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Notes on a Nervous Planet

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The world is messing with our minds. Rates of stress and anxiety are rising. A fast, nervous planet is creating fast and nervous lives. We are more connected, yet feel more alone. And we are encouraged to worry about everything from world politics to our body mass index. - How can we stay sane on a planet that makes us mad? - How do we stay human in a technological world? - H The world is messing with our minds. Rates of stress and anxiety are rising. A fast, nervous planet is creating fast and nervous lives. We are more connected, yet feel more alone. And we are encouraged to worry about everything from world politics to our body mass index. - How can we stay sane on a planet that makes us mad? - How do we stay human in a technological world? - How do we feel happy when we are encouraged to be anxious? After experiencing years of anxiety and panic attacks, these questions became urgent matters of life and death for Matt Haig. And he began to look for the link between what he felt and the world around him. Notes on a Nervous Planet is a personal and vital look at how to feel happy, human and whole in the 21st century.


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The world is messing with our minds. Rates of stress and anxiety are rising. A fast, nervous planet is creating fast and nervous lives. We are more connected, yet feel more alone. And we are encouraged to worry about everything from world politics to our body mass index. - How can we stay sane on a planet that makes us mad? - How do we stay human in a technological world? - H The world is messing with our minds. Rates of stress and anxiety are rising. A fast, nervous planet is creating fast and nervous lives. We are more connected, yet feel more alone. And we are encouraged to worry about everything from world politics to our body mass index. - How can we stay sane on a planet that makes us mad? - How do we stay human in a technological world? - How do we feel happy when we are encouraged to be anxious? After experiencing years of anxiety and panic attacks, these questions became urgent matters of life and death for Matt Haig. And he began to look for the link between what he felt and the world around him. Notes on a Nervous Planet is a personal and vital look at how to feel happy, human and whole in the 21st century.

30 review for Notes on a Nervous Planet

  1. 4 out of 5

    Liz Barnsley

    I'm not really going to review this properly I bought it and read it just for me really. There's nothing much I can say that I haven't said before about this author's writing and sometimes you just want to read a book to kick start your soul again. Suffice to say that as ever after reading a Matt Haig book my faith in many many things is restored. Yes indeed.

  2. 4 out of 5

    April (Aprilius Maximus)

    This book gave me so much to contemplate!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Penelope

    A truly timely and important book that everyone living on this nervous planet should read. Matt's honest and personal experiences shine through on every page and his writing is like a cup of tea and a warm blanket making you feel that no matter how crazy the world can get everything is going to be ok. I loved this book and have no hesitation recommending it to absolutely everyone, no one will finish this book without learning at least one important lesson or taking away one piece of advice that A truly timely and important book that everyone living on this nervous planet should read. Matt's honest and personal experiences shine through on every page and his writing is like a cup of tea and a warm blanket making you feel that no matter how crazy the world can get everything is going to be ok. I loved this book and have no hesitation recommending it to absolutely everyone, no one will finish this book without learning at least one important lesson or taking away one piece of advice that will make life just that little bit better. Thanks Matt!

  4. 4 out of 5

    André Oliveira

    A book about depression, panic attacks and how to deal with them. Or at least get better at it. Obviously, it's about a lot more subjects but Matt Haig give us some advice on how to cope with the present lifestyle and how to accept yourself and the world we currently live.

  5. 5 out of 5

    littlemiss_emmxx

    I had heard this book was a sort of follow on from Reasons To Stay Alive. I read Reasons To Stay Alive while I was on holiday in January. And loved it read it in 2 or 3 days and ended up having to start it again as I hadn't thought I would finish it so quickly. Clearly it took me a bit longer to read this but that's because I'm not on holiday this time. I couldn't wait that long to read it. I just love Matt Haigs writing. It is so honest and truthful. This will definitely be recommended as much I had heard this book was a sort of follow on from Reasons To Stay Alive. I read Reasons To Stay Alive while I was on holiday in January. And loved it read it in 2 or 3 days and ended up having to start it again as I hadn't thought I would finish it so quickly. Clearly it took me a bit longer to read this but that's because I'm not on holiday this time. I couldn't wait that long to read it. I just love Matt Haigs writing. It is so honest and truthful. This will definitely be recommended as much as I have Reasons To Stay Alive.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nicola Gipson

