Mental Health Awareness Month (1) #MHAMJune

Mental Health Awareness Month is hosted by Leah at Uncorked Thoughts and Ula at Blog of Erised. It is a bookish event aimed at spreading awareness and discussing mental health, which many remain silent on, overlooked, stigmatized, and often have debilitating impacts. The month of June is dedicated to reading, reviewing and discussing books about mental health.

Check out the Intro Post for the full month's schedule, the Review Link-Up and don't forget to join in the giveaways!

I first heard about this event from Lianne at The Caffeinated Life a week ago. I thought immediately I wanted to be part of it, but had things happening and looming that I promptly forgot about doing anything with it.

But I think mental health awareness is such an important issue to bring focus to. In the years I have been blogging, I have come across some amazing books that are able to shed light on how the mind can have tremendous impacts on how people live their lives.

I'll put up three posts until the end of this month to show you some of these books. This week, I have two (well, technically, three) books to share:

The Isolation Door by Anish Majumdar
Heavily based on his own personal experience growing up with a schizophrenic mother, this fictionalized tale is an affecting, empathetic portrayal of a young life forced to cope with the devastation of mental illness in the family.

Incisive, brutal, raw and honest, it kicks the door wide open on the travails of families dealing with mental illness. This highlights how important family and community are in addressing this issue. It is a dark yet empowering read.

Check out: My review | Q&A With Anish Majumdar 

I can't mention one book without the other. As most people are familiar with Sylvia Plath, the brilliant author who committed suicide at a young age, The Bell Jar is one of those books most people will decide to read within their lifetimes because of the allure of the person that Plath is, or because of the dark subject matter explored in this only novel penned by Plath.

I had The Bell Jar on my TBR for so long that I probably wouldn't have gotten around to it unless there was a push. And I got that kick in the pants when I was offered a biography of Plath entitled Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Path in New York, Summer 1953 for review. The biography is a magazine-like treatment with accounts from people Plath encountered and how this particular summer transformed Plath from young and naive to depressed.

My realization in reading these two books was how much of Plath's personal experience is mirrored in The Bell Jar's Esther, in recounting of her descent into madness.

Check out my reviews here:

This is it for this week. I'll have more for you next week!


  1. I agree that this is a really important issue and I love that being book bloggers gives us a way to help raise awareness. I'd like to read The Bell Jar too. It just seems like something I should have read!

    1. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw this event. It sees that bloggers have their own pet projects and I couldn't help but want to join this one. Read The Bell Jar when you get the chance, it has a reputation for a reason!

  2. I've seen this going around and I really want to participate, it's such an important subject and something that's deeply personal to me as well. I might cook something up, but there's just so much going on right now.

    1. I found out a little late but better late than never. If you decide to join, I look forward to you post, April!

  3. I am so glad you posted about this. I have not heard about it. I want to participate. What an amazing idea. I haven't read either of these books, though The Bell Jar has been on my TBR forever, and The Isolation Door sounds interesting.

    1. The Bell Jar was on mine for years, too! I hope you get a chance to read The Isolation Door, it was a very insightful read.


© guiltless readingMaira Gall