Apr 6, 2017

If I'd Known Then: Women in their 20s and 30s Write Letters to Their Younger Selves by Ellyn Spragins - Book Review

If I'd Known Then: Women in their 20s and 30s Write Letters to Their Younger SelvesIf I'd Known Then: Women in their 20s and 30s Write Letters to Their Younger Selves by Ellyn Spragins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Published April 22nd 2008 by Da Capo Press

If you could send a letter back in time to yourself, what would it say? Following in the tradition of the bestselling What I Know Now™ comes a new collection that will speak directly to young women. Editor Ellyn Spragins asked women under forty to write letters to the girls they once were, filled with the advice and insights they wish they'd had when they were younger. Readers will recognize familiar names as well as meet new voices in these wonderfully candid missives, including: author Hope Edelman; actress Jessica Alba; Olympic soccer gold medalist Julia Foudy; activist Zainab Salbi; actress Danica McKellar; and author Plum Sykes. A perfect gift at graduation or for any important young woman in your life, If I'd Known Then offers rare glimpses into the personal stories of extraordinary young women-and will inspire readers to live their best lives.

Apr 5, 2017

Where the Light Gets In: Losing My Mother Only to Find Her Again by Kimberly Williams-Paisley - Book Review

Where the Light Gets In: Losing My Mother Only to Find Her AgainWhere the Light Gets In: Losing My Mother Only to Find Her Again by Kimberly Williams-Paisley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Published April 5th 2016 by Crown Archetype

Many know Kimberly Williams-Paisley as the bride in the popular Steve Martin remakes of the Father of the Bride movies, the calculating Peggy Kenter on Nashville, or the wife of country music artist, Brad Paisley. But behind the scenes, Kim was dealing with a tragic secret: her mother, Linda, was suffering from a rare form of dementia that slowly crippled her ability to talk, write and eventually recognize people in her own family.
Where the Light Gets In tells the full story of Linda’s illness—called primary progressive aphasia—from her early-onset diagnosis at the age of 62 through the present day. Kim draws a candid picture of the ways her family reacted for better and worse, and how she, her father and two siblings educated themselves, tried to let go of shame and secrecy, made mistakes, and found unexpected humor and grace in the midst of suffering.

Ultimately the bonds of family were strengthened, and Kim learned ways to love and accept the woman her mother became. With a moving foreword by actor and advocate Michael J. Fox,
Where the Light Gets In is a heartwarming tribute to the often fragile yet unbreakable relationships we have with our mothers.

Mar 28, 2017

Hello Me, It's You - Book Review

32078947Hello Me, It's You by Hannah Todd
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Published October 10th 2016 by Hello Me, it's You

“Keep smiling and being you. Don’t let the world change you”

Hello Me, it’s You is a collection of letters by young adults aged 17-24 about their experiences with mental health issues. The letters are written to their 16-year-old selves, giving beautifully honest advice, insight and encouragement for all that lays ahead of them.

This book was produced by the Hello Me, it’s You charity, set up by the editor, Hannah. Hannah was diagnosed with depression and anxiety whilst at university and found comfort in talking to friends about their experiences, realizing she was not alone in her situation. This inspired the idea for the charity and book. Through the creation of materials such as this, the charity aims to provide reassurance for young adults (and their families) who are experiencing mental health issues and give a voice to young adults on such an important topic. The result of that will hopefully be a reduction in the negative stigma surrounding mental health and an increase in awareness of young people’s experiences. All profits go the Hello Me, it’s You charity, for the production of future supportive books.

Trigger warning: Due to it’s nature, the content of this book may be triggering. Contains personal experiences of depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, trichotillomania and other mental health issues, as well as issues such as assault.

Oct 1, 2016


Dear M

I am so sorry.
Sorry for feeling envious, sorry for feeling like it's a competition, sorry for everything you've had to go through to make me feel sorry.

You've had you're highs and you've had your lows. You deserve to announce and celebrate those highs. Be proud.

I have no right to feel what I have when you've shared happy news.
I have no right to despise what you have just because I don't have the nerve to get them myself.

You deserve your happy moments. Remember them during your lows.
And I am so sorry about those lows.

I can only try to imagine what you're going through, even then I'm sure it's just the tip of the iceberg.
I don't know what to say besides I'm sorry. And again I'm sorry something so horrible had to happen for me to get to this point.

I wish I could do something for you, but I know I can't.

I know that I can drop all negative feelings that you do not deserve. I can start treating you the same way you've treated me.
And I know I can start to try and give back to the world on your behalf.