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NAMI Bookshelf: December 2007

Best of 2007: NAMI's picks for the best books and movies of the year

Books

We have compiled our third annual "best of" list, highlighting some of the best books and movies of 2007. 

This year's list includes powerful memoirs, a revealing investigation of mental illness in the criminal justice system, practical guides to living with mental illness, poignant novels, a colorful children’s book and a moving coming-of-age film. 

Note: To purchase any of the items below, simply click the item name to be directed to Amazon.com. NAMI will receive a percentage of the sale, at no extra cost to you.

Books

Memoir

The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness, Elyn R. Saks

This memoir is an insightful account of Saks’ experiences living with schizophrenia. Saks shares the fears, conflicts, frustrations, and hopes of any person who struggles with mental illness. She speaks out for individual dignity, which becomes the focus of her career.

No Momma’s Boy: How I Let Go of My Past and Embraced the Future, Dominic Carter

Dominic Carter grew from a childhood of poverty and abuse to become one of New York City’s best-known news anchors and political reporters. After his mother died in 2001, he learned for the first time of her life-long struggle with paranoid schizophrenia. His story is one of understanding and forgiveness.

Non-fiction 

Crazy in America: The Hidden Tragedy of Our Criminalized Mentally Ill, Mary Beth Pfeiffer

Drawing from California, Florida, Iowa, New York and Texas, the book uses six case studies to expose the national scandal in which the mental healthcare system keeps failing and the criminal justice system takes over.

When Nothing Matters Anymore: A Survival Guide for Depressed Teens, Bev Cobain, R.N.C

This book deserves to be in every middle or high school library, used in every health class, and even given to every adolescent on their 13th birthday—to help them watch out for friends, as well as themselves. For that matter, parents may want a copy, too. The book provides straightforward information and advice, as well as first-person narratives from 12 teenagers who serve as role models for solving problems rooted in depression.

I Am Not Sick, I Don't Need Help: How to Help Someone with Mental Illness Accept Treatment, Xavier F. Amador, Ph.D.

For seven years, many families have found renewed hope and practical guidance in Xavier Amador’s defining book,  I Am Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help: How to Help Someone with Mental Illness Accept Treatment. The revised and updated edition has been long awaited.

Fiction

Still the Monkey: What Happens to Warriors After War? Alivia C. Tagliaferri

This novel reveals the severe physical and mental trauma soldiers experience during and following combat. A Vietnam War veteran suffering from PTSD connects with a young Iraq War veteran, who lost both his legs in combat, at Walter Reed Hospital. The two share their stories and a journey of healing. 

Letters for Emily, Camron Wright

This debut novel explores one family's struggle with mental illness and the legacy a dying grandfather leaves for his young granddaughter.


Children's

Lucky Horseshoes: A Tale from the Irish the Dragon Series, Gayle Grass and Illustrations by Linda Crockett

The latest installment to the Iris the Dragon series, Lucky Horseshoes looks at ADHD and mental illness through a child's eyes, chronicling the character, Skippy, and her frustration with difficulties she faces both in school and at home. With the help of Iris, Skippy comes to understand her condition and thrives as a result.

Films

CANVAS, Joseph Greco

Inspired by the true experiences of director Joseph Greco’s family, the movie follows a young boy who comes of age as his mother struggles with schizophrenia.


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