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Notes on a Nervous Planet

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A follow-up to Matt Haig's internationally bestselling memoir, Reasons to Stay Alive, a broader look at how modern life feeds our anxiety, and how to live a better life. The societies we live in are increasingly making our minds ill, making it feel as though the way we live is engineered to make us unhappy. When Matt Haig developed panic disorder, anxiety, and depression as A follow-up to Matt Haig's internationally bestselling memoir, Reasons to Stay Alive, a broader look at how modern life feeds our anxiety, and how to live a better life. The societies we live in are increasingly making our minds ill, making it feel as though the way we live is engineered to make us unhappy. When Matt Haig developed panic disorder, anxiety, and depression as an adult, it took him a long time to work out the ways the external world could impact his mental health in both positive and negative ways. Notes on a Nervous Planet collects his observations, taking a look at how the various social, commercial and technological "advancements" that have created the world we now live in can actually hinder our happiness. Haig examines everything from broader phenomena like inequality, social media, and the news; to things closer to our daily lives, like how we sleep, how we exercise, and even the distinction we draw between our minds and our bodies.


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A follow-up to Matt Haig's internationally bestselling memoir, Reasons to Stay Alive, a broader look at how modern life feeds our anxiety, and how to live a better life. The societies we live in are increasingly making our minds ill, making it feel as though the way we live is engineered to make us unhappy. When Matt Haig developed panic disorder, anxiety, and depression as A follow-up to Matt Haig's internationally bestselling memoir, Reasons to Stay Alive, a broader look at how modern life feeds our anxiety, and how to live a better life. The societies we live in are increasingly making our minds ill, making it feel as though the way we live is engineered to make us unhappy. When Matt Haig developed panic disorder, anxiety, and depression as an adult, it took him a long time to work out the ways the external world could impact his mental health in both positive and negative ways. Notes on a Nervous Planet collects his observations, taking a look at how the various social, commercial and technological "advancements" that have created the world we now live in can actually hinder our happiness. Haig examines everything from broader phenomena like inequality, social media, and the news; to things closer to our daily lives, like how we sleep, how we exercise, and even the distinction we draw between our minds and our bodies.

30 review for Notes on a Nervous Planet

  1. 5 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

    Nat K

    ”The paradox of modern life is this: we have never been more connected, and we have never been more alone.” Another gem from one of my favourite writers, which makes me realise why I love reading his books so much. Matt Haig has the innate ability to get inside your core and peel back the layers. He makes you feel. He makes you think. Whenever I start one of his books, the rest of the world falls to a blur, in slow motion. I become so engrossed in what he has to say, it’s as if time stands still. ”The paradox of modern life is this: we have never been more connected, and we have never been more alone.” Another gem from one of my favourite writers, which makes me realise why I love reading his books so much. Matt Haig has the innate ability to get inside your core and peel back the layers. He makes you feel. He makes you think. Whenever I start one of his books, the rest of the world falls to a blur, in slow motion. I become so engrossed in what he has to say, it’s as if time stands still. He writes of truth and hurt and feelings, and the discord so many of us feel in our oh-so-busy modern lives. Inadvertently, he has become somewhat of a modern day sage with his wise words and observations. By being so upfront with his own struggles with anxiety and depression (via his previous book "Reasons to Stay Alive"), this book continues on the theme of the pressures we place on ourselves in the modern world, and if it is indeed worth it. We are bombarded with information overload from the time we wake up to the moment our head hit the pillow. No wonder our inner circuitry often snaps. There's a beautiful snippet "A note from the beach" which is funny and cheeky at the same time. Effectively the beach has written an ode to us humans, about how we shouldn't obsess about who's "watching us" on the beach, about how we look, as no-one's really interested. They're all too worried about how they look. "Reframe your idea of beauty. Be a rebel against marketing. Look forward to being a wise elder. Be the complex elegance of a melting candle. Be a map with 10,000 roads. Be the orange at sunset that outclasses the pink of sunrise. Be the self that dares to be true." Penelope beautifully summed up this book by saying “…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 couldn’t agree more. And I really can’t say more. Just read it. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... Matt, you have such a positive influence on so many people. I truly hope you read your reviews, because you’ll see how much you mean to people, and just how many lives you’ve touched 💕 🌿 💚 🌿 💚 Just be. 🌿 💚 🌿 💚

