I must admit that upon picking up the book, How to Stay Sane in a Crazy World: A Modern Book of Hours to Soothe the Soul, by Sophia Stuart, I immediately envisioned this quant book to being another benign, run-of-the-mill, 30-something, feel-better-or-die kind of narrative, but the cover of this book was cleverly deceptive. What in fact laid within this text was a story too bittersweet to be fictitious, and too savory to be a self-help reference book, as this was a story that only best be enjoyed with a glass of wine, an open mind, and a heart focused on listening!
The author, Sophia Stuart, is a writer, photographer, and award-winning digital strategist, with nearly twenty years of industry experience in digital products and marketing. Having been voted one of the “Top 21 Social Media Superstars” by Min Online in 2009, she went on to work with a Cosmo, Harper’s BAZAAR, and Esquire in countries including China, India, Italy, France, and South Africa. Stuart sooned turned her ambitions towards photography, personal discovery, and a budding new career as a chronicler and writer, during a months sabbatical from work, after being diagnosed with throat cancer.
During her time of recovery, Stuart used her passion for photography as a vehicle for recovery, not just for herself, but for others as well. Her campaign to be reunited with her former self, physically and mentally, is the stage and groundworks for this novel.
This book itself, as described by the author, is a “modern book of hours,” a title designed to illuminate the comforting thoughts, opinions, and excerpt quotes of the novel. The book is also cleverly divided into three subsections titled, morning, afternoon, and evening;” these subsections help to guide the reader into the progress of both the storey and the authors overall direction of the narrative. The first section, ‘morning – inspiration’, is based on personal inspiration, via a series of uplifting one-liner words of motivation. Section two, ‘afternoon – perspiration’, is the collective knowledge of ten get-up-and-go, activity tips. In the third section, ‘evening – exhalation’, the author beseeches the reader to re-learn to love and discover yourself, by creating a personal Kindness Kit for yourself, and then outlines the simple joys that sipping tea, watching motion pictures, and being engrossed in a great book can do to uplift your entire mood, and being. Stuart also includes a kitschy shopping list, for your Kindness Kit, which includes personal media recommendations as well.
Moreover, the entire book is highlighted by the inspiring collection of the authors personal photos, that can only be regarded as a must see.
Thanks to Sophia Stuart, and her “modern book of hours,” we are all given the permission to think out loud, feel passion, fall apart, and pick ourselves up again. How To Stay Sane In A Crazy World, is like a small small slice of cheesecake for your soul, and a sparkling glass of hope for your mind. This book allows us all to recovery, in our own way.
I would recommend this book for those looking for a Spring pick-me-up, for friends and family in trying times, and as gifts for those retiring and embarking on new journeys in their own lives.
Here’s to not just staying sane in a crazy world, but thriving while we are at it!
In compliance with FTC regulation, I hereby disclaim that I received a free copy of the book from Hay House’s Book Nook Review Program, in exchange for my review. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions of this book, its author, and publisher, are that of my own.