The Comfort Book by Matt Haig (272 pages)
Bestselling Author Matt Haig Delivers Another Must-Read That Will Leave you Feeling All the Human Feelings
Words matter. They can inspire, divide, and offer hope. Despite the adage about them never hurting you, words can also make all the difference; whether they are the ones you read, the ones you share, or the ones that play in a loop in your head. With Blue Monday – otherwise touted as the gloomiest day of the year – quickly approaching, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Matt Haig’s The Comfort Book. Especially if books bring you comfort like they do me.
The English novelist and journalist has been refreshingly and unflinchingly candid about his struggles with anxiety and depression, which saw him at the age of 24 years old almost walking off a cliff in Ibiza. In The Comfort Book, which I discovered while doing a deep dive into his works after I read The New York Times bestselling worldwide phenomenon The Midnight Library, Haig shares a collection of notes, lists, and stories that serve as a gentle reminder 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 writes “this book is as messy as life” and reminds us to slow down and appreciate the beauty and unpredictability of existence. There is the reassurance of, “It’s Okay”, in which Haig writes, “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 who you are”, to the mindfulness of “Pizza” which states, “The sky isn’t more beautiful if you have perfect skin. Music doesn’t sound more interesting if you have a six-pack. Dogs aren’t better company if you’re famous. Pizza tastes good regardless of your job title. The best of life exists beyond the things we are encouraged to crave”.
The Comfort Book Offers Hope, Gratitude and Simplicity
The beauty of this book, in addition to the life lessons and A-HA moments, is its simplicity. It will tap into the humanity deep inside while offering hope at the same time. As explained on the inside cover, “This is the book to pick up when you need the wisdom of a friend, the comfort of a hug or a reminder that hope comes from unexpected places”.
As we head into what is sure to be the third year of the pandemic (cringe), I know I will be picking up this book more than a few times, if only to be reminded that, “Nothing is stronger than a small hope that doesn’t give up”.
The Bottom Line: 5/5 Brookie Stars
Matt Haig has done it again. With his refreshing honesty and signature wit, he has managed to capture the paradox of being human while reminding readers of their worth and authenticity while practicing self-compassion and getting comfortable with feeling your feelings. I can’t say – or write – enough about this book, except it should have a special place on every book lover’s bookshelf and be made part of the school curriculum so kids grow up knowing it’s okay to feel your feelings, be committed to self-compassion, and that they can get through to the other side even if they are a little broken. After all, as Leonard Cohen sang, “that’s how the light gets in”.
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Andrea Querido is a 40-ish book-loving, introverted word nerd who’s passionate about connection, self-care, personal growth, creating community and, of course, books!
Favourite book: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Favourite brunch spot: Anywhere I don’t have to cook.