For this month's Mental Health Bookshelf, we are so excited to welcome back Geetanshi Sharma, the UC Berkeley junior changing the world with her groundbreaking self-care apps. Geetanshi, an avid reader passionate about diversity in literature, also runs an amazing bookstagram (@book.noted), and has graciously curated this month's picks. Read on for her inspired choices, and hear from Geetanshi herself about why these reads deserve to have a place on your bookshelf.
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
My favorite of John Green’s books, Turtles All The Way Down is about a teenage girl named Aza who is struggling with anxiety and
OCD. This book stands apart because of the gripping and intimate way Green captures Aza’s inner thought processes, all amongst the backdrop of a captivating mystery exploring themes of high school romance, grief, and friendship. Green’s descriptions of Aza’s spirals often make the book difficult to read, but in turn significantly emphasize the message of how intense and overpowering mental illness can be.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson
This book by Mark Manson is all about letting go of the addiction to overachievement and self comparison prevalent everywhere today, especially in students. Although the language can be a bit profane, I found it to contain some of the most enlightening and brutally honest advice on how to prioritize what’s important to you and recognize that happiness does not mean being positive all the time, but rather involves recognizing and accepting your limitations to find the bravery to simultaneously love and improve yourself.
The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan
The Astonishing Color of After is a young adult magical realism novel exploring depression, grief, and discovering one’s culture. It features a biracial Asian American protagonist named Leigh as she goes on a journey of discovering herself and her family’s history after her mother takes her own life. The book is beautifully written, flipping between past and present, as Leigh travels to Taiwan to find the bird she’s certain her mother has turned into. It’s an important book in normalizing culture clash and mental health for the Asian American community, which has the tendency and history to often deprioritize and disregard emotional and mental health.
A huge thank you to Geetanshi Sharma for curating such an amazing list! Leave a comment below if any of these reads speak to you, share with us what you're reading at the moment, and don't forget to follow us on Instagram for your daily dose of mental health inspiration. Thanks for joining us and have a beautiful week!