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Three powerful new memoirs by women have caught our attention for their common theme — and vastly different perspectives. Ayelet Waldman explores the benefits of microdosing; Cat Marnell writes about addiction; and Kelly Osbourne writes about growing up in the spotilght and dealing with substance abuse.

 

A Really Good Day

A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My LifeBy Ayelet Waldman
(Alfred A. Knopf)

Ayelet Waldman's A Really Good Day is an account of the author's month-long experiment using minuscule amounts of LSD to treat her mood disorder. Originally diagnosed as bipolar, Waldman tried myriad unsuccessful medications before researching more unconventional treatments. Waldman's droll sarcasm and unflinching honesty lend themselves to her topic—no part of her experience is left unexplored. However, the book is not just about Waldman. Interwoven into her story is a concise history of LSD and other psychotropic drugs. Waldman writes about everything from harm reduction to race bias in drug policy; cancer research to the therapeutic use of MMDA. Combined, these storylines form a well-researched sociopolitical commentary on psychedelic drug use and regulation in America. (4/5) —Rebekah Miel

 

How To Murder Your Life

 

How To Murder Your Life: A Memoir
By Cat Marnell
(Simon & Schuster)

On the second page of her memoir, Cat Marnell, a former beauty editor and addict (a "pillhead" to be exact), lets you know the kind of person she used to be in one glorious 150-word sentence. She does this to warn you of what you're getting yourself into—a humorous cautionary tale of self-sabotage that will leave readers both sympathetic toward her too-good-to-be-true upbringing and frustrated by her white-girl privilege. Marnell is fine with that; in fact, she embraces it. In the end, it's what makes this re-telling of her amphetamine-fueled downfall at 26 feel like a triumph. As an addict, Marnell masked her problems with pills and makeup. But here, she exposes what drove her to that point in a brutally honest account that is rarely flattering, but always fascinating. (4/5) —Shannon Carlin

 

There Is No F cking Secret

 

There Is No F*cking Secret: Letters From a Badass Bitch
By Kelly Osbourne
(G.P. Putnam's Sons)

She experienced adolescence in the spotlight, weathering both reality TV and substance abuse, but don't ask Kelly Osbourne what her survival secret is. In this collection of letters (about Joan Rivers, rehab, and fitting in, among other things), Osbourne makes it clear there is no key to a better life. While her lack of filter will delight fans of The Osbournes who remember her as a hilarious teen, her say-anything attitude sometimes comes across as aggressively angsty and defensive. Regardless, she doesn't shy away from the more vulnerable aspects of transitioning from weird kid to rebellious teenager to hard-working adult, and her book will be a fine companion on days when you need a fierce friend to both flatter you and offer to eff up your ex's car. (3/5) - Molly Labell

Top image: Partnership for a Drug-Free America

 

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Tags: books , reviews , memoirs , drugs
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