The new year is a perfect time to reflect on the positive changes we can make–big or small–to our lives. A good book can deepen our insights into ourselves and others. Whether you want to expand your knowledge of mental health, delve into issues of aging, or simply become enrapt in someone else’s true story, the books on this list will fulfill these needs.
The Collected Schizophrenias by Esmé Weijun Wang
Schizophrenia is one of the most prevalent mental health issues and one of the most stigmatized. If you want to better understand your or someone else’s symptoms, this intimate collection of essays will offer you a lucid look into the nuances of the disorder.
Award-winning author, Esmé Weijun Wang, conveys the crisis of identity and loss that comes with having schizoaffective disorder with passion, analysis, and humor.
No Filter by Paulina Porizkova
It’s hard to deny that society devalues aging women, ignoring the power they have in their wisdom and experience. It’s an under-addressed issue that touches many women’s lives that veteran model Paulina Porizkova candidly confronts it in her new memoir.
In No Filter, Porizkova uses sharp frankness to tell what she’s learned over the years about life and relationships, and confronts a youth-obsessed culture that’s only compounded by the beauty industry.
Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now by Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou’s literary wit and wisdom are unparalleled, and even her oldest works feel contemporary. Her 1993 memoir is a heartfelt read for anyone who wants to learn about the famous author’s life and the knowledge she gained in her later years.
Discussing faith, gender, and navigating life’s challenges, this classic offers valuable insights and many salient aphorisms on womanhood.
What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Healing from Complex Trauma by Stephanie Foo
It’s easy to lose sight of the way the past influences the present. Society, genes, and upbringing all shape us into the people we are. Stephanie Foo’s incisive new memoir delves into her family’s immigration from Malaysia to America, and all the sociocultural and genetic factors that lead to trauma.
Foo describes her abuse at the hands of parents who had limited resources upon their arrival in the U.S., and she conveys new and intriguing research on genes, history, and trauma.
Epigenetics and psychology are incorporated to illuminate further Foo’s family history and the trauma she’s still healing from.
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
The new year can be filled with a range of emotions from joy to grief, and a poignant book can help you feel as if someone understands the struggle. Joan Didion’s classic memoir explores the experience of mourning and moving forward.
“Grief turns out to be a place none of us know until we reach it,” Didion said, describing the experience of hospitalizing her daughter and witnessing the sudden death of her husband. With journalistic candor and detachment, Didion analyzes her grief and delves into fascinating research to make sense of her situation.