A fascinating history of the cultural stigma of mental illness that simultaneously provides a history of psychiatry, psychology and the creation of the DSM, among other things. While reading this book I constantly had the urge to turn to the person next to me and exclaim, "Wow! Listen to this!" Grinker provides a detailed global history of mental illness and how various cultures have dealt with it. From the creation of asylums to the employment of autistic individuals, Grinker has authored an empathetic overview of his subject with much to mull over as we become more accepting of those that may be different from ourselves. We're all on the spectrum!
Let's talk about being neurodivergent in a world that caters to neurotypical folks! Jenara Nerenberg was diagnosed with Autism when she was an adult. After years of being misdiagnosed herself, she was shocked to see what little research had been done about neurodivergency in women, since they are often misdiagnosed with a mood disorder or for being 'hormonal'. So, what did she do? She did her own research and wrote a book. this book reassured me of my own neurodivergency and how to survive in a world that isn't accessible to those who are neurodivergent. Neurodivergence is an actual superpower, and we deserve to be heard and seen! This book is essential for those on, off, and in between the spectrum of neurodivergency.
I always come back to one word when it comes to Daisy Johnson's writing: feral. It's coated in muck and nettles, and moves like wounded animal still hungry for a hunt - desperate and disjointed as it builds up momentum until the frenetic moment when the words bite down with bloody fangs and send everything reeling. I texted my friend immediately after closing Johnson's newest sibling psychological horror with a single excited phrase - Sisters just punched me in the gut.
If life has sucked out all of your creative energy like a vampire with no self control, this is the pep talk you need. It's a reminder to treasure what inspires you and to savor the act of making something. Try a different medium, use your hands, cut, paste, paint, type, etc. Let it fill you up whether it turns into something good or bad, it doesn't really matter at this moment, just make something. It's also a reminder that while you can't control when you'll have a stroke of genius sent by the muses, you can control your routine, your workspace, and small actions that will make you more likely to create. I highly recommend this book for any creative who needs a pick me up right now.