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Genre Challenge 2013-15 > May 2014: Psychiatry/Madness

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message 1: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 3398 comments Mod
So It's psychiatry/ madness for May. Books can be fiction or non fiction.

I've been reading good reviews about Sane New World: Taming The Mind by Ruby Wax, which I might take a look at. Awakenings has been on my to read list for a while, so it could be a contender. Has anyone read Girl, Interrupted - any good? I will have a look through my to read list for some other ideas.

One of my favourites: The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry is definitely in this category, as is One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and The Bell Jar (all very good).

Sane New World Taming The Mind by Ruby Wax Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen Awakenings by Oliver Sacks The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath


message 2: by Danielle (last edited May 01, 2014 03:14AM) (new)

Danielle (daniellecobbaertbe) | 371 comments I might read The Secret Scripture and I certainly going to read The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I know the latter is a classic but since it is about a man with a split personality - I suppose it counts for this challenge.

I'm reading Losing Nelson at the moment. The protagonist of the book seems to be slowly losing his sanity.


message 3: by Robyn (new)

Robyn I have an Oliver Sacks book around here, for sure, so I will probably read that! I'm trying to think of good fictional candidates, and failing.....but looking forward to the discussion!


message 4: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 3398 comments Mod
'Losing Nelson' sounds interesting, Danielle. I've just thought of another suggestion: John Fowles' 'The Collector' - a great unhinged, obsessive, central character there (read it years ago).


message 5: by Andrew (new)

Andrew | 1010 comments The Collector is a great idea Liz, like you I read it a while ago and am wondering if I've still got it or it went to charity. Anyway I have been to the library and picked up God's Own Country by Ross Raisin which i think falls into this category. I have few other ideas including poss rereading The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks


message 6: by Liz, Moderator (last edited May 02, 2014 06:06AM) (new)

Liz | 3398 comments Mod
Andrew wrote: "I have few other ideas including poss rereading The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks ..."

Yes, I recon The Wasp Factory could certainly qualify...


message 7: by Ian, Moderator (new)

Ian (pepecan) | 5528 comments Mod
The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer for me. Costa winner last year. There's also Human Traces by Sebastian Faulks .


message 8: by Em (new)

Em (emmap) | 2929 comments Some good suggestions already... I'm feeling inclined to try A Million Little Pieces by James Frey A Million Little Pieces by James Frey or Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk. Anyone have any insight on these two?


message 9: by Kate, Moderator (new)

Kate | 1306 comments Mod
I was recommended The Little House by Philippa Gregory by Philippa Gregory but haven't been able to find a copy so with much trepidation I picked up Misery by Stephen King by Stephen King at the library this morning. Presumably that will fit the bill.


message 10: by Danielle (new)

Danielle (daniellecobbaertbe) | 371 comments Liz wrote: "'Losing Nelson' sounds interesting, Danielle. I've just thought of another suggestion: John Fowles' 'The Collector' - a great unhinged, obsessive, central character there (read it years ago)."

Thanks Liz, I will have a look at it


message 11: by Bill (new)

Bill | 2694 comments I was thinking of reading The Collector, glad it was mentioned as I wasn't sure it might fit in..


message 12: by Robert (new)

Robert (bobhe) | 785 comments My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher on holiday next week so only easy beach reads apart from this. Fill category?


message 13: by Philip (new)

Philip Dodd (philipdodd) | 55 comments Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, her prequel to Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, which tells the tale of how Edward Rochester met and married the woman who would become his mad wife, hidden and locked away in the attic of his hall, is a haunting, well written tale which may be worth considering for this category.

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys


message 14: by Em (new)

Em (emmap) | 2929 comments Yes, Wide Sargasso Sea was an excellent book, well worth a read whether you're a fan of Jane Eyre or not!


message 15: by Ian, Moderator (new)

Ian (pepecan) | 5528 comments Mod
Em wrote: "Some good suggestions already... I'm feeling inclined to try A Million Little Pieces by James Frey A Million Little Pieces by James Frey or Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk [..."

I think that the Frey one is great. Tough read both in style and content, but made for massive discussion in my physical book group. Treat it as a novel Em as there has been controversy about the truth of some it in terms of his claims to this being a memoir, but who cares really.


message 16: by Laura (new)

Laura Just joined this challenge now but it sounds like an interesting month to start! I think I'm going to read The Yellow Wallpaper. It was either that or some of Lovecraft's shorts.


message 17: by Kiwi Sarah (new)

Kiwi Sarah (mjs13) | 169 comments Robert wrote: "My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher on holiday next week so only easy beach reads apart from this. Fill category?"

One of my very favourite books ever - not sure if it will fit the bill of this particular genre or not - certainly a unique look into the world of depression and grief so on reflection, possibly...

I am struggling with this genre. Life is a little busy and stressful at the moment and not sure I want to put more stress into it just now. Need something that fits the bill that has some redemptiveness and hope about it - any suggestions?


message 18: by Laura (new)

Laura Kiwi Sarah wrote: "Robert wrote: "My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher on holiday next week so only easy beach reads apart from this. Fill category?"

One of my very favourite books ever - not sure..."


What about The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales? A friend read this when she was going through a rough time and said she found it very entertaining and not at all depressing.


message 19: by Nicola (new)

Nicola | 37 comments Help! Clockwork Orange, One Flew Over...etc are really really not my cup of tea and most of the Psychiatry books seem to cross over into self-help which is another month's category......
Desperately need something fairly light or at least hopeful - any more suggestions please?


message 20: by Laura (new)

Laura Nicola wrote: "Help! Clockwork Orange, One Flew Over...etc are really really not my cup of tea and most of the Psychiatry books seem to cross over into self-help which is another month's category......
Desperatel..."


What about Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me? It's a graphic novel about the authors bipolar disorder done in a quirky and interesting way.


message 21: by Ian, Moderator (new)

Ian (pepecan) | 5528 comments Mod
Bit lighter?????? Try The Silver Linings Playbook.


message 22: by Robyn (new)

Robyn The Wide Sargasso Sea was a great suggestion - just finished it. Thanks, Philip and Em.

Rhys definitely brings you into the mind of madness, and points at a larger society's sickness at well in a very interesting manner.


message 23: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 3398 comments Mod
Robyn wrote: "The Wide Sargasso Sea was a great suggestion - just finished it. Thanks, Philip and Em.

Rhys definitely brings you into the mind of madness, and points at a larger society's sickness at well in ..."


That's been on my to read list for a while - decisions, decisions!


message 24: by Em (new)

Em (emmap) | 2929 comments Ian wrote: "Em wrote: "Some good suggestions already... I'm feeling inclined to try A Million Little Pieces by James Frey A Million Little Pieces by James Frey or [bookcover:Fight C..."

I remember there being a bit of a kerfuffle about the truthfulness of the book, I planned to treat as fiction (we all re-write our own version of the truth anyway!)


message 25: by Andrew (new)

Andrew | 1010 comments I have started The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson which one chapter in looks intriguing. I enjoyed God's Own Country by Ross Raisin as an well written picture of a young farmer struggling in the Yorkshire moors with family, sex, and his internal monologue as he and the lolita like girl he involves himself with becomes more bizarre, a very unreliable narrator but a good read.


message 26: by Andrew (new)

Andrew | 1010 comments Em wrote: "Ian wrote: "Em wrote: "Some good suggestions already... I'm feeling inclined to try A Million Little Pieces by James Frey A Million Little Pieces by James Frey or [bookc..."

i read it when it first came out and read it as a true story and thought it was very good then after his confession and tears on Oprah was a bit cheesed but would be interested to reread it but i leant it to a friend and never got it back and now it seems a bit embarrassing to ask where it is!!


message 27: by Kiwi Sarah (new)

Kiwi Sarah (mjs13) | 169 comments Laura wrote: "Kiwi Sarah wrote: "Robert wrote: "My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher on holiday next week so only easy beach reads apart from this. Fill category?"

One of my very favourite bo..."



Thanks for this suggestion (and others in the thread - lots of good ideas). I read The man...(etc) a very long time ago and remember it being really fascinating and entertaining.

Think I will try Silver Linings Playbook and also just got "Sane New World: Taming The Mind" - just what I need to survive SATs week ;-)


message 28: by Em (last edited May 10, 2014 02:36PM) (new)

Em (emmap) | 2929 comments Andrew wrote: "Em wrote: "Ian wrote: "Em wrote: "Some good suggestions already... I'm feeling inclined to try A Million Little Pieces by James Frey A Million Little Pieces by [author:James Frey|822..."

That's annoying! In this age of social media, a general shout out on FB to all friends as to if anyone has seen my copy of...... as I can't remember who I gave it to might do the trick.


message 29: by Kiwi Sarah (new)

Kiwi Sarah (mjs13) | 169 comments Laura wrote: "Kiwi Sarah wrote: "Robert wrote: "My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher on holiday next week so only easy beach reads apart from this. Fill category?"

One of my very favourite bo..."



Thanks for this suggestion (and others in the thread - lots of good ideas). I read The man...(etc) a very long time ago and remember it being really fascinating and entertaining.

