10 Non-Fiction Books About Mental Health


For Mental Health Awareness Week (14-20th May), I thought I’d chat about 10 books about mental health that are on my wishlist, TBR, or that I’ve read.

Mad Girl: A Happy Life with a Mixed-up Mind by Bryony Gordon

Mad Girl is super accessible. It reads just like having a chat with Bryony over coffee about her OCD, and is really enjoyable and funny. Mad Girl does what I think we all should do: talk about mental health as if we were talking about the flu, honestly and without fear of judgement.

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A Series of Unfortunate Stereotypes: Naming and Shaming Mental Health Stigmas by Lucy Nichol

I was sent a copy recently by Trigger Press as part of their mental health awareness campaign. As someone who deals with anxiety, Lucy discusses the ways in which mental illness is viewed, and tackles unfair stereotypes e.g. that people with mental illness are ‘narcissists’, ‘hypochondriacs’ and ‘psycho’.

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

Matt Haig suffers from depression (like 20% of people) and Reasons to Stay Alive is his award-winning book on how he copes with the illness. It’s loved by many and one I hope to finally read this year.

A Beginner’s Guide to Being Mental: An A-Z by Natasha Devon

One for millennials, this is a guide to mental illness, from A (anxiety) to Z (zero f**ks given).

It’s All Absolutely Fine by Ruby Elliot

Ruby’s illustrations show what it’s like to suffer from all kinds of mental health issues: anxiety, bipolar disorder, self-harm, eating disorders, and depression. We all know that mental health needs to be talked about more, and I really do think that humour – visual humour especially – can be a great way to do it.

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How to Survive the End of the World (When it’s in Your Own Head) by Aaron Gillies

If you don’t follow @TechnicallyRon on Twitter, do it now! He’s so hilarious and relatable, and I can’t wait to read his first book. He talks about the impact that anxiety has and gives readers some tools to fight back alongside his trademark humour.

The Time in Between: A Memoir of Hunger and Hope by Nancy Tucker

Nancy was diagnosed with anorexia and bulimia as a teenager and The Time in Between is her memoir of her experience and recovery.

The Self-Care Project by Jayne Hardy

Self care is something we all should do and I can’t wait to get my hands on this book, written by the founder and CEO of The Blurt Foundation, a charity that aims to increase awareness and understanding of depression.

It’s All In Your Head: A Guide to Getting Your Sh*t Together by Rae Earl

Aimed at teenagers, It’s All in Your Head is full of friendly advice, coping strategies and laugh-out-loud moments to get you through the difficult days written by someone who gets it.

Secrets for the Mad: Obsessions, Confessions and Life Lessons by Dodie Clark

A mix of doodles, poetry and prose all about self-care, mental health, life and relationships: “This is for the people with minds that just don’t stop; for those who feel everything seemingly a thousand times more than the people around them.”

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10 Books Everyone Loves That I Haven’t Read (Yet)


I saw Lucy’s (The Book Belle) video and I thought it’d be fun to share ten books that everyone’s read and raved about, but I haven’t read yet… my TBR pile is so ridiculously big!

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. Ready Player One is out in cinemas at the end of March and the book will be spoiled for me if I don’t read it first. I bought a copy exactly four years ago – everyone was reading this sci-fi novel and even now, half a million Goodreads ratings later, people still rave about it.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt 

I guess this is a modern classic now, right? It sounds perfect for me – mystery, university setting, drama!

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

On my bookshelves you’ll find both Life After Life and A God in Ruins. I’ve not read a book by Kate Atkinson and this feels like the best one to start with. I’m intrigued by the premise: What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right?

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

I’ve just finished The Sun and Her Flowers and cannot wait to read Milk and Honey. I’m not normally one for poetry, but I found that I could relate to many of her poems, especially about friendship and loneliness. I’ve seen this all over the interwebz for the past few months.

Loneliness is a sign you are in desperate need of yourself.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Again, fantasy isn’t a genre I usually seek out, but I’ve been to a few of V.E. Schwab’s panels and thoroughly enjoyed them – she seems like a lovely person and we share a love of Edinburgh. As a Londoner, I’m excited to check out the Shades of Magic series and discover four parallel Londons.

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart 

I’ve read We Were Liars and have five more E. Lockhart novels to read – and The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is one of them. A boarding school, secret societies and feminism? Yes please!

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

I bought my copy for the first ever Books Are My Bag campaign in 2013. It’s another one that has been adapted this year, so I better get my skates on! When Cameron Post’s parents die suddenly in a car crash, her shocking first thought is relief. Relief they’ll never know that, hours earlier, she had been kissing a girl.

The Dreamsnatcher by Abi Elphinstone  

Abi is one of my favourite middle grade authors… but I haven’t read any of her books yet! I went through a phase of reading younger fiction a little while ago. I haven’t read much recently, but The Dreamsnatcher is high on my middle grade TBR.

