100 books like Darkness Visible

By William Styron,

Here are 100 books that Darkness Visible fans have personally recommended if you like Darkness Visible. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Awakenings

Hannah Wunsch Author Of The Autumn Ghost: How the Battle Against a Polio Epidemic Revolutionized Modern Medical Care

From my list on medical history that reads like fiction.

Who am I?

As a critical care doctor, I love pausing when taking care of patients in a modern ICU to reflect on how far we’ve come in the care we can provide. I want to be entertained while learning about the past, and so I seek out books on medical history that find the wonder and the beauty (and the bizarre and chilling) and make it come alive. I get excited when medical history can be shared in a way that isn’t dry, or academic. These books all do that for me and capture some part of that crazy journey through time. 

Hannah's book list on medical history that reads like fiction

Hannah Wunsch Why did Hannah love this book?

Awakenings is the novel-length true story of the patients comatose for decades from sleeping-sickness, a disease that reared its head in the 1920s and then died out.

I consider Oliver Sacks the master storyteller of medical mysteries, and he kept me completely riveted with his descriptions of watching these patients wake up when given the drug L-Dopa, re-entering the world after many decades. The story gives me chills every time I think about it.

By Oliver Sacks,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Awakenings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'The story of a disease that plunged its victims into a prison of viscous time, and the drug that catapulted them out of it' - Guardian

Hailed as a medical classic, and the subject of a major feature film as well as radio and stage plays and various TV documentaries, Awakenings by Oliver Sacks is the extraordinary account of a group of twenty patients.

Rendered catatonic by the sleeping-sickness epidemic that swept the world just after the First World War, all twenty had spent forty years in hospital: motionless and speechless; aware of the world around them, but exhibiting no…


Book cover of Untamed

Miles Borrero Author Of Beautiful Monster: A Becoming

From my list on living this wild and precious life to its fullest.

Who am I?

I’m a trans, Latinx yoga teacher, writer, and musician who transitioned at the age of 40. Before that, I’d spent most of my life trying to live by someone else’s rules…only to realize, when my dad was dying, that I was not truly living. The funny thing is, as an artist and teacher, I’d dedicated myself to helping others live their lives to the fullest but had not granted myself the same courtesy. Sometimes, our lessons are hard-won. The books on this list have been beacons of hope and treasure trove chests of inspiration for me, as I hope they will be for you, too. 

Miles' book list on living this wild and precious life to its fullest

Miles Borrero Why did Miles love this book?

Like the cry of a caged animal, this book reminds me that the systems in place aren’t working, but more than that, it points to the open cage door, offering me the option of a different way of living. It is a wake-up call and a deep, nuanced examination of what makes life worth living.

Glennon is not only a deep thinker but also quick as a whip; nothing escapes her. Her insights are priceless and sharp and cut through the densest of binds.

This book sits on my shelf as a daily reminder that my life is my own, and living it fully and outwardly as the most honest version of myself is the way in which I can create the greatest impact with my time on this earth. 

By Glennon Doyle,

Why should I read it?

14 authors picked Untamed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • OVER TWO MILLION COPIES SOLD! “Packed with incredible insight about what it means to be a woman today.”—Reese Witherspoon (Reese’s Book Club Pick)

In her most revealing and powerful memoir yet, the activist, speaker, bestselling author, and “patron saint of female empowerment” (People) explores the joy and peace we discover when we stop striving to meet others’ expectations and start trusting the voice deep within us.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY O: The Oprah Magazine • The Washington Post • Cosmopolitan • Marie Claire • Bloomberg • Parade •…


Book cover of An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness

Sherman Alexie Author Of You Don't Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir

From my list on understanding bipolar disorder.

Who am I?

I'm an enrolled member of the Spokane Tribe of Indians. I grew up in Wellpinit, Washington, on the Spokane Indian Reservation. In 2010, I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 Disorder but I now believe that I’ve struggled with the disorder since childhood. I'm a novelist, poet, short fiction writer, and filmmaker. I've won the National Book Award for Young People's Literature and the PEN Faulkner Award for Fiction.

Sherman's book list on understanding bipolar disorder

Sherman Alexie Why did Sherman love this book?

