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April 30, 2018 | by  | in Arts Books | [ssba]

The Books That Get Me Through

For the mental health issue of Salient, I’m diverting slightly from the original format of a standard review. As a book lover, my go-to activity when I am descending head first down the deep dark black hole of sadness is to crack open a book and descend into that world instead. So here are some mini reviews of five books that have gotten me through some tough AF times.

  1. Atonement by Ian McEwan.

Okay, you might be thinking that this is an odd choice, because why would I want to read a book that will make me feel more depressed? But Atonement has been my favourite book since I was 15, and every time I read it  I am completely absorbed in that world. It is, and has been, the best distraction.

5/5 empty Kleenex packets.

  1. 100 Nasty Women of History by Hannah Jewell.

This book came to me during my most recent lil blip, and by learning about some of the baddest bitches of all time, it reminded me that I am also somewhat of a bad bitch and that things were pretty a-okay. Especially because I don’t have to fight off invading armies or work out the math to send people into space.

4/5 hours on Youtube watching vine compilations.

  1. Anything by Dan Brown.

Okay I know I will get a LOT of hate for this. I know they’re shit. I know they’re ridiculous. But I just bloody love them for the cringy pieces of trash that they are, but with these books I can just blob out, read about wack religious conspiracy theories, and think about Tom Hanks.

1/5 self-deprecating memes for depressed teens. (I couldn’t actually give Dan Brown a good review… I’m not a complete monster).

  1. Can You Tolerate This? by Ashleigh Young.

Literally just putting this on this list because it is probably one of the best books I’ve ever read, and I love it so much that I haven’t stopped reading and re-reading it since I bought a copy, which has overlapped with some sad times, so technically that counts.

5/5 days on a diet consisting of ramen and pasta.

  1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

I was a HUGE John Green fan in high school, and reading his books, especially The Fault In Our Stars, got me through a lot of bad times in 2012. While I don’t read his books anymore, and probably never will again, I still have to acknowledge how much this book meant to me as a sad sixteen year old.

3/5 embarrassing emo Tumblr posts.

In writing this list, I realised a lot of the books I have mentioned are all very sad and serious. Self-help books don’t work for me, but an exciting, emotional, and dramatic book has often been the best medicine. How they help my declining mental state is beyond me, but I owe a lot to these books and to these authors for bringing me out of the hole numerous times throughout my life.

If you feel yourself going down the wormhole, try reading a book. It takes you away from negative things like social media, and away from reality for a little bit. Of course this is not an ultimate cure, but if you need a distraction, then a good book might help for the time being. Stay well, stay hydrated, seek help if you need it, but maybe get stuck into a good book too.


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