10 books like The Memory Palace

By Mira Bartok,

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

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The Glass Castle

By Jeannette Walls,

Book cover of The Glass Castle

Jeannette Walls tells a story of her early childhood growing up in a highly dysfunctional family with parents who are free spirits doing what makes each of them happy at the moment. Her father promises her that someday, he will build her a glass castle on the beach. She dreams of this beautiful home, but throughout the years, she and her siblings are homeless and learn to care for themselves while their parents take off for places unknown. She teaches life lessons of resilience, redemption, and forgiveness that have stayed with me for a very long time.

The Glass Castle

By Jeannette Walls,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked The Glass Castle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now a major motion picture starring Brie Larson, Naomi Watts and Woody Harrelson.

This is a startling memoir of a successful journalist's journey from the deserted and dusty mining towns of the American Southwest, to an antique filled apartment on Park Avenue. Jeanette Walls narrates her nomadic and adventurous childhood with her dreaming, 'brilliant' but alcoholic parents.

At the age of seventeen she escapes on a Greyhound bus to New York with her older sister; her younger siblings follow later. After pursuing the education and civilisation her parents sought to escape, Jeanette eventually succeeds in her quest for the 'mundane,…


Too Close to the Falls

By Catherine Gildiner,

Book cover of Too Close to the Falls

Too Close to the Falls is hilarious and moving with a dark side that at first is undetectable. Gildner's memoir is richly absorbing and captures childhood's essence, where each experience is a lesson. In the 1950s, Too Close to the Falls is an exquisite, haunting portrayal of friendships, brushes with death, and how a schoolgirl affects the course of aboriginal politics. Memorable and skillfully told.

Too Close to the Falls

By Catherine Gildiner,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Too Close to the Falls as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Welcome to the childhood of Catherine McClure Gildiner. It is the mid-1950s in Lewiston, New York, a sleepy town near Niagara Falls. Divorce is unheard of, mothers wear high heels to the beauty salon, and television has only just arrived.

At the tender age of four, Cathy accompanies Roy, the deliveryman at her father's pharmacy, on his routes. She shares some of their memorable deliveries-sleeping pills to Marilyn Monroe (in town filming Niagara), sedatives to Mad Bear, a violent Tuscarora chief, and fungus cream to Warty, the gentle operator of the town dump. As she reaches her teenage years, Cathy's…


Mennonite Girl at the Welcome Inn

By Mary Ediger,

Book cover of Mennonite Girl at the Welcome Inn

This lovely memoir follows Mary, the daughter of Mennonite Pastors. Her recollections are comical and heartwarming as she deals with growing up in a Mennonite home in a non-Mennonite community. The creativity that goes with being raised with little means and living frugally makes Mary and her family rich beyond belief in adventure and storytelling.

Mennonite Girl at the Welcome Inn

By Mary Ediger,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mennonite Girl at the Welcome Inn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Welcome to the Welcome Inn and welcome to the life of Mary Ediger. A work of creative non-fiction, Mennonite Girl follows Mary from her life as a young girl in a quiet rural parsonage to an inner city community center in Hamilton, Ontario.
The daughter of a Mennonite preacher, Mary struggles with the trials of growing up Mennonite in a non-Mennonite community, while her parents continue to follow God's call. Young and old, religious and non-religious readers alike will find themselves drawn into Mary's tale, laughing all the while as she deals with everything life throws at her.
With interminable…


Olive Kitteridge

By Elizabeth Strout,

Book cover of Olive Kitteridge

Written as a collection of short stories, each depicting crusty Olive Kitteridge in a different scenario, this novel brilliantly portrays a harsh woman who causes me to question why I love her so much. We see Olive’s self-awareness and sometimes tender side as she moves through her life. We see her in a relationship with her kind husband and with various townsfolks, always bringing her sardonic honesty. When I read Olive’s story for the first time, I surprised myself by falling l in love with her despite her startling relational gaffs. I believe we all have a little more of Olive than we care to admit—at least in our inner thoughts. 

Olive Kitteridge

By Elizabeth Strout,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Olive Kitteridge as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE • The beloved first novel featuring Olive Kitteridge, from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Oprah’s Book Club pick Olive, Again
 
“Fiction lovers, remember this name: Olive Kitteridge. . . . You’ll never forget her.”—USA Today
 
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post Book World • USA Today • San Francisco Chronicle • Chicago Tribune • Seattle Post-Intelligencer • People • Entertainment Weekly • The Christian Science Monitor • The Plain Dealer • The Atlantic • Rocky Mountain News • Library Journal
 
At times stern, at…


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…


Outside Mental Health

By Will Hall,

Book cover of Outside Mental Health: Voices and Visions of Madness

“What does it mean to be called crazy in a crazy world?” asks Will Hall, the host of Madness Radio. Hall is one of the most gifted media hosts whom I have ever been interviewed by, as he is especially talented in drawing out his subjects. Hall is unique in that he is also a therapist who was once diagnosed with schizophrenia. Outside Mental Health is a collection of his interviews with more than 60 scientists, journalists, doctors, activist ex-psychiatric patients, and artists who provide alternative visions to psychiatry’s medical model—a paradigm that has been nonproductive and counterproductive for many people.

