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Heavy Hangs the Head

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  81 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Heavy Hangs the Head is a memoir novella about a woman with an addiction, a mental illness, and a feminist identity. It is the story of one woman's journey from anxiety-ridden child to delinquent teenager to divorced alcoholic. This is the story of how she turned all those years of experiences into a beautiful existence.
Paperback, 139 pages
Published August 22nd 2013 by Sweet Candy Press (first published August 20th 2013)
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Average rating 4.15  · 
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Aug 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
I know of Taryn Hipp because I used to read her zine Girl Swirl and buy from her distro My My while I was in high school. This book is small and easy to digest, I read it in a matter of a few hours. A more realistic rating would be 2.5 stars.

I really commend Hipp for writing this book. It's very evident that it was a vital move in her process to heal. The problem with this book is that it reads like a story that she has either been choking back for so long that she can't remember the details any
Sherri Lorraine
Nov 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very real, raw. A good read, for sure!
Feb 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Taryn Hipp, author of the new book HEAVY HANGS THE HEAD (published by Sweet Candy Press), describes her work as "a memoir novella about a woman with an addiction, a mental illness & a feminist identity." It serves not only as an autobiography, but an example of how one person can come from a dysfunctional home life, endure anxiety, depression, and alcoholism, and survive a broken and destructive marriage to better their life and improve as a human being.

Except... no. That's not the story, not re
T.B. Markinson
Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Taryn Hipp’s memoir is short, only 139 pages. However, that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t pack a lot into it. Hipp has written about her alcoholism before in a zine, but she wants to tell more of the story. The stuff she’s been holding back. Hipp writes: This book is not me re-writing the story I shared in that zine, but rather it’s me coming clean and looking at my addiction and recovery not as something that happened to me, but as a part of who I am.

While this isn’t an easy book to read becaus
Ashley Mcclelland
Aug 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is amazing! I felt like I was reading something not meant for me. It is so personal yet welcoming. I couldn't put it down. I have never met Taryn personally but I feel as though her and I were best friends. I cried when she did, and even when she didn't. I felt like I was there with her every step of the way. She talks about real problems but not in a "I am getting a lecture through this book" kind of way! I recommend it to everyone. You would do yourself a favor reading this book!
Jonas Cannon
Aug 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was an extremely good read. It was raw and honest; Taryn neither hides her tears, nor gets lost in congratulating herself on her eventual sobriety. She dives right into a past of alcoholism and an unhealthy marriage, confessing all the mistakes made along the way. It's a very heartfelt book; I think a lot of people will be able to relate to her story.
Aug 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What a painfully beautiful story full of real life, real people, and real struggles. But mostly real emotions!
You can't help feel like you're reading Taryn's diary as you turn the pages of her soul.
Aug 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bio-memoir
taryn's book made me feel less alone in the world and inspired to write more myself, just as her zines always do. that's an awesome thing.
Feb 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
've read this book twice, which should tell you something. I don't often re-read anything since I'd rather read something new each time. Hipp's book is about the journey she took from an emotionally unstable childhood to a self-destructive adulthood until finally arriving at a time in her life where she could accept and love herself. The author doesn't leave any stone unturned and is able to express in the easiest and most delicate way her struggle at learning how to live.

I very much enjoyed re
Aug 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I just finished reading HHTH and it was even better than I'd hoped, but so much more heart-breaking than I'd imagined. I had all these jumbled details in my head, from being a longtime reader of Taryn's zines, and an old LJ friend from back in the day, but this really put all the pieces together. It also filled in a lot of the missing years, where she just disappeared for a while.

It's so funny how you can feel so connected to someone who's both a stranger and an old friend, and yet have no idea
Sage Adderley-Knox
Feb 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Taryn Hipp is an alcoholic who hit rock bottom in her early thirties. Heavy Hangs the Head is her memoir novella about growing up with young parents and falling into a pattern of drinking, wanderlust, and facing mental health issues. It’s evident how proud she is to be the oldest sibling of four and how becoming an aunt strengthened her in many ways.

After a failed marriage to someone she immensely loved, Taryn’s addiction spiraled out of control. Ending up in jail and then living with her mother
Oct 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book gave me a lot of deep insight into a world I was always an outsider too. As someone related to people with alcohol problems, I always wondered about an example of an alcoholics thought process or searched for reasons why someone would be so self destructive. While obviously every one struggling with addiction is different this book has helped me empathize with others who have abuse problems in a way I wasn't able to before. This is a poignant and strong story with heart and I enjoyed r ...more
Stephanie Ortez
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put this book down. Taryn Hipp reveals her story of struggle with alcoholism and anxiety with such rawness you keep rooting for her all the way from the very beginning. I enjoyed her enthusiasm for music and what goes on in transforming art into zine, which still an unknown territory for me but after this book, I'll definitely be on the look out to this form of art. The author maintains a strong value for honesty throughout the book, she definitely had a tough life but she knows deep ...more
Nicole Harris
Taryn Hipp is one awesome woman for choosing to tell her story. Addiction and mental health issues are difficult to have, and sometimes even more difficult to talk about. Through writing her story, Taryn allows both those of us who already know her through her writing, and new readers a peek into her life. I laughed and cried along with Taryn's story. She makes a point to show that life is complex, and what we think we've figured out as a teen we're still working on in our 30s, and that is OKAY.
Shannon Leigh
Sep 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Taryn did a wonderful job of presenting her experiences in a sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes humourous, but always honest and straight forward manner. I admire Taryn for facing her problems with more strength and integrity than I think she even knows she possesses. She demonstrates openly that depression, anxiety and addiction does not discern between race, class, gender etc and anyone can suffer from these problems. Mad Props, Taryn!!
Jessica Lewis
Aug 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a great tale of figuring out oneself and starting a life, even if it has to happen a few times. Taryn shows great strength in sharing these details about her life with her readers. It felt like she was talking to me. She's a great writer and I hope to see more from her. Check out her Lady Teeth zines, too!
Sep 28, 2013 rated it did not like it
The title of this books is very powerful, but the author was not able to express herself in a way I could relate. I feel that anyone with an addiction can not just give it up "cold turkey", without having hit a "rock bottom".I feel that the author is hiding the pain of her story, and as a reader I feel cheated.
Aug 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Taryn writes her memoir from an interesting place. It's clear she's come a long way and needs to share where she is right now. She's learned a lot, but is also figuring things out going forward. It's open and honest, and provides a glimpse at someone in the space of still growing and learning and being OK with not having all of the answers yet.
Nov 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mental-health
A really heavy, moving, and yet hopeful tale of one woman's journey to the rock bottom of alcoholism and her ongoing recovery. Purchased because I like her zines, and wanted to know more about her story.
May 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Interesting, especially the parts that really delve into being a young teenager in the mid-nineties and finding one's way into a wider social circle via the internet.

Reminds me a lot of Everybody Else's Girl, which is not a bad thing.
Stephen Robinson
Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Touching, honest, and affecting story.
Aude Lising
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Aug 16, 2013
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Aug 31, 2013
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Jul 06, 2014
rated it it was amazing
Sep 17, 2013
rated it liked it
Dec 26, 2013
Yup. Just about the best thing I've read in a very long time.
rated it it was amazing
Apr 20, 2014
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May 29, 2014
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Nov 09, 2016
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Ask Taryn Hipp: Psyched! 1 17 Oct 06, 2013 08:19AM  

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