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Easy Crafts for the Insane: A Mostly Funny Memoir of Mental Illness and Making Things

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From the New York Times bestselling author of Adulting comes a story about how to make something when you’re capable of nothing.   Kelly Williams Brown had 700 Bad Days. Her marriage collapsed, she broke three limbs in separate and unrelated incidents, her father was diagnosed with cancer, and she fell into a deep depression that ended in what could delicately be referred to From the New York Times bestselling author of Adulting comes a story about how to make something when you’re capable of nothing.   Kelly Williams Brown had 700 Bad Days. Her marriage collapsed, she broke three limbs in separate and unrelated incidents, her father was diagnosed with cancer, and she fell into a deep depression that ended in what could delicately be referred to as a “rest cure” at an inpatient facility. Before that, she had several very good years: she wrote a bestselling book, spoke at NASA, had a beautiful wedding, and inspired hundreds of thousands of readers to live as grown-ups in an often-screwed-up world, though these accomplishments mostly just made her feel fraudulent.   One of the few things that kept her moving forward was, improbably, crafting. Not Martha Stewart–perfect crafting, either—what could be called “simple,” “accessible” or, perhaps, “rustic” creations were the joy and accomplishments she found in her worst days. To craft is to set things right in the littlest of ways; no matter how disconnected you feel, you can still fold a tiny paper star, and that’s not nothing.   In Easy Crafts for the Insane, crafting tutorials serve as the backdrop of a life dissolved, then glued back together. Surprising, humane, and utterly unforgettable, this is a poignant and hysterical look at the unexpected, messy coping mechanisms we use to find ourselves again.


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From the New York Times bestselling author of Adulting comes a story about how to make something when you’re capable of nothing.   Kelly Williams Brown had 700 Bad Days. Her marriage collapsed, she broke three limbs in separate and unrelated incidents, her father was diagnosed with cancer, and she fell into a deep depression that ended in what could delicately be referred to From the New York Times bestselling author of Adulting comes a story about how to make something when you’re capable of nothing.   Kelly Williams Brown had 700 Bad Days. Her marriage collapsed, she broke three limbs in separate and unrelated incidents, her father was diagnosed with cancer, and she fell into a deep depression that ended in what could delicately be referred to as a “rest cure” at an inpatient facility. Before that, she had several very good years: she wrote a bestselling book, spoke at NASA, had a beautiful wedding, and inspired hundreds of thousands of readers to live as grown-ups in an often-screwed-up world, though these accomplishments mostly just made her feel fraudulent.   One of the few things that kept her moving forward was, improbably, crafting. Not Martha Stewart–perfect crafting, either—what could be called “simple,” “accessible” or, perhaps, “rustic” creations were the joy and accomplishments she found in her worst days. To craft is to set things right in the littlest of ways; no matter how disconnected you feel, you can still fold a tiny paper star, and that’s not nothing.   In Easy Crafts for the Insane, crafting tutorials serve as the backdrop of a life dissolved, then glued back together. Surprising, humane, and utterly unforgettable, this is a poignant and hysterical look at the unexpected, messy coping mechanisms we use to find ourselves again.

30 review for Easy Crafts for the Insane: A Mostly Funny Memoir of Mental Illness and Making Things