    I read Matt Haig’s previous book ‘Reasons To Stay Alive ‘ last year and absolutely loved it.It dealt with Matt’s personal battle with anxiety and depression. It was so honest you couldn’t help but be affected by the level of suffering he went through. His follow up book ‘Notes On A Nervous Planet ‘ explores how our addiction to modern technology is making us anxious and affecting our quality of life. Each chapter is quite short and Matt does have an uncanny way of expressing his thoughts where I read Matt Haig’s previous book ‘Reasons To Stay Alive ‘ last year and absolutely loved it.It dealt with Matt’s personal battle with anxiety and depression. It was so honest you couldn’t help but be affected by the level of suffering he went through. His follow up book ‘Notes On A Nervous Planet ‘ explores how our addiction to modern technology is making us anxious and affecting our quality of life. Each chapter is quite short and Matt does have an uncanny way of expressing his thoughts where you find yourself nodding along in agreement. Thank you Matt for this book it felt a lot like an old friend comforting you when life gets too much.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

    His best book yet! The perfect antidote to our messy world! I love all Matt Haig’s books and this was still even better than I had anticipated! Just buy it, read it, talk about and love it! This world is a better place with this book in it .

  8. 4 out of 5

    Zohal

    4.5 Stars "It’s all right that the world is crazy, as long as I make my little corner of the world sane." Diane Lockhart from The Good Fight. The above quote perfectly summarises this book. I read this in one setting which rarely happens these days. This has given me so much to think about it. It was so raw and so very from the heart. I don't suffer from anxiety yet I felt as though Matt Haig put the deepest depths of my soul onto the page. I guarantee everyone will relate to at least one commen 4.5 Stars "It’s all right that the world is crazy, as long as I make my little corner of the world sane." Diane Lockhart from The Good Fight. The above quote perfectly summarises this book. I read this in one setting which rarely happens these days. This has given me so much to think about it. It was so raw and so very from the heart. I don't suffer from anxiety yet I felt as though Matt Haig put the deepest depths of my soul onto the page. I guarantee everyone will relate to at least one comment Matt Haig makes about our modern world. Additionally, he says that Goodreads is one of the best things to ever happen on the internet and I a billion percent agree with that! ☺

  9. 5 out of 5

    Anni

    "Distracted from distraction by distraction" (T.S. Eliot' - The Four Quartets) If you feel like shouting “Stop the world, I want to get off!" on a daily basis, then this is the book for you. Following on from his bestselling “Reasons to stay Alive”, Matt Haig here explores whether it is possible to stay sane in a mad world, offering useful suggestions for coping with our addiction to modern technology along with its attendant information overload. (The suggestion I find most useful is the one abo "Distracted from distraction by distraction" (T.S. Eliot' - The Four Quartets) If you feel like shouting “Stop the world, I want to get off!" on a daily basis, then this is the book for you. Following on from his bestselling “Reasons to stay Alive”, Matt Haig here explores whether it is possible to stay sane in a mad world, offering useful suggestions for coping with our addiction to modern technology along with its attendant information overload. (The suggestion I find most useful is the one about getting upset over distressing news programs: i.e. SWITCH IT OFF! and don't feel guilty about it). Haig is never preachy and includes many examples of his own (considerable) neurotic behaviour in demonstration of the widespread occurrence of anxiety and depression amongst humans. However, I did get the feeling that the cataloguing of reasons to be worried might well have the adverse effect of making the reader even more disturbed - discovering how much more there is to worry about than they thought!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Doug

