11.27.17 It’s Monday! What are you Reading? Turtles All The Way Down by John Green

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

{Celebrating the books we’ve read in the past week


the titles we are currently reading.}

This meme is originated by Jen and Kellee at TeachMentorTexts. Thanks!

From IndieBound:


A wrenching and revelatory novel. – The New York Times”

Green finds the language to describe the indescribable. . . . A must-read for those struggling with mental illness, or for their friends and family.” –San Francisco Chronicle
It’s quite rare to find someone who sees the same world you see.

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.

It is so difficult to understand what mental illness is like. We can be sympathetic. I can nod my head and listen. I can try to empathize…

But it’s tough to understand the anguish that someone struggling with mental illness is going through.

Turtles All the Way Down gives me a better idea for sure. Living with Aza for the length of this book was challenging. There were times when I cringed at her actions or wanted to yell at her for the thoughts she had in her head. I was pained by the conversations she had with her “dark side” that was trying to convince her to do crazy things.

If it’s tough to read about it, imagine living with it. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) shows itself in many ways. In TATWD, Aza is obsessed with the thought that her body being invaded by microbes carrying diseases that will kill her. One of her habits is to dig her thumbnail into the pad of her middle finger. Over time it has developed a callous and a crack that won’t properly heal. She makes it bleed then sanitizes it then makes herself crazy over whether she remembered to change the bandage recently or not.

Strange stuff for someone who doesn’t deal with it, but books like this give me a window into lives of people who do. What do I do with that information?

My hope is that it makes me a little more sympathetic and understanding when I know someone or hear of someone who has to fight this daily.

OCD is just one mental illness. There are many more.

The good news is that there is hope and help for everyone. It may take a while, but it can be overcome.

I’ll certainly be writing more about this book and the themes that echo across it.

John Green bases much of Aza’s struggles on his own experience wrestling with OCD. If you’re interested in hearing him talk more about it, check out his interview with Terri Gross on Fresh Air.

And yes, he’s got an Instagram account.




Did you catch my
this past week?


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