  3. 4 out of 5

    Alexa Petre

    As much as I respect and appreciate Matt Haig, I cannot give more than 2 stars to this book. First of all, it's very messy, and although he even mentions in the book that he deliberately wanted to write a messy book, it actually feels like a bunch of blog posts cluttered together in a book, without much structure and flow to it, especially since he repeats himself numerous times throughout it. I just couldn't help thinking I was reading a bunch of shallow self-help articles, full of truisms and As much as I respect and appreciate Matt Haig, I cannot give more than 2 stars to this book. First of all, it's very messy, and although he even mentions in the book that he deliberately wanted to write a messy book, it actually feels like a bunch of blog posts cluttered together in a book, without much structure and flow to it, especially since he repeats himself numerous times throughout it. I just couldn't help thinking I was reading a bunch of shallow self-help articles, full of truisms and of dramatic short sentences, that didn't go into enough detail in order to be interesting or helpful. Plus the exaggerated amount of enumerations became irritating after a while. I appreciate the intention of writing a book to help people navigate through modern times easier, but putting together a lot of statistics, quotes and general findings from different other authors (without mentioning the exact sources in the footnotes, another big flaw) just makes the book feel like a pseudo-scientific bunch of random facts. I'm really sorry Matt, this was not your best, I think.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Gabby

    ”How can we live in a mad world without ourselves going mad? Matt Haig has such a way with worlds and he is so good at being able to explain the reasons people might feel anxiety and depression in the world we are living in today. This read couldn’t come at a more perfect time for me because the world is unimaginably horrific these days and I really needed this. I enjoyed this one even more than Reasons to Stay Alive, and I just really love his writing so much. ”The future isn’t real. The future ”How can we live in a mad world without ourselves going mad? Matt Haig has such a way with worlds and he is so good at being able to explain the reasons people might feel anxiety and depression in the world we are living in today. This read couldn’t come at a more perfect time for me because the world is unimaginably horrific these days and I really needed this. I enjoyed this one even more than Reasons to Stay Alive, and I just really love his writing so much. ”The future isn’t real. The future is abstract. The now is all we know. One now after another now. The now is where we must live. There are billions of different versions of an older you. There is one version of the present you. Focus on that.” I love the section about time in this book because a huge part of my anxiety is never feeling like I have enough time to do all the things I want to do, and never feeling present in the moment because I’m always planning things for the future and thinking about the future. This quote really speaks to me: “To enjoy life, we might have to stop thinking about what we will never be able to read and watch and say and do, and start to think of how to enjoy the world within our boundaries. To live on a human scale. To focus on the few things we can do, rather than the millions of things we can’t. To not crave parallel lives. To find a smaller mathematics. To be a proud and singular one. An indivisible prime.” I just love Matt Haig’s writing, and he makes me feel so understood and normal with my anxiety about life and the future and the world. I really needed this book right now and I’m so glad it was everything I was hoping it would be.

  5. 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!

  6. 4 out of 5

    April (Aprilius Maximus)

    This book gave me so much to contemplate!

  7. 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.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Whitney Atkinson

