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Staff Picks: Books

Did you hear about the man who fell through his harp?

I don’t know what I could tell you about the plot of Contrary Motion that might make you want to read it. Newly divorced, neurotic, almost good enough to be a big city orchestra concert harpist Matthew Grzbc (No, I did not forget a vowel.) is the star of this one. Do I have you yet? 

Contrary motion refers to a technique in harp playing where the hands move in opposite directions on the scale.  That isn't working either?

Well, I picked it up because the author, Andy Mozina, is a professor of English at Kalamazoo College and I thought I would see what one of our neighbors is writing. Before I could even get to it, my wife grabbed it and read it in a couple of days. She loved it. I did too. Great writing can you draw you into any kind of story. Give Mozina’s funny, quirky, and poignant novel a try.

Furiously Happy!

Furiously Happy is the second book by Jenny Lawson, who is known on The Internet as The Bloggess. If you haven’t read any of her work, I suggest starting with her blog about Why you should learn to pick your battles. (Warning: Article contains swear words. So do the books. Lots of swear words.)

The tagline for Furiously Happy is “A funny book about horrible things”, and that’s exactly what it is. Lawson gives us an honest inside look at what living with a severe depression and anxiety feels like. She puts on display all the ugly and sad feelings, but also shows us how to live life fully. As always, the best part of her writing is the stories about her bizarre daily adventures, and antidotes about her dysfunctional-yet-loving relationship with her husband Victor.

I recommend this book to people who suffer from anxiety themselves, and anyone who wants to understand those who do.

Kalamazoo Community Mental Health wants to reduce the stigma of mental health. Learn more here.