The Comfort Book – by Matt Haig

23 04 2022

Matt Haig has written some stupendously good books including Reasons to Stay Alive, Notes on a Nervous Planet, The Humans, and The Truth Pixie; so my expectations were extremely high!

He describes this book as a collection of thoughts that have kept him afloat; have comforted him. It’s a mixture of mostly his own stuff, but also some quotes from others at times.

It’s good, it’s certainly what I needed after the misery of The Bell Jar last week, but something felt lacking. I wonder if this is just because I was expecting too much, or was in a different place to when I’ve read other ones, but to me some bits felt a bit repetitive, and there was a greater focus on some certain philosophies and religions than there has been in his other books, which I guess just shows where he’s at at the moment.

But I don’t want to be too negative, ‘cos if I hadn’t read his other stuff I imagine I’d have loved this! Of course, I have some favourite quotes:

  • “No physical appearance is worth not eating pasta for.”
  • “You don’t stop the rain by telling it to stop. Sometimes you just have to let it pour, let it soak you to the skin. It never rains for ever.”
  • “I hope this email finds you well but, you know what, it is okay if it doesn’t because we all have bad days.”
  • “Forgiving other people is great practice for forgiving yourself when the time comes.”
  • “Introversion is not something you fix via extroversion. You fix it by seeing it as something not to be fixed.”
  • “When a dog lies in the sun I imagine it does it without guilt, because as far as I can tell dogs seem more in tune with their own needs.”
  • “Maybe we aren’t meant to know everything about our lives. And maybe that’s perfectly okay.”

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