    Thanks to Penguin for a free review copy! I read Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig during my 2017 relapse, and I devoured it. I absolutely love Haig’s writing style and the way he weaves anecdote into advice, and how closely our experiences relate. I especially like how in this book, he talks about how social media and technology can exacerbate anxiety, which is certainly true for me as well. I was initially fearful that this book would be a preachy “just get off your phone” type of book, which Thanks to Penguin for a free review copy! I read Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig during my 2017 relapse, and I devoured it. I absolutely love Haig’s writing style and the way he weaves anecdote into advice, and how closely our experiences relate. I especially like how in this book, he talks about how social media and technology can exacerbate anxiety, which is certainly true for me as well. I was initially fearful that this book would be a preachy “just get off your phone” type of book, which isn’t what I was anticipating nor did I want to hear—because let’s be real, social media is fun and useful and literally one of my jobs. I quickly realized that despite his message of logging off, he was also all for social media in a nuanced way I think a lot of people tend to miss. I think Haig perfectly located the need to log off when the internet or the news or whatever becomes too much—or even just a clutch for boredom—but not when it’s a source of joy or fun. To see someone who sees technology as so dualistic instead of strictly good or bad was refreshing, so it made me a lot more willing to internalize his advice. I underlined SO many lines in this book because Haig is a gorgeous writer, but also he includes a lot of quotations and makes a lot of great points of his own about technology usage, remaining unique, relinquishing stress, and other ideas to reduce stress born from technology. If you’re someone who struggles with internet usage and anxiety, this would definitely be a valuable tool to remind yourself of your worth in a technological environment that tries to remind you that you’re worthless as a marketing ploy. I loved the encouraging tone of it, and in the end, it was a great reminder to make sure I’m taking care of my mental health by not abusing my phone or Internet usage.

  9. 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.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nadia

    This was my first encounter with the work of Matt Haig and I can see why he's become so popular. In his latest book, Matt shares his observations about today's 'nervous planet' we live on, overloaded with technology and social media connecting people all over the world, yet leaving them feeling alone. Based on his own experience, Matt offers advice on how to cope with stress and anxiety, how to value and appreciate the little things in life, but also how to accept ourselves and the fact that we This was my first encounter with the work of Matt Haig and I can see why he's become so popular. In his latest book, Matt shares his observations about today's 'nervous planet' we live on, overloaded with technology and social media connecting people all over the world, yet leaving them feeling alone. Based on his own experience, Matt offers advice on how to cope with stress and anxiety, how to value and appreciate the little things in life, but also how to accept ourselves and the fact that we are not perfect and to fail is absolutely ok. You might not agree with everything Matt Haig says or does, but I think everyone who reads this book will find something in there that will speak to them or at least make them think.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Henk

    A wholesome book on self-care in the 21st century - 4 stars You’ll be happy when people like you. You’ll be happy when more people like you. You’ll be happy when everybody likes you. Digital detoxing and being happy in the 21st century Matt Haig takes on how modern day life, with abundant choices and psychologist involved in marketing of almost any product, effects our state of mind. It is very ironic that I listened to this book through Spotify (https://open.spotify.com/album/5o0Ptd...), commuting or A wholesome book on self-care in the 21st century - 4 stars You’ll be happy when people like you. You’ll be happy when more people like you. You’ll be happy when everybody likes you. Digital detoxing and being happy in the 21st century Matt Haig takes on how modern day life, with abundant choices and psychologist involved in marketing of almost any product, effects our state of mind. It is very ironic that I listened to this book through Spotify (https://open.spotify.com/album/5o0Ptd...), commuting or at the gym, while the first topic Haig takes on is our mobile phone addiction. How information, change and choice has multiplied exponentially while our physical self and brains have changed little in 50.000 years. This first section of the book, with the musings on how capitalist society makes us feel perpetually unsatisfied and looking for the thrill of the new to sell more articles, made me think of Yuval Noah Harari his style of tackling big trends. Particularly fun and illustrative was the observation that in the 16th century only around 40 books per year were published in England (fictional book club: what are we reading this year Cedric? Everything!) and how the number of internet users has gone from 16 million in 1995 (0,4% of the world population) to more than 3 billion people (51% of the world population) in June 2017. The world is changing ever faster. He challenges the reader to develop a more healthy relationship with their phones and social media, and fills his story with snappy one liners (Facebook is the place online where everybody lies to friends, Twitter is where everybody tells the truth to stranger.) that made me think about my internet habits. Mental health in relation to your surroundings The problem was that i was viewing my own face through the prism of insecurity. Haig is very honest about his own mental health and shares doable activities that might help anyone feeling less overwhelmed by the world: from watching the sea, the sky, walking in forests to yoga and focussing on breathing. A lot can also be gained from mindset and not comparing oneself with another person (To be liked by everybody you’d have to be the blandest person ever) but to look for what according to you intrinsically makes the world better and focussing energy on that (Life isn’t about being be pleased with what you are doing but about what you are being). I found this second part of the book interesting but less eye opening than the first part. Haig showcases the human contradictions and uncertainties in an eloquent manner, but a lot is derived from other writers or thinkers. Also his conveying of the (meta)panic about the feeling of panic was a bit too effective for my taste, in the sense that it made me a bit stressed from just listening to Haig reciting these experiences. Also the whole part of supermarkets being triggers for mental breakdown I couldn’t relate to as much. I also don’t know the set up, where quite a lot of chapters are lists, is the best: it sometimes felt a bit gimmicky to me (not to mention a cringeworthy, imagined conversation with a turtle on mindfulness). Not to say that propagating a holistic approach to mental health, taking the environment and physical health into account, is not very important. And I feel a lot of the techniques mentioned by Haig could really help in stabilizing your feeling of self as well as enable acceptance of self. It was almost therapeutic hearing Matt Haig saying that you are enough and how hard is to accept that you are not inadequate. In that sense Notes on a Nervous Planet is almost like an intimate, deep conversation with a good friend around the topics you almost never talk about in day to day life. Conclusion Overall I liked the book, and will go around recommending this to colleagues, if only for the following wholesome, thought provoking one liners: Working in an aspirational environment almost equates to the feeling of failing Aim not at getting more stuff done, aim at having less things to do Be kind to yourself Reading is love in action You will be cool when you are dead Remember that many people feel like you You are conditioned to want more

