I discuss my most anticipated books for 2020. These are books that will be coming out throughout the upcoming year. These range in ages from children, teens, and adult as well as different genres.
Disclaimer: Disclaimer: This information is being provided to you for educational and informational purposes only. It is not psychotherapy or counseling. This information is to be used based on your own judgment. If you need to speak with a professional, you should find one local to you and contact them directly. IF THIS IS AN EMERGENCY, PLEASE CALL YOUR LOCAL EMERGENCY NUMBER OR GO TO YOUR NEAREST EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT.
Hi, this show talks about books that feature mental health and mental illness topics. The discussion will be from the point of view of mental health professionals. There are many books that include this topic and my hope is that more and more people know about them because they help to decrease the stigma and help people not feel so alone in their struggle.
I am your host Robyn Tamanaha, LMFT. Welcome to the BONUS episode. Today, I will be talking about my most anticipated books for 2020. These are books that will be coming out throughout the upcoming year. These range in ages from children, teens, and adult as well as different genres. Some of these books may be on future episodes of this podcast, but they will not be the only books. I do have books that I read this year that I will be recording into episodes. And, I will continue having guests on the podcast where we will discuss books of their choice. Also, I received emails from you. It has been great receiving emails from you listeners with book suggestions, so I will be reading those books that you suggested and some of them may end up being an episode.
So, I have a pretty extensive list of books that will be coming out in 2020 that I’m really excited for. So, let’s get started.
The Goodegg Presents: The Great Eggscape by Jory John and Pete Oswald. This is a children’s illustrated book. Recommended for ages 4-8 years old. This is the sequel to The Good Egg. The Good Egg was a story about an egg who felt it had to be good all the time, even when others were not. Eventually the egg started to crack from having to be perfect. In the sequel, The Great Eggscape, an egg has some worries about being a part of group activities, so I get a sense that this story is about some social anxiety and stepping outside the box to overcome it. This book comes out February 11th.
Pew by Catherine Lacey. This is an adult fiction. This book is takes place an unnamed town in America where one day members of a church arrive for service and find a figure asleep on a pew in the church. This person does not have a gender, is racially ambiguous, and doesn’t talk. The members of the community see different and conflicting identifies in this person. While this persons listens and watches the members of the community, this person sees flashes of past their lives and origins of the townspeople. Even though the person is nice, people in the community become suspicious. The description of the book reads, “the writer holds up a mirror to her characters’ true selves, revealing something about forgiveness, perception, and the faulty tools society uses to categorize human complexity.” This book comes out May 12th.
Snapdragon by Kat Leyh. This is a graphic novel. Recommended for ages 10-14 years old. This is about a girl who befriends the town witch and they decide to help each other. This novel includes multiple different topics such as, communication, not fitting in and feeling different, support, friendship, and gender identity. It’s said one of the characters in the novel is transgender. This graphic novel comes out February 4th.
Why Can’t We Sleep by Ada Calhoun. This is an adult book. In this book, the author takes a look at what she’s been experiencing, which is her feeling miserable. As part of the Generation X (born from 1977-1984), Ada discusses some issues that middle age Gen X women face, such as “housing costs, HR trends, credit card debt averages, and divorce data.” She unearths how middle age Gen X women are “exhausted, terrified about money, under-employed, and overwhelmed.” This book comes out January 7th.
Just Breathe by Cammie McGovern. This is a young adult fiction about chronic illness and mental health. This book is about two characters who create an unlikely bond, one is a boy battling cystic fibrosis and the other is a girl living with depression. They end up feeling very comfortable around each other, while at the same time not revealing a secret with “time running out.” So, I’m not sure if maybe they haven’t told each other what they’re living with and the whole “time running out” thing, has to do with the fact that Cystic fibrosis shortens the lifespan. This book comes out January 7th.
The Magical Language of Others by E.J. Koh. This is an adult memoir. This memoir is presented as letters, from mother to daughter. After moving to California from Korea, E.J.’s parents decide to move back to Korea because the father obtains a job, leaving E.J. and her brother in California. After leaving, E.J.’s mother writes her letters in Korean, which E.J. doesn’t understand until years later when she begins to translate them. This memoir discusses themes forgiveness, intergenerational trauma, sacrifice, love, heartbreak, and joy. I read in a review that this memoir also mentions disordered eating and suicidal ideation. This comes out January 7th.
Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong. The author’s parents were Korean immigrants. This is an adult book. It’s part memoir, part cultural criticism, and part history. The author combines essays to look at topics, such as America, shame, family and friendship. It sounds like this book also discusses the vast financial range and types of employment of Asians Americans in this country, but yet us Asian Americans are stereotyped as being only high achieving. This book comes out February 25th.
Afterlife by Julia Alvarez. This is an adult fiction book. This story is about an immigrant writer who was going through the life transition of retiring from her job, then her husband dies. After this, one night, she comes home and finds a pregnant undocumented teenager is at her doorstep. The description of this book reads, “What do we owe those in crisis in our families, including—maybe especially—members of our human family? How do we live in a broken world without losing faith in one another or ourselves? And how do we stay true to those glorious souls we have lost?” This book comes out April 7th.
Humpty Dumpty Lived Near a Wall by Derek Hughes and illustrated by Nathan Christopher. This is a children’s illustrated book. This is a twist on the Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme. People who received ARC copies of this book talked about how much they loved in the illustrations. In this version, Humpty questions the point of the wall. I got a sense that the end of this might be slightly dark (which might be why one major bookstore says it’s for ages 10 and up), so I’m thinking Humpty may end up broken like the original rhyme; however, this book is said to cover topics of ambition, perseverance, and dreaming. This comes out January 7th.
