What We're Reading: Secrets For The Mad: Obsessions, Confessions, And Life Lessons By Dodie Clark

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As a Christmas present, I was gifted the book Secrets For The Mad written by Dodie Clark. Dodie Clark is an English singer-songwriter, author, and YouTuber, also known as doddleoddle. Known for her piano and ukulele based songs, she also discusses her own mental health issues and experiences through her songs, poetry, and YouTube videos.

I delved into this book not really knowing what to expect. I have browsed through multiple self-help books before and never really liked the writing style or the intimidating “you-must-try-harder” approach, however there was something different about Dodie’s book.

Dodie’s writing style flows so well between each subsection in each chapter, through writing in short tales, almost like poetry. Writing in short tales splits up the text and ultimately makes the book easier to read, with no huge chunks of text to wade your way through when you want to read but may not have the headspace to read a lot of text. I was in absolute awe from the minute I started reading until the minute I stopped. 

The book gave me an agony aunt type feel to it but with a twist. Paired with her personal stories are quirky illustrations, scanned copies of old diary entries, song lyrics, and photographs both young and old. Dodie helps to break down the barriers and stigmas around mental health, by delving into the hard and painful parts as honestly as she can. She explains touchy subjects so delicately, but is also blunt and to the point where necessary. She writes so openly and raw, yet comforting at the same time.

From sex and relationships to, mental illness, sexuality, family, friendships, bullying, sexual abuse, feminism and grief, she beautifully discusses a series of topics, in a mature and not at all intimidating way.

All in all, the book is so heartfelt, and I personally feel will help people to feel not so alone.

Jessie BarkerComment