  12. 4 out of 5

    jade

    dear matt, i get it, you’re an anxious kinda guy. and our Internet Super Highway world where everything is Fast and Overwhelming doesn’t really help matters. neither does having beef on twitter with internet trolls so badly it makes your heart rate skyrocket. so, kudos to you for getting it out there. mental health issues are not easy to talk about. and i fully agree with you that the way we access, share, and process information can pose a lot of difficulties. for both the neurotypical and the ne dear matt, i get it, you’re an anxious kinda guy. and our Internet Super Highway world where everything is Fast and Overwhelming doesn’t really help matters. neither does having beef on twitter with internet trolls so badly it makes your heart rate skyrocket. so, kudos to you for getting it out there. mental health issues are not easy to talk about. and i fully agree with you that the way we access, share, and process information can pose a lot of difficulties. for both the neurotypical and the neurodivergent (and yes, the latter includes me). i mean, we could talk endlessly about the Bad Effects of social media and we’d probably have a good conversation with a lot of mutual agreement. i’m not sure if that would make us part of an online echo chamber or not. anyway. you put a lot of lists in your book. there’s chapters comprised of bullet points only. some are endless enumerations disappearing into big paragraphs; others lack context or discussion. you also list goodreads as one of the Good Things about the internet. so this is where i’m going to tell you to take your own advice, and not expose yourself to stuff online that makes you feel unhappy. because i’m going to rate your book, and i’m going to give it one measly star. i’m sorry, man. you know what the most ironic thing is? if i would’ve been a follower of, say, your twitter or your blog or your whatever -- and every once in a while, you’d have posted one of the chapters from this book as a blog post or a series of tweets, i probably would’ve liked SOME of it by clicking that heart button. but presented together like this, your book beats against the shores of repetition to an irritating degree and adds nothing new to the current discussion about how to merge our physical reality with our online existence. and personal anecdotes, no matter how relatable, are a poor substitute for scientific research. let’s try for a list of things that made me raise my eyebrow, to stay true to your style and all. number one. it’s true that panic attacks happen more easily in places where you get overwhelmed. supermarkets, restaurants, shopping malls -- you name it. however, i did not expect you to link the prevalence in panic attacks in supermarkets to the fact that supermarket foods are “unnatural”. you then can’t seem to decide whether these foods are “unnatural” because they have chemical additions or because they are Altered Psychologically so that we will be manipulated into buying them. anyway, the more unnatural the pre-chopped jars of garlic, the more often we as humans feel “derealized”. right. number two. you mention that the uncertainty of whether you’ve “checked your privilege” makes you anxious. you then proceeded to wax poetic about a colorblind outlook (“imagine all of us as humans, rather than nationality/religion/race/gender”) as a happy-go-lucky antidote to overwhelming negativity. not once, but TWICE -- i quote, “don’t be blinded by the connotations of your name, gender, nationality, sexuality or facebook profile”. strike one for checking that privilege, my friend. number three. you also conveniently forget to examine almost ANY situation from a non-white, non-western perspective except for throwing around some stats that i cannot CHECK because you did not include any sources. and yet i’m supposed to believe that the whole planet is having a nervous breakdown because we are all, across the globe, working 12-hour days at jobs we hate and maxing out our credit cards with stuff we don’t need? strike two. number four. you visit a homeless shelter where everybody helps out with cooking, cleaning, etc. and tries very hard to keep addictive stuff (drugs, alcohol) out. you say, and i quote: “It [the shelter] was like a distillation of the things that people need in life”. (still number four.) i’m sorry, you went to a homeless shelter where people who lost everything and fought addiction and managed to build something meaningful for themselves while still technically homeless, and used that as inspiration porn for your whole online detox argument?? privilege, meet class intersections. strike three, you’re out. also, did you REALLY make me read the words “the guilt of privilege” with my own two eyes? really?? alright, i’ll bring this to an end before i start beating a dead horse. that said, we have a saying where i live: to kick an open door. it means stating the obvious in such a way that it’s entirely pointless, just like kicking a door that’s already open. i feel that pretty much sums up your argument about stepping away from the internet and marketing campaigns when they make you unhappy. because, duh. and where your personal anecdotes re: anxiety and nervousness may strike a nerve with those suffering from the same sort of problems, the rest of your observations remain wholly out of touch from the rest of the world in my point of view. ✎ 1.0 stars.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Hartley