Jamison writes about bipolar disorder as a professor of psychiatry and as a person who suffers from the illness. This dual vision allows us to see the disorder in multifaceted ways. Jamison is particularly adept at explaining why bipolar sufferers are so tragically prone to attempt and commit suicide. I suffer from Bipolar 2 Disorder with mixed features, meaning that I can be depressed and manic at the same time. This is a dangerous combination. A depressed person is more likely to have suicidal ideation and a manic person has enough energy to make suicidal plans and carry them out. Jamison's book is vital for me to understand and manage my suicidal ideation.

By Kay Redfield Jamison,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked An Unquiet Mind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An Unquiet Mind is a definitive examination of manic depression from both sides: doctor and patient, the healer and the healed. A classic memoir of enormous candour and courage, it teems with the wit and wisdom of its writer, Dr Kay Redfield Jamison.

With an introduction by Andrew Solomon, writer and lecturer on psychology and culture.

'It stands alone in the literature of manic depression for its bravery, brilliance and beauty.' - Oliver Sacks

I was used to my mind being my best friend. Now, all of a sudden, my mind had turned on me: it mocked me for my…


Book cover of Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder: Understanding & Helping Your Partner

Dave Mowry Author Of OMG That's Me!: Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Anxiety, Panic Attacks, and More...

From my list on bipolar disorder from someone who has lived with it.

Who am I?

Dave has lived with bipolar disorder and severe anxiety all of his adult life. He has also worked with over 800 people with mental illness in a certified peer support role. Dave is a blogger with Bp Magazine for Bipolar and a mental health influencer. His blog posts have been read by over a million people. Dave has been hospitalized, had most of the treatments available for bipolar disorder including ECT. Dave has come out the other side and has the rare ability to put all of his emotions and experiences in his writing with complete openness and honesty, making him a best-selling author about bipolar disorder.

Dave's book list on bipolar disorder from someone who has lived with it

Dave Mowry Why did Dave love this book?

This is the second book about bipolar disorder that my wife read on her journey of understanding this illness. Family members of people with bipolar disorder are usually left in the dark. Loving Someone brings light and hope to the loved ones of people with bipolar disorder.

By Julie A. Fast, John D. Preston,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This fully revised and updated second edition of the bestselling Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder discusses all aspects of readers' relationships with bipolar partners: work, money, sex, medications and their side effects, therapeutic treatments, and more.

Also called manic depressive disorder, bipolar disorder can cause extreme mood swings, and people who suffer from this disorder can alternate between manic and depressed behavior without much warning.

Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder, Second Edition, builds on the practical advice offered in the original book by offering critical new information on the medications that are sometimes prescribed to manage bipolar disorder symptoms. Readers…


Book cover of As A Man Thinketh

Zangba Thomson Author Of Take a Look... There's Money All Around You!

From my list on self-development to help you become successful.

Who am I?

I am Zangba Thomson, a happy, positive, and charismatic human being. I appreciate the simple things in life, and I am content with what I have. I laugh and smile a lot, and people say I am always in a good mood. I love to motivate, encourage, and inspire people to focus on the solution and not the problem; and to be optimistic and cheerful despite difficulties. In a nutshell, I love seeing people succeed. My motto is (P) Positive (E) Energy (A) Always (C) Creates (E) Elevation (PEACE). I hope you enjoy my book recommendations and I wish you the very best on your road to success. 

Zangba's book list on self-development to help you become successful

Zangba Thomson Why did Zangba love this book?

A book I strongly recommend on your success journey is As A Man Thinketh. This 60-page book is short, sweet, and to the point. Your thoughts are things, and you are where you are in life because of how you think. Understanding that profound statement can enable you to weave happiness and prosperity into your life. Also, As A Man Thinketh will show you how to always stay positive and keep successful thoughts flowing in your mind so you can live a prosperous life. 

Book cover of The Doors of Perception

Michael Teichberg Author Of ManuScrita: Poems on Life, Love, & the Nature of Reality

From my list on When looking for a soulful deep dive.

Who am I?

Growing up Jewish, third-generation in Latin America has given me a strong identity and a unique lens living as a double-minority. My entire life, I’ve been fascinated by life’s deep questions, the arts, and metaphysics. When no college major was clicking, I decided to pursue a B.A. in philosophy and comparative religion to better get to know my own faith and search for a universal truth across all world religions and cultures. It was in my college poetry class, where I first started writing as an outlet for my thoughts and many of the poems in my book were written then and reworked over the next two decades.

Michael's book list on When looking for a soulful deep dive

Michael Teichberg Why did Michael love this book?

