A hug in book form – the number one Sunday Times bestselling author of Reasons to Stay Alive rethinks the self-help book.
Nothing is stronger than a small hope that doesn’t give up.
The Comfort Book is a collection of little islands of hope. It gathers consolations and stories that give new ways of seeing ourselves and the world. Matt Haig’s mix of philosophy, memoir and self-reflection builds on the wisdom of philosophers and survivors through the ages, from Marcus Aurelius to Nellie Bly, Emily Dickinson to James Baldwin.
This is the book to pick up when you need the wisdom of a friend, the comfort of a hug or just to celebrate the messy miracle of being alive.
The most powerful moment in life is when you decide not to be scared anymore.
Anyone who has read a Matt Haig book before will know what they’re in for with this one. The Comfort Book is a reassuring, uplifting collection of anecdotes, lessons, advice and reflections to help even the most secure of people feel loved and supported.
There’ll be something for every reader in this book. Some stories won’t resonate, but others will. Some advice won’t help, but there will be advice that will. There’ll be reflections you won’t be able to relate to, and then there’ll be reflections that you will. Sit back, put away your phone, and delve into this book. It’s exactly as the blurb describes — a warm hug, in book form.
“You don’t have to continually improve yourself to love yourself. Love is not something you only deserve 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.”
Like his previous works, this book isn’t very long, and there aren’t a lot of words on the pages. I breezed through this in one sitting, and then found prime placement on my shelf for this book to stand tall.
Each page offers a terse, brief pearl of wisdom, perhaps even a listicle. The Comfort Book allows for reflection and contemplation, and prompts the reader to think beyond the page and into the various aspects of their life. There are a couple of personal stories in here, but mostly this book feels very open-ended, allowing the reader to insert themselves to each scenario that they feel relation to.
“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.”
Stylistically, there is no linear narrative to this book. You can read it in whichever order you would like, as slow as quick as you’d like. Each new page offers a new perspective or learning, so nothing carries over to the next page. This is a great read for people who aren’t seasoned readers, because it doesn’t feel like an overwhelming task to delve in. A beautiful book like this could be a great coffee table gift for a friend, family member or loved one.
“We grow through hard times. Growth is change. And when everything is easy, we have no reason to change. The most painful moments in life expand us. And when the pain leaves, space remains. Space we can fill with life itself.”
Matt Haig’s The Comfort Book should be embraced by all readers, not just those in need of reassurance. It’s a beautiful package and a very quick read, and deserves placement on a bookshelf for those difficult times when you really need a bit of guidance. Readership skews 25+
Thank you to the publisher for sending me a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
The Comfort Book
Allen & Unwin Book Publishers