By: Alex McKeithen. Format: Hardcover. Read: March 2014.
Alex McKeithen decided to study art abroad in the inspiring European landscape. Unfortunately for him, when he arrived in Paris, he suffered a breakdown, running through the streets proclaiming he was the Seventh Angel and that the apocalypse was coming. This book is his story through these events and his recovery back in the states.
Alex McKeithen is brave for spilling his life and thoughts out in this book. He even gives readers more insight into his spinning mind, by adding notes along the side, as though this was his personal journal. The author doesn’t shy away from the harshness of his illness or the realities of treatment inside the facility. However he does try to insert humorous scenes to help break up the monotony. This is an exceptional book about the inner workings of an overactive mind.
Again, I thank you for your patience with these reviews. As I am sure you can imagine, it was quite difficult to not only be living the experiences of caring for someone who struggles daily, but then to read a few back to back books about mental illnesses…well reading is my escape and it is pretty difficult to escape my reality by living someone else’s experiences. Again I offer my apologies over the delayed reviews, but I am thrilled to announce that we are moving forward through the next books on The List.
Do you or someone you know, suffer from bipolar disease? Do you appreciate the value of experiencing someone’s life through their words?
The PR Representative provided a copy of this book for me to review. To learn more about her, please visit her website.
By: Carrie Jane Knowles. Format: Paperback. Read: February 2014.
Helen’s mother-in-law, Lillian, has a beautiful garden that Helen likes to take care of, because it soothes her mind. However Helen suffers from bipolar disease and when she suffers a breakdown, her husband commits her to a mental institute. This decision leaves her children reeling from pain and confusion, because they do not understand their mother’s illness. While in the institute, Helen decides to write letters to her children, hoping for forgiveness and understanding, not just from her family, but also from herself.
This is a powerful and poignant tale of how bipolar disease affects not only the patient, but also the entire family. Add in the background of faith and family secrets, and readers will have a hard time remembering that this is a work of fiction. Switching narratives between the young girl and Helen allows readers a more intimate look at the family dynamics. Knowles has created a mesmerizing work of art that captures the human spirit. This is a must-read for anyone looking to get inside of a mind suffering from the wretched disease.
Why the long delay on this review? Well I had a hard time reading this book, seeing as how I read it during the same time that my family was experiencing the hear-wrenching side effects of Alzheimer’s and mood disorder. Then when it came to write the review, I sat down several times thinking I was ready, but my hands just hovered over the keyboard, as my mind played back the memories of that horrible month. I erased my rough draft twice, before finally writing this version. All I can say is that this is one powerful book, a must-read, but definitely a book that you need to prepare for and schedule time to recover afterwards. Thank you all for your patience and understanding with this delay… now that I have posted this review up next on the blog will be the subsequent three reviews from The List.
In the meantime, what do you like to do to help focus and bring peace to your mind? Do you tend a garden, color, read, write in a journal, etc.?
The PR representative provided a copy of this book for me to review. To learn more about her, please visit her website.
I hope everyone is enjoying the new year. Did you all make any resolutions? I didn’t really make a resolution, but more so decided to schedule reading time each day. When I started this blog, I was taking about 2-3 days to read a book and then I would immediately typed the review. However, the last two months I have severely gotten off track. If you know about Alzheimer’s Disease/dementia, then you know that night time is a difficult time for a person with dementia. Make it winter, where the sun goes down early and it is a bit cooler, and let’s just say the days have been a bit tougher for my family. Then add into that the streak of bad health that I had, and very little reading was accomplished in the month of December.
But it is a new month in a new year and therefore the slate has been wiped clean and a fresh start can occur. For me, this means making a schedule for reading and writing reviews. My new goal will be to take 3-4 days to read a book and then on the 5th day write the review. Remember this is my goal, but life can happen and delay things some days. In between reviews, I will try to have one or two blog posts about topics related to reading/writing/reviews. Plus, for those of you who have enjoyed seeing the quotes, I will continue to post them too. Also I have ordered a reading light, since my old one burnt out, so this will help when it comes to paperback and hardback books. Yes, this is my game plan for 2013 and I am thrilled to see what new books this year has to offer. What about you? Do you have any new goals for 2013?
On an exciting bit of semi-related news, I went to the post office today and a new book had arrived. This new book is from Ireland! Be sure to check out the newly updated List page. Thank you all so much for your support. This little book review blog that I started, has surpassed my dreams. Thank you for taking a chance on me and I hope you continue to join me on this journey. Thank you all. Have a wonderful night and a healthy, prosperous new year!