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Current Book Selection and Meeting Time

NAMI Hunterdon Book Club
Date: Thursday, February 21, 2019, 7:00 PM
Location:  Meets at Panera in Flemington:  325 US-202, Flemington, NJ 08822

All are welcome – no reservation is necessary – come as you are.  For further information Contact Louise Hartman at 609-468-6036 or

Our book discussions are gentle and kind and explore the problems and possibilities of living with mental illness. We use the lens of the authors whose books we read to inform our discussions. But our group enthusiastically embraces digressions and invites participants to bring their own personal stories into our forum (if they so choose). And sometimes it’s not always possible for members to read the book prior to our meetings. That’s fine, we’re not sticklers on that front (or any front for that matter); we just encourage the free flow of compassion.

We look forward to seeing you!

Current selections:

Image result for beautiful boy: a father's journey through his son's addiction cover

Dear Book Club Fans,

Two books have been selected. Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction by David Sheff (Houghton Mifflin, 2008, hardcover, 336 pages), a memoir that describes how his family dealt with his son Nic’s methamphetamine addiction.

Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines, (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2008, Hardcover, 352 pages), is the story told from son Nic Sheff’s perspective.

Beautiful Boy covers a substantial portion of Nic’s life and deals with the elder Sheff’s struggles of how to respond to a son whom he loves but who is also a danger to his family. Nic steals money from his younger siblings and gets arrested for possession in front of them, and Sheff is forced to install a security system to prevent Nic from breaking in.[5] Nic attends many rehabs throughout the memoir, a

nd even with those he relapses many times. The longest stretch of sobriety Nic had, prior to his last relapse in the memoir, was almost two years. Image result for Tweak: Growing Up on MethamphetaminesHe then relapsed once again and went into treatment. By the end of the memoir Sheff tells us that Nic has been sober one year. He hopes with all his heart that this will be the last time, and believes in him once again. But in his mind he knows that a relapse can easily happen again and that it will be very difficult for Nic, his family, and himself. Another theme throughout the memoir is Sheff wondering about how much he is to blame and what he could have done to prevent his son’s addiction.[5]

Throughout the memoir Sheff attends numerous Al-Anon Meetings and therapy sessions. In these different sessions he is continually told of the three Cs: you didn’t cause it, you can’t control it, and you can’t cure it. Sheff has a difficult time accepting these statements throughout the memoir. At the end however he realizes that he has done everything he can do to try to help Nic, and knows that it’s up to Nic to figure things out. He realizes that the only way Nic will fully recover is if he figures things out himself.

Nic’s version is rougher, slangier and more in keeping with his literary tastes, which favor Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Camus and Bukowski.

“Somehow the idea of being this drug-fueled, outsider artist has always been really appealing to me,” Nic writes in “Tweak” while detailing the hard drugs, street life and criminal activity about which his father could only guess.

For further information please contact Louise:



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