Hemning Sternberg (moonshadow) wrote,
Hemning Sternberg

The Buddha and the Borderline by Kiera Van Gelder

Title: The Buddha and the Borderline: my recovery from borderline personality disorder through dialectical behavior therapy, buddhism, and online dating
Author: Kiera Van Gelder
Genre: Memoir, self-help
Setting: Mostly Boston.
Reason for Reading: It got good reviews, and I thought the topics (Buddhism, DBT, and BPD) were interesting.
Finished In: Days
Pages: 246, including a resource list
Copyright Date: 2010
Cover: A woman sits in lotus position, gracefully. She holds a string of mala beads in her hand. In the distance are blurred multi-colored lights.
First line: "I am fifteen when I meet a boy named Jimmy at the summer arts program."
Themes: Mental illness, self-harm, therapy, sexuality, Buddhism, self-help groups, recovery.
Best part: I think Van Gelder is a good writer - I enjoyed the way she put together cohesive chapters. Also, sometimes it's nice to hear about other people's difficult experiences because it makes you appreciate your own life more.
Worst part: This book was pretty disturbing in places.
Imaginary Theme Song: "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler
Grade: B+
Recommended for: Anyone who struggles with, or has a loved one that struggles with mental illness. Anyone who, like me, read Girl, Interrupted and thought BPD was a made-up diagnosis.
Related Reads: Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen. Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp.
Tags: books 2011, fiction
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