Essay Collection Review: (Don’t) Call Me Crazy

August 13, 2020 Uncategorized 6 ★★★★

Essay Collection Review: (Don’t) Call Me CrazyTitle: [Don't] Call Me Crazy
Author: Kelly Jensen, Victoria Schwab, Adam Silvera, Libba Bray, Esmé Weijun Wang, Yumi Sakugawa, Mike Jung, Meredith Russo, Stephanie Kuehn, S.E. Smith, Emery Lord, Sarah Hannah Gómez, Nancy Kerrigan, MILCK, Reid Ewing, S. Zainab Williams, Lisa Jakub, Hannah Bae, Monique Bedard (Aura), Gemma Correll, Heidi Heilig, Christine Heppermann, Shaun David Hutchinson, Ashley Holstrom, Mary Isabel, S. Jae-Jones, Susan Juby, Emily Mayberry, Amy Reed, Jessica Tremaine, Clint Van Winkle, Dior Vargas, Kristen Bell
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads

Summary: A solid collection, with several exceptionally funny and moving pieces; many informative ones; and very few duds.

This collection of essays on mental health impressed me in a lot of ways. Most or all of the essays are #ownvoices, with authors writing about topics that they have personal experience with. They come at this topic in a fascinating variety of ways. Themes include mental health in pop culture and the ways we both define mental health and sometimes let it define us. I learned a lot from this collection as a whole, although very few of the individual pieces felt didactic. They simply presented such a wide range of experiences and perspectives that it was impossible not to learn something new.

For a collection by multiple authors, 4 stars is the highest review I’m ever likely to give. It’s unlikely every single author will be a favorite! In this case, a few pieces did fall flat for me and at least one felt trite. I was pleasantly surprised by how many made me laugh out loud and really moved me though. Being both funny and sincere strikes me as a difficult balance, but many authors managed it here. I also particularly appreciated the authors who offered suggestions for additional fiction and nonfiction reading. That makes this book a resource that has earned a permanent place on my shelves! If I’m honest, none of the comics in this worked for me, but I suspect other readers will enjoy the mix of formats and find that they make this collection more engaging. I certainly recommend it.

6 Responses to “Essay Collection Review: (Don’t) Call Me Crazy”

  1. Jenny @ Reading the End

    Oh, I love this and definitely need to pick it up. Essay collections are always, as you say, kind of hit or miss with the individual essays, but on the other hand I love reading about people’s experiences of mental illness and seeing how they align and diverge from my own. Yay! Thanks for reviewing this!

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