Easy Crafts for the Insane: A Mostly Funny Memoir of Mental Illness and Making Things

Putnam. Jul. 2021. 288p. ISBN 9780593187784. $26. MEMOIR
“Crafting gives me a sense of accomplishment even when I feel like I can’t accomplish anything,” writes Brown (Gracious) in this sincere, humorous memoir. It recalls the events of what she calls a “pretty terrible 700 days,” which included breaking three limbs in three different incidents, confronting death and illness in her family, feeling abandoned by close friends, breaking up with her boyfriend, and experiencing deep depression. Brown candidly tells of her suicide attempt and her resulting stay in a psychiatric hospital. She expresses her way of moving forward with life after such a devastating period; she particularly details how she has improved her mental health practices and encourages readers to do so themselves. Crafting is a source of comfort and motivation for Brown, and she provides humorous and approachable directions for various projects that helped her through difficult times.
VERDICT Brown is able to express the gravitas of the lowest point of her life while maintaining a sense of humor with her dry wit. By openly talking about mental illness, Brown will inspire readers to do what she struggled to do herself: express difficult emotions and find a way forward through the darkness. Recommended where mental health memoirs are in demand.
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