If there’s one thing I discovered this week it’s that long plane rides can be great for getting reading done, unless your like me and get motion sick when you down for too long. Despite this minor setback I managed to get a lot of reading done this past week, while having a great time. On a completely unrelated note, if you are interested in Sigma Tau Delta and attending their international conference next year I suggest that you go for it. It’s an absolutely amazing experience. Anyway on to the books
Kissing Doorknobs by Terry Spencer Hesser
Do you ever get compulsive thoughts stuck in your head all the time? Does the saying ‘step on a crack break your mother’s back’ echo so many times in your head that you begin counting cracks anytime you step out your front door? If any of these apply to you then you might be struggling with something similar to our main character Tara, a girl who has relatively no control over her life. Tara suffers from an undiagnosed form of OCD in a time where the disease was fairly new. The book shows her struggles and the different ways OCD can show itself.
Pros: This book taught me so much about OCD. I honestly didn’t really understand a lot about the disease and how it manifests itself before picking it up. The book itself is a short read that isn’t afraid to get very real about issues. The book details the many compulsions that Tara finds herself suffering from, and the effect these compulsions have on her social and family life. Tara has some great characters who come alongside her, but for the most part she fights her battles, and she does it well. Kind of a spoiler, but in the end when she finally gets treated she is the one that steps and becomes a pretty awesome female lead. I think this book has a lot to say about how tough you have to be to fight OCD, which isn’t a mental illness but something caused by a chemical imbalance (who knew?).
Cons: The book gets a little intense at times. Tara’s mother hits her multiple times to try and get her to stop her compulsion and those scenes get a little messy. I struggled with these scenes because it felt almost abusive, but at the same time it shows just how little people understand about OCD and what it is. At the end when Tara is finally diagnosed her mom is pretty dang remorseful. There are some editing errors within the book, and often the narrative gets a little jumbled, but those didn’t really get in the way of the book’s message.
I think overall this is a great book, and it’s eye opening. Tara is taken to multiple specialists and diagnosed with several different issues. This demonstrates a lack of knowledge even among the professionals. It’s a nice quick read, and you will learn a lot from it.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Meet Junior, a Spokane Indian living on a reservation. He is smart, but he was born with what he calls water on the brain. This condition leaves him looking, and behaving, slightly different than the rest of the kids on the rez. Junior decides to attend school at nearby Rearden where no Spokane has ever stepped foot before. Now Junior has to learn to navigate two different worlds, and somehow come out on top.
Pros: This book is rough. It is honest. It is informational. You might cry, but that’s okay I did too. Alexie doesn’t shy away from displaying the realities of life on the rez for Junior. He doesn’t use anything to soften the blow he just lays it all out there, and I love that because I think it makes this story hit home. Junior has some great support in his life, and he has to go through a lot of crap half of us can only imagine. Yet somehow in all of this he manages to make something great come out of it. I really can say anymore than this because honestly I feel like it would ruin the book and it’s one I feel everyone needs to read at least once in their life.
Cons: None. GO GET THIS BOOK NOW