  1. 4 out of 5

    Donna Davis

    Kelly Williams Brown is an experienced author, but she is new to me. I ran across this odd little book at exactly the time I needed it, and maybe you do, too. My thanks go to Net Galley and Putnam Penguin for the review copy; this book will be available to the public July 6, 2021. Brown points out that mental illness remains one of the few conditions that are cloaked in secrecy and shame. Nobody afflicted with bipolar disorder chooses it, and although it can be successfully treated, there’s no c Kelly Williams Brown is an experienced author, but she is new to me. I ran across this odd little book at exactly the time I needed it, and maybe you do, too. My thanks go to Net Galley and Putnam Penguin for the review copy; this book will be available to the public July 6, 2021. Brown points out that mental illness remains one of the few conditions that are cloaked in secrecy and shame. Nobody afflicted with bipolar disorder chooses it, and although it can be successfully treated, there’s no cure, either. The title of the book reflects her choice to simply own it. “This is the water I swim in…I wanted to talk about how I have come to be content in my own skin.” In sharing her journey, she tells us how nearly impossible it is to find a psychiatrist within a reasonable commute, who takes your insurance; now try doing it while you are in a precarious state of mental illness. At one point things come to a head, and in a fugue of which she has no memory at all, she rises from bed and attempts suicide, nearly succeeding. Had her boyfriend not found her when he did, she would have died. “’Lots of people, they just take a few aspirin and say they want to die, but you meant it!‘ the very kind ER doctor says with something that sounds a tiny bit like begrudging approval.” The crafting aspect of this book is partly a device, used to share what kind of mindset caused her to resort to it, and also which crafts are soothing at life’s most difficult times; several of the crafts she discusses are just as mysterious to me after reading her instructions as they were before. Her favorite little origami stars, which grace the book’s cover, are among these. And there are some crafts for which she tells us she has no clear instructions, and recommends YouTube tutorials, so that part’s kind of a wash. However, there are a couple of things that do sound interesting and that I might try. I initially rated this book four stars, thinking that if a person puts crafts in the title, the crafts should be clearly taught, but later I decided that this book really, truly isn’t about crafts. Brown has money, and at times I am a little alienated by her wealth, that is obvious in her narrative. But she recognizes this, and she uses it to drive home the point: “I had good insurance, and open schedule, and no internal conflict over therapy—and yet it was still fucking impossible. My privileged ass could barely make it happen. Think about the hurdles that Americans who don’t have these advantages face every day when they’re trying to access help!” I have deliberately left out the humor here, the places that at times make me laugh out loud. You can find them for yourself. They are well placed, preventing the overall tone from becoming too grim. I found this book the day after dropping a close family member off at the psych ward of a local hospital, and it seemed almost like an omen that I should read it. If you are contemplating reading it, whether due to mental health issues of your own, or of those close to you, or simply out of curiosity, I highly recommend you do it. This little gem may become a cult favorite, and it would be a shame to be left out of the loop. And if it inspires you to be more vocal in advocating for mental health awareness and treatment, and of dragging this pervasive problem out of the attic and shining some light on it, then the world will be a better place.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Literary Redhead

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. If Job were a woman with irreverent wit, he’d be Kelly Williams Brown, whose EASY CRAFTS FOR THE INSANE reveals 700 Bad Days that rival Job’s for Most Terrible Life. Her marriage died, she broke three limbs, her dad was diagnosed with cancer, and she ended up in an inpatient psych unit when medication triggered mania. 🧶 That Kelly can invest her story with such humor makes it more palatable, but this is some really heavy stuff. Even for readers who have had similar maladies. That said it is a br If Job were a woman with irreverent wit, he’d be Kelly Williams Brown, whose EASY CRAFTS FOR THE INSANE reveals 700 Bad Days that rival Job’s for Most Terrible Life. Her marriage died, she broke three limbs, her dad was diagnosed with cancer, and she ended up in an inpatient psych unit when medication triggered mania. 🧶 That Kelly can invest her story with such humor makes it more palatable, but this is some really heavy stuff. Even for readers who have had similar maladies. That said it is a brave, beautiful and important memoir that reveals the truth of mental illness without taking itself too seriously. Yet I took it to heart and cried after Kelly’s long string of Very Bad Luck. I asked Job’s question, “Why?” The answer. More Bad Luck. 🧶 But then, joy of joys, Kelly begins to heal! Her broken bones mend, she’s back on meds that work, she gets a job she enjoys, makes a new group of friends, builds stronger relationships with family, and opens her heart to contentment — as with Job a happy ending! 🧶 Hurrah and a must-read for anyone who loves beautifully written memoirs, seeks solace when deeply depressed, or loves crafts (included here with descriptions) because they know crafts soothe the mental beast and can actually be really really fun. Don’t miss this one! 5 of 5 Stars Pub Date 06 Jul 2021 #EasyCraftsfortheInsane #NetGalley Thanks to the author, PENGUIN GROUP Putnam, and NetGalley for the review copy. Opinions are mine.

