Amanda W

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Amanda is a graduate of SUNY Purchase with a degree in Literature. She loves to dance the night away and read books that are mostly by dead people (please recommend books by live authors to her). She also is working on her first novel which has to do with the suspicious density of unripe mangoes. She enjoys living in NYC and can’t wait to start her publishing career. If you'd like to read more of Amanda's work check out her blog located here.

Would you like other recommendations? Email me at staff+amanda-w@strandbooks.com

Amanda W's Reviews

The Language of Flowers: A Novel

by: Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Do not be fooled by the cheesy cover art or the copy on the back: this is NOT a piece of fluff or romance. It is serious, precise, quality fiction. It is an accurate and full contemplation of trust: both in others and ourselves. How can you trust anyone when every human you've trusted has broken that bond? Is it possible to heal from trauma? To learn to trust, to love, and to be loved? Vanessa Diffenbaugh's writing is poetic and convincing. She will have you sending Bellflower with your thank you notes and Chamomile to a loved one who needs the extra strength.

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The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression

by: Andrew Solomon

This is HANDS DOWN the most comprehensive, insightful, and well written book about depression that you will ever read. Solomon not only looks at depression through a multitude of academic views (politics, populations, history, alternative remedies, etc.) but he writes of other people’s experiences with depression as well as his own. He writes as a compassionate and stalwart advocate for all those suffering depression.

It makes you feel like you are not alone to read about one person’s experiences through depression, but to have a book that so thoroughly includes stories of so many sufferers is like finding a whole army of relatives you never knew about. The stories of these compatriots are not the product of one interview on one day, but many many interviews over what is sometimes years. You hear how this person had medication X not work out for them and you hear about the others she has tried and how for a few years she was happy, and then how she has had another breakdown. Being able to see so many people, from so many different backgrounds, go through what you are going through or went through is amazingly comforting. You don’t have just one other person who understands what you are going through but a whole herd of people. Granted no one would ever wish this disease upon another human being, it is just a comfort to know that you are not crazy.

Solomon is an amazing advocate in this book. In the course of the text he proves to you that you are not crazy, you are not your disease, and that you are not weak for taking medication for it. He talks about depression in the context of disease and compares it to other diseases throughout the text. He boldly tackles the struggle to define one’s self from the depression one suffers, especially the role medicine plays in the struggle for an integrity of the self. Taking medication for depression is the same as taking medications for any other disease; we don’t question when a person takes heart medication for heart disease and say he or she should only exercise and eat right. So why do we as a society tell people who suffer from depression that the only acceptable way to deal with the disease is to “buck up” and “stay positive.”

The Noonday Demon is an engaging and witty book, while it has the depth of a textbook it never sounds like one. His writing is full of humor, warmth, and passion. I would recommend this book to anyone who has had depression, whose loved ones have had depression, or anyone interested in this aspect of psychology. It not only will give you a better understanding of depression but also yourself.

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  • The Long Goodbye: A Memoir

    By Meghan O'Rourke

    Our Price: $8.00
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9781594485664
    • Publisher: Riverhead Books
    • Published: April 2012
    The author discusses how caring for her terminally ill mother ultimately strengthened the bond between the two, as well as fortified the author's family during the difficult time. By the author of the poetry collection Halflife. Reprint.

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