    As discussed in the book, everyone has different opinions on books and I loved Reasons to Stay Alive but this I found really boring. This book was very rambly and induced stress rather than prevent it. I found his last book actually had a story to it whereas this was just quoting other books and repeating what they said. The amount of chapters and paragraphs which. Were. All. One. Word. Sentences. Drove me insane by the end!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Emily B

    A very accessible book written by Matt Haig. I love the way it’s formatted and compiled of lists and short chapters. The subject matter is very relevant and I found it explored issues and anxieties concerning modern life and social media that have been at the back of my mind for a while.

  15. 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 it isn't necessarily YOU!

  16. 4 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.

  17. 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 .

  18. 5 out of 5

    da AL

    Knowledge + Awareness = Power: a calling out of the billion ways, the hyperdrive degree to which we're continually and exponentially marketed to, our hair on end whether we realize it or not... and some thoughts on how to stay happy. The author does a nice job of reading. Book and library lover that I am, one of my fave lines is his encouragement that we support our public libraries. He notes, "Libraries are one of the few public spaces that don't like our wallets than us."

  19. 4 out of 5

    Virginie *No more time to write reviews for the moment :( *

    Matt Haig, if more people were like you, I'm sure the world would be a better place. I want to be your friend! I'm not as anxious as Haig describes himself and I already apply some of his advices in my life, but it's always interesting to read a book written by someone who shares similar values. This book reminded me of some things I believe in but sometimes forget. As a teacher, I wish I can share some of that knowledge with my students! Thanks for reminding me that humans never had so much time Matt Haig, if more people were like you, I'm sure the world would be a better place. I want to be your friend! I'm not as anxious as Haig describes himself and I already apply some of his advices in my life, but it's always interesting to read a book written by someone who shares similar values. This book reminded me of some things I believe in but sometimes forget. As a teacher, I wish I can share some of that knowledge with my students! Thanks for reminding me that humans never had so much time to spend. Lack of time is not an excuse with all the technologies now existing. Thanks for reminding me that the future doesn't exist, only present. Thanks for reminding me that our desires are often not real needs. We already have something really precious: life. Thanks for reminding be that every human is imperfect. I could go on, but I recommand that you read it by yourself! I enjoyed this book today at the beach, it was a fast read and was a perfect subject to read about during vacations. Perfect reminder of how I feel better away from my cellphone!

