I must admit... It took me awhile to write this review because it wasn't exactly what I expected when I received it. How to Stay Sane in a Crazy World turned out to be a lovely book, however. It's one of those books that you find stocked on the shelves at many gift shops. At first, I was a bit disappointed when I received it in the mail because in all honesty, it reminded me of a picture book for adults. I was expecting something with a little more "meat" in it. I'm one of those avid readers and was expecting something more of a novel. Whereas, this was something I could literally read in one sitting. So for the $17.95 price tag, it seemed a little steep. Keep in mind, this was just my first impression.
The author, Sophia Stuart, is the creator of the blog, teamgloria.com. The name Gloria, originated as the free spirit angel character from a screenplay written by Sophia. The blog became a documentation of the "glorious" things around her, and gained a nice community of followers and supporters. This came in especially helpful when Sophia was diagnosed with tumor in her throat. She felt that the blog gave her enormous courage and inspiration....and that is how the actual book came to be.
It reminds me a bit of a scrap book, filled with one woman's collection of beautiful photography, inspirational ideas, and well-- fun. I'm usually not one for books that are seriously depressing, being in my 20s (let's be honest) and that's not to sound harsh or naive to what goes on in the world. But I, personally, prefer uplifting material that makes me feel happy. And surprisingly, this book delivered just that. The story of her personal struggle was there, yes. And it was necessary for the reader to understand how all of these ideas came to form. But more than that, I found beauty in this book. I am always looking for beauty, be it through things that nourish the body or the mind. I just love connecting with things I find beautiful and things that good for the soul.
The book is divided into three sections--morning, afternoon, and evening. I thought this was a cute idea. (And it reminded me of the Twilight saga concept, which was cool.) Morning is basically inspirational things such as her hopes and dreams. Afternoon is the "business of the world", so to speak. The less glamorous aspect of life. The actual work. And of course, evening is a time to relax and unwind. Basically, looking after yourself.
The book itself is over 100 pages, so it's not short by any means... But much of it is filled with her own personal photography from everyday life--nature, places, art. She reminds us to play and enjoy life, which I thought was really beautiful. She mentions things like books and music playlists, as something enjoyable to do to care for one's self and make things pleasant while going through a difficult time. She even recommends tons of her own personal faves, to help you gain inspiration. Many of the pages are just a few sentences. However the intro, and a few other sections can get wordy. You will do some reading in addition to looking a lovely photographs.
If you know someone who is struggling with a difficult time in their life, or someone who is stuck and just so caught up in the negatives of their situation...I think this would add some light to their day. It's really just a fun, pretty read. It isn't to "heavy" to digest (it's not going to bring you down like I was originally worried about, it's much more likely to lift you up). It's a light and lovely read.
Perhaps for Mother's Day, which is soon, this book with a candle or picture frame or a snuggly blanket would make a great affordable gift idea. I think it would be appropriate for any generation--mom, grandma, aunt, cousin, etc.
I definitely enjoyed it and am passing in down to my own aunt (who lives a few states away) as a nice "thinking of you" gift. And I have faith that she will love it and hopefully pass it along to another deserving lady in her life when she is finished with it! :)
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with teamgloria.com. All opinions are my own. I was however sent this book for free in exchange for an honest review via hayhouse books. I promise that I will always give you guys the best, most honest critique I can. I'm not going to tell anyone to go buy this book if it isn't something that I enjoyed myself!
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