Can you believe it, a Recently Read that isn’t full of YA? *laughs* Read on to find out my thoughts on the following four “celebrity” books.
Images taken from GoodReads for the purpose of review.
Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig
I had heard a lot about Reasons to Stay Alive; it’s everywhere you turn nowadays. I managed to find a copy in my local library so I decided to read it myself and see what it was all about. With a name like “Reasons to Stay Alive”, I was expecting a book of “reasons” to stay alive, as well as some advice or tips. Instead, RTSA is more of a memoir, a telling of the dark time where Matt Haig experienced a crippling bout of depression that left him suicidal.
This book is very small in size, about 200 pages with a large font. The chapters are short and snappy, flitting from the past to the future. It also talks about depression in general with quotes that I have seen far too often on Twitter and Instagram. The hardback format gives the illusion of it being longer than it actually is. Quite misleading I think! *waggles finger disapprovingly*
I read this book in a few hours at work and I found it very easy to dip in and out of. I enjoyed its upbeat message that even though it may feel bleak or that you have no hope, it can and it will get better. This is the main message of the book. It’s not a self help book, so please do not expect miracles. My own experience with anxiety and depression sounded similar to Matt’s and we both share the same sentiments regarding medication (good for you, not for me). I did follow the author on Twitter for a while but he began to rub me up the wrong way so I unfollowed him a few days later. As much as I enjoyed the references to Yorkshire (Yay, Leeds! Yay, Hull!) I probably won’t be refollowing him.
Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg
Don’t be fooled by that cheeky grin of his, Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari is is a serious non-fiction book. With the help of esteemed sociologist Eric Klinenberg (and many other experts and professors), Aziz sets out to find out what has changed in dating. We have so many options available to us, yet we seem to be lonelier than ever… *muses*
Modern Romance is heavily focused on online dating, and very American in language (if you know what I mean). The book does get rather technical at times, but Aziz’s fresh humour and wit keeps you reading. My favourite section of the book was the part that focused on dating in other cultures. I am quite shocked to read about the modern dating culture in Japan, and in all honesty a little bit surprised.
Overall, I really enjoyed Modern Romance. If you are interested in reading about dating in modern, technological times then this book is for you.
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? and Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
As I was enjoying watching The Office (US), I thought I would finally give the popular “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?” a read. IEHOWM is a collection of personal essays by writer and star Mindy Kaling. Before The Office, I had heard of her here and there but I hadn’t really watched her in anything.
I didn’t particularly enjoy “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?”. To me, some of the essays came across as arrogant, and the jokes weren’t funny. They seemed rather forced at times. I was quite disappointed, especially as everyone raved about it at the time it was released.
However, as I was still very much enjoying The Office, I decided to give Mindy another chance. I picked up “Why Not Me?”, her second collection of personal essays.
I am so glad I gave Mindy another chance. Why Not Me? was an excellent read. It felt more personal, and much more genuine. I felt like I could relate to her a lot more, and one of her essays had me close to tears. Even now when I think about it I begin to tear up!
I would recommend reading IEHOWM first, just so you can appreciate how good Why Not Me? is. I’ve heard that Mindy is currently writing a book with her on/off boyfriend BJ Novak about their said on/off relationship, and if that’s true then I definitely need to read it.
What have you read recently?