  20. 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.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Malia

    So many thought-provoking points! I found myself nodding along and dog-earing my book in a way that would leave some readings weeping. Highly recommended! Find more reviews and bookish fun at http://www.princessandpen.com So many thought-provoking points! I found myself nodding along and dog-earing my book in a way that would leave some readings weeping. Highly recommended! Find more reviews and bookish fun at http://www.princessandpen.com

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey

    Just read it :)

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rita Araújo

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

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Dorothea

    5 out of 5 stars! ⭐ After having read Matt Haig’s last non‑fiction book, 'Reasons to Stay Alive', I was utterly amazed by his second oeuvre. 'Notes on a Nervous Planet' is not so much a “reasons to” as a “how to” guide, for all those readers who responded so powerfully to the last book. This book follows a similar format: short chapters, concisely written, with lots of numbered lists – just right for an audience whose attention, Haig argues, is being stretched painfully thin by 24-hour rolling n 5 out of 5 stars! ⭐ After having read Matt Haig’s last non‑fiction book, 'Reasons to Stay Alive', I was utterly amazed by his second oeuvre. 'Notes on a Nervous Planet' is not so much a “reasons to” as a “how to” guide, for all those readers who responded so powerfully to the last book. This book follows a similar format: short chapters, concisely written, with lots of numbered lists – just right for an audience whose attention, Haig argues, is being stretched painfully thin by 24-hour rolling news, smartphones, work and social media. The book jumps from subject to subject, setting out problems, offering advice and sometimes just presenting lists of small good things to remember. So here is what this amazing book is about: 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 twenty-first century. This was an inspiring and thought-provoking book to read. It is truly refreshing when an author shares his or her personal journey with readers. To feel an author’s vulnerability in their writing is a beautiful thing and to reflect on your own life afterwards is where the magic happens. Matt Haig is one of those authors that takes you along on his personal journey and helps you understand the lessons he learned along the way. It was an honest and insightful account about how to live your best life possible in a modern world that is designed to make you feel anxious. It is about creating a space of peace for yourself, to unplug and live in the moment. I think we could all benefit from Matt Haig’s reminders and advice. Highly recommended! 🤗💗💞 “When it comes to our minds, awareness is very often the solution itself.” ― Matt Haig, 'Notes on a Nervous Planet'

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mindfully Evie

    "In a world that can get too much, a world where we are running out of mind space, fictional worlds are essential. For me, reading was never an antisocial activity. 
It was deeply social. It was the most profound kind of socialising there was. A deep connection to the imagination of another human being. A way to connect without the many filters society normally demands. So often, reading is often seen as important because of its social value. It is tied to education and the economy and so on. But that m "In a world that can get too much, a world where we are running out of mind space, fictional worlds are essential. For me, reading was never an antisocial activity. 
It was deeply social. It was the most profound kind of socialising there was. A deep connection to the imagination of another human being. A way to connect without the many filters society normally demands. So often, reading is often seen as important because of its social value. It is tied to education and the economy and so on. But that misses the whole point of reading. Reading isn’t important because it helps you get 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. Reading is love in action." This book has a lot of food for thought and really makes you question just how much social media and technology are affecting your wellbeing. I got a lot out of this book as I am very ‘pro offline days’ and I am aware of how social media and technology can affect my wellbeing, which is why I spend so long offline as I know being online a lot it’s not good for me. Although I think Matt would agree it’s probably not good for anyone. This book will definitely motivate you to spend more time in the real world and less time on screen. It is a truly wonderful and thought-provoking book and very easy to read and pick up and put down.

