At first, let me be clear: I love Matt Haig. I read my first Book from him in April this Year, Reasons to stay alive and loved it! Last Month i read How to stop Time, but i really did not like it. It just didnt work for me. So as much as i was sure, that i will love this follow up non-fiction Book for Reasons to stay alive, i was also scared i wouldnt. A follow up Book can often be a Hit or Miss. Thats why im so glad that Matt Haig delivered again and wrote an amzing Book with „Notes on a nervous Planet.“
What is this Book about? Well, the blurb is relativly short: What if the way we life was engineered to make us unhappy? And what if there was something we could do about it? But dont worry, inside the Dust Jacket is a longer blurb to explain what to expect from the next 312 Pages:
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 abourt 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 matter 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.
Before writing this Review, i thought what i didnt like because i always like to shed a light at both sides, good and bad. But the simple answer is: Nothing! I actually loved everything about the Book and that is how:
It is no secret that Matt Haig is a brilliant Writer. There are Authors, who can write 800 Pages long Books and after finishing it, you feel like there wasnt much said. And then there are Authors like Matt Haig, who dont need many words to say much. He only needs one Sentence, a few words, to hit the nail on the coffin and really gets you thinking. As i did with Reasons to stay alive (a lot) and How to stop Time (a bit less), i marked good lines or chapters with little post its. Just look at this picture: So much colour. The writing made me smile of pure joy, made me think about the world, society and we as persons, even myself. The writing made me laugh with agreement or just stare at the wall for a minute because some lines just need to be breathed in.
I read this Book in 2 Days. Not only, because it is short or easy to read and understand, but the structure has a play in it. The Book has the same structure i already loved about Reasons to stay alive. Not every aspect needs a long Chapter and so there are again some Lists, some Enumerations and shorter Chapters too. I think that is good for the mind to focus on different styles, to read different lenghts.
Matt Haig has a various Topics and Aspects he brings up in this Book. With some, he digs deeper, some are discussed rather shortly. But each section has its value.
I love that Matt Haig is not a perfect idol and doesnt say so. He struggles to not argue on Twitter or not check his Phone first thing in the morning. But he admits it, works to be better at it and that is something you clearly feel in this Book too.
As with Reasons to stay alive before, Matt Haig uses a very various approach for this Topic. He not only describes his own personal experiences, but also quotes famous (or less famous) authors, poets or Scientist over the past centuries. He discusses survey numbers and reserach material and in this particular case, he also used twitter answers to one of his questions about whether social media influences our mental health in a good or bad way.
I love that Matt Haig discusses so many different aspect of the modern Day life, from News Headlines to Netflix, from Twitter to Sleeping, from Panic Attacks to work environment.
This is a Book for everyone: For People my Age (24), who were raised in the modern World and live with it. For an older Generation, who wants to understand the many aspects of the nowaday life more. For, despite their age, people who struggle with mental health. To read about their problems and how the world we live in may effect that. For People, who are perfectly fine, who want to understand people with mental health problems more. And for everyone, who is just interested in technology, change of time and the modern world.
This is the hardest category, you have seen the pic above! But i will go with these two Quotes. (Yes, i normally just choose one, but simply not possible here)
„We live in 24-hour societies but not in 24-hour bodies.“ (p. 143)
„Connecting with the world has nothing to do with wi-fi.“ (p. 288)