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The author's desire to bring up daughters unafraid to try new things—despite her own unforgiving parents, who refused to accept failure—leads this suburban mother and blogger (www.upside-down-patty.blogspot.com) to explore the everyday fears that prevent people from living their lives. As children, many folks develop intense aversions to relatively benign activities like swimming, biking, or public speaking, and these fears often extend unhealthily into adulthood. Anker sets out to dismantle these childhood phobias by changing the sense of herself that she's come to accept. En route she finds tons of encouragement—and offers it too, mentoring her children, as well as adults she meets at her local coffee shop, a writer's retreat, and a soul-baring Toastmasters meeting. Anker shows that the key to success is finding a teacher who is willing to meet you where you are, and having a friend nearby who is both willing to believe in you and make sure you don't chicken out. This warm memoir is not a traditional self-help book, yet the joy that Anker and her peers feel when they allow themselves to be beginners—even after the age of 40—will be motivation enough for can't-do readers to take steps toward making their lives a little bigger and better. Agent: Brettne Bloom; Kneerim, Williams & Bloom. (Oct.)
After being cautious her whole life, Anker, creator of the blog, Facing Forty Upside Down, sets out to discover what happens when she takes some risks. A self-described “child of Tiger parents,” Anker wants to set a more courageous example for her own young daughters. She chronicles her efforts to learn how to surf, relearn how to ride a bike, conquer stage fright, and even face her fears about death. She also interviews people who have common fears, such as those of public speaking and heights, and experts, including therapists and coaches, who help people deal with anxiety and learn new skills as adults. The book bears similarities to Gretchen Rubin’s best-selling The Happiness Project (2011), another blog-derived self-improvement book filled with personal experience and practical advice. Though the lessons learned become repetitive, readers will appreciate Anker’s honesty and humor throughout the journey and may be inspired to perform their own brave acts. --Aleksandra WalkerSee all Editorial Reviews
Excellent read I truly enjoyed and can relate to fears she expressed in the book. I will definitely have my friends read it.Published 3 months ago by messa
Just o.k . it mainly just talks about watching her kid grow, does have one or two chapters on how to be more or outgoing.Published 5 months ago by michael j valenti
Inspiration to becoming brave when fear has you in its grip. Read how one woman did just that. My fear is driving in heavy traffic. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Baxanna McClure
It is fascinating to share Patty's journey through her fears. She is a thoughtful, honest narrator, candidly sharing her greatest fears. Read morePublished 9 months ago by crackerjackheart
I love this book! Excellent reading for a 40 plus year reader. It has helped me break out of my "safe zone!"Published 9 months ago by Jodi Overturf
This book has helped me in some areas and kicked me into gear I hope in others.
I look at the overall book as more of an inspirational you can do it kind of thing. Read more
As a suburban mother of two, this book was close to home! I don't face my fears as methodically as Patty, but I definitely recognize some of the same stumbling blocks - clutter,... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Isabella B. Bannerman
Simply inspiring. Some Nerve is divided into chapters devoted to challenges the author herself had to confront—many of which were familiar to me. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Ava Chin