Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson

furiouslyhappy

Jenny explores her lifelong battle with mental illness. A hysterical, ridiculous book about crippling depression and anxiety? That sounds like a terrible idea. And terrible ideas are what Jenny does best. According to Jenny: “Most of my favorite people are dangerously f*cked-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.'”

I loved this book. Just look at the cover. That’s a taxidermied racoon that the author places around her home in funny predicaments and then photographs. And, yes, there are pictures of him in the book. Seriously though, mental illness is so often spoken about in whispered voices that it is refreshing to see an author being so upfront and honest about it. A great read.

Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen

girlinterrupted

“People ask, How did you get in there? What they really want to know is if they are likely to end up in there as well. I can’t answer the real question. All I can tell them is, It’s easy.”

In a series of darkly comic vignettes, Susanna Kaysen paints a startling picture of life on the ward for teenage girls at the McLean Psychiatric Hospital in the late 60s.

For other memoirs about mental illness, check these out:

Lit by Mary Karr

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

Monkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety by Daniel B. Smith