Bookstr’s Three to Read: Drugs and Skunks

From gorgeously illustrated children’s books to failed drug trials and prescriptions, this week’s Three to Read has got something for everyone.

Memoirs & Biographies Non-Fiction Recommendations Three To Read

Hello book lovers and welcome back to Bookstr’s Three to Read! I don’t want to speak too soon, but it is aaaalmost time to transition to Coffee Shop Reads, and I am excited (no promises you will be able to visit a coffee shop, though!). I have the Hot Pick, Beach Read, and Dark Horse ready to go, so strap in because we have everything from drug trials, to mental health, to roommates, to skunks and more to cover. Don’t forget to catch the video in full below, and let’s get to it.


Hot Pick 

Prozac Monologues: A Voice From the Edge

by Willa Goodfellow


Image via Amazon



She was going to stab her doctor, but she wrote a book instead.

Years later, Willa Goodfellow revisits her account of the antidepressant-induced hypomania that hijacked her Costa Rican vacation and tells the rest of the story: her missed diagnosis of Bipolar 2, how she’d been given the wrong medications, and finally, her process of recovery.

Prozac Monologues is a book within a book—part memoir of misdiagnosis and part self-help guide about life on the bipolar spectrum. Through edgy and comedic essays, Goodfellow offers information about a mood disorder frequently mistaken for major depression as well as resources for recovery and further study. Plus, Costa Rica.


Goodfellow’s experience of life on the bipolar spectrum is laid wonderfully bare in the pages of Prozac Monologues. With a wit and edge that seeps from the pages, Willa talks the reader through the ups and downs of trialed-and-failed medications, misdiagnoses, and trying to find the right treatment for a largely misrepresented condition. While the memoir is funny, it is also moving and emotive, and a real wake up call for the world of medicine and its handling of mental conditions that aren’t depression or anxiety. Prozac Monologues is hopeful and enlightening, sure to be an important lifeline for those suffering the same, and eye-opening for those unaware of the complexities of a bipolar diagnosis.



Beach Read

Skunk and Badger

by Amy Timberlake, illustrated by Jon Klassen


Image via Amazon



Wallace and Gromit meets Winnie-the-Pooh in a fresh take on a classic odd-couple friendship, from Newbery Honor author Amy Timberlake with full-color and black-and-white illustrations throughout by Caldecott Medalist Jon Klassen.

No one wants a skunk.

They are unwelcome on front stoops. They should not linger in Important Rock Rooms. Skunks should never, ever be allowed to move in. But Skunk is Badger’s new roommate, and there is nothing Badger can do about it.

When Skunk plows into Badger’s life, everything Badger knows is upended. Tails are flipped. The wrong animal is sprayed. And why-oh-why are there so many chickens?


Newbery Honor author Amy Timberlake spins the first tale in a series about two opposites who need to be friends.


Whether you have kids, or you’re a child at heart, Skunk and Badger is a charming tale with gorgeous illustrations to match. The unlikely friends story is one that many will appreciate and enjoy, with plenty of nostalgia for older readers. We all remember being read to sleep with wonderful stories, and who is to say we don’t deserve it as adults too? Underneath the cosy atmosphere of Timberlake and Klassen’s creation is a deep, thought-provoking children’s book that doesn’t talk down to younger readers. It is a surefire fall treat.



Dark Horse

Adverse Effects

by Joel Shulkin


Image via Amazon



Determined to help her amnesiac patients recover their lives, Boston psychiatrist Cristina Silva is achieving near-miraculous results by prescribing Recognate, a revolutionary new memory-recovery drug now in trials. She understands her patients’ suffering better than most, because she’s lost her memories, too. Desperate to become herself again, she pops the same experimental drug she prescribes to her patients. And, like them, she remembers a little more each day.

Until one of her patients, a successful accountant, jumps from an eight-story window to his death. And as Cristina’s memories return, with them come violent visions and an incessant voice in her head. Maybe the drug isn’t safe after all. But discontinuing it would mean forgetting everything she’s recalled and losing herself.

Then an enigmatic, possibly dangerous man appears at Cristina’s bus stop. He seems to know more about her life than she does and says she holds a secret that puts her life in danger. Perilously balanced between an unknown past and a terrifying future, if she wants to survive, Cristina must stay on the medication and unlock those memories before it’s too late – even if the adverse effects of the drug could destroy her.


Shulkin’s debut, the first book of the Memory Thieves series, is an edgy and thrilling novel sure to hook readers from the get-go. It is a complex (yet readable) and thought-provoking medical thriller about a medicinal experiment gone wrong. What will Cristina risk to regain her memory? Who else will suffer the consequences? The author is a doctor himself, expertly melding the medical with the fictional, into a compelling story of memory and mystery.



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Happy reading!

Feature image via Bookstr