“That’s the thing with time, isn’t it? It’s not all the same. Some days – some years – some decades – are empty. There is nothing to them. It’s just flat water. And then you come across a year, or even a day, or an afternoon. And it is everything. It is the whole thing.”
Tom Hazard may look to be in his forties, however he has actually been alive for centuries, the 1500’s to be more precise. As a result of a rare condition that slows down the aging process, Tom has lived through history, from performing with Shakespeare to having cocktails with F. Scott Fitzgerald. But life has also been one of challenges, pain, love, loss, and the desire for a normal life. Tom did fall in love and have a normal life for a period of time, however his unchanging appearance brought on unwanted attention, and he had to leave it all behind. Eventually he returns to London, the city that holds all his most treasured and painful memories, and he feels the possibility of a normal life once again. However, all of this is under the watchful eye of the Albatross Society, and its shadowy leader, Hendrich, who protect people like Tom through some questionable ways. And their main rule is to never fall in love. Continue reading “How to Stop Time by Matt Haig”
“There is no standard normal. Normal is subjective. There are seven billion versions of normal on this planet.”
In Reasons to Stay Alive, author Matt Haig recounts his experience with depression and anxiety. It is part memoir and part self-help book, which very effectively describes what it is like to live with depression and anxiety while at the same time being informative and comforting.
Matt Haig is the author of one of my favourite books, The Humans. When I learned that the first Canadian edition of Reasons to Stay Alive was being released, I didn’t hesitate to pick it up. I found it to be one of the best books regarding mental health that I have come across. It shares very personal experiences, emotions, and struggles that are described and presented in a relatable way.
“When you are depressed you feel alone, and that no one is going through quite what you are going through. You are so scared of appearing in any way mad you internalise everything, and you are so scared that people will alienate you further you clam up and don’t speak about it, which is a shame, as speaking about it helps.”
The author breaks everything down into a simple and easy to read format, using lists along with short and concise chapters. Reasons to Stay Alive is brave, honest, and hopeful. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone, whether you struggle with depression/anxiety or have a loved one who is.
“Talk. Listen. Encourage talking. Encourage listening. Keep adding to the conversation. Stay on the lookout for those wanting to join in the conversation. Keep reiterating, again and again, that depression is not something you ‘admit to’, it is not something you have to blush about, it is a human experience.”