10 books like Furiously Happy

By Jenny Lawson,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Furiously Happy. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Haunted

By Chuck Palahniuk,

Book cover of Haunted

This is a unique entry in that the cursed place is a framing device, for this collection of mostly disturbing tales. For his first-ever collection of short stories, Palahniuk brings his wretched cast of characters to a haunted house, where each in turn offers his or her own demented tale. They don’t all work, but a number of the stories really stick with you, and this spooky old house at the center of it ratchets the intensity up another level—it’s not a static situation they are in, there, so the plot progresses to its own warped conclusion on this front as well. 

Haunted

By Chuck Palahniuk,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Haunted" is a novel made up of stories: twenty-three of them to be precise. Twenty-three of the most horrifying, hilarious, mind-blowing, stomach-churning tales you'll ever encounter - sometimes all at once. They are told by the people who have all answered the ad headlined 'Artists Retreat: Abandon your life for three months'. They are led to believe that here they will leave behind all the distractions of 'real life' that are keeping them from creating the masterpiece that is in them. But 'here' turns out to be a cavernous and ornate old theatre where they are utterly isolated from the…


Looking for Alaska

By John Green,

Book cover of Looking for Alaska

My long-time favorite writer, John Green, is another Swiftie! In 2014, after he posted on social media about her 1989 album, Taylor Swift took to Tumblr to proclaim that John Green was (also) her favorite author. While John is most well-known for The Fault in Our Stars (or more recently, his TikTok), Looking for Alaska, his debut, is always my recommendation. Looking For Alaska is packed with teenage nostalgia that hits you like a gut punch. "Sad, Beautiful, Tragic" for bookworms. I read it early on in high school and it sparked a literary awakening within me. I realized that books can hold deeper, philosophical meaning; that by diving deep and soaking it all in, I could learn more about myself and this crazy thing we call reality. 

Looking for Alaska

By John Green,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Looking for Alaska as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The award-winning, genre-defining debut from John Green, the #1 bestselling author of The Anthropocene Reviewed and The Fault in Our Stars

Winner of the Michael L. Printz Award • A Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist • A New York Times Bestseller • A USA Today Bestseller • NPR’s Top Ten Best-Ever Teen Novels • TIME magazine’s 100 Best Young Adult Novels of All Time • A PBS Great American Read Selection • Millions of copies sold!

First drink. First prank. First friend. First love.

Last words.

Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words—and tired of his safe life…


Brain on Fire

By Susannah Cahalan,

Book cover of Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

I read this during my first retail job, post military. My job was nothing compared to the protagonist’s role at the New York Times, but I could relate to her sense of urgency. She needed to push herself; to always exceed expectations even if it was causing her physical/emotional pain.

People called her a drama queen or even a self-centered bitch. That was why the diagnosis of a brain illness was, in a way, a happy ending. She wasn’t a bad person; she was just sick and needed help (or at least an ounce of compassion from her superiors.)

This is a great book for anyone who feels like the world has gone to crap; maybe it has, or maybe it’s all in your head. Either way, you’re not alone.

Brain on Fire

By Susannah Cahalan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Brain on Fire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Brain on Fire is the stunning debut from journalist and author Susannah Cahalan, recounting the real-life horror story of how a sudden and mysterious illness put her on descent into a madness for which there seemed to be no cure

'My first serious blackout marked the line between sanity and insanity. Though I would have moments of lucidity over the coming days and weeks, I would never again be the same person ...'

Susannah Cahalan was a happy, clever, healthy twenty-four-year old. Then one day she woke up in hospital, with no memory of what had happened or how she…


#Girlboss

By Sophia Amoruso,

Book cover of #Girlboss

When life brings lemons make lemonade, when life dumps a load of garbage sell it on eBay. I can relate to protagonist Sophia, as a former eBay seller and a San Francisco native lost in her own existence. This book reads like a fairy tale; a girl given every opportunity in one of the most expensive cities in the world, but she’s stuck in a filthy apartment filled with thrifted clothes and day-old pizza. Then one day she discovers her passion. Slowly the pieces fall into place allowing her to create the brand, Nasty Gal. 