Darius the Great Deserves Better by Adib Khorram. This is a young adult fiction. This is the sequel to Darius the Great is Not Okay, which is one of the books that led to the creation of this podcast. Darius the Great is Not Okay is about a teen who is living with functional depression, he’s half Persian half Caucasian, and the book discusses his experience in trying to get his family to understand his depression and also provides a good example of how to be supportive to a friend who is living with depression. You can watch the video I did on this book on my website if you want to know more. So, the sequel takes place after he returns home from the trip to Iran in the first book. Now, he’s in a relationship with his first boyfriend, playing soccer, and interning at a shop that sells what he loves, tea. Then his grandmothers come in town for a long visit and he isn’t sure if they like him, and he’s having doubts for his love for tea, and it sounds like he’s having doubts about his boyfriend while having a possible new love interest. This book comes out August 25th.
Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel. This is an adult fiction. In this book, a woman was led to believe she was ill for the first 18 years of her life. Her mother told her that she was allergic to everything, had to be a in a wheelchair, and a long spent of time in the hospital. Her mother ends up going to prison and then upon release asks her daughter to take her in, and the daughter says yes. I get Gypsy Blanchard vibes from this book. Some of you may have seen the series The Act on Hulu which was based off of the real story of Gypsy Blanchard who’s mother led her to believe she was ill. This was munchausens’ by proxy case. So this parts of the description of this book Darling Rose Gold reminded me of that real life case, although Gypsy Blanchard and her mother had a different ending. All in all, I’m intrigued to read this. This book comes out March 17th.
All Adults Here by Emma Straub. This is an adult fiction. The main character in this book experiences a trauma, which was witnessing a bus accident. Interestingly, that trauma brings up a memory that had been repressed about her own parenting many decades earlier. The book also discusses current challenges her adult children are having and the decisions some of them are making. This book comes out May 5th.
Swimming Lessons by Lili Reinhart. You might recognize the name, especially if you’re a Riverdale fan. Lili plays Betty on the CW TV show Riverdale. This book is a nonfiction and poetry. It sounds like this book is very true to what I like about her. Lili is very vocal on social media about mental health, mental illness, and positive body image. In this book, through poetry, Lili explores love, anxiety and depression, and fame. This comes out May 5th.
The Easy Part of Impossible by Sarah Tomp. This is a young adult fiction. This book is about two characters who form a bond, in the form of a friendship. One is a female character who is living with ADHD and was an elite diver but is now no longer is on the team due to an injury. The other character is on the Autism Spectrum and it’s through the friendship with this character and feeling like she can open up to him, that the diver comes to terms with the abuse she experienced from her coach. This comes out April 21st.
Eat A Peach: A Memoir by David Chang. David Chang founded the Momofuku restaurant group, which has created restaurants all over the world. He also hosted the Netflix series, called Ugly Delicious, where in each episode he explains a dish, how it’s made, and its origins. He’s very talented and successful. In his memoir Eat A Peach, he explains his experience with self-doubt and mental health. And he explains how he used cuisine as a way to combat feeling dissatisfied and to combat racism. This book comes out May 19th.
Goodbye from Nowhere by Sara Zarr. This is a young adult book about a boy who thought things with his family were fine until he finds out his mother is having an affair. Pressure is placed on him when his parents try to convince him to keep this a secret from the other family members. He watches how the affair has an effect on friends and family and struggles with deciding on where his obligations lie. (This almost reminded me of Life As We Know It, Peter Dinklage). This book also discusses themes of anxiety and identity. This book comes out April 7th.
Wintering: How I learned to Flourish When Life Became Frozen by Katherine May. This is part memoir, part exploration about the author who describes tough issues, such as grief, mental illness, and a sudden change in life. This book discusses how she used nature and outdoors as a way to help get through low periods. I found this intriguing and want to read it to find out more of what that is about. This book comes out February 6th.
If These Wings Could Fly by Kyrie McCauley. This is young adult book that combines magical realism and domestic violence. In story, the main character witnesses her parent lose his temper and break things in the house, but yet the house always seems to repair itself. While looking forward to college, she experiences guilt because this would mean leaving her behind sibling. This book comes out March 3rd.
Almost American Girl by Robin Ha. This is a young adult graphic novel memoir. In this, the author discusses moving from Korea to Alabama without knowing English, and the experience of culture shock and isolation until she discovers her love for the arts and enrolls in a comic class, which ends up leading to art as a future. This comes out January 28th.
So that concludes my anticipated reads for 2020 so far. I’m sure I’ll come across more as they are released and as I browse the local bookstores and public library.
Thanks for listening. Like I said earlier, if you have any book suggestions, or books you would like discussed on this podcast, you can email it to BooksBetweenSessions@gmail.com. This could be books that have already released or books you are anticipating for 2020. If you’re a mental health professional, and either have a book you love or have written one yourself, and would like to on the podcast, contact me at BooksBetweenSessions@gmail.com. Also, this podcast is not psychotherapy or counseling. If you need to speak with a professional, you should find one local to you and contact them directly. IF THIS IS AN EMERGENCY, PLEASE CALL YOUR LOCAL EMERGENCY NUMBER OR GO TO YOUR NEAREST EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT.