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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Not as useful as I had hoped, but an enjoyable read
on 6 November 2013
The title drew me to this book - I had reservations about the appearance of the cover (it reminded me of those 'The Big Book for Girls/Boys' ones that seem to be designed for xmas rather than for reading), but the idea of breaking down the processes that cause us to feel shyness or stress was something that I wanted to find out more about. But this isn't a self-help book - it's a series of examples of people being brave.
Instead, we have the central theme of the 'Society of Timid Souls' - a group of stage-fright stricken actors and public speakers which was created to overcome their fears. Around this, we get to hear many different stories of individual bravery as the author expands into the subject, providing different examples and interviews - some are more impressive than others, but after a while the sheer number of 'being brave' stories started to make me get quite flippant about it all - the writing is really good, and I can only commend the author for this.
One of the stories tells of the bravery of matadors - something I really did find fascinating, as the world of bullfighting is almost a bygone one; certain friends found this a dreadful thing to include in a book about bravery, but I found it one of the more illuminating examples.
It feels like a book that was thought up by the publishers rather than the author; a magazine series in a hardcover. I haven't learnt much, frustratingly; the only conclusion that the book seems to come to is that you can't predict how you're going to act should you find yourself in a situation like one of the ones described.