    3.5, rounded up. I really, REALLY liked Haig's previous 'self-help' book, Reasons to Stay Alive, even though some found it corny and simplistic. Reading this sequel, I could see why that feeling might be valid this time round. A prime reason why the previous book made an impact, is that it hewed more closely to Haig's personal history, as he shared autobiographical stories from which he gleaned his insights - here, there are far fewer such examples, so it just seems like a stream of platitudes - 3.5, rounded up. I really, REALLY liked Haig's previous 'self-help' book, Reasons to Stay Alive, even though some found it corny and simplistic. Reading this sequel, I could see why that feeling might be valid this time round. A prime reason why the previous book made an impact, is that it hewed more closely to Haig's personal history, as he shared autobiographical stories from which he gleaned his insights - here, there are far fewer such examples, so it just seems like a stream of platitudes - some of which are profound, some of which extract a feeling of .... 'well, duh'! And some of which seemed awfully repetitious (e.g., do we really need to be told the virtues of peanut butter on toast twice?). Still, anyone struggling (as I do) with a panic disorder, anxiety or the feeling like the world is far too stressful, can find much to like and take away from this quick and often entertaining read. It never hurts to hear that is isn't necessarily YOU!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey

    Just read it :)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    The modern world is fast and relentless, our connection to the internet that means we have a never-ending stream of notifications, jobs that come with a phone and almost permanent on call. Our nerves are jangled constantly. It feel like you are in a race that you can never win and standing still doesn't feel like an option. Yet in the world of 24 / 7 connections to family, friends and strangers around the world, people have never been more alone. In this modern world, can we stay sane? This is the The modern world is fast and relentless, our connection to the internet that means we have a never-ending stream of notifications, jobs that come with a phone and almost permanent on call. Our nerves are jangled constantly. It feel like you are in a race that you can never win and standing still doesn't feel like an option. Yet in the world of 24 / 7 connections to family, friends and strangers around the world, people have never been more alone. In this modern world, can we stay sane? This is the follow up to his successful and what I consider now an essential book, Reasons to Stay Alive. I that he told us of his journey back from staring into the abyss. In this, he lays out the problems of the modern world that have been caused by the internet as well as the positive benefits that it has brought. He makes it very personal, telling us of the issues that he has had with obsessions with Facebook, Twitter and the slightly unreal world of Instagram and how it has affected his mental health. Reading isn’t important because it helps to get you a job. It’s important because it gives you room to exist beyond the reality you’re given. It is how humans merge. How minds connect. Dreams. Empathy. Understanding. Escape. Like his previous book, there are anecdotes, his thoughts on the world we are living in. Woven into this is his own personal story about how his depression and anxiety has ebbed and flowed, often caused by spending way too long on the internet. Listening to the echo chamber is not good for your health, especially in this political climate, and this book is full of practical suggestions on how to cope with the relentlessness of it all, when and how to engage for an affirmative experience and when to turn the computer off, set the phone aside and go and do something else. Probably essential reading for teenagers.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Vivek Tejuja

    This is a world of nerves. Of nervousness (as the title rightly suggests), of anxiety and of excess. Everything is in excess and we do not know when to stop or how to control our lives. We are constantly on the edge and losing the very essence of being human. Our lives are spiraling out of control and we perhaps do not know what to do. Matt Haig’s books are about mental health issues we face, the ones he has faced and continues to. The only difference is that he speaks about it, Haig communicate This is a world of nerves. Of nervousness (as the title rightly suggests), of anxiety and of excess. Everything is in excess and we do not know when to stop or how to control our lives. We are constantly on the edge and losing the very essence of being human. Our lives are spiraling out of control and we perhaps do not know what to do. Matt Haig’s books are about mental health issues we face, the ones he has faced and continues to. The only difference is that he speaks about it, Haig communicates and comes from a place of darkness to speak through his books on issues that we prefer to be silent about. “Notes on a Nervous Planet” is about what we go through on a daily basis and yet continue to and not battle it because we do not know how to. Haig not only tells us about the issues in detail but also lets us know what he does to combat them, and we could also do that, if we like. For instance, how to not be on the phone constantly, how to get off social media once in a while, how to sleep more and things that we think of but not implement on most of the time. Haig’s writing is personal. He writes from the heart (using the cliché phrase and apologies for that) and it is clear in the writing. It is all about how to stay sane anymore on a planet such as ours. I loved the way the book is structured, looking at each thing that is messing with our minds and the possible suggestions to each of them – from lack of sleep to addiction to work and play balance to questioning the habits and lifestyles of the digital age. “Notes on a Nervous Planet” makes you look at life without being preachy about it. All it does is make you want to reclaim humanity, little by little if need be. Matt Haig cleverly and beautifully deconstructs the world we live in and provides suggestions, if not answers or solutions on how to conquer. “Notes on a Nervous Planet” if nothing will make you feel that someone out there knows what you are going through and is able to understand it beautifully to express it the way you will feel a connect. It is the book for our times and much needed. Do read it, please.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tim Rideout

