Some Nerve

October 15, 2013 Memoir, non-fiction 13

17707684Title: Some Nerve: Lessons Learned While Becoming Brave
Author: Patty Chang Anker
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Summary: This enjoyable memoir was funny, relatable and incredibly inspiring.

What inspired Patty to try to become brave was the realization that her two daughters were inheriting her timid approach to life. Previously too afraid of failure to try new things, in this book Patty chronicles her adventures facing down her fears and those of others. With input from friends and experts, Patty shares her experience exploring everything from fears of public speaking to the fear of death.

I think of myself as a somewhat timid person, so I enjoy reading books about how to be brave. However, I’m not worried about suddenly finding myself in a war zone or other extraordinary circumstances that require death-defying heroism. I’m afraid of far more mundane things, like failing at something new I try at work. That made this book the perfect book for me to read. I am very grateful to Patty Anker for sharing her emotions so candidly while experiencing every day fears. Her motivations were inspiring; her interviews with experts were thought-provoking; and her thoughts were very relatable. It made me want to get out there and start doing things outside my comfort zone right away.

That said, this is less of a self-help kind of book than the title might suggest. It is very like (and I would therefore recommend it to fans of) both MWF Seeking BFF and The Happiness Project. The point isn’t to get specific advice. It’s to be inspired and to get a glimpse of how amazingly alike we are to other people, despite our differences. Differences like the way the authors of these three books have the ability to write such humorous, touching memoirs that do such a wonderful job capturing a bit of the human experience. Highly recommended.

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13 Responses to “Some Nerve”

    • DoingDewey

      I’m pretty timid myself, so I thought it was encouraging to read about the benefits of pushing yourself to be brave 🙂

    • DoingDewey

      In that case, you might find her section on doing a high ropes course with friends who are afraid of heights particularly interesting. I think the fear I related to most was the fear of failure, but public speaking gets me a bit too!

  1. Aylee (@AyleeArgh)

    Wow, yeah this one sounds like it would be very relatable to me, as well. I actually like that it is not a self-help book. I’m more likely to read it that way. Thanks for bringing this one to my attention, Katie! I think I could get a lot out of this book – adding to my tbr now.

    • DoingDewey

      You make a good point – it might have been a more enjoyable read because it was written as a story, instead of as a more formally organized self-help book.

  2. amynabi

    Sounds like a good read. It is wonderful when you read something and you can relate to what the author is saying.

    • DoingDewey

      It made me feel like I should go try doing something outside of my comfort zone as soon as I finished reading. The author just seemed to get so much out of her experiences 🙂

  3. Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness)

    I have this book on my shelf but haven’t picked it up yet. But your description, about being afraid of some of those regular things, rings true to me. And I like the comparison to The Happiness Project. I’ll have to pick this one up!