NOTES ON A NER­VOUS PLANET MATT HAIG

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - BOOKS NEWEDITIONS - SEÁNHEWITT

Canon­gate, £12.99

Matt Haig’s fol­low up to his best­selling Rea­sons

to Stay Alive tack­les the west­ern world’s spike of anx­i­ety and panic. Those with Twit­ter will most likely have seen a quo­ta­tion from Haig’s Rea­sons do­ing the rounds: “How to stop time: kiss./ How to travel in time: read./How to es­cape time: mu­sic./ How to feel time: write./How to re­lease time: breathe.” Notes on a Ner­vous Planet is de­signed for short at­ten­tion spans: bro­ken into (very) short chap­ters, lists, and other for­mats ideal for the so­cial-me­dia gen­er­a­tion. In his char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally sim­ple but gen­er­ous way, Haig of­fers ad­vice, and some­times just lays out rea­sons to be happy or grate­ful. Though not al­ways ground­break­ing (Haig sug­gests con­nect­ing with na­ture, tak­ing time with loved ones, mak­ing phys­i­cal con­tact, and get­ting out of te­dious and un­re­ward­ing jobs),

Notes avoids be­ing overly twee or sappy. The cu­mu­la­tive ef­fect is one of a con­vinc­ing, wise, and re­as­sur­ing book.

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