This immersive, eye-opening journey reveals the effects of mental illness on a physician.

READ REVIEW

FALLIBLE

A MEMOIR OF A YOUNG PHYSICIAN’S STRUGGLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS

A young doctor valiantly juggles the stresses of a medical career and the agonies of chronic mental illness.

Family physician Jones’ debut memoir portrays the author as a man struggling with “major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder” while pursuing a demanding career. Narrated with an affable, conversational tone, the book begins with an enlightening tour of Jones’ workplace, where the smells of a hospital are “so pervasive that you can’t wash it out of your scrubs.” The mental distortion of the disorders complicated his relentless physician residency, which stretched over many years. Able to identify several possible contributing factors to his condition, the Utah-born author saw his episodes of extreme stress begin to worsen while a teenager on a two-year Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints mission in Ukraine in 2000, which Jones meticulously details with great dexterity. This condition intensified further in medical school and well into a marriage that spawned four children, with the accompanying worries that he would pass his condition to his offspring. The author dubs his anxiety the “gargoyle forever watching me,” a monster responsible for uprooting what should have been placid moments throughout his life. Chapters where he explains his condition with statistical data and personal opinions and history are confidently and honestly written. Readers who have these types of psychiatric ailments will find those sections greatly relatable and resourceful. Anecdotes from his compelling medical career and assorted patient stories further personify and enliven a memoir that has a unique combination of both troubling and inspiring elements. Even for a man of devout faith, the hard truths about his mental illness became evident when he pleaded for help from his higher power, which resulted in negligible change to his condition. “Sometimes the answer is no,” he acknowledges. Jones also writes about the social stigma of mental illness, which many cultures consider a “moral failing.” For physicians battling psychiatric issues, his illuminating, forthright memoir closes with proven methods to improve doctors’ well-being. But the author encourages all readers to cultivate their inner strength and “be content and successful despite ongoing weakness.”

This immersive, eye-opening journey reveals the effects of mental illness on a physician.

Pub Date: April 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68433-455-1

Page Count: 348

Publisher: Black Rose Writing

Review Posted Online: March 5, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

OPEN BOOK

The debut memoir from the pop and fashion star.

Early on, Simpson describes the book she didn’t write: “a motivational manual telling you how to live your best life.” Though having committed to the lucrative deal years before, she “walked away,” fearing any sort of self-help advice she might give would be hypocritical. Outwardly, Simpson was at the peak of her success, with her fashion line generating “one billion dollars in annual sales.” However, anxiety was getting the better of her, and she admits she’d become a “feelings addict,” just needing “enough noise to distract me from the pain I’d been avoiding since childhood. The demons of traumatic abuse that refused to let me sleep at night—Tylenol PM at age twelve, red wine and Ambien as a grown, scared woman. Those same demons who perched on my shoulder, and when they saw a man as dark as them, leaned in to my ear to whisper, ‘Just give him your light. See if it saves him…’ ” On Halloween 2017, Simpson hit rock bottom, and, with the intervention of her devoted friends and husband, began to address her addictions and underlying fears. In this readable but overlong narrative, the author traces her childhood as a Baptist preacher’s daughter moving 18 times before she “hit fifth grade,” and follows her remarkable rise to fame as a singer. She reveals the psychological trauma resulting from years of sexual abuse by a family friend, experiences that drew her repeatedly into bad relationships with men, most publicly with ex-husband Nick Lachey. Admitting that she was attracted to the validating power of an audience, Simpson analyzes how her failings and triumphs have enabled her to take control of her life, even as she was hounded by the press and various music and movie executives about her weight. Simpson’s memoir contains plenty of personal and professional moments for fans to savor.

An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-289996-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Dey Street/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2020

Did you like this book?

more