scoop of what it’s like to suffer a stroke and the process of recovery. The whole process is especially fascinating as with Jill’s background as a brain scientist, it allows her to understand and explain to us on a deeper level what is going on as she is experiencing the stroke and the use of her left brain. As a result of losing access to most of her left brain, she offers an often unheard perspective on just how the two sides of the brain work together and what the recovery process entails.

It really was fascinating for me to watch and experience myself during those earliest stages of recovery. Because of my academics, I intellectually conceptualized my body as a compilation of various neurological programs, but it wasn’t until this experience with stroke that I really understood that we all have the ability to lose pieces of ourselves one program at a time. (p. 78)

I first heard about Jill’s experience from watching her TED talk (watch it!) that focused on the experience of having the stroke, so I was excited when browsing the library shelves that I discovered she had written a book about her experience. Unlike her talk, which mostly focuses on the stroke itself, this gave more perspective on what it’s like to live with just one side of your brain functioning well. Although, I haven’t experienced such overwhelming loss as she did, the left side of my brain tends to be my weaker side. So it was interesting to be able to compare how my strengths and weaknesses were similar, yet different than hers. I also enjoyed her list of things that were helpful for recovery and her emphasis on being treated normally even if she couldn’t respond normally.

Who would I recommend this book too? Anyone. It’s a quick and easy read.