Sunday Sum-Up

SundaySum-Up

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer that I am linking my Sunday Sum-Ups with. Stop by and say hello!

Sunday is upon us once again. What a week it has been! I have nothing to contribute aside from the fact that I have been incredibly busy was juggling the normal hurdles. I did manage a few posts though and score some great books. Maybe a book haul later this month? Maybe not? I am terrible with posting them, but am aiming to try to post more on Instagram so we will see. FYI – you can follow my poor little account here. <– Shameless self promotion never hurts. I am all about it this week 😉 Let’s get crackin’!


new-recent-reviews

68783Girl, Interrupted

18584855Heartless
5869434
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

While I enjoyed all three books, the winner of the week is definitely Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. This is a true must read!


new-current-reads

32508637
See What I Have Done
By Sarah Schmidt

Synopsis:

In this riveting debut novel, See What I Have Done, Sarah Schmidt recasts one of the most fascinating murder cases of all time into an intimate story of a volatile household and a family devoid of love.

On the morning of August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden calls out to her maid: Someone’s killed Father. The brutal ax-murder of Andrew and Abby Borden in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts, leaves little evidence and many unanswered questions. While neighbors struggle to understand why anyone would want to harm the respected Bordens, those close to the family have a different tale to tell—of a father with an explosive temper; a spiteful stepmother; and two spinster sisters, with a bond even stronger than blood, desperate for their independence.

As the police search for clues, Emma comforts an increasingly distraught Lizzie whose memories of that morning flash in scattered fragments. Had she been in the barn or the pear arbor to escape the stifling heat of the house? When did she last speak to her stepmother? Were they really gone and would everything be better now? Shifting among the perspectives of the unreliable Lizzie, her older sister Emma, the housemaid Bridget, and the enigmatic stranger Benjamin, the events of that fateful day are slowly revealed through a high-wire feat of storytelling.

*I am struggling with this egalley. The concept is fascinating but the formatting and dialog are a tad messy. Time will tell!

10862575Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Vol. 1
By by Naoko Takeuchi,
William Flanagan (Translator)

Synopsis:

Usagi Tsukino is a normal girl until she meets up with Luna, a talking cat, who tells her that she is Sailor Moon. As Sailor Moon, Usagi must fight evils and enforce justice, in the name of the Moon and the mysterious Moon Princess. She meets other girls destined to be Sailor Senshi (Sailor Scouts), and together, they fight the forces of evil!

This new edition of Sailor Moon will feature:
-An entirely new, incredibly accurate translation!
-Japanese-style, right-to-left reading!
-New cover art never before seen in the U.S.!
-The original Japanese character names!
-Detailed translation notes!

This version of Sailor Moon will be completely true to original. Join us as Sailor Moon returns to the U.S. for the first time in years!

*Ok so my secret is out: I AM A HUGE SAILOR MOON FAN. I have been waiting to own this box set for several years and finally have my own. 


new-other-happenings

I have a few spotlights lined up and a new You Choose, You Read in the works, but it has been pretty quite on the blogging front for myself. I hope you have enjoyed the week. Remember to savor the moment and enjoy a good book or..

“In the name of the moon, I will Punish you!”
― Naoko Takeuchi, Sailor Moon

Happy Reading!

Danielle ❤

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Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen

68783the-book

Girl, Interrupted
By Susanna Kaysen
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN13: 9780679746041
Pages: 169
Genre: Autobiography/Memoir

Synopsis:

In 1967, after a session with a psychiatrist she’d never seen before, eighteen-year-old Susanna Kaysen was put in a taxi and sent to McLean Hospital. She spent most of the next two years on the ward for teenage girls in a psychiatric hospital as renowned for its famous clientele — Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, James Taylor, and Ray Charles — as for its progressive methods of treating those who could afford its sanctuary.

Kaysen’s memoir encompasses horror and razor-edged perception while providing vivid portraits of her fellow patients and their keepers. It is a brilliant evocation of a “parallel universe” set within the kaleidoscopically shifting landscape of the late sixties. Girl, Interrupted is a clear-sighted, unflinching document that gives lasting and specific dimension to our definitions of sane and insane, mental illness and recovery.


my-thought

*I understand just how important mental health awareness is. This review is simply my own experience and not intended to provide anything more than my thoughts on this specific book.

In my efforts to expand my reading, I am rediscovering some of the older titles on my TBR. It is somewhat interesting to look through them and reflect on how my tastes have changed. I try to keep an open mind though and remind myself that all titles made the list for one reason or another. Girl, Interrupted is no exception. While memoirs and autobiographies are a rarity in my collection, every now and then one will surface. Being that I hold a particular fondness for the study of mental health, it is no surprise to discover that this book made the cut (even if it has taken years to pick it up). It is a subject that I expanded on during my nursing career and has greatly touched my life.

Let’s clear the air on the film vs book debate that often pops up; I have nothing to contribute. I watched the film years ago and it did not leave a memorable impression. For the sake of possible future discussion, I may revisit. For now, I am solely reviewing my time with this brief but memorable book.

