Quick Lit for May 2015

Quick looks at some memoirs I finished recently:

The Center Cannot HoldThe Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through MadnessThe Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness by Elyn R. Saks by Elyn R. Saks

A fascinating account. I’d disagree with the subtitle – this isn’t so much as a journey “through” madness, as that seems to imply it’s over and she’s no longer dealing with it. Instead, this is about how she has built an amazing, successful life while also living with schizophrenia. Astonishing and eye-opening, and well worth reading.

Sparkly Green EarringsSparkly Green Earrings: Catching the Light at Every TurnSparkly Green Earrings: Catching the Light at Every Turn by Melanie Shankle by Melanie Shankle

Light and amusing, but mostly devoid of any real depth or substance. Read it if you’re in the mood for something quick and breezy, but be aware that it reads like a string of blog posts assembled into a book. I don’t read her blog to know if the stories are mostly repeats from there, but it wouldn’t surprise me if that’s the case.

Shakespeare Saved My LifeShakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the BardShakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard by Laura Bates by Laura Bates

Well-written but occasionally uneven, this was an interesting look at a program that taught Shakespeare to prisoners. At times I found Bates’ to be a bit too self-congratulatory and even tone-deaf at times. I might have found it more compelling because of the Indiana setting, but I don’t think that played all that large of a role in my overall impressions. Worth reading? A tentative yes, but go for Saks’ book first.

For more peeks at what people are reading, head over to Modern Mrs. Darcy’s link-up!

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  1. This is a really interesting list! Thanks!

  2. Oh, I’ll have to read Saks for sure thanks to this. Thanks! 🙂

  3. Very interesting reviews – especially that last one. I’m not sure how I’d survive ten years in solitary, but Shakespeare as a lifeline is an intriguing premise!


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