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The Comfort Book
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The Comfort Book
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An instant New York Times Bestseller!The new uplifting book from Matt Haig, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Midnight Library, for anyone in search of hope, looking for a path to a more...
An instant New York Times Bestseller!The new uplifting book from Matt Haig, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Midnight Library, for anyone in search of hope, looking for a path to a more...
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Description-

  • An instant New York Times Bestseller!
    The new uplifting book from Matt Haig, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Midnight Library,
    for anyone in search of hope, looking for a path to a more meaningful life, or in need of a little encouragement.
    Named by The Washington Post as one of the best feel-good books of 2021.
    “It is a strange paradox, that many of the clearest, most comforting life lessons are learnt while we are at our lowest. But then we never think about food more than when we are hungry and we never think about life rafts more than when we are thrown overboard.”

    THE COMFORT BOOK is Haig’s life raft: it’s a collection of notes, lists, and stories written over a span of several years that originally served as gentle reminders to Haig’s future self that things are not always as dark as they may seem. Incorporating a diverse array of sources from across the world, history, science, and his own experiences, Haig offers warmth and reassurance, reminding us to slow down and appreciate the beauty and unpredictability of existence.

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    Baby

     

    Imagine yourself as a baby. You would look at that baby and think they lacked nothing. That baby came complete. Their value was innate from their first breath. Their value did not depend on external things like wealth or appearance or politics or popularity. It was the infinite value of a human life. And that value stays with us, even as it becomes easier to forget it. We stay precisely as alive and precisely as human as we were the day we were born. The only thing we need is to exist. And to hope.



    You Are the Goal

     

    You don't have to continually improve yourself to love yourself. Love is not something you deserve only if you reach a goal. The world is a world of pressure but don't let it squeeze your self-compassion. You were born worthy of love and you remain worthy of love. Be kind to yourself.

     

    Nothing is stronger than a small hope that doesn't give up.

     

    A thing my dad said once when we were lost in a forest

     

    Once upon a time, my father and I got lost in a forest in France. I must have been about twelve or thirteen. Anyway, it was before the era when most people owned a mobile phone. We were on vacation the rural, landlocked, basic kind of middle-class vacation I didn't really understand. It was in the Loire Valley, and we had gone for a run. About half an hour in, my dad realized the truth. "Oh, it seems that we're lost." We walked around and around in circles, trying to find the path, but with no luck. My dad asked two men-poachers-for directions and they sent us the wrong way. I could tell my dad was starting to panic, even as he was trying to hide it from me. We had been in the forest for hours now and both knew my mom would be in a state of absolute terror. At school, I had just been told the Bible story of the Israelites who had died in the wilderness and I found it easy to imagine that would be our fate too. "If we keep going in a straight line we'll get out of here," my dad said.

     

    And he was right. Eventually we heard the sound of cars and reached a main road. We were eleven miles from the village where we had started off, but at least we had signposts now. We were clear of the trees. And I often think of that strategy, when I am totally lost-literally or metaphorically. I thought of it when I was in the middle of a breakdown. When I was living in a panic attack punctuated only by depression, when my heart pounded rapidly with fear, when I hardly knew who I was and didn't know how I could carry on living. If we keep going in a straight line we'll get out of here. Walking one foot in front of the other, in the same direction, will always get you further than running around in circles. It's about the determination to keep walking forward.

     

     

     

    It's okay

     

    It's okay to be broken.

     

    It's okay to wear the scars of experience.

     

    It's okay to be a mess.

     

    It's okay to be the teacup with a chip in it. That's the one with a story.

     

    It's okay to be sentimental and whimsical and cry bittersweet tears at songs and movies you aren't supposed to love.

     

    It's okay to like what you like.

     

    It's okay to like things for literally no other reason than because you like them and not because they are cool or clever or popular.

     

    It's okay to let people find you. You don't have to spread yourself so thin you become invisible. You don't have to always be the person reaching out. You can sometimes allow yourself to be reached. As the great writer Anne Lamott puts it:...

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    June 1, 2021
    Bestselling author Haig offers a book's worth of apothegms to serve as guides to issues ranging from disquietude to self-acceptance. Like many collections of this sort--terse snippets of advice, from the everyday to the cosmic--some parts will hit home with surprising insight, some will feel like old hat, and others will come across as disposable or incomprehensible. Years ago, Haig experienced an extended period of suicidal depression, so he comes at many of these topics--pain, hope, self-worth, contentment--from a hard-won perspective. This makes some of the material worthy of a second look, even when it feels runic or contrary to experience. The author's words are instigations, hopeful first steps toward illumination. Most chapters are only a few sentences long, the longest running for three pages. Much is left unsaid and left up to readers to dissect. On being lost, Haig recounts an episode with his father when they got turned around in a forest in France. His father said to him, "If we keep going in a straight line we'll get out of here." He was correct, a bit of wisdom Haig turned to during his depression when he focused on moving forward: "It is important to remember the bottom of the valley never has the clearest view. And that sometimes all you need to do in order to rise up again is to keep moving forward." Many aphorisms sound right, if hardly groundbreaking--e.g., a quick route to happiness is making someone else happy; "No is a good word. It keeps you sane. In an age of overload, no is really yes. It is yes to having space you need to live"; "External events are neutral. They only gain positive or negative value the moment they enter our mind." Haig's fans may enjoy this one, but others should take a pass. A handful of pearls amid a pile of empty oyster shells.

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    June 1, 2021
    Haig calls them life rafts, thoughts he's recorded that have helped keep him afloat. The best-selling author of Notes on a Nervous Planet (2019) and The Midnight Library (2020) offers earnest reflections in this thought-provoking, affirming collection that is both personal and universal. Haig shares his struggles with mental health and what he's learned about the beauty it's possible to perceive even on the darkest days. He describes how his life-threatening depression seemed to define him, and what it took to recover from a massive breakdown. He shares insights from others who faced epic challenges, such as the 17-year-old survivor of a commercial flight that crash-landed in the Amazon rain forest. Haig bounces from topics like food and social media to philosophy and quantum physics with grace, and finds lessons in the lives of historical figures like Beethoven, Marcus Aurelius, and Nellie Bly. His work is filled to the brim with the power of self-acceptance, connection, and the knowledge that troubles will pass. With Haig's trademark empathy and celebration of the resilience of the human heart, this is a book we all need and deserve.

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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