“Did the hospital specialize in poets and singers, or was it that poets and singers specialized in madness?”
-Ray Charles

Girl, Interrupted was surprising lighter than I expected but not exactly an easy read. I think I was anticipating a fact laden and much darker story, but it simply was not. That is not to discredit the journey and importance contained within. There are surely some triggers and difficult topics. We are taken behind the scenes into a what it is to question ones own mental state and life as Susanna is admitted to a psychiatric ward during the late 60s after an extremely short and questionable visit with a psychiatrist. Eventually grouped into character disorder, she finds herself a patient for nearly 2 years. This is her story and an eye-opening look at the system during that time

Susanna holds a certain amount of familiarity when reflecting on my younger years. I was immediately drawn to her and questioning how her time in a mental health facility came to existence so abruptly. Her “irrational” behavior just did not feel as extreme at times. She is very self-aware and conscious of her own actions. This self-awareness can however, lead to isolation as one becomes increasingly alert to their own nuances.

“Emptiness and boredom: what an understatement. What I felt was complete desolation. Desolation, despair, and depression.”

Haven’t we all questioned our personal short comings or sanity at least to some degree though? Doesn’t the ability to do so actually contribute to our sanity? Based on her own personal account, the author would most likely be treated as an outpatient now if seen by a psychiatrist and would certainly not have been institutionalized after a mere few minutes. Therein is where I discovered the heart of the issue in Girl, Interrupted for myself. How was she admitted so easily? How has the system evolved, has it?

There is defensive prose throughout her narration that is undeniably understandable and justified but also perhaps a bit less relatable during present day where I like to believe the medical and mental health fields while not without flaw, have advanced and improved greatly. It is beneficial to keep the time period in mind when approaching this title and maybe absorb it as more of a comparison and opportunity to reflect on the process of diagnosis and treatment. I had entered expecting to gain more insight into the individual and personal struggles when facing mental health disorders but instead walked away with a stronger sense of the system’s shortcomings during the late 60s. With that I still found great value and significance. I cannot fault any book that challenges us to look further and notice issues or possible cracks.

“This time I read the title of the painting: Girl Interrupted at Her Music. Interrupted at her music: as my life had been, interrupted in the music of being seventeen, as her life had been, snatched and fixed on canvas: one moment made to stand still and to stand for all the other moments, whatever they would be or might have been. What life can recover from that? I had something to tell her now. “I see you,” I said.”

Character and personality disorders cover an expansive range of symptoms and behavioral patterns that greatly impact the lives of those affected. While treatment has advanced and many new options in terms of medication and therapy are available, it is important to continue exploring new possibilities. I respect Girl, Interrupted for giving me pause and shedding light on issues that might not be the primary center of focus for some. It is thought-provoking and touching, but not so heavy that you find yourself drowning in facts and losing sight of the real relevance. It is a pragmatic approach that provides a realistic view and gives credence to a significant issue. It will be appreciated easily by many.

Have you read Girl, Interrupted? Let’s chat about it!

Purchase Links:

Amazon US  Amazon UK  Book Depository

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Sunday Sum-Up

SundaySum-Up

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer that I am linking my Sunday Sum-Ups with. Stop by and say hello!

Happy Sunday! I hope everyone has enjoyed the weekend and found time to relax and read. I am skipping the Mini Review again this week as I am just not in a short story mood at the moment and buried in requests. I hope to bring the section back to the posts next week or soon.

As mentioned, my breaks continue to happen (unexpectedly) as I manage symptoms. The game plan for now is to simply blog and hop as I am able. Seems the natural course I know. But having a few features and commitments, it can be hard to deviate from the schedule (even when I take the extra step to convey no promised time frames). If I am honest, the worst part is not being as active on your posts and blogs. But I have hit a wall and it is time to exchange the stubborn for some needed self care.

Just a simple recap this Sunday and maybe a review later if I am able.


new-recent-reviews

3700085Marcelo in the Real World

32600602 (1)The Reluctant Queen


new-current-reads

29102896
Bad Romance
By Heather Demetrios
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
ISBN13: 9781627797726
Pages: 368
Genre: YA Contemporary

Synopsis:

Grace wants out. Out of her house, where her stepfather wields fear like a weapon and her mother makes her scrub imaginary dirt off the floors. Out of her California town, too small to contain her big city dreams. Out of her life, and into the role of Parisian artist, New York director—anything but scared and alone.

Enter Gavin: charming, talented, adored. Controlling. Dangerous. When Grace and Gavin fall in love, Grace is sure it’s too good to be true. She has no idea their relationship will become a prison she’s unable to escape.

Deeply affecting and unflinchingly honest, this is a story about spiraling into darkness—and emerging into the light again.


new-other-happenings

This week will I will try to post a few reviews. I still have about 6 waiting to be written. I have a possible spotlight soon that I am excited about also. Otherwise, I will be keeping it light. Wishing you each a week of peace and much reading.

“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”
-Frederick Douglass

Cheers,

Danielle ❤

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