    ‘Kindness spring-cleans the soul.’ Reading ‘Notes on a Nervous Planet’ is like being given a new pair of spectacles. It makes everything clearer. Matt Haig writes with humility, wisdom, clarity, honesty, humour and kindness about his own mental illness and efforts to improve his mental health. In doing so he is a source of great help to others. I read this book quickly - it will stay with me for a very long time. Yet another remarkable book from Matt.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    I hardly ever dnf a book. Now trust me when I say I know that this book is just like Haig's others; ones that I do like, The Humans is actually one of my all-time favourites. I stopped a little over 200 pages in and I realised he would be repeating the same messages over and over again, I got the gist and was to be honest irritated. He did hit a few aspects of modern culture on the head but at some points it came off like a middle aged man complaining about youth culture, which it is essentially I hardly ever dnf a book. Now trust me when I say I know that this book is just like Haig's others; ones that I do like, The Humans is actually one of my all-time favourites. I stopped a little over 200 pages in and I realised he would be repeating the same messages over and over again, I got the gist and was to be honest irritated. He did hit a few aspects of modern culture on the head but at some points it came off like a middle aged man complaining about youth culture, which it is essentially and there is a gap between what he thinks us youth understand about our own obsession with technology. Also if people really were stupid enough to make machines that can take over us I'll give this book 5 stars, to my understanding computers work off algorithms which people write. A computer can be smarter than a human but not smarter than humanity. I may sound ignorant, and I very much might be but I kept an open-mind and this is my opinion of this book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rita Araújo

    “Find the hope that is already here and help it grow” ❤ “Find the hope that is already here and help it grow” ❤️

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tom McLean

    I feel like I could write a Twitter bot that would generate this entire book. If you're the type of person who needs someone to tell you "It will be okay" a thousand different ways, then this is the book for you. I, like Matt Haig, also suffer from anxiety. But being told "it will be okay" only adds to my anxiety. I was hoping for a tool or an escape, but did not find it here. I'm glad Mr. Haig has found a profitable way to deal with his anxiety, by selling out his mantras.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    The world is a nervous system. Everything is connected and it's difficult to switch off, even for your own sake. Notes on a Nervous Planet makes you stop, think, consider your own interactions with the world around you and how it seeps into your life. Most of all it makes you hope it's possible to truly disconnect, whatever that means for the individual, and find your own sense of calm to catch your breath amidst the noise of the bustling world around us. A hopeful book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Caro Reads

    Sollte mich je jemand fragen, welches Buch er/sie lesen sollte/gelesen haben sollte, dann ist es dieses. Augenöffnend, ehrlich und einfach menschlich. Es gibt einem keinen Leitfaden an die Hand, um das eigene Leben in den Griff zu bekommen. Es bringt den Leser aber dazu, seinen eigenen (digitalen) Lebensstil zu überdenken und sich bewusst zu werden, was man sich eigentlich damit antut, sich mit anderen zu vergleichen, zu messen und dabei zu vergessen, zu sein wer man eigentlich ist.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Odette Knappers

