Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme that was hosted by Lainey @ gingerreadslainey but is now being hosted by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes. For more information on how to participate go check out the Goodreads group!
This Week’s Theme: Books with “Hard” Topics (ie mental health, sexual assault, illness, etc)
My first Top 5 Wednesday! I saw this week’s topic and it’s something I feel incredibly strongly about so I had to make a post! I’m dividing this up into books I’ve read and books on my TBR.
** Please be aware that all these books listed below and my discussions contain difficult topics that may be triggering. Please skip this post over if you’re triggered by mentions of mental illness, suicide and rape **
Covers = Goodreads
3 Books I’ve Read
I can’t even explain how much of an impact this book had on me. It’s a classic short story that’s classed as a psychological horror about a woman in the late 1800s who’s dealing with mental illness. Her “treatment” is to be locked in a room. It is a terrifying look on what can happen if mental illnesses are misdiagnosed or mistreated. It’s also terrifying because over 100 years later I still feel like the issues in this book are relevant today. It also deals with the oppression of women. I found this book so hard to read, as someone who suffers from a variety of mental illnesses, it absolutely terrified me that this could be my future. Among that terror though I discovered a new found hope and determination to keep fighting my own battles. I will never, ever, ever forget this book. This book is available for free on the Kindle Store and Project Gutenberg. I also have a review here.
I know this book is hit or miss, but I loved it. It deals with suicide which is a topic that definitely needs to be talked about more. A lot of people dislike Hannah, but I found myself relating to her. I have done a lot of things that have hurt people and albeit it unintentional I think it’s an important reminder that we are all flawed, but that doesn’t mean we don’t deserve help. This book is such an important reminder that the littlest things can spiral and domino and cause someone to reach their breaking point. I see so many teenagers throwing around “kill yourself” on social media without even thinking what that could do to someone. I’ve been suicidal in the past – sometimes I still have those bad days – and when I was a confused 17 year old who thought if I even mentioned the word I would either be locked up or dismissed – this book really helped me realise that I wasn’t alone. If you or anyone you know is feeling suicidal, please, please, please tell someone.
Another book that is hit or miss, but I loved. Perks deals with so many important and difficult issues that are extremely relevant to teenagers and even adults. Being in Charlie’s head was like being in my own. We have so many of the same thoughts and feelings. Chbosky’s portrayal of introvertism and mental illness was so incredibly real. I hate when people act like being socially awkward is “cute” or a “trend”. Making people uncomfortable because you don’t know how to interact with them is not something that’s fun. Besides mental illness this book also deals with growing up, drugs, sexuality and abuse. I think the fact that it was banned is a reason enough to read it. It’s a book that everyone needs to experience for themselves at least once – even if you end up not liking it.
2 Books on My TBR
This is a non-fiction book about the rape trial surrounding Australian Football League players. In Australia, AFL is extremely prominent – I’m a huge lover of it myself, but because of that the men involved tend to get away with a lot of awful things. Krien exposes the darker side of the game and shows how women get treated by the sports world. She talks about how in the past AFL clubs have payed women off to keep quiet and have even told their players to make sure they satisfy the women they’re with so they’ll “keep their mouth shut”. I think it’s extremely important that this book exists in Australia, because I have never seen anyone talk about this before. The media mostly puts all AFL players on a pedestal and all they care about is when drugs are involved. We need to stop letting sports players get away with rape and sexual harassment because of their standing in society. I’m very interested to dig into this. I know it’s going to be hard to read, but I also know it’s really going to help open my eyes even more.
I’m ashamed to admit I haven’t read this one yet! I am hoping to get to it really soon. I don’t actually know too much about it and I want to keep it that way because I want to experience this book as much as possible without being influenced. I’ve read Ariel and absolutely loved it. I found myself connecting to nearly everything Plath was writing. I’ve also seen so many quotes around from her works that I’ve felt in my soul and want tattooed all over me. I know this book deals with mental illness and I know about Sylvia’s own struggles so I can only imagine how realistic and intense this is going to be. I can’t wait to read it, but I’m also scared because I know it’s going to be another tough one for me to deal with.
Other Books Worth a Mention:
- Stolen by Lucy Christopher – I only just talked about this in yesterday’s TTT which is why I decided not to feature it, but it’s an extremely realistic portrayal of Stockholm Syndrome.
- We Were Liars by E. Lockhart – An incredibly haunting book that deals with memory suppression due to a traumatic event and grief. Another book that you need to experience for yourself even if you end up not liking it.
- Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel – I haven’t read this yet, but it’s on my TBR. Again, I don’t know much about it for the same reasons as The Bell Jar, but I know that it deals with mental illness and is extremely realistic. As someone who has been prescribed almost every med that exists I’m really interested to read this and how much I relate to the stories. I also know that April @ Aprilius Maximus gave it 5 stars and she suffers from anxiety similar to me, so I’m sure it’s going to be a difficult but appreciative read.