Loud In the House of Myself: Memoir of a Strange Girl is a new book by Stacy Pershall. Of course, I was immediately drawn to this memoir, because it is a) a memoir b) about a “strange girl” and c) deals with mental illness. Yay! Since I’m undoubtably a strange mentally ill girl, I knew I had to read this. Pershall writes about her life growing up in Arkansas and her morphing from an über-sensitive child into a teenager and young adult with Borderline and Bipolar issues. Anyone familiar with the mental illness memoir genre will certainly have heard of Elizabeth Wurtzel, and I just bring her up, because UNLIKE Wurtzel, Pershall is not whiny in her writing! Pershall is matter-of-fact about her trials and symptoms, even though the reader can imagine the actual playing out of illness to be much more harsh and unbearable.
Pershall describes her unrelenting eating disorder, mood swings and suicide attempts with a steady and precise hand. This book seems really accessible to me, because Pershall speaks not only to those of us who have been through the mental health care system, but also to people who might not really understand this special weirdness. The only thing I would like to see more of in this book is more OF this book! haha. Seriously though, I enjoyed reading this memoir and would love to read more from Pershall. I would especially recommend this book to people struggling with Borderline Personality Disorder. There is a special misery only known by Borderlines that is never really represented in the books that ostensibly deal with Borderline Personality Disorder. I really wish there were more accounts like this that show the uncrazy through the crazy of Borderline Personality Disorder.
“Devil in the Details: Scenes From an Obsessive Girlhood” by Jennifer Traig will tickle your inner OCD child if you have one. I’m not a full blown OCD person, but I can relate to some of what Traig writes about, and she shows us with much wit what a full blown disorder is like. It is great that she has such a wonderful sense of humor about a disorder that is so crippling to her and so many millions of people like her. For those who don’t understand Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, this gives a good glimpse into a life that is severely train-wrecked by it. I give this four stars instead of five, because I found the ending a bit weak compared to the rest of the book that kept me enthralled. My only unanswered question is: am I the only one who noticed that the candies on the cover of the book aren’t COMPLETELY straight???!!! haha. ( )
“The Shiniest Jewel: A Family Love Story,” by Marian Henley is a graphic novel that you won’t want to put down! The story of adoption, life, love, etc. told in adorable cartoons. If you have never read a graphic novel, you should start with this one. You won’t be disappointed. Maybe you are thinking “I’m an adult, I don’t do cartoon books! I need small type, 500+ pages and footnotes to believe I’m really reading.” haha. Don’t be silly. Really, you don’t need to prove to anyone how serious a reader you are! Indulge in some chocolate here! Besides, this book IS serious!
“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” is Maya Angelou’s memoir of her life up until about her early twenties. Mostly set in the South, she tells of a semi-impoverished childhood in an early 20th century America that is still reeling from the legacy of slavery. Perhaps what is most striking about this memoir is that it was written in the 20th century, but the life she describes is very different than what people experienced even a mere 50 years later. The story is engrossing and at times horrifying, but always interesting. The only reason why I give this book four stars instead of five is that I felt the ending was a bit of a let down–perhaps because I wanted to read more. This book is well worth your time and effort and is an example of why Maya Angelou is so renowned. ( )
I just finished reading “Manic: A Memoir” a few days ago, so I thought I’d share my opinion with you. The book is the memoir of this high-powered female attorney from Los Angeles who has bipolar disorder. I’m usually really interested in most