Book review: First, We Make the Beast Beautiful


beastFirst, We Make the Beast Beautiful
Sarah Wilson
Non-fiction

Sarah Wilson approaches anxiety disorders with bracing honesty, reassuring credibility, and aching softness. Weaving personal experience, professional research, and inspiration from a number of outside sources–friends, gurus, writers–she offers an exploration of anxiety that’s great for everyone.

It’s not a how-to, an exhaustive research compendium, or a first-person narrative. Instead, she pulls the best elements of each to create a one-of-a-kind book for a deeply varied experience. Continue reading

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Book Review: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark


I’ll Be Gone in the Dark
Michelle McNamara
Nonfiction (crime)

Is it terrible to be gleeful about this book? I can’t help it. I’m a Criminal Minds junkie who reads about psychopaths for fun and this book is like candy for my mild obsession. I also waited months for this to work its way through holds at my library, which certainly built anticipation.

You’ve probably heard about this book. It was all over the media when law enforcement arrested the Golden State Killer earlier this year. For years, Michelle obsessed over catching GSK; she even named him–he was otherwise known as the East Area Rapist/Original Night Stalker (EAR/ONS). He was also the Vidalia Ransacker. His numerous crime sprees–different segments of the same sick path–resulted in numerous names and confusion. Continue reading

Books for Angry Girls & Women


If you’re anything like me, the current state of the world might have unlocked a wellspring of rage you didn’t realize you had. Maybe your shower-time, falling asleep, ruminating on the road fantasies have turned violent. Maybe you can’t consume the news. Or maybe you consume it obsessively, the adrenaline building in your system until you want to punch something. Maybe you’re craving, wishing more powerfully than you’ve ever wished, that magic is real and you were a fire or storm or lava witch, because you have some ideas.

Oh, just me? Okay.

All this rage has me thinking about the angry, powerful female characters I’ve collected, the stories of girls and women who rage, who change their worlds. Maybe you need these stories as much as I do. Last week I wrote these all down, the stories I’ve read in the past few years that are feeding my soul right now. Continue reading

Lyse Links: Mental Health Edition


Today I want to share some of the most powerful readings I’ve come across about mental health. The more I’ve read and talked to people, the more I’ve realized the frequency and severity of the mental health difficulties plaguing many of the people I know and love. Those same problems are probably affecting the people you know and love. Talking about and better understanding mental health heals us all.

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“Thinking of suicide is a sign of a medical emergency.” Continue reading

Understanding Sierra Burgess is a Loser


Netflix released a new young adult rom com this weekend, Sierra Burgess is a Loser. I’ve been excited about this movie for awhile–Netflix hit it out of the park with recent rom coms like Set It Up and To All the Boys I Loved Before, so I had high hopes for Sierra Burgess. Just before the movie released, I learned something that shot my excitement for this movie through the roof:  Continue reading

Book Review: Not If I Save You First


v7845_notifisaveyo_4cc-683x1024Not If I Save You First
Ally Carter
YA

Publisher Summary

Maddie thought she and Logan would be friends forever. But when your dad is a Secret Service agent and your best friend is the president’s son, sometimes life has other plans.

Before she knows it, Maddie’s dad is dragging her to a cabin in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness and into a totally different life. Continue reading