Reviews

Where We Were: Reasons to Stay Alive

I just started reading Matt Haig’s recent novel, The Midnight Library. I’m a little bit behind, because his latest non-fiction book just came out earlier this week. What better occasion is there, I figure, to go back in time and revisit his 2015 memoir, Reasons to Stay Alive.

At the age of 24, Haig faced the biggest challenge of his life: depression. In Reasons to Stay Alive, he tells the story of his own struggle and shares what keeps him going. Spoilers: it was not a smooth road to recovery. Haig speaks honestly, acknowledging that mental illness is not rational nor is it an active choice that people make.

Reasons to Stay Alive front cover

A Gift, Perhaps: Watering the Soul

Watering the Soul front cover

Andrews McMeel Publishing was kind enough to provide with a digital ARC via NetGalley of Courtney Peppernell’s upcoming title, Watering the Soul, in exchange for an honest review. I had some high hopes for this book, considering the way I just gushed about another Andrews McMeel author, but found myself a bit let down. Still, Watering the Soul is almost great, and here’s why.

Intimate Moments: Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately

Alicia Cook is my favourite contemporary poet.

I stumbled across her poetry the way many do, through Instagram. I’m generally wary of “Instapoetry” because of many stereotypes associated with it: lack of substance, focus on aesthetics, and easy sharability. But the first poem of Cook’s that I discovered—“Sorry I haven’t texted you back”—was both unique and extremely intimate, and it hit incredibly close to home.

"Stuff I've Been Feeling Lately" sits on a crowded bookshelf.

Clearly I was not the only one who thought so, because that poem later opened a collection of the same name, which I will be writing about shortly. But this is not a review of Sorry I Haven’t Texted You Back. This is a review of its younger sibling and Cook’s second publication, Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately.