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Notes on a Nervous Planet Hardcover – 5 Jul 2018
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"Witty, honest and engaging . . . A worthy successor to Reasons to Stay Alive" (Sunday Times)
"An honest and human guide to coping with the modern world . . . Notes on a Nervous Planet is generous, sensible and timely. Reading it will probably be good for your mental health. Especially if you leave your smartphone in another room . . . Thought-provoking" (Guardian)
"Thought-provoking . . . [Haig's] hard-won wisdom asks us to think about how we can live in the present - and in so doing, he creates a wonderfully perceptive chronicle of life in the always-on social media age. A real-world guide to mindfulness" (Observer)
"Beautiful, honest and wise" (FEARNE COTTON)
"Notes on a Nervous Planet is a fascinating look at the link between anxiety and the world we live in . . . [Haig is] one of our warmest, wittiest and wisest writers" (Mail on Sunday)
"Genius" (RUBY WAX)
"Haig's bestseller Reasons to Stay Alive was an engaging self-help memoir which mined personal trauma for valuable life lessons. This follow-up is a rag-bag of personal experience, thoughts and feelings . . . some thought-provoking, some pertinent and important . . . He's a smart operator who knows his readership and genuinely wants to help them . . . I reached the last page admiring the author's inventive energy and insight" (Bel Mooney Daily Mail)
"Take Notes on a Nervous Planet twice daily, with or without food. The book is crammed with wisdom, insight, love and wit" (STEPHEN FRY)
"Haig tackles everything from internet anxieties, phone fears to life overload, putting the chaos into beautiful words" (Sunday Post)
"A primer for how to live in the present moment. This book will find grateful readers everywhere" (NIGELLA LAWSON)
The follow-up to the number one Sunday Times bestseller Reasons to Stay AliveSee all Product description
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I am a big fan of Matt Haig, cannot recommend The Humans, Echo Boy and How to Stop Time highly enough. They are in differing measures funny, well-paced, thought-provoking works of literary joy.
But I had steered clear of his autobiographical "Reasons to stay Alive", I had heard and read that it deals with Matt's honest appraisal of his mental health struggles; and although this is a worthy topic that demands more open discussion, I felt it was a topic I didn't want as a bedtime "leisure read"
So I swithered for a wee while wether to bother with "Notes...."
And even after purchasing, I still had my doubts.
This is not a novel.
I wouldn't even class it as a self-help book.
A lot of it is Matt's personal musings, albeit with a lot of research, facts and quotes interspersed.
Musings on...the internet...relationships....nature....our place in society/the world/the universe/multiverse
Sometimes very short musings, that don't expand on the initial point.
So why 5 stars?
I found myself agreeing with a lot of what Mr Haig has to say (not always a positive thing)
I found myself being calmer, more friendly and positive towards my fellow man
I gave up smoking.
This book doesn't preach at you, or beat you about the head with a central theme
It makes you think
And this is always a good thing
Matt's book is the polar opposite; it resonates, it reflects and I have retained some of the pearls of wisdom within. It sums up exactly how I feel and more importantly shares a philosophy and a path to think of following, once the book has been closed.
Thank you Matt. More please!
I really tried to love this but I just couldn't. For a book about anxiety it is SO lightweight and also a little condescending and pretentious - it reads as if it has all the answers, but it doesn't really. There is also considerable conflation between a serious anxiety disorder and general stress. These two things are very different but that difference is confused and merged in the book. Mainly Matt looks at lifestyle factors (most noteably the internet, which grates slightly considering the author's prolific use of social media, especially to promote books such as this.) I do agree that social media is a huge and new subject which we barely understand yet, and it's very important to talk about. However I really don't like the way Matt brands basically anyone who disagrees with him as a troll and then accuses such people of increasing his anxiety (I notice he also makes a not-so-subtle attempt to guilt people into not leaving negative reviews.)
There are so many fantastic books out there on anxiety and in my view this book, although interesting, is nowhere near as good, but due to the author's standing it has hit the bestseller lists. In many ways I feel it is a great thing that mental health is being so widely read - but I wish the platform in question was one of the better books out there. I actually found in some ways this book increased my anxiety.
In conclusion, I think this is worth reading for someone who has never really considered the role of stress or anxiety in their lives, and how it may link with certain modern issues. I think Matt is brave and inspiring to speak so candidly about his own mental health issues, not to mention seemingly a lovely person. However I found this book somewhat of a let down - it came across to me as preachy and lacking in meaningful content. Sorry :(
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