Kenia here! I've been on the hunt for this month's book club pick, there were just so many good picks that just had to share! It's Mental Awareness Month so that's the theme we're leapfrogging off of for this round. The research brought these books along my way. These are stories about women speaking up about topics people don't really want to read or hear about. From depression, career changes, to self - love these women talk about it ALL.
- Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness (Autobiography) - Susannah Cahalan wakes up one day in a hospital bed unable to remember how she got there. Suffering from anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis and a diagnoses of a form of encephalitis. In addition to the violent seizures that would terrify her loved ones, she was wracked by terrifying hallucinations, intense mood swings, insomnia and fierce paranoia. This book takes a deep dive into pain & madness and how sometimes people dismiss your pain. She spent an entire month in the hospital being misdiagnosed. She lost an entire month of her life.
Brain on Fire comes from a place of intense pain and unthinkable isolation but finds redemption in Cahalan's unflagging, defiant toughness. It's an unexpected gift of a book from one of America's most courageous young journalists.
2. Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by: Jenny Lawson - I've read this in bits and the excerpts I've read have been profoundly funny. You're laughing at something that is uncomfortably true, which can be so therapeutic. Lawson talks about her struggle with mental illness and her wit & humor helps you see the light in the darkness.
"Most of my favorite people are dangerously fucked-up but you'd never guess because we've learned to bare it so honestly that it becomes the new normal. Like John Hughes wrote in The Breakfast Club, 'We're all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it.' Except go back and cross out the word 'hiding.'"
3. Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer By: Barbara Ehrenreich - There's a Grim Reaper on a treadmill that's basically why I picked it up. The reason why this one intrigued me was that Ehrenreich bluntly goes into why we're all so obsessed with our wellness when death is the only certainty in this world. Yikes! That sounds bleak, but it's a truth we sometimes need to hear. Our society shapes us to believe that we somehow have control over our fate. The only reason this ISN'T our book club pick is because I thought it would be kind of depressing. It's still on my to-read list!
4. The Myth of the Nice Girl: Achieving a Career You Love Without Becoming a Person You Hate by: Fran Hauser- Ok, so technically this isn't a book on mental health, but I thought this would be an interesting read because a lot of us are dealing with success/entrepreneurship/ career changes. As women we're taught early on that we have to be nice, especially if you're climbing up the ladder or trying to smash that glass ceiling. A lot of what has us clinging on to the nice girl persona is that mentality that a lot of us were raised on. It's hard un-learn something that's been engraved in your mind. What I liked about this book is that Hauser deconstructs with such thoughtfulness. She understands her audience and writes in a clear way that is not intimating from this type of self-help book. I can't wait to finish this book!
5. Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by: Lindy West - Can you tell I enjoy memoirs? West is bold and funny. SHe talks about self-love, reproductive rights, internet trolls, and feminism. I considered this book because West isn't afraid to SPEAK UP! This is a woman who has been fighting her entire life. This seems simple and kind of obvious to say about an author, but it's different when it comes to Lindy West. Her work is all over the internet, so please indulge in her writing for a bit.
I say no to my own instinct to stay quiet. It's a way of kicking down the boundaries that society has set up for women - be compliant, be a caregiver, be quiet - and erecting my own. I will do this; I will not do that. You believe in my subjugation; I don't have to be nice to you. I am busy. My time is not a public commodity.”
Here's the insane episode of This American Life where she talks to the cruel internet troll that was making her life next to impossible.
So what do you guys think of these books? Which one do you wish made the cut for this month? What's on your reading list this month? Comment below!