This book is a must-read for anyone trapped in a daydream; the finish line is out there just waiting for you to find it.

#Girlboss

By Sophia Amoruso,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked #Girlboss as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*#GIRLBOSS NETFLIX ORIGINAL OUT NOW*

In this New York Times bestselling sensation, founder and Executive Chairman of Nasty Gal Sophia Amoruso shares her story and inspires women everywhere to join the #GIRLBOSS movement.

'#GIRLBOSS is more than a book . . . #GIRLBOSS is a movement' Lena Dunham

'A millennial alternative to Lean In' New York Magazine

'A compellingly motivational read' The Telegraph

'The book you need in your life' Marie Claire

*Winner of the 2014 Goodreads Choice Award for Best Business Book*

In the space of ten years, Sophia Amoruso has gone from high-school dropout to founder and Executive…


Eight Key Brain Areas of Mental Health and Illness

By Jennifer Sweeton,

Book cover of Eight Key Brain Areas of Mental Health and Illness

We are continually learning how the brain works through the work of neuroscientists. Dr. Sweeton uses her knowledge in the field to give readers a view into our brain and what we know at the present time about its functioning, how it is affected by mental illness, and what changes can occur through brain-based therapy. We have made great strides in helping individuals with such illnesses as schizophrenia and bipolar and learning how disorders such as PTSD occur and impact the brain. The book’s information is reader-friendly. The more we know about this fascinating area of the body, the better treatments that can be developed to help those who suffer from trauma-impacting events become more resilient and whole. 

Eight Key Brain Areas of Mental Health and Illness

By Jennifer Sweeton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Eight Key Brain Areas of Mental Health and Illness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Recent advances in affective neuroscience reveal long-held secrets of mental health and illness in the brain. However, the gap between brain science and clinical practice is wide, and many clinicians find neuroscience to be tedious, overly technical and laborious to learn. Eight Key Brain Areas of Mental Health and Illness bridges this gap, providing key information about the neuroscience of mental illness so clinicians can apply it in their work.

In this handbook, clinical psychologist and best-selling author Jennifer Sweeton details the eight main areas of the brain affected by mental illness, how brain changes show up in the therapy…


The Last Asylum

By Barbara Taylor,

Book cover of The Last Asylum: A Memoir of Madness in Our Times

I once worked on a film shoot at the infamous Friern Barnet Asylum in London, an imposing building that boasts the longest corridor in Europe at over a third of a mile long. It was my job to lock up after filming was over each night, and to do so, I had to walk the long corridor with just a flashlight for company… and the ghosts rumoured to haunt the building! I have never forgotten the feeling of dread and despair in that place, and my heart went out to the patients who were isolated in the creepy basement wards. Barbara Taylor gives an inside perspective on this fearsome institution in her book, which is both an achingly honest account of mental illness and addiction, and a critique of community care.

The Last Asylum

By Barbara Taylor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Last Asylum is Barbara Taylor's haunting memoir of her journey through the UK mental health system.

A RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK

SHORTLISTED FOR THE RBC TAYLOR PRIZE

In July 1988, Barbara Taylor, then an acclaimed young historian, was admitted to what had once been England's largest psychiatric institution: Colney Hatch Lunatic Asylum, later known as Friern Hospital.

This searingly honest, thought-provoking and beautifully written memoir is the story of the author's madness years, set inside the wider story of the death of the asylum system in the twentieth century. It is a meditation on her own experience…


Lit

By Mary Karr,

Book cover of Lit: A Memoir

Mary Karr is one of my all-time favorite authors. In Lit, Karr tells the story of her mother’s alcoholism and how it affected her childhood and adulthood. I liked the ending, where she shares her own astonishing resurrection. Like me, Karr longs for a family of her own and when she marries a handsome wealthy man and they have a son, it looks as though her dreams have come true. But that is not her fate. The book is raw with emotion as Karr invites us on her journey to herself.

Lit

By Mary Karr,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The long awaited sequel to the beloved and bestselling 'The Liars' Club' and 'Cherry' - a memoir about a self-professed 'blackbelt sinner's' descent into the inferno of alcoholism and madness, and her astonishing resurrection.

