cover image The Book of Help: A Memoir in Remedies

The Book of Help: A Memoir in Remedies

Megan Griswold. Rodale, $26.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-63565-220-8

If there’s a self-improvement tactic out there, chances are Griswold has tried it—and in this humorous memoir, she lays bare how each has shaped her life. “At birth, my parents assigned me a Christian Science practitioner; by age seven I asked Santa for my first mantra,” recounts Griswold, an acupuncturist and freelance writer. Griswold grew up in Southern California, and her New Age parents introduced her to transactional analysis and past-life readings at eight, and gave her a crash course in Our Bodies, Ourselves at 17. While on an International Wilderness Training Course in Chile at age 22, she met Tim, and shortly thereafter married him. After getting an MA in international relations at Yale, Griswold followed the holistic path she’d begun as a child: she graduated from acupuncture school, trained as a doula, then turned to couples counseling when her husband was arrested for soliciting sex from an undercover police officer. Tarot cards only confirmed what Griswold already knew: her marriage was over. With self-deprecating humor, she tells of dating, postdivorce, a qigong practitioner named Laird, who suggested that she may be trying too hard while warming up (“This isn’t CrossFit, you know”). Griswold’s vulnerability and deeply honest writing will captivate and bolster readers in their own search for improvement. (Feb.)