    Ik hoop dat ieder mens dit boek leest, en ik zal je uitleggen waarom. Dit is een boek over psychische gezondheid. En dat is superbelangrijk. Voor de mensen die er af en toe mee worstelen is dit een belangrijk boek omdat je leest dat je verre van de enige bent. Het is prettig om andermans ervaring te lezen. Het is interessant en leerzaam om te leren hoe Matt met zijn situatie omging, want je steekt er geheid wat van op. Voor mensen die niet met hun psychische gezondheid worstelen is dit ook, missch Ik hoop dat ieder mens dit boek leest, en ik zal je uitleggen waarom. Dit is een boek over psychische gezondheid. En dat is superbelangrijk. Voor de mensen die er af en toe mee worstelen is dit een belangrijk boek omdat je leest dat je verre van de enige bent. Het is prettig om andermans ervaring te lezen. Het is interessant en leerzaam om te leren hoe Matt met zijn situatie omging, want je steekt er geheid wat van op. Voor mensen die niet met hun psychische gezondheid worstelen is dit ook, misschien zelfs juist een superbelangrijk boek om te lezen. Want je gaat je medemens er beter door begrijpen. Heel veel beter. En empathie en begrip voor elkaar is wat ons mensen menselijk maakt. Ook voor lezers van boeken zoals Homo Deus en Sapiens, omdat het een superduidelijk beeld van onze huidige wereld, samenleving, maatschappij schetst, het in perspectief plaatst en de mogelijke gevolgen laat zien. Dit is een boek waar ik veel in wil markeren, veel in wil aanstrepen. Plakkertjes erbij wil plakken om terug open te kunnen slaan. Want dit is een boek over hoe we als mens moeten leven met de wereld om ons heen. Daarover gesproken: de Engelstalige titel, Notes on a nervous planet, vind ik veel beter dan de Nederlandse vertaling. Want hoewel paranoia nerveus is, is nervositeit geen paranoia. Laat je dus niet afschrikken door een - in mijn ogen - ongelukkige titel. Ik ben Matt Haig gaan volgen op Twitter omdat ik zijn boek De wezens zo briljant geniaal vind. Dit is zijn meest recente boek, en hij retweet veel mensen die hun favoriete passage uit dit boek op Twitter plaatsen. Al die quotes vond ik zo mooi, dat triggerde mij om dit boek op te pakken. Twijfel je nog, check dan zijn Twitter. Ik heb dit boek nu uit de bibliotheek thuis. Ik heb me netjes braaf ingehouden met strepen hoor :) Als ik dit boek ooit nog een keer ga lezen - wat vast het geval gaat zijn want er gaat vast weer een moment zijn dat ik hierdoor geprikkeld ben, net als nu - dan koop ik het eerst zodat ik naar alle lust kan aanstrepen. Want ik werd getriggend om dit op te pakken omdat voor mijn gevoel mijn hoofd een beetje uit sinc liep met mijn, de wereld. En daar heeft het echt wel voor geholpen. En dat is heel bijzonder vind ik, dat een boek dat kan bereiken.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kristina

    Amazing!!!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alisha

    The only thing I don't like about this book is that it wasn't around when I was a teenager. Firstly, I just want to say that this book is physically stunning. Beneath the dust jacket, the hardcover is all the colours of the rainbow and it's lovely. I also think the size is great, it's compact and smaller than most of the newer books on my bookcase. I'm also lucky enough to have a signed copy. This is a comforting, reassuring read for the most part, much like The Humans, only this one, of course, The only thing I don't like about this book is that it wasn't around when I was a teenager. Firstly, I just want to say that this book is physically stunning. Beneath the dust jacket, the hardcover is all the colours of the rainbow and it's lovely. I also think the size is great, it's compact and smaller than most of the newer books on my bookcase. I'm also lucky enough to have a signed copy. This is a comforting, reassuring read for the most part, much like The Humans, only this one, of course, is non-fiction. One of the reasons I read books on mental health (and books generally) is that they make me feel a little less alone in the world and as I get older it's becoming more important for me to realise that I'm not the only one. This book certainly succeeded in that, as Haig depicts the lowest moments of his life in a stark manner, but more importantly, each of these moments was followed by a hopeful, uplifting note. Haig is also astute in analysing all of the ways in which modern society contributes to our nervous dispositions. He uses not only well-researched evidence to support his observations, but he also quotes some of the greatest minds in literature, and history more widely, which is something I particularly enjoyed throughout. He also offers his own wisdom on becoming "a happy mess. Or, at least, a less miserable mess. A mess who can cope." (p. 176) I think it's useful advice and I'll probably return to it in the future. A lovely read. Wonderfully human.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Cher

    4 stars - It was great. I loved it. A thought provoking look at how rapidly our society has changed over the last 20 years with the advent of modern technological advances. I found a multitude of quotable passages and interesting tidbits. I’m a fan of Haig’s writing, be it fiction or nonfiction. ------------------------------------------- Favorite Quote: It sometimes feels as if we have temporarily solved the problem of scarcity and replaced it with the problem of excess. First Sentence: I was stre 4 stars - It was great. I loved it. A thought provoking look at how rapidly our society has changed over the last 20 years with the advent of modern technological advances. I found a multitude of quotable passages and interesting tidbits. I’m a fan of Haig’s writing, be it fiction or nonfiction. ------------------------------------------- Favorite Quote: It sometimes feels as if we have temporarily solved the problem of scarcity and replaced it with the problem of excess. First Sentence: I was stressed out.

