Friday, 22 March 2013

MM Book Club update & reminder

The Migraine Monologues Book Club is now well under way and happy readers from America, Australia to London have joined up for this virtual world of migraine wonder! It's not too late to grab a copy of the book - "Migraine" by Oliver Sacks or even to join in our discussion next month.

You can read all about the MM Book Club here and learn more about my vision for what I'd love it to become. World domination, people.



The first book on the agenda, "Migraine" is considered a classic. Indeed, in a recent article Author Hilary Mantel declared:

"It changed my life, and I dare say that of thousands of other sufferers, by increasing my knowledge of this strange condition. And for a patient, knowledge is power. "

Hilary Mantel isn't the only one to heap praise on the book. I stumbled across this rave review by another Writer who was suffering from 'mysterious' crippling headaches until a happy accident in a book shop...

 "My epiphany came when, browsing in a bookstore, I opened a copy of neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks's ''Migraine'... There on the book’s pages were sketches and artists' impressions of the visual disturbances and sensory hallucinations that came before the onset of migraines. There were the same jagged lines, the same smudged patches of vision. It was revelatory."

One of the reasons I love reading about migraine is finding comfort in knowing I'm not alone; Sacks describes all the weird and horrible symptoms that so many of us suffer with. It's so reassuring to know that 'it's not just me'! I must admit, however, that I haven't yet finished reading all of the book, but I'll be doing a summary review in April, so don't worry if you can't get through it all either! I will also admit to finding it a little dry but I'm enjoying dipping in and out of different chapters. For example, I don't have migraine with Aura so the multitude of case studies and examinations that Sacks includes on this area are incredibly interesting for me. I'm also enjoying reading about the history of migraine, especially the Appendix on the visions of Hildegard of Bingen - who I did part of my undergrad dissertation on! It's also comforting knowing that Sacks has struggled with migraine himself, so he isn't writing purely from an academic, or even professional, standpoint.

So, the grand plan is for the first 'meeting' to take place on Tuesday 16th April. Being such a fabulous international crew we have a few time zones to span. We're going to try an aim for:

1pm EST & 6pm GMT (I hope I have that right)

You can type in your local time to this handy Time Zone converter to see what time that would be wherever you live in the world.  I hope this means that the USA lot can join us in their lunch break, and the UK lot can join in after work or at G&T time.

After much debate the MM Book Club Panel (which anyone is welcome to join) has decided to hold the first discussion via a password protected chat room. The bonus of a chat room is we can have a proper discussion without being limited to 140 characters (twitter) and chat more freely, and of course there may be those of you who don't use twitter. Gasp.

Directions:
1. Click here to enter the chat room: MMBook Club (will open in a new window)
2. Enter Password: mmbookclub
3. Join in our incredible, life changing discussion! (But wait until April as otherwise you'll be talking to yourself. Sad.)

[Many thanks to the fabulous Diana Lee for this format which is what she uses for Migraine Chat

I'll re-post the above links nearer the time - but don't forget you still have the best part of a month to check out the book! Don't worry if you can't make the actual discussion, you can still take part by commenting here on the main review that I'll post on the day - which, incidentally, will be the focus of our chat room discussion.

I also want to assure you that the Panel and I will be voting on some exciting fiction and photography (featuring and created by migraine sufferers) for the next exciting instalment of Migraine Monologues Book Club. Watch this space.

And now I have some reading to get back to...

Links
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/feb/08/my-hero-oliver-sacks-mantel
http://bigthink.com/age-of-engagement/diagnosing-a-migraine-how-popular-science-helped-a-writer-cope
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Migraine-Oliver-Sacks/dp/0330526146/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1363969376&sr=1-1

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