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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 (957 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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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

32 of 34 people found this review helpful

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Great Read

This is a stand alone book to read, but even better if read after reading Reasons to Stay Alive! I really enjoy books that are read by the authors, it somehow gives the book more credence, I would recommend both of these books, especially if you have suffered depression yourself or someone close to you has or has episodes of depression!

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic food for thought

I personally find Matt Haig's philosophy on life one that I can really get on board with. I have enjoyed listening to this book whilst working and it's a gentle reminder to just "be", to enjoy life and let go of the guilt and stress associated with modern life. 5*

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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Helpful

Matt Haig is a Wonderful writer who have had the bravery to potrtray anxiety and deppression, in a way that doesnt give you anxiety nor make you Sad. Its eye opening, it helps to calm you in days that are overfilled with things. It helps you see the Worth in small things. Important things.

I Just really loved this book

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Some nice things we all know we need to hear

A good read. Not exactly a page turner. But a good, nice, and short book.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Highly Relevant & Informed

Beautifully and eloquently narrated by the author himself - this book demystifies some of the issues troubling us a in the 21st century in a reader friendly and engaging way, while referencing other topical reads such as 'Why We Sleep' by Matthew Walker.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Kind hearted but flimsy self-help

Like a book made of Facebook memes or instagram inspirational quotes. Well meaning, certainly, but lacks depth, analysis or criticality. Matt Haig is most definitely invested and cares very much about his subject - I took a lot from ‘reasons to stay alive’ - but this is all surface and all well trodden ground in the social media age.

4 of 4 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

20 of 24 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

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable, real and informative.

I certainly feel I've gained something from listening to Matt's book. Not all of it was relevant to me because I'm not hugely into social media. However the tips of how to keep yourself well are brilliant.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful