Hot New Books for Mental Health

Buffalo Street Books launches The Sophie Fund’s 2018 “Readings on Mental Health” series on October 7 with an appearance by Laura June, author of Now My Heart Is Full.

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Laura June (Photo by Silvie Rosokoff)

June’s heartbreaking yet hopeful memoir from Penguin Books reflects on motherhood, the relationships between mothers and daughters, and the joys and pains of being a parent. It relates a journey from being raised by an alcoholic mother to giving birth herself at 35, and beyond. “June reckons unflinchingly with the muck of motherhood and daughterhood without disavowing the precious particularities of both,” said Rachel Vorona Cote, writing in The New Republic.

The series continues on October 14 with a reading by Courtenay Hameister, former head writer and host of the popular public radio variety show Live Wire. Hameister recounts her struggles with anxiety disorders in her frank and funny new book from Little Brown, Okay Fine Whatever: They Year I Went from Being Afraid of Everything to Only Being Afraid of Most Things.

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Courtenay Hameister

On November 4 the series concludes with an appearance by Kelly Jensen, editor of a new anthology about mental health aimed at teenaged readers. (Don’t) Call Me Crazy: 33 Voices Start the Conversation About Mental Health from Algonquin Young Readers brings together actors, athletes, writers, and artists—Kristen Bell, Reid Ewing, S.Jae-Jones, Nancy Kerrigan, and others—discussing their personal experiences with mental health and how to tackle the stigma around it.

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Kelly Jensen

Buffalo Street Books is located in the DeWitt Mall 215 N Cayuga St, Ithaca, NY 14850. All readings begin at 2 p.m. and are followed by Q&A and book signings.

“Readings on Mental Health” is presented by the Mental Health Association in Tompkins CountyMental Health Association in Tompkins County with the support of The Sophie Fund.

 

How Reading Fiction Soothes Teen Angst

Shawn Goodman, the Young Adult fiction author of Kindness for Weakness, will be the featured guest speaker at a “Readings on Mental Health” event on September 24 sponsored by the Mental Health Association in Tompkins County and hosted by Buffalo Street Books.

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Goodman will take his audience on a tour of the Young Adult literature landscape, discussing works such as It’s Kind of a Funny Story, by Ned Vizzini, Fat Kid Rules the World by K.L. Going, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick, and Mexican White Boy by Matt De La Pena.

In his talk, Goodman will explore the different reasons as well as the different ways in which teens and adults read—a critical question given how reading time for teens has become such a limited commodity due to competing activities, most of which are digital and instant.

Goodman is a school psychologist in Ithaca whose experiences working in several New York State juvenile detention facilities inspire his writing. The New York Times called Goodman’s Kindness for Weakness, “a gripping tale with important lessons for any young man.” It is the story of James, the son of a cocktail-waitress single mom, who becomes entangled with his drug-dealing older brother as he navigates adolescence. Goodman’s earlier Something Like Hope won the 2009 Delacorte Press Prize for a first Young Adult novel.

Goodman’s appearance is the second installment of “Readings on Mental Health,” a 2017 series featuring authors of books on mental health topics made possible by a grant from The Sophie Fund.