  3. 4 out of 5

    lavende

    While I have some criticisms about this book, I actually think it was pretty good. I thought it would be a lot more craft-focused, but instead it really is more of a story of the author's 2-year-long mental breakdown with the origami she did during that time (among other things) sprinkled in. Some of the things she describes are devastating, some are very relatable to me, others not at all, on the whole I found "Easy Crafts for the Insane" to be very entertaining. It did make me want to keep rea While I have some criticisms about this book, I actually think it was pretty good. I thought it would be a lot more craft-focused, but instead it really is more of a story of the author's 2-year-long mental breakdown with the origami she did during that time (among other things) sprinkled in. Some of the things she describes are devastating, some are very relatable to me, others not at all, on the whole I found "Easy Crafts for the Insane" to be very entertaining. It did make me want to keep reading, mostly. There are triggering parts in this and Kelly Williams Brown sometimes approaches them with a little too much flippancy for my taste, but I guess I cannot tell anyone how to recount the worst experiences of their life, so ... be warned, the part of the book where she discusses her suicide attempt and the part a little before that are definitely a lot. What genuinely annoyed me though, were the parts where she talks about politics and the Trump administration. I understand that the 2017 election was upsetting to her, but to hear her disclaim that yes, she is really only minorly directly affected by this change (unlike the "children in cages", which of course is a sentence that we must throw around as often as possible) and then describe the way she felt a "biological instinct" to hide under the table in the bar she watched the election results come in......... literally please stop being so dramatic. Generally headache-inducingly liberal takes on politics in this book. Similarly, she used the occupation of Palestine to make some inane point that I don't even remember now, a la "same as the Israel-Palestine conflict, this has always been this way and will probably always be this way". This definitely could have been expressed just as well (better!) differently.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    I feel like the title of this one could be negatively received but the author uses "insane" to speak of her own struggles with mental illness, and crafts that helped. She takes it up to during pandemic times so it's all very recent and relevant. I feel like the title of this one could be negatively received but the author uses "insane" to speak of her own struggles with mental illness, and crafts that helped. She takes it up to during pandemic times so it's all very recent and relevant.

  5. 5 out of 5

    High Plains Library District

    What seemed like a light romp through some anxiety and depression (and crafts) quickly became quite harrowing and dark. The book started a little slowly but she excels at descriptions – of a difficult marriage, of depression – that ring deeply true. The chapters are interspersed with easy crafts to occupy your mind if you feel unable to do much else. In her first book, she invented the word “adulting” and this is, in many ways, the antithesis of that book. Instead of learning the skills to becomi What seemed like a light romp through some anxiety and depression (and crafts) quickly became quite harrowing and dark. The book started a little slowly but she excels at descriptions – of a difficult marriage, of depression – that ring deeply true. The chapters are interspersed with easy crafts to occupy your mind if you feel unable to do much else. In her first book, she invented the word “adulting” and this is, in many ways, the antithesis of that book. Instead of learning the skills to becoming a fully functioning adult, she winds up locked in a psychiatric hospital with no decisions to make. And yet – I admire her honesty and her willingness to shed light on mental illness, to show that even someone so apparently ‘put together’ can fall apart. And find her way back again…. -Marjorie

  6. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    Publishing date: July 6, 2021 To many of us, Kelly Williams Brown was a success. She was a popular columnist for a newspaper, and her book Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps appeared in the New York Times bestseller list. Heck, even a House Hunters episode made her seem genuine and appealing and it was one of the few episodes that didn't make me want to throw my shoe at the TV. But it all came tumbling down when she fell into a deep depression after a divorce, broken bones, Publishing date: July 6, 2021 To many of us, Kelly Williams Brown was a success. She was a popular columnist for a newspaper, and her book Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps appeared in the New York Times bestseller list. Heck, even a House Hunters episode made her seem genuine and appealing and it was one of the few episodes that didn't make me want to throw my shoe at the TV. But it all came tumbling down when she fell into a deep depression after a divorce, broken bones, and her dad's cancer diagnosis, where she came close to losing it all (including her life). This memoir is a moving journey of a woman's mental breakdown and recovery (with the assistance of learning various crafts, some quite complicated) that, while told in a sometimes flippant and irreverent style, is candid, harrowing, and heartrending. Fans of Jenny Lawson's Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things , Allie Brosch's graphic memoirs, and books by Samantha Irby will want to keep an eye out for this fabulous memoir. Thanks to the publisher for the advance digital galley.

  7. 4 out of 5

    CJ Connor

    I remember reading Adulting when I was an 18-year-old in the hopes of becoming a responsible adult right before my mental health took a turn for the worse (thanks, OCD) so this was an especially enjoyable read. Would absolutely recommend for fans of Hyperbole and a Half and those interested in an authentic and often funny mental health memoir.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Author is kind of insufferable.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jess Witkins

    I wasn't sure what to make of this book when I started reading. I was familiar with the author and her first book, Adulting, which offered usable, real advice for young adults and twentysomethings about how to make it in the real world. I assumed this book would be just as funny. It is, but differently so. In the vein of other authors who've made a name for themselves crafting one story, and then release a new book years later about how much of their lifestyle book was nice and all, but not actu I wasn't sure what to make of this book when I started reading. I was familiar with the author and her first book, Adulting, which offered usable, real advice for young adults and twentysomethings about how to make it in the real world. I assumed this book would be just as funny. It is, but differently so. In the vein of other authors who've made a name for themselves crafting one story, and then release a new book years later about how much of their lifestyle book was nice and all, but not actually the life they were living, so here's a new book where they fess up and speak honestly and vulnerably and now you can actually tell they've grown in the process (think Glennon Doyle). That's what this is, albeit still in a quirky Kelly Williams Brown way. This book is serious. It does not begin that way. There's some vaguery and glossing over the demise of her marriage, and there are crafts thrown in along the way, which is not my jam, but it was hers. Stick with it because - wow - she gets real about the mental health collapse she suffered after life threw multiple broken bones (who loses use of BOTH their arms at the same time?!), loss of family members and friends (death and disconnecting), tumultuous relationship status, dad gets diagnosed with cancer, and her new medication meant to help with depression instead causes her to fall into mania. She actually tackles A LOT in a short amount of pages and shares some real insights into living with mental health problems. Even the added craft elements become more entwined with what she was battling mentally and seem more useful. Anyone who can survive all she did and come out the other side has a story to tell, and I hope by sharing hers, it brings validation and understanding to others who may be struggling with their mental health and find hope (in crafts perhaps), but in carrying on. This is an impressively emotional book that uses levity within its seriousness to tell the story. Similar reads include Broken by Jenny Lawson and That's Mental: Painfully Funny Things That Drive Me Crazy About Being Mentally Ill by Amanda Rosenberg. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Marjorie Elwood

    What seemed like a light romp through some anxiety and depression (and crafts) quickly became quite harrowing and dark. The book started a little slowly but she excels at descriptions – of a difficult marriage, of depression – that ring deeply true. The chapters are interspersed with easy crafts to occupy your mind if you feel unable to do much else. In her first book, she invented the word “adulting” and this is, in many ways, the antithesis of that book. Instead of learning the skills to becomi What seemed like a light romp through some anxiety and depression (and crafts) quickly became quite harrowing and dark. The book started a little slowly but she excels at descriptions – of a difficult marriage, of depression – that ring deeply true. The chapters are interspersed with easy crafts to occupy your mind if you feel unable to do much else. In her first book, she invented the word “adulting” and this is, in many ways, the antithesis of that book. Instead of learning the skills to becoming a fully functioning adult, she winds up locked in a psychiatric hospital with no decisions to make. And yet – I admire her honesty and her willingness to shed light on mental illness, to show that even someone so apparently ‘put together’ can fall apart. And find her way back again….

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    The quick summary: "700 Awful Days" (and some that aren't so awful!!) in the author's life, told as humorously as possible, with the segments of life's retellings recalled by the crafts being done at the time. Some immediate craft take-aways: I am going to craft a dragons egg out of nail polish, thumb tacks, and foam eggs. There is nothing more I desire than to use up some of my excruciatingly many bottles of nail polish and also have a dragon egg at the end. Some personal take-aways: (view spoil The quick summary: "700 Awful Days" (and some that aren't so awful!!) in the author's life, told as humorously as possible, with the segments of life's retellings recalled by the crafts being done at the time. Some immediate craft take-aways: I am going to craft a dragons egg out of nail polish, thumb tacks, and foam eggs. There is nothing more I desire than to use up some of my excruciatingly many bottles of nail polish and also have a dragon egg at the end. Some personal take-aways: (view spoiler)[ Brown and I have a GrannyBarb in common; I spent a semi-significant amount of time reading this book weeping at every mention of GB, because Kelly knew her in ways that I did not, and each drop of knowledge (or reminder of her blue kitchen table) was bittersweet (death and grieving and love all twined together). I also have a small GB shrine set up; I had her license plate above my door to guard my comings and goings. I had no idea she went to silent meditation retreats yearly; the many ways you can not know someone are astounding. HOWEVER; I don't think the glowing ways Kelly writes GB into an immortal existence through memoir would make anyone else weep. That's a personal reaction. (hide spoiler)] Less immediately personal take-aways: -There's a bit near the beginning where Brown regales us with her post-divorce move to a small town called Independence, where she hangs out in a zippy convertible with her big dog and hints at streetracing, which is about the best recommendation for running away from yourself that I could think of -She's an absolute charmer of a writer, even when things are rough, even when she's poking at topics that are spiky. -Which doesn't mean that some very real topics are not discussed, including one of my favorite-least favorite, the dissolving of a friend group that you thought you might form a commune with and how devastating that is. -Also the dark dread of the 2016 election. -Also the concept of redoing a bathroom in gold and flamingo print (powerful)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Roulette

    I loved this book. It is hilarious, heart-breaking, and totally relatable. Thank you, Kelly Williams Brown for being vulnerable and sharing your story.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Traci Young

    July has become the month of memoirs for me on accident, and I am into it. I could not deny this book from reading the title, and I'm really glad I gave it a shot! I have not read any of Kelly's other books just cause I'm not big on self-help-ish books typically. But this book was sad, strange, witty, and has once again convinced me that if I could give up my need for perfection, I probably would greatly benefit from becoming a crafter. I found Kelly's writing really honest, often brutal, but al July has become the month of memoirs for me on accident, and I am into it. I could not deny this book from reading the title, and I'm really glad I gave it a shot! I have not read any of Kelly's other books just cause I'm not big on self-help-ish books typically. But this book was sad, strange, witty, and has once again convinced me that if I could give up my need for perfection, I probably would greatly benefit from becoming a crafter. I found Kelly's writing really honest, often brutal, but also often funny. Definitely some heavy, heavy topics are covered, but I still could not put it down. TW: Mental illness, Death, Attempted suicide