Think I will try Silver Linings Playbook and also just got "Sane New World: Taming The Mind" - just what I need to survive SATs week ;-)


message 30: by Laura (new)

Laura Just finished The Yellow Wallpaper. One of the best short stories I've read in quite some time. The main character's descent into madness due to the stifling restrictions put on her by Victorian society is very interesting.


message 31: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 3398 comments Mod
Laura wrote: "Just finished The Yellow Wallpaper. One of the best short stories I've read in quite some time. The main character's descent into madness due to the stifling restrictions put on her by..."

I read it as part of a ghost story anthology, it's very good isn't it?


message 32: by Andrew (new)

Andrew | 1010 comments Well i finished The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson which was excellent and very funny, so now i have started Filth by Irvine Welsh which seems to fall into category of a story of someone on edge of madness plus not read much Welsh other than trainspotting. I like the look of 'yellow wallpaper' so will look that out. Re missing books Em there should be a new crime of failure to return borrowed books, very annoying, the friend isn't on Facebook may simply have to mention it after a few pints such as this reminds me of that scene in....!


message 33: by Liz, Moderator (last edited May 13, 2014 06:54AM) (new)

Liz | 3398 comments Mod
The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry is on my to read list too.

I still haven't made up my mind, what to read for the challenge...


message 34: by Andrew (new)

Andrew | 1010 comments I would definitely recommend it Liz.


message 35: by Kate, Moderator (new)

Kate | 1306 comments Mod
Hooray I've finished Misery
Don't think I'll be reading another Stephen King though! Very well written but rather gruesome!


message 36: by Em (new)

Em (emmap) | 2929 comments I read The Rosie Project (Don Tillman #1) by Graeme Simsion The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion on holiday last month, that would be a good choice this month as is generally quite a light, funny read.


message 37: by Robyn (new)

Robyn I also read Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks. A short, enjoyable tour through different types of hallucinations, including a long section on his own experiences with hallucinogenic drugs.


message 38: by Robert (new)

Robert (bobhe) | 785 comments Kiwi Sarah wrote: "Laura wrote: "Kiwi Sarah wrote: "Robert wrote: "My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher on holiday next week so only easy beach reads apart from this. Fill category?"

One of my ver..."


Great book read in a day on beach. But not sure fits this genre.


message 39: by Em (new)

Em (emmap) | 2929 comments Ha! Bob, Ian has been rubbing off on you!

I thought coping in the world with Aspergers or ASD when your brain is wired differently to most and your behaviour deemed odd would count for this topic (but I'm not v strict!)


message 40: by Bill (new)

Bill | 2694 comments Starting The Collector as my selection for this challenge.


message 41: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 3398 comments Mod
Em wrote: "Ha! Bob, Ian has been rubbing off on you!

I thought coping in the world with Aspergers or ASD when your brain is wired differently to most and your behaviour deemed odd would count for this topic..."


Yes, I tend to think any book dealing with the workings of the mind, can be considered for the genre ('madness' is just a general/extreme term...)


message 42: by Ian, Moderator (new)

Ian (pepecan) | 5528 comments Mod
Em wrote: "Ha! Bob, Ian has been rubbing off on you!

Sounds a bit rude Em lol. Hope Bob doesn't arrest me on his return from Turkey.



message 43: by Em (new)

Em (emmap) | 2929 comments I just meant your general demeanour of "headmaster" was having an impact on Bob but now you've become all naughty schoolboy.


message 44: by Ian, Moderator (new)

Ian (pepecan) | 5528 comments Mod
I've been much less strict lately......I prefer being the latter.


message 45: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn (kathryninlondon) | 9 comments The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer is excellent. I work in the mental health field and this is written by a psychiatric nurse.


message 46: by Ian, Moderator (new)

Ian (pepecan) | 5528 comments Mod
Ta Kathryn......about to read it.


message 47: by Sue (last edited May 18, 2014 10:58AM) (new)

Sue | 1340 comments Read Girl, Interrupted. It was an uncomfortable read. Wondered about those people who could not pay ....... It was a shame the hospital notes were printed so small as I really struggled with them. Interesting though. Daughter says she has a dvd so will have to have a look.


message 48: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 3398 comments Mod
Andrew, I'm so glad you recommended The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry, it got me to bump it up my to read list and I picked up my copy from the library today.

Very entertaining, so far, and light relief after weeks immersed in the French Revolution. (Now who would have thought a book about psychopaths would be 'light relief'?)

The Psychopath Test A Journey Through the Madness Industry by Jon Ronson


message 49: by Robert (new)

Robert (bobhe) | 785 comments Ian wrote: "Em wrote: "Ha! Bob, Ian has been rubbing off on you!

Sounds a bit rude Em lol. Hope Bob doesn't arrest me on his return from Turkey."


Be on such a low won't be bothered to arrest anybody


message 50: by Ian, Moderator (new)

Ian (pepecan) | 5528 comments Mod
That's a relief.....just started The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer .


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