The Doors of Perception is the seminal work of Aldous Huxley for anyone wanting to experience first-hand altered states of consciousness without having to personally ingest hallucinogens. Huxley published it in 1954 and in it he reflects on perceptions of reality, the nature of existence, and the mind's capacity for understanding. It helped popularize psychedelic exploration.

At a time when many around me were experimenting with psychedelics in college, I did not participate, and this book helped supplement my philosophy and comparative religion studies due to Huxley’s extremely well-written account on the subjective nature of reality and the human quest for deeper meaning.

By Aldous Huxley,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Doors of Perception as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Discover this profound account of Huxley's famous experimentation with mescalin that has influenced writers and artists for decades.

'Concise, evocative, wise and, above all, humane, The Doors of Perception is a masterpiece' Sunday Times

In 1953, in the presence of an investigator, Aldous Huxley took four-tenths of a gram of mescalin, sat down and waited to see what would happen. When he opened his eyes everything, from the flowers in a vase to the creases in his trousers, was transformed. Huxley described his experience with breathtaking immediacy in The Doors of Perception.

In its sequel Heaven and Hell, he goes…


Book cover of We Are Our Brains: A Neurobiography of the Brain, from the Womb to Alzheimer's

David J. Nutt Author Of Nutt Uncut

From my list on the brain and mind.

Who am I?

I have been a doctor, psychiatrist, and brain researcher for nearly 50 years. I have treated thousands of patients, written over a thousand scientific articles, and given a similar number of lectures to medical and neuroscience students and to the general public. I have held many leadership positions in this field for academic groups both in UK and Europe and in 2009 I set up the charity Drug Science, to tell the truth about drugs and addiction.

David's book list on the brain and mind

David J. Nutt Why did David love this book?

A book written after decades of research by a leading neuroscientist to share his love of the brain with the general public. An ideal starter book for those of you who want to get a sense of all the different parts of the complex organ that comprise the human brain. In a series of chapters on the many different parts, regions structures, and brain processes this book provides a succinct yet comprehensive overview of the brain. It explains what the different parts do to make your brain work and how they work together they make us do what we do and makes sense of what we are.

By D.F. Swaab, Jane Hedley-Prole (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked We Are Our Brains as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Everything we think, do and refrain from doing is determined by our brain. From religion to sexuality, it shapes our potential, our desires and our characters. Taking us through every stage in our lives, from the womb to falling in love to old age, Dick Swaab shows that we don't just have brains: we are our brains.

'A blockbuster about the brain ... provocative, fascinating, remarkable' Clive Cookson, Financial Times

'A giant in the field' Zoe Williams, Guardian

'Engrossing, intriguing and enlightening' Robin Ince

'Enchantingly written' The Times Higher Education

'Wide-ranging, fun and informative ... as an ice-breaker at parties,…


Book cover of The Rag and Bone Shop: How We Make Memories and Memories Make Us

David J. Nutt Author Of Nutt Uncut

From my list on the brain and mind.

Who am I?

I have been a doctor, psychiatrist, and brain researcher for nearly 50 years. I have treated thousands of patients, written over a thousand scientific articles, and given a similar number of lectures to medical and neuroscience students and to the general public. I have held many leadership positions in this field for academic groups both in UK and Europe and in 2009 I set up the charity Drug Science, to tell the truth about drugs and addiction.

David's book list on the brain and mind

David J. Nutt Why did David love this book?

Veronica is a professor of psychiatry with a special interest in psychosis such as schizophrenia and especially those that are seen in women after childbirth. These states of altered consciousness and the memories they produce give us insights into the nature of mental illness and the making of memories. The book develops as a series of case studies that are gently described in relation to the different brain regions that are involved in the experiences with a simple-to-understand diagram. Bringing together her clinical insights with beautiful perspectives from prose and poetry as well as from philosophers especially Henri Bergson, she makes a compelling case for memories being the core of what we as humans are.

By Veronica O'Keane,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Rag and Bone Shop as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE SUNDAY TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR

'Vivid, unforgettable . . . a fascinating, instructive, wise and compassionate book' John Banville

A leading psychiatrist shows how the mysteries of the brain are illuminated at the extremes of human experience

A twinge of sadness, a rush of love, a knot of loss, a whiff of regret. Memories have the power to move us, often when we least expect it, a sign of the complex neural process that continues in the background of our everyday lives. A process that shapes us: filtering the world around us, informing our behaviour and feeding our…


Book cover of Madness: A Bipolar Life

Trisha Cull Author Of The Death of Small Creatures

From my list on revealing the truth about mental illness.

