Saturday, 5 December 2015

Why I'm grateful for Felicia Day's book

Hi everyone! Today's post is going to be a bit more personal. Recently, I was asked by Penguin Random House Canada to say a little bit about the best book that's ever been recommended to me. I honestly don't have an all-time favourite book, so I decided to think about all the books I've read this year. One stood out: Felicia Day's You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost).

I've been a Felicia Day fan since I found out about The Guild and have since been able to see her in everything from TV shows (Buffy and Supernatural) to web series (Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog) to the YouTube channel she co-created (Geek & Sundry).

She's hilarious, relatable, and so geeky, which are all things I loved about this book...she's also very honest about hard times she's been through and continues to deal with, specifically anxiety and depression. I've been dealing with anxiety my entire life - I have memories from when I was a small child where I was extremely worried about things that a lot of people wouldn't see as a big deal. My mom has told me stories of how panicked I would get when we were about to go somewhere I'd never been, meet someone I'd never met, or do something I'd never done. I continue to struggle with these kinds of feelings to this day, and I can tell you that as hard as it is sometimes, and as much as I would never wish these feelings on anyone else, it's so comforting to read another person's experience with anxiety and depression. These stories let you know you're not alone.

She also talks about her addiction to video games that took up almost two years of her life. I practically cried through the whole of chapter 5 because of how much I related to what she was saying, though rather than video games, I've used movies as my solace. Reading her story and realizing that she, someone I admire, has gone through some very similar things to me and has still managed to carve out a great career and life for herself, gave me the push I needed to get some help dealing with my own anxiety and depression.
Clearly so excited

I was lucky enough to attend a book signing here in Toronto a few months ago and hoped to let her know a little bit about how much her book and her honesty meant to me, but there were so many people there that night so there wasn't enough time! Instead, I spent the day fangirling every time she favourited one of my tweets.

I didn't used to read autobiographies or memoirs because I thought, "Why would I want to spend part of my life reading about someone else's?" But over the past year, my opinion on the genre has really shifted. I've found it so inspiring to read about the struggles that people who I admire, or whose work I enjoy, have gone through.

We see actors, authors, musicians - anyone in the public eye, really - and we think they must have it so good because they're living their dream. And while that's often true, it doesn't mean that these people have had it easy, or that they no longer struggle with mental illness or other issues. A lot, if not most, of them have had to overcome some major obstacles and failure to get to where they are now.

I'm grateful for this book because it made me feel like I wasn't alone. Logically, I knew that before because there are so many people out there with anxiety and/or depression, but sometimes I still felt like no one could relate. And for that reason I want to say, Felicia, if you ever read this: thank you.

This book is just one example of why books are some of the best gifts you can give: they let you know you're not alone. Shout-out to Christine over at Padfoot's Library for recommending this one to me!

If you guys are looking to buy books as gifts this year, but aren't sure what to get for someone, you should definitely check out the Penguin Hotline! They recommend books from all different publishers, so you know they really mean what they're recommending. Plus, you get a chance to win the books you've been recommended!

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

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