  26. 5 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! ☺

  27. 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.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brendan Monroe

    I wish this book had been available back in January 2015. When I started my last job. I was in a different country, working with colleagues from all over, and it was my first time working a desk job. The atmosphere there was absolutely toxic, the people I worked with unbelievably petty and bullying, and I thought about walking out on my lunch break on a daily basis. But I never did. Maybe all "desk jobs" were like this. What did I know? I stayed there just shy of four, very long, years because I I wish this book had been available back in January 2015. When I started my last job. I was in a different country, working with colleagues from all over, and it was my first time working a desk job. The atmosphere there was absolutely toxic, the people I worked with unbelievably petty and bullying, and I thought about walking out on my lunch break on a daily basis. But I never did. Maybe all "desk jobs" were like this. What did I know? I stayed there just shy of four, very long, years because I thought it was important that I did. Important that I try to act as though those comments didn't bother me, important that I pretend I didn't mind the city and country I was living in, important that I deposited just a little bit more into my savings account, important that I work for long enough to have something to show off on my CV. In case there is any doubt in your mind — no, it wasn't worth it. Nothing is ever worth doing just for the money, just as a stepping stone to hopefully land "something better". The number of years we all have is finite, and to waste them doing something we don't like in order to hopefully one day land something we do is always a bad deal. In the end, my blog was the one place I could vent, and vent I did, about some unruly passengers aboard a flight I had taken on a recent trip back to Ukraine from Denmark. My post somehow ended up being read by people at work, and a little less than two weeks after I had put in my 30-day notice I was summoned to the boss' office and summarily dismissed for "pissing off the entire company". I didn't get any reference to tack onto my CV, and as we all know savings can be burned through rather quickly. Things are better now (really, so much better), but I still lament those wasted years, years I'm sure never to get back. There had been days, particularly in that first year, where I was so so close to just walking out, that if I had just read Matt Haig's advice on page 248, I think it would have been enough to give me the courage to walk away. "If you hate your job, and can get away with walking out on your lunch break, walk out on your lunch break. And never go back." Funny enough, I probably wouldn't have read this book unless I had quit my job. Because now I work entirely remote, I have the ability to be anywhere. And last May "anywhere" just happened to be the little book town of Hay-on-Wye during its annual literature festival where, you guessed it, one of the featured speakers was Mr. Matt Haig. I bought the book, he signed it, and now I've read it. Better late than never. I don't want to give the impression that "Notes on a Nervous Planet" is a "perfect" book (as if there really is such a thing). Haig himself writes on page 176, "I am trying to write about the messiness of the world and the messiness of minds by writing a deliberately messy book." And he has succeeded. This is a messy book, where a full page or two of text can be followed by a list on the third page, a single sentence on the fourth page, a quote on the fifth page. This is written in much the style of Haig's previous non-fiction book, Reasons to Stay Alive, and this sort of writing, with pages containing text of varied length, in varied font, and of various size, is quickly becoming Haig's signature style. Some will likely be turned off by this. It took some getting used to for me too, but the content inside is good enough that it should allow you to get past the way it's laid out. About the content. Some of it is rather obvious. Cut this book in half and the half in the middle could be called, "Why the Internet is Bad for You", as much of it is about how technology is making us more anxious, more prone to depression, and less satisfied with what we already have so that we want more of what isn't good for us. Yes, we all probably know that already, just as we probably know that not getting enough sleep (9 hours a night is the recommended amount) is bad for us, and racking up a ton of debt on our credit cards on things that we think will make us happy is also bad for us. If you don't know these things yet there are many, many pages reiterating those points here and you should read them now. But you should also read "Notes on a Nervous Planet" even if, like me, you knew those things already (I'll get to why in a minute). Yes, some of what Haig writes here is on the cornier side. He writes at various points as "The Beach" or as a 100+ year old giant tortoise. "The Beach", you'll be happy to know, doesn't "give a fuck" (The Beach's words) what you look like. So why don't you, like, just chill the fuck out? Many will read these sections and find them cute or funny, but whether because of the perspective it's written from or the fucks, it made me feel like Haig was writing as one of those beach bums who, when they aren't catching waves, are probably smoking a bit of reefer (and are sure to be played by Matthew McConaughey in full "alright, alright, alright" mode in the film version). What I'm saying is, I could have done without it. So why should you read an occasionally corny, repetitive book that has a funky style and repeats things you probably already know? Because it's good for you. So what if it's not Jaron Lanier's Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now with, I presume, the hundreds of footnotes? "Notes on a Nervous Planet" is necessary precisely because it reinforces the simple, irrefutable feeling so many of us have that much of what defines our modern culture is making us miserable. And while yes, most of us know that absorbing all that bad news, being addicted to our jobs to the point where we neglect our personal lives, and being insanely focused on how many likes your last Instagram post got is not healthy, it's so easy to doubt that little voice in our head that tells us those things. We need books like "Notes on a Nervous Planet" to remind us of these things so that we don't let ourselves off the hook and just continue imbibing the things that we know aren't good for us. And we needed it years ago.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ammara

