Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne

Rarely do I read a book that talks about mental illness in a way that’s both accurate and relatable. Am I Normal Yet? is such a book.

It’s about a girl with OCD. Her name is Evie and she just wants to be normal, whatever that means. She’s been working towards it with her therapist and making good progress since being discharged from hospital, where she’d stayed for a while due to her mental health problems.  Read more

A Special Post For A Special Person On A Special Day

On March 4th 2014, my friend Jo killed herself. She wouldn’t have understood how much we’d miss her, because when you’re in that kind of state of mind you don’t get it.

I do miss her, though. If you’re thinking about killing yourself, you probably have people who will miss you too. They won’t even know before you die exactly which things they’ll miss about you. Some will be obvious, of course, but others not so much.  Read more

The Break by Marian Keyes

Marian Keyes is one of those writers whose work I am aware of – I mean, she’s one of the most popular authors out there, how can you not be? – but which I don’t read very often. I’m fairly sure I must have read something of hers at some point before this, but if I have I can’t remember what it was. So when FMCM sent me a review copy of The Break I was very much coming at it with an open mind and few prior expectations.

And so I settled down with a notebook and a drippy-wine-bottle candle at the ready, and I started to read.

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2016 Reflections – Books (Biographies)

I’ve never really been into reading biographies. With the exception of pretty much anything about the life of Kierkegaard, I generally stay away from true stories and read either academic non-fiction, or novels.

But this year quite a lot of biographical accounts have ended up on my reading list, and several of them were amazing enough that I decided to do a whole new Reflections post for them.

I’m defining ‘biography’ quite loosely here, to mean anything where the author draws on personal experience (either their own or someone else’s) to discuss the central premise of the book.

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Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

I was sitting on the platform at Brighton station, waiting for a train. It had been a bit of a frustrating day: the trains had all not been running on time, and I’d only needed to go down there to pick up a single envelope. In total so far, the journey had taken me three hours for a five-minute conversation and envelope handover, and I still had the journey home on a stuffy train to look forward to. And the announcement boards weren’t working, and the train man had told me the train would “probably” be arriving soon, on platform five.

So there I was, sitting on a bench waiting for a train. I’m a patient person and had resigned myself to the idea of spending all day on public transport. I’d finished Augustine’s Confessions on the way down and was now in the first few pages of Jenny Lawson’s Furiously Happy.

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