  24. 5 out of 5

    liz

    Matt Haig has done it again: written a highly thought-provoking book which has made me want to better myself and enrich my life. I am so glad that I was able to meet him last week and tell him how much his books mean to me because this book perfectly encapsulates why his work is so excellent.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Siobhan

    Notes on a Nervous Planet is Matt Haig's somewhat sequel to Reasons To Stay Alive, in which he looks at the pace and panic of today's world and considers it through the lens of his own mental health issues, particularly anxiety. The style is very similar to the earlier book: short chapters with lots of lists and short sentences, emphasising his own suggestions and advice. The book has plenty of interesting thoughts and things to consider, particularly around technology and around how mental healt Notes on a Nervous Planet is Matt Haig's somewhat sequel to Reasons To Stay Alive, in which he looks at the pace and panic of today's world and considers it through the lens of his own mental health issues, particularly anxiety. The style is very similar to the earlier book: short chapters with lots of lists and short sentences, emphasising his own suggestions and advice. The book has plenty of interesting thoughts and things to consider, particularly around technology and around how mental health issues that cause people to act in less societally acceptable ways aren't having the stigma removed in the same way that other issues might be. The way Haig darts through his content feels pretty similar to the issues of the pace of the modern world that he highlights and questions the positivity of, whether or not this is intentional, and there's not much chance for reflection. A lot of his lists of advice and suggestions will be helpful to some people, and completely irrelevant to others even with similar issues; this is perhaps the nature of books dealing with mental health in general, as everyone is different. The experience of reading Notes on a Nervous Planet is a bit like reading a series of internet thinkpieces and Twitter threads, for better or for worse. It will undoubtedly be, like Haig's previous book on mental health, a lifeline for some people, but others may find it annoying and not actually saying anything new. If you enjoyed or needed Reasons To Stay Alive, it is worth reading this one to see what you think.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Martha Mae

    Devoured this in a single day. Deliciously yummy. Another Haig triumph.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lies

    In Notes on a Nervous Planet, Matt Haig talks about how our modern, digital, capitalist society has an influence on our mental health and our behavior. The book consists of short chapters that are thematically related, but can be read seperately. This allowed Haig to explore a lot of different topics. He talks about sleep being the biggest enemy of capitalism (because we can't buy or see advertisements or watch Netflix when we sleep). He talks about the overload of information and options we now In Notes on a Nervous Planet, Matt Haig talks about how our modern, digital, capitalist society has an influence on our mental health and our behavior. The book consists of short chapters that are thematically related, but can be read seperately. This allowed Haig to explore a lot of different topics. He talks about sleep being the biggest enemy of capitalism (because we can't buy or see advertisements or watch Netflix when we sleep). He talks about the overload of information and options we now have, giving us the feeling that we're never done. He talks about how working all day long is not equal to being more productive. And he talks about how we always are focusing on the future and meanwhile are forgetting about everything we already have. If this wasn't a library book, I would have highlighted and dog-eared so many pages and paragraphs. I'm often a fan of short books, but for this once, I wouldn't have minded if Notes on a Nervous Planet would have been longer, because that would have allowed Haig to talk about each of these topics more in depth. Still, I think this is a great way to start if you want to learn more about why we often feel unhappy, and how we can cope with this.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Joana Eyre

    "We have handed over our instincts to the hands of a clock. Increasingly, we serve time rather than time serving us." "When normality becomes madness, the only way to find sanity is by daring to be different. Or daring to be the you that exists beyond all the physical clutter and mind debris of modern existence." “But while choice is infinite, our lives have time spans. We can’t live every life. We can’t watch every film or read every book or visit every single place on this sweet earth. Rather th "We have handed over our instincts to the hands of a clock. Increasingly, we serve time rather than time serving us." "When normality becomes madness, the only way to find sanity is by daring to be different. Or daring to be the you that exists beyond all the physical clutter and mind debris of modern existence." “But while choice is infinite, our lives have time spans. We can’t live every life. We can’t watch every film or read every book or visit every single place on this sweet earth. Rather than being blocked by it, we need to edit the choice in front of us. We need to find out what is good for us, and leave the rest. We don’t need another world. Everything we need is here, if we give up thinking we need everything.”