    "...we can feel pain amid external beauty and peace. But the flipside is that we can feel calm in a world of fear." Such a warm and absorbing book. If you've read books on anxiety and the likes of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck and are looking for tips, tricks and hacks on how to instantly get better, then this one isn't for you. But it is the one you should probably be reading. Matt Haig delves into thoughts, fears and curiosities that are consuming us daily and talks about them openly, ser "...we can feel pain amid external beauty and peace. But the flipside is that we can feel calm in a world of fear." Such a warm and absorbing book. If you've read books on anxiety and the likes of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck and are looking for tips, tricks and hacks on how to instantly get better, then this one isn't for you. But it is the one you should probably be reading. Matt Haig delves into thoughts, fears and curiosities that are consuming us daily and talks about them openly, seriously with just the right amount of light humor. He never talks down to the reader, never barks affirmations that we should be reciting religiously or patronizes in any way. Just tells us his own thought process, how he's been through the same debilitating anxiety most of us go through, what helped him cope and imparts advice that might help us cope as well. He mentions how reading is the most social thing we can do and how it can be a way back to ourselves and I completely see it...I've never felt more connected to an author. Last year I made a commitment to get my old reading self back and in just a few months have started to feel more like myself and more comfortable being alone with my thoughts. The first half of the book is light, witty with loads of insight into tech, consumerism and media. But it's the second-half where things picked up for me. He gets down to issues and talks about ways of dealing with all the chaos that surrounds us. How distracting and numbing ourselves is the real enemy and how just being more aware can make the world and us just a tad less nervous. This one chapter towards the end brought on all the feels and for once I got over myself and just let myself be overcome with emotions. It felt good. Reading this book felt good. You don't need psychological breakthroughs and groundbreaking worksheets to fix your life. All you need a is a well-versed wise ol' friend to talk you through that cobweb of muddled thoughts. Go read it now.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jo

    This book is raw and real. Highly recommend to anyone struggling with anxiety and mental illness- it is a read that will show you that you are not alone. Also highly recommend to those not struggling with mental illness but are simply broad-minded enough to want to understand those who do. Matt Haig writes of our nervous planet. Nervous, yes, but also "[a] planet where we can breathe and live and fall in love and eat peanut butter on toast and say hello to dogs and dance to music and read Bonjour This book is raw and real. Highly recommend to anyone struggling with anxiety and mental illness- it is a read that will show you that you are not alone. Also highly recommend to those not struggling with mental illness but are simply broad-minded enough to want to understand those who do. Matt Haig writes of our nervous planet. Nervous, yes, but also "[a] planet where we can breathe and live and fall in love and eat peanut butter on toast and say hello to dogs and dance to music and read Bonjour Tristesse and binge-watch TV dramas and notice the sunlight accentuated by hard shadow on a building and feel the wind and the rain on our tender skin and look after each other and lose ourselves in daydreams and night dreams and dissolve into the sweet mystery of ourselves." The short, quick chapters are somehow always on point. I am so grateful to have serendipitously won the giveaway for the book exactly when I needed it the most. Oh, and I love the book cover.

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