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Notes on a Nervous Planet

By: Matt Haig
Narrated by: Matt Haig
Length: 5 hrs and 11 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (309 ratings)
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Summary

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. 

©2018 Matt Haig (P)2018 Canongate Books Ltd

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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not novel, not well structured

Reasonable food for thought, but only because collecting these ideas is always worthwhile. However, there was scarcely one idea in the book that I have not independently concluded in my own time, and I'm no expert. It is full of baseless armchair psychology. The focus on social media is tiresome. The quotes are meh. The sources seem to be just things the author googled, plus Sapiens and Why We Sleep. The concepts are structured in a chaotic fashion (not improved by the author saying this was deliberate in order to mirror chaos in the world...). It felt like eavesdropping on the author's therapeutic thought journal, and no doubt it was therapeutic to write. It just wasn't especially enjoyable to listen to. Performance was fine

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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simply amazing

I thought that a follow up to reasons to stay alive would be too much of an ask. I was wrong

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Notes on a nervous planet

I read Matts first book when I was in the depths of depression and found it a life line !!!
I really enjoyed his second book and found it liberating and at the same time instructive.
The thing about mental health and depression and anxiety is that having been through the nightmare you try so hard not to sleep for fear that the nightmare will come back !!
This book showed me that I am not alone with that fear . That having a wobble doesn’t necessarily mean I am going to be swallowed up whole again by the depression monster.

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Everyone should listen to this.

This book resonates so much with me and I am disappointed that I have now finished listening to it. That said, I also have a hard copy that I dip into regularly. So beautifully written. A masterpiece.

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10/10

listen until the end to be rewarded by a talking turtle.. Even more worth it that it sounds, trust me.

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Such a brilliant read.

One of the most helpful books I've ever read. I'd reccommend this to anyone, it really will change the way you see the world

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The BOOK to read!!

I have Never before left a review for a book.
But this is The "BOOK"
EVERYBODY Should read it!!
🕊😊🤗

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A wonderful book

Really wonderful book with great content. I read reasons to stay alive prior to this. I would say I enjoyed the read more than the audio book.

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Helpful

This book might be saving my life. I've already sharply reduced my use of social media.