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High Anxiety

August 5, 2021


Anxiety is hard to live with, but it makes for some great literature.

This was like Mrs. Bridge by way of Shirley Jackson with a dash of Wish Her Safe at Home--WHICH MEANS I LOVED IT.  Elisabeth Moss bought the rights so that she could play the titular character, and I think you will agree that she will be perfect for the role.

This is the interior monologue of a sufferer of anxiety and depression that is at the same time wildly funny.  A good option for fans of Fleabag and one of my favorites of the year so far.

This is about the weekend in which Cassie attempts to sabotage her twin sister's wedding. The genius of the book is that we can see Cassie's increasingly bizarre rationalizations and manipulations, but Cassie herself is unaware of them and sees herself as the reasonable and wronged party. The writing style is fresh and witty--it reminded me a little of Dorothy Parker. 

This magnificent essay collection examines the many anxiety-producing issues of modern life--disasters, global warming, insomnia, compassion fatigue, etc.--but as other reviewers have noted, it's also oddly soothing.  The Great Mortality, an essay she wrote about pandemics in 2018, was chilling to read in 2021. My other favorite was Witches and Whiplash, which investigates the ways in which emotional pain manifests itself as physical pain (and how that has been understood in the past, such as in diagnoses of hysteria). I love to think of things in the scope of human history, and the author does a lot of that here.

beth winter


Beth works in the Collection Development department.  She loves short stories, memoirs, documentary films, and cookbooks.  Her favorite things about working at the library are knowing in advance about all the new releases and the easy access to her library holds.

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