Tania Israel shares some titles that have resonated with her, and her reflections on why

In her research, Tania Israel, a professor of counseling, clinical and school psychology, focuses on supporting the mental health of the LGBTQ community. She has advocated for — and written about — open and honest dialogue as a means of humanizing those whom we may not understand. In her reading, she seeks out human stories that deepen her own appreciation of what makes us who we are.

“As a psychologist,” said Israel, “I am interested in people and how they craft the narratives of their lives. Not surprisingly, I enjoy memoir, and these are some of my favorites.”

Here, Israel shares some titles that have resonated with her, and her reflections on why:

Courtesy photo

Know My Name by Chanel Miller. Author of the anonymous victim impact statement in the Stanford rape case, UCSB graduate Chanel Miller claims her story and her voice in this stunning memoir.

The Chronology of Water by Lidia Yuknavitch. I started by listening to the audiobook. Part-way through, I craved the words on the page, so I borrowed it from the library. A few pages in, I purchased the book and signed up for a workshop with the author. This is a powerful read.

In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado. A masterpiece of personal story told through literary craft, this memoir fully engages the mind, body and emotion.

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. With the author’s recent passing, I was reminded of Didion’s reflections on her own losses. She shows us how to write our way through the most challenging moments of our lives.

Untamed by Glennon Doyle. The author asks and answers the question, “What is the truest, most beautiful story about your life you can imagine?” As always, Doyle is optimistic and inspiring while keeping it real.

Know My Name

The Chronology of Water

In the Dream House

The Year of Magical Thinking


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