Focus On: Psychological Novels

Though I’ve featured novels with psychiatric/mental illness themes before I have never dedicated an entire post to them. The human psyche is so interesting because of how fragile it truly is. Below are a selection of my favorite novels and memoirs about mental illness and those who treat it.

Dreaming for Freud by Sheila Kohler

Dreaming for Freud by Sheila Kohler

Dreaming for Freud: A Novel

A retelling of Freud’s famous Dora, Dreaming for Freud is riveting and disarming. Getting into the head of Freud and Dora puts the case in a whole new light. Plus, anything blurbed by Joyce Carol Oates and Amy Tan is good enough for me!

 

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

The Virgin Suicides

Creepy, voyeuristic and impeccably written, The Virgin Suicides is an interesting representation of life after suicides. The book has all the sensuality of Sofia Coppola’s film with more story and substance.

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Sharp Objects

Long before Gone Girl became a sensation, I picked up Sharp Objects and fell hard for Flynn’s writing. I even did a featuring her for my high school creative writing class! Sharp Objects is a mystery but with a twist, the detective suffers from a mental illness. As the mystery unfolds you begin to realize the book is much more an unraveling of the narrator’s mystery than it is a solving of a crime.

Sybil by Flora Rheta Schreiber

Sybil by Flora Rheta Schreiber

Sybil

I’ve spoken elsewhere about this novel, but it’s hold on psychology warranted a mention. Every Psych 101 student hears about the strange Sybil case and learns to debate diagnoses by going through its rocky history.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

The Bell Jar

Last but certainly not least is the book that is beloved by high school and college girls everywhere. Plath captures the frenzy and despair of being young and suffering in her remarkable prose. Every time I read this novel I find myself discovering new meanings and nuances — on my top ten favorite books of all time!

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Focus On: Retellings of The Odyssey

The Odyssey

Ever since I stumbled across Madeline Miller’s brilliant retelling of The Iliad (The Song of Achilles), I’ve been on the hunt for updated versions of The Odyssey.

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Focus On: Witchy Reads

I use Grammarly’s free plagiarism checker because this post was born original, why make it a copy?

With a chill in the air and Halloween fast approaching its the perfect time to pull out some spooky reads. While some might like horror to get them in the mood for October 31st, I like to take a more historical approach! I’ve always been fascinated by witches in history, whether it’s the Salem witch trials or garden witches in 17th century England. Because I find the concept so fascinating, I’ve built up quite the list of witchy reads!

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1)

Harkness’s books are a no brainer for me. Diana is a researcher at the Bodlein library who has turned away from her family’s magical legacy. When a mysterious manuscript crosses her path she’s forced to confront the world she’s tried so hard to avoid. Befriending a scientific researcher from All Souls college, Diana traces the manuscripts history as well as her own. Check out my review of the sequel here.

More books after the jump!

Continue reading “Focus On: Witchy Reads”