Who am I?

In addition to my lived experience as someone who has struggled with mental health and addiction since adolescence, I'm passionate about social justice issues related to mental illness and substance use. In June 2021, I completed a post-graduate program in Mental Health & Addictions. Throughout my studies I was able to gain a deeper understanding of how my own struggles developed and what they have come to mean to me from both a personal and clinical perspective. Now, I endeavor to pursue future writing projects in various genres that illuminate mental health issues as a relevant and timely topic of interest. I also hope to work with disenfranchised populations while pursuing my creative writing.   

Trisha's book list on revealing the truth about mental illness

Trisha Cull Why did Trisha love this book?

Hornbacher details her experience of living with bipolar disorder—the psychological escapades, the unimaginable highs, and devastating lows. These transcendent highs and crippling lows are mirrored in the strange delights and perils of the physical world. She is the life of parties, dressed provocatively in silky red dresses and matching ruby lipstick. But she is also capable of breaking ties with reality, hopping in a car with a boyfriend and travelling across the state for no reason in particular, an adventure in which the pleasure of the high becomes too much, too dangerous to be reckoned with. 

I too recall waking up at 2 am, writing for 18 hours straight, (without a water or pee break), and creating a beautiful essay in one draft which was later published. I once spent two days and nights in a blinding fury of elation that was simultaneously beautiful and terrifying. I too remember in…

By Marya Hornbacher,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Madness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Pulitzer Prize–nominated author of Wasted, Marya Hornbacher's astonishing New York Times best-selling memoir from the belly of bipolar disorder.

Marya Hornbacher tells the story that until recently she had no idea was hers to tell: that of her life with Type I ultra-rapid-cycle bipolar disorder, the most severe form of bipolar disease.

In Madness, Hornbacher relates that bipolar can spawn eating disorders, substance abuse, promiscuity, and self-mutilation, and that for too long these symptoms have masked, for many of the three million people in America with bipolar, their underlying illness. Hornbacher’s fiercely self-aware portrait of bipolar, starting as early as…


Book cover of Girl, Interrupted

Trisha Cull Author Of The Death of Small Creatures

From my list on revealing the truth about mental illness.

Who am I?

In addition to my lived experience as someone who has struggled with mental health and addiction since adolescence, I'm passionate about social justice issues related to mental illness and substance use. In June 2021, I completed a post-graduate program in Mental Health & Addictions. Throughout my studies I was able to gain a deeper understanding of how my own struggles developed and what they have come to mean to me from both a personal and clinical perspective. Now, I endeavor to pursue future writing projects in various genres that illuminate mental health issues as a relevant and timely topic of interest. I also hope to work with disenfranchised populations while pursuing my creative writing.   

Trisha's book list on revealing the truth about mental illness

Trisha Cull Why did Trisha love this book?

The prose style in the memoir, Girl, Interrupted, is clean, concise, and unembellished. The spare writing leaves no room for self-pity, yet still tells a vivid story of mental unraveling and convalescence concurrently. Kaysen meets a cast of vulnerable characters during her nearly year-long commitment in a psychiatric hospital. They form unlikely friendships, and we get to know all of their various neuroses in a stifling environment that is at once a cage and a path to self-discovery and health. 

I was reminded of my own two commitments to psychiatric hospitals, how strange and austere the world became in those weeks, how time became irrelevant with the breakfast, lunch and dinner announcements, medication time, nightly bed checks, and the ironic “fresh air breaks,” on the back steps of the ward where I and my own unlikely cast of characters smoked cigarettes and commiserated about our unique predicaments. 

I was…

By Susanna Kaysen,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Girl, Interrupted as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Futaro Uesugi is a second-year in high school, scraping to get by and pay off his family's debt. The only thing he can do is study, so when Futaro receives a part-time job offer to tutor the five daughters of a wealthy businessman, he can't pass it up. Little does he know, these five beautiful sisters are quintuplets, but the only thing they have in common is that they're all terrible at studying! At this rate, the sisters can't graduate, and Futaro must think of a plan that suits each of them - which feels hopeless when five-out-of-five of these…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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