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    What a quirky little memoir about some horrible things that happened in Kelly's life and how she lived them and grappled with them. Another book that shows our humanity. Oh, and there are fun little crafts throughout the book that I'm excited to try. Here are some great quotes from the book: p.8 - I was finding success hollow. It is amazing, yes, and it was fun in the moment and made for an impressive bio. But it doesn't - and can't - sustain you. The quality of your relationships, the skill of bu What a quirky little memoir about some horrible things that happened in Kelly's life and how she lived them and grappled with them. Another book that shows our humanity. Oh, and there are fun little crafts throughout the book that I'm excited to try. Here are some great quotes from the book: p.8 - I was finding success hollow. It is amazing, yes, and it was fun in the moment and made for an impressive bio. But it doesn't - and can't - sustain you. The quality of your relationships, the skill of building and keeping contentment, and your ability to sit with pain and not squirm away from it is what will actually keep you going after that first flush or happiness. P.260 - so perhaps here is the point of it all, my precious plums: bad things happen for good reasons or bad reasons or no reason at all, to all of us. There is nothing to be done about it except breathe, abide, and hold on to the faith that no matter how awful today was, you never have to live it again... Things, both good and bad, change must faster than you imagine they do. You do not know what the future holds.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    This was a cute read, but I wasn't completely captivated by it. I found the author to be a little bit wallowing. However, I recommend it. It was funny in parts, and an easy read. This was a cute read, but I wasn't completely captivated by it. I found the author to be a little bit wallowing. However, I recommend it. It was funny in parts, and an easy read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    "It is following good mental health hygiene—which is the real self-care, although it’s so, so boring! It is cultivating contentment rather than chasing happiness." I have never heard of Kelly Williams Brown before this book. I have not read her previous books and I think I was drawn to this book because it mentioned crafts. As a crafty person, I have to say that most of the crafts in this story are simple and not anything to write home about. But I still read them all because Kelly's humor is all "It is following good mental health hygiene—which is the real self-care, although it’s so, so boring! It is cultivating contentment rather than chasing happiness." I have never heard of Kelly Williams Brown before this book. I have not read her previous books and I think I was drawn to this book because it mentioned crafts. As a crafty person, I have to say that most of the crafts in this story are simple and not anything to write home about. But I still read them all because Kelly's humor is all over them and it's fabulous. I loved her voice throughout this whole book. The way she talks about her life and her mistakes and things that happen to her and the way she describes the people in her life (even those who abandon her or whom she abandons) is magical. She clearly is a person full of life and joy. "The guy tells me what he says he tells everyone he transports in my current circumstances: he hopes that I take this as an opportunity to rest, to reset, to try again. That it is never too late for anyone, and if I’m still here, there’s a reason. He guesses everyone needs a break every now and again. I should take the break and make the most of it. I should take it and use it to figure out what it is I’m still here to do." I kept cringing for most of this book because she makes one mistake after another and really pushes her life into places where you want to shout "no, don't do that!" and it's like watching a car accident. but you also can't help but be in love with her and root for her and want to wish her the very best. "I hadn’t realized how very dark and small my world had become. I’d dropped each joy, one by one, not noticing they were gone or really remembering I’d had them at all. I stopped listening to music, stopped dancing, stopped going on country drives. I stopped enjoying food, found no pleasure in good company, but instead a temporary lessening of misery, which made me a super-fun presence. Depression is so talented at turning you from a foodie into someone who wishes they could just eat a compressed nutrition bar every day, except about everything." Because her personality is so colorful, her vitality is so obvious that you can't help but wish well for her. And there's so much emotion and truth in her words. There's so much wisdom in the lessons she learns as a result of ongoing insanity that has become her life for a while. "So perhaps here is the point of it all, my precious plums: bad things happen for good reasons or bad reasons or no reasons at all, to all of us. There is nothing to be done about it except perhaps breathe, abide, and hold on to the faith that no matter how awful today was, you never have to live it again." And in the end there's so much peace and grace and self-compassion that you are left with nothing but hope for her and her life. I enjoyed every moment i spent with this story. I will say the chapters around suicide are hard to get through and can definitely trigger folk. with gratitude to netgalley and PENGUIN GROUP Putnam for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    The title grabbed me for so many reasons: 1) our "it's crafty" slack channel at work - the name says almost all you need to know about it - but during the covid-19 shutdown the projects we posted on there ran the gamut and that was a-ok! 2)there's something about getting in a craft groove during a time when you need a contemplative moment or just one that is occupied with something that's not high stakes, doesn't have a deadline and is by its very nature a little goofy and silly and lighthearted The title grabbed me for so many reasons: 1) our "it's crafty" slack channel at work - the name says almost all you need to know about it - but during the covid-19 shutdown the projects we posted on there ran the gamut and that was a-ok! 2)there's something about getting in a craft groove during a time when you need a contemplative moment or just one that is occupied with something that's not high stakes, doesn't have a deadline and is by its very nature a little goofy and silly and lighthearted. 3)I completely understood how Kelly made all those stars. I sympathized immediately with how she remembered her highs and lows by the craft projects and social occasions that bookended some of her best and worst times. There's no way to give a memoir a meaningful rank or a score - they're honest or they're not. They're funny, poignant, sad, heartbreaking, ridiculous, irritating and all the things human beings are to one another. Kelly is an unreliable narrator of her own story - the who, what, when, where, why she practiced as a journalist are not going to come into play for everything the reader grows curious about. That's okay - how often do you show guests your closets, attic, basement, and that weird shelf in the garage. Give the woman a break - she's sharing a ton about a really difficult time in a way that makes sense to her. Who cares if it all makes perfect sense to us? That would literally be impossible in this situation I think? The crafts are silly, the stories that go with them are poignant, troubled, troubling and all too human. I tore through this in one sitting. you might too. I received an advanced reader copy from NetGalley upon which to make an honest review.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    I found this book self-indulgent, immature, and not worth my time. The "crafts" were silly activities more suitable for children. The author chronicles her time spent feeling sorry for herself. By the end of the book, she matures a bit, but not enough to make this book worth reading. The crafting tie-in is an insult to those who genuinely do quality crafting. I found this book self-indulgent, immature, and not worth my time. The "crafts" were silly activities more suitable for children. The author chronicles her time spent feeling sorry for herself. By the end of the book, she matures a bit, but not enough to make this book worth reading. The crafting tie-in is an insult to those who genuinely do quality crafting.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Holstrom

