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Notes on a Nervous Planet (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

I wish every middle-schooler and high-schooler could get this book before they get their first smartphone, because it addresses so many of my concerns with how technology affects wellbeing and notions of self. Haig is not anti-technology by any means; he's more pro-incorporating technology into life as a tool, acknowledging its power as something that demands our attention and affects our health. How do live harmoniously with texts and tweets and emails and blogs and Photoshopped pictures? Haig presents wisdom in the form of lists, anecdotes, practical action items, and thoughtful essays informed by his personal experiences and struggles with mental health. This book invites you to pause, to take a step back, to think more critically, and to truly value being.

— From Emma's Picks


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.

About the Author

Matt Haig is the author of the internationally bestselling memoir Reasons to Stay Alive, along with five novels, including How To Stop Time, and several award-winning children's books. His work has been translated into more than thirty languages.

Praise For…

“A personal favourite and the best reminder during the summer season… or any season, as a matter of fact.” –Meghan Markle, for British Vogue on "A Note from the Beach" from Notes On A Nervous Planet

"A primer for how to live in the present moment, this book will find grateful readers everywhere." —Nigella Lawson, author of How to Be a Domestic Goddess and Nigella Bites
"Take Notes on a Nervous Planet twice daily, with or without food. Crammed with wisdom, insight, love and wit." —Stephen Fry

“Likable and thought-provoking . . . A wonderfully perceptive chronicle of life in the always-on social media age.” —The Guardian

"Witty, honest, and engaging. Haig shows great skill in describing the 'invisible cyclone' of depression. . . A worthy successor to Reasons to Stay Alive." —The Sunday Times

Notes on a Nervous Planet contains lists, imagined conversations, essays, and personal stories that critique the damage that worry—about the environment, politics, the news, and everything else that demands our attention on a daily basis—wreaks on our ability to live a full life. Haig artfully, powerfully counters these challenges with battle-tested advice from his own hard-won experience.” —Booklist
"Readers who have experienced anxiety without a tangible cause will find comfort in Haig’s words and vulnerability. Haig articulates much of what isn’t working for humans in today’s world while refraining from being too cynical." —Salon 

"If technology and social media make you anxious, you’re not alone. . . .Should you need a positive influence right now, Matt Haig has your back." —HelloGiggles

“In this illuminating follow-up to his memoir, Reasons to Stay Alive, novelist and children’s author Haig (How to Stop Time, 2018, etc.) continues to explore how the rapid pace of our modern world can adversely affect our psyche… In bite-sized chapters, the author considers the various issues that plague us, including our increasing addiction to smartphones and social media, the emotional impact of absorbing 24-hour cycles of often grueling international news events, and our collective lack of sleep…. [An] often wise and inspiring self-help title strengthened by the author’s very personal experiences and acquired insight.” —Kirkus

"[Haig] is a smart operator who knows his readership and genuinely wants to help them . . . I reached the last page admiring the author’s inventive energy and insight." —The Daily Mail
"Warm and wise. If the modern world is making you anxious, this is the perfect book for you." —Claudia Hammond, author of Time Warped
"Beautiful, honest and wise." —Fearne Cotton, BBC Radio 
"A convincing, wise, and reassuring book." —The Irish Times

"Is the modern world doing our heads in? Matt Haig shares our fears and gives answers to the question from many different angles. An enthralling book." —Jo Brand, author of The More You Ignore Me
"Warm and wise. If the modern world is making you anxious, this is the perfect book for you." —Claudia Hammond, author of Time Warped
Product Details
ISBN: 9780143133421
ISBN-10: 014313342X
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: January 29th, 2019
Pages: 304
Language: English