Notes on a Nervous Planet Book Review
Written by Matt Haig and originally published in 2018, Notes on a Nervous Planet is a follow up to the internationally bestselling memoir called Reasons to Stay Alive, which is a broader look at how modern life feeds our anxiety, and how to live a happier and better life.
Falling under self-help books, Notes on a Nervous Planet did not disappoint when it came to helping readers feel like someone understood their thoughts and mindset. It is a very relatable memoir and made readers not only understand themselves better, but it helped them realise that there are many others who are like them, and they are all working towards helping themselves.
Notes on a Nervous Planet has a collection of Matt Haig’s observations of the world around him; notes on the various social, commercial, and technological advancements that have created the world today, and how that affects our happiness; and anecdotes, his own personal story woven into this book, about how his depression and anxiety has often affected him, particularly when spending too much time on the internet.
The book is full of practical suggestions to help readers cope with daily life and the world around us, specifically with the social and technology aspect of life, as well as when and how to engage for a favourable experience. Matt Haig examines everything from inequality, social media, and the news; to things closer to our daily lives, like how we sleep, how we exercise, and the distinction we draw between our minds and bodies.
Many reviews on the book have said that the author has helped them restore faith in a lot of things they had lost hope for, such as the social media world in which most people portray an ‘ideal’ and unrealistic life that others feel expected to follow or be like. The memoir is a good way to kickstart your soul again after it has been driven to relentlessly try and get through each day, without really living or experiencing the best you can every day.
On the other hand, some reviews have mentioned that the book is very messy, which the author himself said he would deliberately write a messy book, because that is how the mind is. People have said it feels like a collection of blog posts put together without any flow or structure to it. There is a lot of repetition throughout the memoir, and it made people feel like they were shallow articles full of dramatic short sentences.
Overall, I think the book is worth reading, as I feel that it is an essential book that helps you understand the way you and others may be thinking, how the thought process is functioning, and how this can be affected by daily life. There are a lot of simple yet amazing suggestions to help you in your day to day life, which have helped me personally and still continue to do so in terms of dealing with anxiety.