NAMI Book Reviews

Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity
by Andrew Solomon.
Review by Bob Carolla, NAMI Director of Media Relations.

Far from the Tree was named one of the top 10 books of 2012 by The New York Times and won the National Book Critics Circle Award. It is a panoramic, provocative examination of families who must come to terms with their children’s physical, mental or social disabilities—including autism and schizophrenia.

David’s Inferno: My Journey through the Dark Wood of Depression
by David Blistein
Review by Brendan McLean, NAMI Communications Coordinator

Just as Dante traveled through hell, purgatory and paradise, David too has voyaged through his own circles of hell. Depression had been a longtime companion of his, but for a two-year period beginning in 2005, it reared its monstrous head and consumed him. Those two years served as the driving force behind the book.

Iris the Dragon book series
by Gayle Grass
Review by Keiana Smith-McDowell

Iris the Dragon is the protagonist in the Iris the Dragon book series by Canadian author Gayle Grass. The series, targeted at children ages 8 to 12 serves as an educational tool that provides mental health literacy to help children better understand different mental illnesses they are dealing with. Iris serves as the spokesperson for mental health issues and makes children comfortable about opening up about their thoughts and feelings.

Getting Graphic: An Illustrated Memoir Explores the Creative Side of Mental Illness
Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me, by Ellen Forney
Review by Stephanie Dinkmeyer, NAMI Communications Intern

Vincent Van Gogh, Sylvia Plath, Ernest Hemingway and Ellen Forney something in common: They’re all creative artists with a history of mental illness. The main difference is that you’ve probably never heard of Ellen Forney (and she is also still alive).

In Forney’s new graphic memoir, Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me, she explores the sometimes blurry line between creativity and mental illness. The book is a 237-page journey that begins before Forney’s diagnosis of bipolar disorder and ends years later in a more stable, happier existence.

Coming of Age on Zoloft: How Antidepressants Cheered Us Up, Let Us Down, and Changed Who We Are
by Katherine Sharpe
Review by Hisaho Blair, NAMI Communications Intern

Having a son who suddenly developed depression his senior year in high school and who is currently taking Zoloft, as well as a moody teenage daughter who sometimes makes us wonder if she needs help to get her through her “down” times, I was instantly drawn to the title of Katherine Sharpe’s book, Coming of Age on Zoloft: How Antidepressants Cheered Us Up, Let Us Down, and Changed Who We Are. In her book, which was published last year, Sharpe shares her own 10-year experience with antidepressants.

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