Book Review – Crazy is My Superpower by A.J. Mendez Brooks
Remember how last quarter I asked if I was going to do quarterly book reviews on this blog? Welp. Here we are. At the very least these will happen throughout the rest of 2019. Though I’ll likely only do one a quarter, plus the end of the year massive book ranking post like I wrote last year.
Full disclosure for those of you who don’t know me really aside from this blog: I’m a fan of professional wrestling. While I don’t watch nearly as much anymore as I once did, I do follow along with the storylines through the internet. I’ll watch 2-3 pay-per-views a year, either via streaming or (rarely) by going out to Buffalo Wild Wings and watching them1I try to do the latter for the Royal Rumble every year, though I haven’t gotten to do that in a couple of years.. That said, there was a point where I liked wrestling a lot more than I do now.
Part of the reason for my decline in interest is because of the fact that a lot of wrestlers I loved watching aren’t wrestling anymore. While my favorite wrestler of all time, Kofi Kingston, is the current WWE champion2As of me writing this review on September 11, 2019., several of my favorite wrestlers are either no longer wrestling (Paige, CM Punk, AJ Lee, Edge, Mark Henry, Christian) or wrestle significantly less than they once did (Kane, Lita, The Undertaker). As such, while the quality of professional wrestling has gone up significantly over the past few years, I’m not as engaged it as I once was3A couple of my favorite wrestlers have also moved on to companies where there’s generally a time difference between when I have time to watch wrestling and when they’re actually wrestling. That doesn’t help matters either..
I picked up Crazy is My Superpower because I remember how ridiculously good AJ Lee’s — real name A.J. Mendez Brooks — run on the WWE main roster was in the earlier part of the 2010s. She was the first female wrestler since Lita that I felt the WWE allowed to showcase what she could do as a performer in the ring. She was a major reason I was so interested in watching wrestling when it was on TV at the time because of the intensity and emotion she played her character with on a weekly basis.
In Crazy is My Superpower, Mendez Brooks goes into her battles with mental illness, which ultimately helped shape (and allowed her to more accurately play) the character she portrayed on television. In opening up about her challenges facing bipolar disorder, it felt like Mendez Brooks went a long way to humanize those who are afflicted with the disease. I’ve had people close to me who also had bipolar disorder, but because of my lack of understanding of them, as well as of the disease itself, I felt like I often struggled to relate to them — or at the very least be there for them in a way that was helpful to them. Crazy is My Superpower helped me to understand one person’s battle with bipolar disorder in a way that shed new light on the disease for me.
Beyond that, the book is extremely funny and witty. I’ve read a decent number of books written by celebrities I like over the past two years. While some celebrities (Adam Savage and Anna Kendrick, for example) wrote decent to very good books, most celebrity books range from underwhelming (most of them) to shut the book and immediately return it to the library levels of bad (Jim Gaffigan). Crazy is My Superpower is an amazing book, comfortably ranking in my top five celebrity(ish)-written books of all-time. That list would look something like this for those curious:
- I Am America (And So Can You!) by Stephen Colbert
- Crazy is My Superpower by A.J. Mendez Brooks
- Why My Wife Thinks I’m an Idiot by Mike Greenberg
- Becoming by Michelle Obama
- An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green
Crazy is My Superpower talks about some heavy topics, particularly in regards to mental illness and poverty. So be prepared for that going in. With that said, it’s easily one of the best books I’ve read so far this year and expect it to be near the top of my 2019 books list once I publish that in December.