'If you'd told me, even a year before I start taking my son to church regular that I'd wind up whispering my sins in the confessional or on my knees saying the rosary, I would've laughed myself cockeyed. More likely pastime? Pole dancer. International spy. Drug mule. Assassin.'

Mary Karr's prizewinning 'The Liars' Club' chronicled her hardscrabble Texas childhood and sparked a renaissance in memoir, cresting…


Prozac Nation

By Elizabeth Wurtzel,

Book cover of Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America

The late Elizabeth Wurtzel’s Prozac Nation is brilliantly constructed, intelligent, gritty, direct, even sardonic at times. She was a no-bullshit writer, a forerunner in the field of literary nonfiction, one of the first writers of her generation to tell the truth about mental illness and bulldoze the taboo of stigma related to this otherwise unpalatable topic.  

In this memoir, she takes us by the hand and pulls us tenderly at times, and forcefully at other times, into her intimate world of mental illness. Even as a little girl away at camp she struggles with depression and contemplations of life and death; she attempts suicide for the first time at camp. Later, as an award-winning Harvard student, we see her deteriorate further into madness, until at last she is prescribed Prozac, and things turn around. While the meds help her, she also had foresight into the dangers of pharmaceutical companies, and…

Prozac Nation

By Elizabeth Wurtzel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Prozac Nation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Elizabeth Wurtzel's New York Times best-selling memoir, with a new afterword

"Sparkling, luminescent prose . . . A powerful portrait of one girl's journey through the purgatory of depression and back." —New York Times

"A book that became a cultural touchstone." —New Yorker

Elizabeth Wurtzel writes with her finger on the faint pulse of an overdiagnosed generation whose ruling icons are Kurt Cobain, Xanax, and pierced tongues. Her famous memoir of her bouts with depression and skirmishes with drugs, Prozac Nation is a witty and sharp account of the psychopharmacology of an era for readers of Girl, Interrupted and Sylvia…


Parenting With Depression Made Easier

By Evan Richards,

Book cover of Parenting With Depression Made Easier: how to defeat depression and mental illness with power, love and family.

This book, again, tackles mental health issues. And yes, I cried reading it. It defines depression and explains the different types of mental illness. In the second chapter, it debunks 10 myths around depression. The author encourages you to address your mental illness and gives you various methods to do so.


Parenting With Depression Made Easier

By Evan Richards,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Parenting With Depression Made Easier as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

If you are a parent with depression, anxiety or mental illness please seek out help before it’s too late.

Parenting With Depression: Made Easier is for parents with depression or mental illness, written and advised by parents with depression and mental illness. In this book I give you vital information, tips and skills gained from my experiences as a dad as well as other mothers and fathers and licensed therapists. I take a loving warm approach, like you are my own family, and translate this information into a language that is easier for you to understand. This is the self-help…


Never Let Go

By Suzanne Alderson,

Book cover of Never Let Go: How to Parent Your Child Through Mental Illness

This book was another total game-changer and I will never stop recommending it. It totally benefits from being written by a parent, rather than a clinician, but fearlessly tackles the terror faced by mothers and fathers when their child starts to struggle with a serious mental health crisis. It also offers a fearless road map out of this dark place. Suzanne writes beautifully too which makes the book easy to read despite its difficult subject matter. Suzanne now heads up the charity and Facebook support group, Parenting Mental Health, which is a safe haven for many parents where they can honestly express what it’s like to be in this very scary place.

Never Let Go

By Suzanne Alderson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Never Let Go as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How to help your child with mental illness through partnering, not parenting.

Never Let Go is a supportive and practical guide for parents looking after a child with a mental illness. Suzanne Alderson understands the agonising struggle of bringing a child back from the brink of suicide, having spent three years supporting her own daughter through recovery. Her method of 'partnering, not parenting' has now helped thousands of other parents through her charity, Parenting Mental Health.

Combining Suzanne's honest personal experience with expert input from psychologists, this book provides parents with the methods and knowledge they need to support, shield…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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