    A really lovely memoir by the wonderful Kelly Williams Brown, queen of Adulting and graciousness, and the easy crafts that helped her get through her darkest days. Content warning for attempted suicide. I wish I’d known this before diving in.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Sometimes you just find the right book at the right moment. The other night I was scrolling through my Watch Later list on YouTube (currently 700+ videos…) when I found a spot from GMA, in which Kelly Williams Brown was promoting her new book by teaching the Tv presenters how to make water colour heart greeting cards over Zoom. As soon as the spot finished I bought the book on Kindle. I’ve been on sick leave for nearly four months with a stupid stress injury and while that cannot be compared in Sometimes you just find the right book at the right moment. The other night I was scrolling through my Watch Later list on YouTube (currently 700+ videos…) when I found a spot from GMA, in which Kelly Williams Brown was promoting her new book by teaching the Tv presenters how to make water colour heart greeting cards over Zoom. As soon as the spot finished I bought the book on Kindle. I’ve been on sick leave for nearly four months with a stupid stress injury and while that cannot be compared in any shape or form to what Kelly goes through and details in this memoir/craft book, I really needed to hear what was being said here. Kelly and I are very different l but where it really matters, we’re the same. Trigger warnings for suicide attempt and psychiatric hospitalisation.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Virginia

    This is a harrowing, funny, heartbreaking account of a human being experiencing just about every emotion possible during a horrifying 700 days in her life. I love how the author ties in the specific crafts with the emotional event she was experiencing, and adds in useful information like how not to deal with broken bones, how to speedily dispose of a manipulative and passive-aggressive but otherwise perfect husband, and exactly what a sad-nap is (I've had those since I was about 5 but never knew This is a harrowing, funny, heartbreaking account of a human being experiencing just about every emotion possible during a horrifying 700 days in her life. I love how the author ties in the specific crafts with the emotional event she was experiencing, and adds in useful information like how not to deal with broken bones, how to speedily dispose of a manipulative and passive-aggressive but otherwise perfect husband, and exactly what a sad-nap is (I've had those since I was about 5 but never knew what to call them.) The crafts themselves were a bonus and I'm going to be making lots of paper stars and at least a few Bad Decisions Charm Bracelets. I was relieved to read the lovely, hopeful afterword, and wish the author every good thing in her recovery from those 700 days.

  22. 5 out of 5

    H

    I loved the shit out of this! I also loved Adulting, and wasn't even aware it was the same author until I started reading it. She has a great voice and sense of humour that come through the text. I also really want to know if the Mechanic in chapter 1 looks like Adam Driver. Oh, how I can relate to sad-naps, and enjoying easy crafts due to my extremely short attention span and also how I am extraordinarily bad at the arts (all of them). My particular brand of mental illness is anxiety. It will n I loved the shit out of this! I also loved Adulting, and wasn't even aware it was the same author until I started reading it. She has a great voice and sense of humour that come through the text. I also really want to know if the Mechanic in chapter 1 looks like Adam Driver. Oh, how I can relate to sad-naps, and enjoying easy crafts due to my extremely short attention span and also how I am extraordinarily bad at the arts (all of them). My particular brand of mental illness is anxiety. It will never completely go away and it can be managed but not cured and that sucks. It's always there lurking in the background like a mom skeleton when I'm just trying to enjoy things. But books like this help me infinitely more than people telling me to take more walks or do more yoga or ~just breathe~.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Diane Lupton

