The Borders of Normal by Manuel Matas, M.D.

As an experienced psychiatrist, Dr. Manuel Matas is very familiar with the science of the human brain—as well as the possibilities that exist beyond the known borders of consciousness. He has never been a classic rationalist, as he himself has experienced phenomena that defy logic and the explanations of Western medicine. In The Borders of Normal, Dr. Matas reveals just how accepted (and studied) many of these phenomena are, providing a compelling overview of influential thinkers who have, over the years, recognized events and experiences that fall outside the realm of current scientific thought.

Invisible Wounds: The emotional journey of a police officer’s battle with PTSD by Norm DeVarennes

Mr. DeVarennes tells us, in detail, of the emotional ups and downs of being a police officer and the heavy toll it takes on a person’s mental health.

This story is an eye-opener of what a police officer faces when he leaves for work. It is no wonder the situations they encounter can have such a devastating effect on a person, be they in the military, a first responder of a police officer.…

Lightness by Fanie Demeule, trans. by Anita Anand

to one source, 90% of all anorexics are females. They lose a few pounds but are still not satisfied. They become obsessed with reaching the “ideal” weight, but it’s a moving target, practically unattainable. Such is the case with the unnamed young woman in Lightness (Déterrer les os in French) by Quebec author Fanie Demeule, which has been translated into English by Anita Anand.*…

Silver Linings: Stories of Gratitude, Resiliency, and Growth Through Adversity by Janice Landry

feel that Nova Scotian author Janice Landry is one of those people you would like for a next-door neighbour: she comes across as a genuinely kind, understanding, upbeat person who likely takes care of their property. That’s just the impression she gives, as the reader of Silver Linings (Pottersfield Press) comes to know her as well as the seventeen people she interviews for her latest book, Silver Linings.

A Medic’s Mind by Matthew Heneghan

First-time author Matthew Heneghan is a former Canadian Armed Forces Medic, a former civilian paramedic, and a sufferer of PTSD and a former alcohol abuser. He is also a blogger and podcaster, sharing his story of recovery and day-to-day struggles to cope with his afflictions. Wintertickle Press has now published A Medic’s Mind, his memoirs and they are as good as they come when it proceeds to ‘baring all”.…

The Daughter Who Walked Away by Kimia Eslah

Eslah is a feminist writer who lives in Ontario, and The Daughter Who Walked Away* is her debut novel. The book first introduces us to Taraneh Pourani living in East End Toronto with her husband and two young boys. It is morning and she is in bed with her husband Haseem, who is snoring beside her. She admonishes herself:

“Get up!

Black Cop: My 36 years in police work, and my career ending experiences with official racism by Calvin Lawrence, With Miles Howe

The title and subtitle pretty much sum up what this book is about: being black and facing systemic racism in two police organizations in a 36-year career. Calvin Lawrence was born in 1949 in Yarmouth and raised in Halifax. His parents (he was actually raised by his Uncle and Aunt) were a mixed-race couple living in Halifax. His father worked as a porter for the railway, one of the few respectable jobs available to blacks at the time.…

Side by Side by Anita Kushwaha

According to the Government of Canada website, every day, an average of more than 10 Canadians dies by suicide. For every person lost to suicide, many more experience thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts. For every death by suicide, at least 7 to 10 survivors are significantly affected by the loss. For Kavita Gupta, the protagonist of Anita Kushwaha’s award-winning novel Side by Side, it is the loss of her brother Sunil that has affected her and her parents.…

Transplanted by Allison Watson

In my work as a medical professional, I encounter many patients with transplants: kidney being the most common, followed by liver and lung. In Transplanted, author Allison Watson describes her life with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and her lung’s long, slow decline to the point where only a double-lung transplant can save her life. As of this book, she is four years post-transplant and is doing well.…

The Sweet Bloods of Eeyou Istchee by Ruth DyckFehderau

According to the Diabetes Canada website, there are 11 million Canadians living with diabetes or prediabetes. Every three minutes, another Canadian is diagnosed. For the James Bay Cree living in the territory of Eeyou Istchee in Northern Quebec, “fully one-third of the adults have been diagnosed with type 2 or gestational diabetes and more remain undiagnosed.”

The Sweet Bloods of Eeyou Istchee was produced by creehealth.org

My Chaos: Searching for My New Normal by Rick C. Benson

Rick C. Benson BA, BEd, MA (Pastoral Studies) is the current Director of Spiritual and Religious Care and is a Grief Recovery Specialist working out of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Saint John, New Brunswick.

I first heard of Mr. Benson’s book in Horizon Health Network’s internal newsletter, the Horizon Star. I quickly got in contact with him and he sent me a copy of the book for the purposes of this review along with this thought:

I really wanted the book to help a broader readership … to bring healing from many approaches and help others like yourself bring healing to those we interact with in healthcare.

The Dwindling: A Daughter’s Caregiving Journey to the Edge of Life by Janet Dunnett

The Dwindling (2017, Journeys Press) is a unique book in the Health/Memoir genre for it is written by one-half of a “Twin Team” of identical twin sisters that endeavoured to care for their aged parents, the father with dementia, the mother with multiple health problems, pain being the primary one that caused her the most discomfort, and down the road, caused her to be bed-ridden.…

It’s Not About Us by Todd Leader

Subtitled “The Secret to Transforming the Mental Health and Addiction System in Canada”, this premier release from Nova Scotia’s Cathydia Press is not only a call to reform the present paradigm of treating patients for mental health and addictions, but it is blueprint for managers, leaders and clients regarding how to do it based on the author’s own success in Nova Scotia’s South Shore District Health Authority from 2010 to 2014.…