If you were a bibliotherapist, what books would you “prescribe” for your patients?
My fantastic freshman year English teacher incorporated bibliotherapy into our curriculum, and taught us how to make reading a healing experience. The literature we read as a class helped us to understand ourselves better and cope with the problems we were facing at an awkward time of adolescence. She had a gift for recommending books to each of us to read on our own that seemed as if they were tailor-made for the struggles we were personally grappling with at that moment of our lives, and to give us the inspiration and encouragement we needed. We learned about how Maya Angelou used literature to emancipate her mind and find inner strength while reading “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” and it was so empowering to me. The grief and challenges I’ve faced during my teenage years have been so unlike the ones Maya endured growing up, but I could still identify with her in so many ways, and her words became like emotional instruction manuals that helped guide me through so much. I’ve had a difficult year, and her poetry as well as other books I’ve read recently have helped to alter my perspective, provide a needed catharsis, and give me comfort and strength.
I read an article in the LA Times last year about a seventeen-year-old who had spent his childhood being passed around to various foster homes like a hot potato, failed two grades, and got involved in a violent gang at an early age, whose English teacher at the juvenile detention center where he was committed urged him to read "Don Quixote," and the profound impact the book had on his life. He started studying for his GED, writing songs, and looking into colleges.
What books have been the most influential and healing to you? If you were a bibliotherapist, which books would you prescribe to your patients? In particular, if you had one who was a girl in her late teens feeling knocked down by the tides of life, what would you suggest for her to read? : )
Thanks everyone. : )
Anyway, so they have a small section of books in English, and I was surprised to find "The Bell Jar" in it. I actually bought it over a month ago, long before this question and your answer recommending it, but I was finishing off other books before starting it. This must be a book I'm meant to read.