    read for the prompt: a title caught my eye As soon as I saw the title of this book I knew I had to read it. It did not disappoint. It was a little scary how much we (kind of) had in common but it made me laugh at that. I am so glad I read it. It may not be for everyone but the "mostly funny memoir of mental illness and making things" sums it up very well. That is exactly what you will get from this book along with some step by step crafts (mostly origami). read for the prompt: a title caught my eye As soon as I saw the title of this book I knew I had to read it. It did not disappoint. It was a little scary how much we (kind of) had in common but it made me laugh at that. I am so glad I read it. It may not be for everyone but the "mostly funny memoir of mental illness and making things" sums it up very well. That is exactly what you will get from this book along with some step by step crafts (mostly origami).

  24. 5 out of 5

    Barb Jordan

    If you ever find yourself needing full on care,unexpectedly immobile, and hospitalized this is the perfect book to read. I was entertained, I learned some great craft ideas, medical knowledge about depression I had never heard before, and I felt so close to the author after sharing her journey I just wanted to hug her and thank her for keeping me company on mine.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    I enjoyed this book very much. However, it may not be for everyone. If discussion of suicide is a trigger for you, you should skip this one. However, the author puts a really human face on mental illness and I really liked her. The crafts are fun too.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Abigail

    I adored this book. It makes sense since I also find soothing calm in the repetitive motion of my fingers while making things.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Loved this one: funny, deep, true, and hopeful. ❤️

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    I loved this little book! It was so honest and relatable, and the author is a great writer. I love the little craft instructions and drawings sprinkled in the book. Well worth picking up and reading!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Zibby Owens

    After tremendous accomplishments in her career and her personal life, the author suddenly had "700 bad days." One of the things that helped her get through her dad's cancer, severe depression, and a difficult divorce was that she began crafting what she called “simple” and “accessible” crafts. The author felt she could set things right in small ways; no matter how disconnected she felt, she could always glue paper together. In this book, the author offers her personal journey framed by easy craf After tremendous accomplishments in her career and her personal life, the author suddenly had "700 bad days." One of the things that helped her get through her dad's cancer, severe depression, and a difficult divorce was that she began crafting what she called “simple” and “accessible” crafts. The author felt she could set things right in small ways; no matter how disconnected she felt, she could always glue paper together. In this book, the author offers her personal journey framed by easy crafting tutorials. I loved the illustrations and how she put them everywhere throughout the book. The author turned to crafts as one of the things that made her feel better during difficult times. One paragraph said, "Crafting gives me a sense of accomplishment even when I feel like I can't accomplish anything. Crafting is tangible proof that I can do something. To craft is to set things correct in tiny ways, make this crease or stitch, or move that candle over a bit because it just looks better there. And I can almost always affect these changes in the universe. Crafting reminds me that my brain moving differently from other people's brains is not all a bad thing." To listen to my interview with the author, go to my podcast at: https://zibbyowens.com/transcript/kel...

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kali Cannizzaro

    Easy Crafts for the Insane was a wonderful piece of non-fiction. The author deftly walked the line of very serious self-reflection and laugh-out-loud humor and I loved it! I haven’t tried the crafts but I’m glad I have them in case I ever need them. Well done, Kelly Williams Brown! Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and publisher for the opportunity to read this book. The opinions in this review are entirely my own. * * * #EasyCraftsfortheInsane #NetGalley #KellyWilliamsBrown #GPPutnamsSons #nonfiction Easy Crafts for the Insane was a wonderful piece of non-fiction. The author deftly walked the line of very serious self-reflection and laugh-out-loud humor and I loved it! I haven’t tried the crafts but I’m glad I have them in case I ever need them. Well done, Kelly Williams Brown! Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and publisher for the opportunity to read this book. The opinions in this review are entirely my own. * * * #EasyCraftsfortheInsane #NetGalley #KellyWilliamsBrown #GPPutnamsSons #nonfiction #mentalhealth #resilience #crafting #selfcare #bookreview #bookstagram

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