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

Matt Haig’s popular non-fiction book was added to my bookshelves last year and I really ought to read it soon. It’s one of my aims (although not one I wrote down) to read and talk about mental health a bit more.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Yet another fantasy novel on my TBR! As a fantasy newbie, surely V.E. Schwab and Leigh Bardugo are the best to start with? (I’ve already read S.J. Maas!). I began the audiobook last year but found it difficult to stay focused, so I need to pick it up again – perhaps a readalong?!

Have you read any of these? 

(I also blogged about ten popular books on my TBR nearly 3 years ago and guess who still hasn’t read most of them?).

10 Books I’m Looking Forward to in 2018


So many fabulous books will be published this year. Here are ten in particular that I’ll definitely be reading as soon as they’re out.

MARCH

Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron
As a contemporary reader, I rarely read books about the paranormal, but I’ve heard such wonderful things about Out of the Blue. It features bisexual and gay main characters, takes place during Edinburgh Festival, and is about grief, guilt and fear.

“Ten days after Jaya Mackenzie’s mum dies, angels start falling from the sky. Smashing down to earth at extraordinary speeds, wings bent, faces contorted, not a single one has survived.”

MAY

I Was Born for This by Alice Oseman
Radio Silence was one of my absolute favourite books of last year, so I can’t wait to read her next novel. I also need to pick up her first book, Solitaire, this year.

“For Angel Rahimi, life is only about one thing: The Ark – a pop-rock trio of teenage boys who are currently taking the world by storm.”

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
Love, Simon is one of my most-anticipated movies of the year and I’m looking forward to this sequel to the book.

“Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend—takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst.”

JUNE

Save the Date by Morgan Matson
Well, it wouldn’t be summer without a new Morgan Matson, would it? She’s one of my insta-buy authors – her books always make me feel warm and fuzzy.

“Charlie’s older sister is getting married and Charlie can’t wait—for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster.”

From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon
Like most of the interwebz, I adored When Dimple Met Rishi (perhaps I’ll re-read it this year!), and immediately added Sandhya’s upcoming books (like When Ashish Met Sweetie) to my wishlist.

“Told through the letters Twinkle writes to her favourite female filmmakers, From Twinkle, with Love navigates big truths about friendship, family, and the unexpected places love can find you.”

How Do You Like Me Now? by Holly Bourne
I’ve already reviewed Holly Bourne’s relatable and hilarious first adult novel, but I can’t wait to get my hands on a physical copy and re-read it over the summer!

“Holly Bourne is known for writing relatable teenagers, but, as a 28-year-old, How Do You Like Me Now? is her most relatable novel (for me) so far.”

JULY

Floored by Various
I couldn’t not add this! Floored is a YA contemporary story told from the perspective of six characters and a mysterious narrator, written by a bunch of my favourite authors, including Sara Barnard and Lisa Williamson.

“After they go through a traumatic experience together, the lives of six strangers become intertwined, and they decide to meet once a year to commemorate the day they met and the person they lost.”

AUGUST

Only Love Can Break Your Heart by Katherine Webber
I really enjoyed Katie Webber’s Wing Jones and can’t wait to read her next dreamy YA novel. Only Love Can Break Your Heart is about “a popular girl with secrets and cracks in her heart and the boy who thinks she’s perfect.”

OCTOBER

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee
Much to my surprise, I absolutely loved The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue – Henry and Percy are my faves – and I’m sure the sequel will be equally as amazing.

“A sequel to The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, narrated by Felicity and featuring travel, pirates, and a science girl gang.”

The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman
I loved being part of The Book of Dust hype last year and will definitely be picking up the sequel to La Belle Sauvage – I’m sure the cover will be stunning, too.

“The Secret Commonwealth will feature Lyra Silvertongue as a twenty-year-old undergraduate, travelling to Central Asia via the Levant.”

Are any of these books on your wishlist?

Top Ten / Books I Read in 2017


Here are my top books of the year!

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee
I’m so glad I chose this brilliant audiobook. I loved Monty and Percy – they’ll sit comfortably amongst my favourite characters ever. The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue genuinely gave me the giggles. It’s also a much-needed read, featuring LGBT romance, racial diversity, and politically active women during a period of history that ignored them.

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
Dimple and Rishi are geeky. They’re smart, funny, talented and interesting – and lovely. I really enjoyed seeing a girl passionate about STEM subjects and a boy passionate about art. When Dimple Met Rishi was a perfect YA contemporary read, for me.

Freshers by Lucy Ivison & Tom Ellen
Narrated by Luke and Phoebe, Freshers captures the first year of university perfectly. They’re two of the most realistic teenage characters I’ve come across (as we’ve all come to expect from Lucy and Tom!). It also covers topics that are vital to talk about, from sexual harassment on campus and one-night stands to ‘laddish’ behaviour and homesickness. I wish I had it when I was a student.

This is Going to Hurt: Section Lives of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay
Now a writer for film and TV comedy, Adam turned his compulsory doctors’ notes into a book. It opened my eyes to what it’s like to be a junior doctor. This is Going to Hurt is hilarious, honest and heart-breaking. As a woman, Adam’s field of expertise (obstetrics and gynaecology) is particularly relevant to me. Even so, This is Going to Hurt is a must read for everyone.

