May is Mental Health Month. Having a designated month reminds us to think about our own mental health and consider whether any peers or loved ones need our attention.
Here are a few facts from the National Alliance on Mental Illness:
*One in five adults in America experiences a mental illness.
*Half of all chronic mental illness begins by age 14; three-fourths by the age of 24.
*Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide.
*Serious mental illness costs America $193.2 billion in lost earning every year.
*African Americans and Hispanic Americans used mental health services at about half the rate of white Americans in the past year and Asian Americans at about one-third the rate.
*Approximately 10.2 million Americans have co-occurring mental health and addiction disorders.
*90% of those who die by suicide have an underlying mental illness. Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S.
*Approximately 24% of state prisoners have “a recent history of a mental health condition.”
*Approximately 26% of homeless adults staying in shelters live with serious mental illness.
There are many different types of mental illness with varying degrees of severity. There is, unfortunately, still a stigma surrounding mental illness that leaves some people reluctant to seek help. If we, as a society, considered mental illness as we would any other physical condition, it would help bring the problem out of the shadows. If more people felt free to discuss their experiences, they could more readily find the help they need. Mental illness should not be viewed as a weakness or a short-coming, but as a condition that needs treatment and understanding. Continue reading “Mental Health Month: Information and Resources to Stay Mentally Fit”
April showers are supposed to bring May flowers, but so far, all we’ve got is more rain. I’m not too upset about it though, because there are a ton of great books coming out this month. And nothing pairs better with a rainy day than a good book! This month’s LibraryReads list includes heartwarming reads, some psychological fiction and a couple of great science reads. Check out the full list of recommendations from librarians from across the country.
“Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” by Gail Honeyman
“I loved this book about the quirky Eleanor, who struggles to relate to other people and lives a very solitary life. When she and the new work IT guy happen to be walking down the street together, they witness an elderly man collapse on the sidewalk and suddenly Eleanor’s orderly routines are disrupted. This is a lovely novel about loneliness and how a little bit of kindness can change a person forever. Highly recommended for fans of “A Man Called Ove” and “The Rosie Project” — this would make a great book club read.”
-Halle Eisenman, Beaufort County Library, Blufton, SC Continue reading “May 2017 LibraryReads: Books Librarians Love”
John Steinbeck said, “All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called ‘Huckleberry Finn.’”
That’s right; our state produced the father of American letters. And don’t think we don’t know it. Take a look at our state map: Mark Twain National Forest, Mark Twain State Park, Mark Twain Cave. Never mind that Samuel Clemens (Twain’s real name) moved away as an adult and did his writing in other locations; it’s obvious his Missouri boyhood influenced his career. A visit to the cavern now named after him leaves no doubt it was the setting for Tom Sawyer’s underground adventures. Continue reading “Literary Day Trips”
Here is a quick look at the most noteworthy nonfiction titles being released in April. Visit our catalog for a more extensive list.
“Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977-2002” by David Sedaris
A collection of personal favorite entries from over forty years of keeping a diary reveal the bestselling author’s unique way of observing the world and the inspirations behind many of his best essays.
“Astrophysics for People in a Hurry” by Neil deGrasse Tyson
The well-known astrophysicist provides a succinct guide to the universe, clearly explaining what we should know in order to be conversant in everything from quantum mechanics to the search for life on other planets.
Continue reading “Nonfiction Roundup: May 2017”
When you check your mailbox for the day’s mail, how excited are you to find a few pieces of junk mail you never solicited? Probably not very. Add to that let-down feeling the worry about the unnecessary waste of paper. Sigh. By contrast, what do you feel when you pull a handwritten card or letter from your mailbox? A happy little thrill? Mm hmm, I thought so.
With the advent of electronic communication we have experienced the decline of this happy little thrill in our lives. Handwritten cards and letters have been replaced with emails, text messages, live phone calls or voice mails, except, fortunately, around holidays and birthdays, when we still get to experience this dear form of communication as it comes through the snail mail. Continue reading “April Is National Card and Letter Writing Month”
“It occurred to me that at one point it was like I had two diseases – one was Alzheimer’s and the other was knowing I had Alzheimer’s.” – Terry Pratchett
Having Alzheimer’s disease can be challenging both physically and psychologically. How can people deal with these challenges on them and their loved ones? Check out these docs to see how various people face the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease.
“Alive Inside” (2014)
This film chronicles the astonishing experiences of individuals around the country who have been revitalized through the simple experience of listening to music. It’s a joyous cinematic exploration of music’s capacity to reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity. Continue reading “The Aging Mind: Docs Featuring People With Alzheimer’s Disease”
Today, April 19, marks the anniversary of the start of the Revolutionary War. The war was long, lasting over 8 years. Countless lives throughout the colonies were affected by those seemingly endless years of fighting as the new nation came into being. The Revolutionary War years were filled with drama, so it is not surprising how many fiction titles are set during that time. Here are some novels at the library that readers who enjoy historical fiction may want to explore:
“America’s First Daughter” by Stephanie Dray: we’ve heard stories about our Founding Fathers, but what about the rest of their families? Dray’s book offers a fictionalized look into the life of Thomas Jefferson’s oldest daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph. Patsy was close to her father and served as a stand-in First Lady to her widowed father. Dray’s book, which is based on letters and historical documents, follows Patsy’s journey from Monticello to Paris and ultimately to the White House, and offers insight into the personal sacrifices she made in order to help her father achieve the presidency. Continue reading “Revolutionary War Fiction”
Now that we’re shaking off the shackles of winter and stepping into the significantly more comfortable zipties of spring, it’s a good idea to read a novel that will prepare us for the sun-scorched seatbelt buckles of summer. “The Summer That Melted Everything” by Tiffany McDaniel is exactly that novel. Partly because the word summer is in the title, but also because it is, as one might suspect, set during the titular summer, and McDaniel wields her immense powers of description with the dexterity and precision of an ice cream truck driver piloting his vehicle around swarms of children that desperately want ice cream on a hot summer day but lack the money one must exchange for it, and therefore, after the ice cream truck evades their attempts to topple it, must retreat to their homes, where, if they’re lucky, there is a freezer burned bag of peas that they can lick. (This novel is hot, and it makes you feel like you’re in the heat.)
“The Summer That Melted Everything” will remind readers that have read “To Kill A Mockingbird” of “To Kill A Mockingbird” (in a good way). McDaniel’s novel is narrated by Fielding Bliss, son of Autopsy Bliss, whose name is the perfect representation of the similarities and differences between Lee’s novel and McDaniel’s. Like Lee’s Atticus Finch, Autopsy Bliss is a noble lawyer and caring family man. Unlike Atticus, Autopsy places a letter in the local newspaper inviting the devil to visit their town. Continue reading “The Gentleman Recommends: Tiffany McDaniel”