Matt Haig on Depression, Anxiety, Panic, and Our Overconnected World

Novelist Matt Haig's two short but powerful books cover his struggles and coping methods for mental illness -- namely depression, in Reasons to Stay Alive, and anxiety in Notes on a Nervous Planet. They both read blog-like -- sometimes confessional, sometimes lists, here focusing on a brighter side and elsewhere acknowledging the depths these illnesses... Continue Reading →

Kapka Kassabova on Balkan Heritage and Ancient Lakes

Book review: To the Lake, by Kapka Kassabova (Amazon) When I lay in bed, I could hear the splash of waves on the shore as if they were outside the door. I dreamt of the lake rising in the night and engulfing the town, like an old prophecy. Bulgarian-born, Scottish-based author Kapka Kassabova became an... Continue Reading →

Running in the Family

Book review: Hidden Valley Road, by Robert Kolker (Amazon / Book Depository) The symptoms muffle nothing and amplify everything. They're deafening, overpowering for the subject and frightening for those who love them -- impossible for anyone close to them to process intellectually. For a family, schizophrenia is, primarily, a felt experience, as if the foundation... Continue Reading →

Pre-2019 Favorites

If new nonfiction this year was a little lackluster, I did feel more enthusiastic about the backlist titles I read throughout the year. It was one of these that was my absolute favorite and the best book I read this year: Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe, by Kapka Kassabova - Kassabova returned... Continue Reading →

Susannah Cahalan Investigates the “Pretenders” of a Groundbreaking Psychiatric Study

Book review: The Great Pretender, by Susannah Cahalan (Amazon / Book Depository) The Great Pretender, Susannah Cahalan's first book since Brain on Fire, her 2012 memoir of a rare, difficult-to-diagnose autoimmune disorder, investigates an infamous and groundbreaking 1973 study carried out by psychiatrist David Rosenhan. Rosenhan sent a group of eight healthy "pseudopatients" into mental institutions... Continue Reading →

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