Outside Mental Health

By Will Hall,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Outside Mental Health as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Outside Mental Health: Voices and Visions of Madness reveals the human side of mental illness. In this remarkable collection of interviews and essays, therapist, Madness Radio host, and schizophrenia survivor Will Hall asks, "What does it mean to be called crazy in a crazy world?" More than 60 voices of psychiatric patients, scientists, journalists, doctors, activists, and artists create a vital new conversation about empowering the human spirit by transforming society. "This book is required reading for anyone who cares deeply about mental health and its discontents." -Jonathan Metzl, MD, author of The Protest Psychosis: Schizophrenia and Black Politics "Bold,…


Mad in America

By Robert Whitaker,

Book cover of Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill

Robert Whitaker’s books inform my work. Both Mad in America and Anatomy of an Epidemic provided crucial policy background as I searched for my brother's personhood. Whitaker’s deep research and ferocious insistence that we rethink psychiatric care guided me into the world of mental illness, the history of treatment, and the controversy over forcing medication on unwilling people. I sympathize with Whitaker and the people who believe anti-psychotics make things worse. But I also meet many with diagnoses who believe in the mantra, “take your meds.” Best practices cannot be one-size (pill)-fits all. I end my own book by imagining the best possible world for mental health treatment—guided both by Whitaker and his most vehement critic, E. Fuller Torrey.

Mad in America

By Robert Whitaker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mad in America as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Schizophrenics in the United States currently fare worse than patients in the world's poorest countries. In Mad in America, medical journalist Robert Whitaker argues that modern treatments for the severely mentally ill are just old medicine in new bottles, and that we as a society are deeply deluded about their efficacy. The widespread use of lobotomies in the 1920s and 1930s gave way in the 1950s to electroshock and a wave of new drugs. In what is perhaps Whitaker's most damning revelation, Mad in America examines how drug companies in the 1980s and 1990s skewed their studies to prove that…


Hidden Valley Road

By Robert Kolker,

Book cover of Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family

In many ways, my book is a prologue to Robert Kolker’s extraordinary book. When Mike left our home, he moved to the Colorado State Hospital, in 1957, just a few years before the Galvin brothers began to rotate through the same wards. My mother dealt with the guilt and shame, stigma and chaos of one child with schizophrenia. The Galvins had ten boys and two girls, and six of the boys were diagnosed with schizophrenia. Unimaginable. I feel especially close to their story because I went to college in Colorado Springs. I rode my bike near the Galvin home on Hidden Valley Road. Even the brain research ending Kolker’s book on a note of hope happens in Denver at the University of Colorado. Like mine, this is a Colorado story. 

Hidden Valley Road

By Robert Kolker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hidden Valley Road as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB PICK • ONE OF GQ's TOP 50 BOOKS OF LITERARY JOURNALISM IN THE 21st CENTURY • The heartrending story of a midcentury American family with twelve children, six of them diagnosed with schizophrenia, that became science's great hope in the quest to understand the disease.

"Reads like a medical detective journey and sheds light on a topic so many of us face: mental illness." —Oprah Winfrey

Don and Mimi Galvin seemed to be living the American dream. After World War II, Don's work with the Air Force brought them to Colorado,…


The Center Cannot Hold

By Elyn R. Saks,

Book cover of The Center Cannot Hold

Books on mental illness usually describe it either from the outside or the inside. Elyn Saks does both, integrating a subjective, first-person view with an objective, scholarly perspective. Saks is a legal scholar and psychoanalyst who has struggled with schizophrenia since her childhood. She combines vivid descriptions of what it feels like to be psychotic with clear-eyed discussions of the scientific, medical, and legal issues raised by schizophrenia. I haven’t read a better book on mental illness.

The Center Cannot Hold

By Elyn R. Saks,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Center Cannot Hold as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Elyn Saks is Professor of Law and Psychiatry at University of Southern California Law School. She's the author of several books. Happily married. And - a schizophrenic. Saks lifts the veil on schizophrenia with her startling and honest account of how she learned to live with this debilitating disease. With a coolly clear, measured tone she talks about her condition, the stigma attached and the deadening effects of medication. Her controlled narrative is disrupted by interjections from the part of her mind she has learned to suppress. Delusions, hallucinations and threatening voices cut into her reality and Saks, in a…


The Eden Express

By Mark Vonnegut,

Book cover of The Eden Express

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.’s son, Mark, wrote this semi-fictional exploratory piece in an autobiographical style while exploring the nature of drug-induced madness coupled with undiagnosed schizophrenia while living an alternative lifestyle in a working commune. Through it all, the nature of humanity is questioned in a humorously chaotic way. And yet he pulls it all together to somehow not only make sense of, but also be enlightened by, the madness of this counterculture lifestyle. 

Mark Vonnegut later returns to university and obtains a medical degree while exploring the use of orthomolecular medicine as a treatment to combat schizophrenia. While successfully obtaining his medical degree, he eventually disavows orthomolecular therapy as a plausible treatment.

The Eden Express

By Mark Vonnegut,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“One of the best books about going crazy . . . required reading for those who want to understand insanity from the inside.”—The New York Times Book Review

Mark Vonnegut set out in search of Eden with his VW bug, his girlfriend, his dog, and his ideals. But genetic predisposition and “a whole lot of **** going down” made Mark Vonnegut crazy in a culture that told him “mental illness is a myth” and “schizophrenia is a sane response to an insane society.” Here he tells his story with the eyes that see from the inside out: a moving remembrance…


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