The Nerd Journals

Filling up journals as proof of my meager existence.

Tag: nonfiction

Sick In The Head

3/5 stars

I just flicked through the pages reading the interviews I was most interested in. This book is a book about comedy so don’t pick it up expecting it to be funny, as was my mistake.

Reasons To Stay Alive

4/5 stars

This book is so simple and honest. Not only did it help (okay, help is a bit of a stretch. Maybe the word I am looking for is normalize) my own depression but it also helped me understand my husband’s issues, which are worse than my own. He has battled life-long depression and anxiety. I thought hypochondria was a quirk of his, I didn’t realize it was a symptom of a much larger problem until reading this book by Matt Haig.

Reasons To Stay Alive book is no cure, of course, but I can’t imagine any book being a cure for depression. However, this book does offer a ray of hope that things will get better. And they may get bad again someday but you know they can always get better again. As long as it’s not your worse day when you’re standing at the edge of a cliff you know the day is at least bit better than it has been before. And you survived.

I don’t feel this book is for everyone who suffers from depression. Matt talks a lot about having the support of his then-girlfriend and his family for help with daily functions like going to the store. Not everyone has that support system and I worry that this book might make people feel worse in this instance.

I also feel that the need some people have for medications to help with their depression was downplayed quite a bit in this book, and it might sway people who need help chemically from getting the medication that they desperately need. Personally, I think I’m more like Mr. Haig in that I don’t need the help of prescription drugs but my husband definitely does; he couldn’t even get to baseline without the help of a duo of medicine for mental illness.

Reasons To Stay Alive reminded me to use words to save both my husband and myself from the darkness: write, talk, listen. I found myself writing passages in my journal to keep close to me forever; things I should not forget. By the end of the book, the last two sections I found myself weeping; some things hit so close to home. Some parts were just so overwhelmingly bright when I’ve been so close to darkness recently.

So I guess my final thoughts on this book would be to tread lightly. It might not be the book for you. While is was helpful for me in a similar fashion that a good friend and a cup of coffee might be, it’s definitely not a cure-all book that will help everyone. I can definitely understand why this book might make some people feel worse.

The Psychology of Superheroes

3/5 stars

I received this book from Net Galley in exchange for a review.

This book is a collection of essays regarding the psychology of superheroes, villains and comic book worlds (Bizzaro, Arkham Asylum, Xavier’s School For Gifted Youngsters, etc). Because of the book is a collection by different authors, a lot of the articles seemed to be hit or miss. The good articles are extremely fascinating and well written and the bad ones, while not uninteresting or poorly written are less about comics and more about the author’s primary research rewritten to fit the topic to plug the author’s other works. Some of the authors were familiar with only the superheroes from movies and TV and not the comics at all.

While it seemed that all facts were sourced, a couple of authors sourced Wikipedia for information- which would have been acceptable for just Marvel & DC information, but one author I noticed sourced Wikipedia for information about Umberto Eco which I felt was unprofessional- students aren’t even allowed to sourced Wikipedia in school essays.

I did enjoy this book as an admirer of some comic superheroes and someone with a mild interest in psychology. I think this book would be great for anyone more interested in psychology or comics than me. It’s not too deep and fairly easy and quick to read though I would recommend reading it over time instead of quickly like I did. My favorite passages include Positive Psychology of Peter Parker, Prejudice Lessons from The Xavier Institute and Mind-Reading Superheroes: Fiction and Fact.

I hope that my point is clear. For me, science doesn’t spoil the wonder of mind reading: it deepens and enhances it.

– Dr. William J. Ickles from Mind-Reading Superheroes: Fiction and Fact

Journals Have Feelings, Too

1/5 stars

If the fat was trimmed from this book and the remainder was better organized, “Journals Have Feelings Too” would make an excellent series of blog posts. This is more of a wishy washy self help book than a book about journaling. Too much of the book was about the author’s struggles in life, I was put off before I even got to the part about journaling. I really wanted to like it but I didn’t.

@TheNerdJournals on Instagram