History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
Griffin and Theo are best friends > boyfriends > ex-boyfriends > best friends. And then Theo dies. A heartbreaking story, The History is All You Left Me is a wonderful exploration of relationships. I adored seeing Theo and Griffin take part in a pub quiz, complete with Harry Potter and Star Wars questions. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
After more than 10 years since I first read it, I picked up this popular trilogy and quickly became entranced by Lyra’s world, the characters, and the clever, twisty, exciting story. I’d lie in bed – the perfect place to listen to audiobooks, in my opinion – not wanting to fall asleep. I found myself eager to get back to Lyra’s Oxford, thinking about the stories even when I wasn’t reading them.

La Belle Sauvage (The Book of Dust) by Philip Pullman
I was super lucky to attend the midnight launch for La Belle Sauvage. At the event, we sat on a boat and ate stew, listened to Gyptian music and partook in a quiz, before heading upstairs at the stroke of midnight to pick up my copy. I finished the story within a few days and now I’m eagerly awaiting the next one, The Secret Commonwealth

Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour
Everything Leads to You is one of the few novels I’ve read that features LGBT+ characters but isn’t about being LGBT+. It’s an important part of the storyline, of course – and there’s a super sweet romance – but it’s not the main part of the story. Beautiful, cinematic and a joy to read.

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
Very little happens in We Are Okay in contrast to the drama and mystery of Everything Leads to You, but Nina does feelings really well, especially those that are difficult to describe: grief, loneliness, immense sadness. I adored the relationship between Marin and Mabel. I can’t wait to read more from Nina!

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
Alice gets teenagers. She gets what it’s like to be a teenager (or a millennial, let’s say) on the interwebz. She understands how online communities work and how they can go from making you feel part of something to suffocated. I loved Frances and Aled – they have an incredible friendship and I adored their funny and relatable Facebook messages.

Are any of these in your top ten?

Top Ten / 2017 Books I’m Excited About

Top Ten / 2017 Books I'm Excited About
It doesn’t feel like that long ago that I was writing about the top ten young adult and middle grade novels I was excited about for 2016. Here another ten that I’m looking forward to this year!

FEBRUARY
All About Mia 
by Lisa Williamson
I adored The Art of Being Normal – about teenagers David Piper and Leo Denton – and All About Mia is one I’ll definitely be picking up very soon! A brilliant look into the mind of a teenager stuck in the middle.

MARCH
Forever Geek by Holly Smale
It’s almost time for the final book in the Geek Girl series. It’s been four years (I can’t quite believe it) since I picked up the first book. In many ways, my life’s quite different to how it was in early 2013, and this series has been with me the whole way!

MAY
Release by Patrick Ness
Of course the new Patrick Ness had to be on my list! Inspired by Mrs Dalloway and Judy Blume’s Forever, Release is one day in the life of Adam Thorn, 17. It’s a big day. Things go wrong. It’s intense, and all the while, weirdness approaches…


Truth or Dare by Non Pratt
I’m a huge fan of Non Pratt! As well as being a Twitter buddy, I loved her novels Trouble, Remix and Unboxed and so, of course, I’ll be reading Truth or Dare as soon as I can. Told in a dual narrative voice, Truth or Dare is about teenagers Claire and Sef.

JUNE
The Name They Gave Us by Emery Lord
In 2016 I read When We Collided and it instantly became one of my favourite books of the year. I still haven’t picked up Emery Lord’s previous books (please make me do it this year!), but I’ll definitely be reading The Name They Gave Us. A vibrant, compelling story of love, loss, faith, and friendship.

AUGUST
Freshers by Lucy Ivison & Tom Ellen
I cannot wait for yet another amazingly hilariously and realistic contemporary novel from my favourite duo. In the meantime, I’m tempted to re-read Lobsters and Never Evers, but this has the potential to be my favourite yet. Freshers follows two protagonists through that tumultuous first year of university.

SEPTEMBER
Inviticus by Ryan Graudin
Wolf By Wolf
is one of my favourite books – about Yael, who is on a mission to join the famous Axis Tour, a treacherous motorcycle race across the world – and so I’m excited to see what Ryan Graudin does next. Time flies when you’re plundering history.

Solutions and Other Problems
by Allie Brosh
Hyperbole and a Half made me laugh out loud. Although it tackles depression, it’s not depressing. I’m excited to see if Allie can do the same in Solutions and Other Problems.

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James
After enjoying The Next Together, I’m looking forward to Lauren James’ next novel, set in space. Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met, never even spoken to – someone who is light years away?

?
Fall Boys & Dizzy in Paradise by Jandy Nelson
I thought The Sky is Everywhere was an incredible story (and it’s one of the few books that has made me cry). I also enjoyed I’ll Give You the Sun, so Fall Boys & Dizzy in Paradise (an intriguing title) was always going to make the list. Nelson follows a trio of siblings—two boys and a girl—whose father disappeared years earlier under mysterious circumstances. 

And lastly, I haven’t included the fantastic YA contemporary novels A Quiet Kind of Thunder or Wing Jones because I’ve read (and loved) them already – definitely put them on your TBR!

Are any of these on your 2017 wishlist?