How’s your reading progress this month? I’ve been moving through books pretty slowly lately, and by that, I mean I don’t want to pick up any of the books I’m currently reading. My halting reading progress is due to the darker nature and content of the books I’m currently reading. I’m enjoying them, but none of them are happy, light, or easy to read. And these factors combined are making me stressed about reading. So instead I went to the library for some romance novels! I think they’re just what I need to break out of this rut and then I can do a better job of balancing the lighter reads with the heavier ones.
I bring this up today because, as you may or may not know, May is Mental Health Awareness Month. The darker books I was reading were negatively affecting my moods and thoughts, making me feel bogged down in grief, drama, and isolation. It’s important to talk about mental health and how various items, events, interactions, etc. affect our moods. I do think that we should continue to talk about mental health outside of May in order to normalize and humanize many conditions. Talking about mental health decreases the stigma and shame often associated with mental health conditions. Today I’m sharing three books that prominently feature characters struggling with their mental health and, importantly, handle this issue with sensitivity, respect, and awareness.
The three books are…
History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
Griffin’s best friend, first love, and ex-boyfriend dies in a drowning accident. Reeling from this loss, Griffin turns to his ex-boyfriend’s new boyfriend, and leans on him for emotional support. This is a beautifully written YA novel about grief, love, and friendship.
Something Like Happy by Eva Woods
Annie is unhappy at home, at work, and is struggling under her incredible loss and grief. And then she meets Polly, who has terminal cancer. Together, the two women help each other to balance joy alongside their pain, to accept reality and plan for the future, and to make a difference in whatever way they can.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
This is a fun book about Bernadette, a former architect, who is agoraphobic and therefore housebound. That is, until she disappears. Where’d You Go is told through letters, emails, and memos and also follows Bernadette’s daughter as she searches for her mother and grieves for her loss.
That’s it for today! Have you read any of these books? What book(s) that address mental health would you recommend?