National Alliance on Mental Illness
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NAMI Bookshelf: April 2010

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Keeping the Feast: One Couple’s Story of Love, Food and Healing in ItalyKeeping the Feast: One Couple’s Story of Love, Food and Healing in Italy
Paula Butturini
(Riverhead Books 2010)

Paula Butturini, a foreign correspondent, met her husband John Tagliabue, a reporter for The New York Times, in Rome in 1985. Less than a month after they were married, John was shot and nearly killed by a sniper—and for several years one tragedy or upheaval after another seemed to befall them. John slid into depression at the same time that Paula’s mother, who had lived with depression when Paula was a child, relapsed and died from suicide. Together, they found healing through simple rituals, including the sustaining power of food. The book reconsiders some assumptions about the healing process (i.e., patience sometimes can be a vice, anger a virtue and making demands on people who are sick may indeed be critical to recovery).

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Within Our Reach: Ending the Mental Health CrisisWithin Our Reach: Ending the Mental Health Crisis
Rosalynn Carter with Susan K. Golant and Kathryn E. Cade
(Rodale 2010)

Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter has been deeply involved in mental health issues ever since her husband Jimmy Carter’s campaign for governor of Georgia in 1970, before his election to the Presidency, when she first saw the horrific, dehumanizing treatment on many people living with mental illness. Now, decades later, drawing on personal experiences as an advocate, she provides an insightful assessment of the state of mental health care today. She describes a system that continues to fail those in need, even as scientific advancements provide a potential for enormous strides toward recovery. It is an optimistic discussion of how far we have come since the 1970s and how far we still have to go.

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