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rain

    Matt Haig did it again. Everyone who knows me is aware that I read A LOT of fantasy, a bit of sci-fi, so few contemporary, and I rarely read non-fiction. I read to escape but non-fiction books are just too close to reality for my liking. Despite that, I devour Matt Haig's non-fiction books. Notes from a Nervous Planet is a sort of follow up to Reasons To Stay Alive—a book that means so much to me. Reasons to Stay Alive made me love Matt Haig so much. It is the second non-fiction book I honestly Matt Haig did it again. Everyone who knows me is aware that I read A LOT of fantasy, a bit of sci-fi, so few contemporary, and I rarely read non-fiction. I read to escape but non-fiction books are just too close to reality for my liking. Despite that, I devour Matt Haig's non-fiction books. Notes from a Nervous Planet is a sort of follow up to Reasons To Stay Alive—a book that means so much to me. Reasons to Stay Alive made me love Matt Haig so much. It is the second non-fiction book I honestly loved (the first is Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom) and when I found out about Notes on a Nervous Planet, I was so excited for it. Matt Haig gives honest insight on mental health and he talks about the negative things in this planet with raw emotion on this book. He also talks about his own experiences and gives profound advice that I often think he can read my mind. Once again, I found myself highlighting almost every line of a Matt Haig book because his words are just SO BEAUTIFUL and my heart becomes so full when I read them. I also love that this book contains a lot of lists and chapters that are short but meaningful. There are a lot of problems addressed in this book too and I relate to most of them, especially when Matt talks about the effects of social media (particularly Twitter). Notes on a Nervous Planet made me think, sob and laugh. I know non-fiction isn't a genre for everyone but I hope you would all give Matt Haig's books a chance because they're thought-provoking and incredibly TRUE.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Katy Noyes

    Reasons looked inward, Notes looks back out again. Honest and applicable life lessons from one of my favourite contemporary writers and thinkers. I'd call Matt Haig 'a thinker'. As well as enjoying almost every adult and children's novel he's brought out, I can recognise my own life, thought processes and faults in his two non-fiction 'guides to life' as I think of them. Reasons To Stay Alive was a bare-all look at one man's breakdown and recovery/lessons learned. Now Haig puts himself and us in t Reasons looked inward, Notes looks back out again. Honest and applicable life lessons from one of my favourite contemporary writers and thinkers. I'd call Matt Haig 'a thinker'. As well as enjoying almost every adult and children's novel he's brought out, I can recognise my own life, thought processes and faults in his two non-fiction 'guides to life' as I think of them. Reasons To Stay Alive was a bare-all look at one man's breakdown and recovery/lessons learned. Now Haig puts himself and us in the context of the wider world, society, the universe itself as he has us contemplate the meaning we give our modern lives, our obsessions with technology and social media, how we allow the influence of others to affect our own self-esteem and value. Utterly relatable, I think most people would find value in reading this. Just to have someone tell you (in my case literally as the author narrates the Audible version I listened to) that I need to go to bed earlier, turn away from the phone more, see the bigger picture of my place as a rather small cog in a very much larger machine - it's that kick you need sometimes to look at your life and appreciate just what you really have. As with the previous book, the short chapters and flitting from subject to subject worked for me. There is a connecting theme and flow, but it also feels very human and stream-of-consciousness, with lists (as a listener, I could hear them, rather than see them on a page, and would have liked to see them written down to savour a little more). Haig says what we all need to hear, and I imagine many will nod along, as I did. He makes an affable reader, his material highly relevant to his audience, and teens through to pensioners will find something enlightening and emboldening here to unite us all. With thanks to Nudge Books for providing a sample Audible copy.

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