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Some Nerve: Lessons Learned While Becoming Brave Hardcover – October 10, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover; 9.10.2013 edition (October 10, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594486050
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594486050
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #328,246 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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.)

From Booklist

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 Walker

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Customer Reviews

You'll be laughing at loud, and feel touched at the same time.
Kenny O.
This book is a great guide to getting over those fears and having a more fulfilling life as a result.
Lynn Ellingwood
Thank you for telling your inspiring story with bravery, honesty, and humor.
Timothy Greene

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Judi Fryer VINE VOICE on September 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Having experienced more than my share of, mostly baseless, anxiety and fear in my life I thought this book would be of special interest to me, and I was right. Not certain I have ever totally understood or knew the origin for my anxiety-filled life, but it was there and I had to face it and fight it in order to achieve any joy in life.

Ms. Anker's very detailed and inspiring book about her own fight to break the hold of fear and the examples and advice of others that she has interviewed offers a personal look at the problem and methods to resolve the restraints in life that one must deal with and conquer if they live a life of fear, but wish to live a more normal and fulfilled life style.

Many of my personal problems I have resolved on my own over the years to where I believed I was living a pretty fulfilling life when I consider where I started from; but reading Ms. Anker's book "Some Nerve" opened my eyes to the fact that there is still farther down the road to freedom from fear that I can travel in my journey to a full, anxiety-free life.

For those who suffer from anxiety and are dealing with fears of what other individuals consider as 'regular life' this book offers in clear, non-technical details and from a very personal standpoint so much valuable information and so many ideas to think about to help the fear-ridden break the chains and strains of anxiety and motivate them to start to move into a joyful, fun, relaxed life. For the reader who has never dealt with facing and beating anxious fear, "Some Nerve" is a very well-written book about methods for achieving success over one's self that the reader will still find inspiring and rewarding.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By scesq VINE VOICE on October 31, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I love this book despite the fact that I am a single man who seems to have little in common with the author. I do come from a background where the world was viewed as a dangerous place and I was only to take chances when I absolutely had to do so. As a result, I needed to read this book.

The author is open an honest about the fears she faces in life. I have a number of the same fears. Acknowledging one's fears to others is not an easy thing to do but after reading this book I will be more open to doing so.

For me there are two key messages in this book which are not new but are important. The first is fears need to be challenged because once a person gets accustomed to listening to those fears the fears become even stronger and multiply. The other is the need to get help because it is easier to face fears with others by our side.

This is not so much a self-help book but rather a book about a woman with two children in her 40's realizing it is not too late to challenge lifelong fears. The self-help come in learning lessons that the author learned from others and realizing that if she can change her life, you can as well.

Patty Chang Awker comes across as a humble, nice, friendly person with whom both men and woman can identify. I wish I could go up to her and talk about my fear of swimming in the ocean or my fear of heights, knowing that she would be supportive and let me know that I could conquer those fears if I wanted to do so. Reading this book is the next best thing to doing that.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin T Imig on October 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Anker is a first-rate story teller, who uses plenty of humor and compassion while challenging herself to face her own fears, try new things, and re-define her notions about herself and her potential. I love how Anker champions the fears of her friends and peers as well--often to life-changing ends.

Some Nerve is not only compelling reading, it motivated me to consider challenging myself more--not just to face fear, but also to expand my ideas about what I'm capable of and increase the fun-quotient in my life.

As I face 40, this book was the kick in the pants I needed!

--Ann Imig
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Peter A. Hauck VINE VOICE on October 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Review of "Some Nerve: Lessons Learned While Becoming Brave" by Patty Chang Anker. I was sent a copy of this text from Vine in exchange for an honest review.

Having an interest in leadership and self-improvement/growth publications I was intrigued with the author's tagline "lessons learned while becoming brave."

In her auto-biography of her self-ascribed omniphobia (fear of everything) Patty Chang Anker decides to become a role model for her daughters. She works on herself and with her children to overcome her (and their) collective fears of heights, water, driving, flying, death, public speaking, etc.

I enjoyed the premise that Patty Chang Anker's realization that she was spending too much time on the sidelines of life and thus decided to "become brave" to begin to live a fuller life (and inspire her daughters to do the same). Anker's journey was not chronicled alone and she shares the challenges and victories of other people she met along the way. She also provides anecdotes and gold nuggets of wisdom along the way from layperson and expert alike.

An interesting read you can consume in a weekend but retain the message for a lifetime. Well done. Five stars without reservation.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Saperstein HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
All of us, from time to time, wonder about the real details of someone else's life. In high school, I wondered if the best looking girls in my classes were as lonely as I was. Over the years, other have piqued my curiosity as well. But for the most part, like most of us, I have no interest in most people's lives. Aside from family and friends, why bother?

But here we have Patty Chang Anker telling us a great many details of both her outer and inner lives as she tries to overcome her omniphobia - her fear of everything - in attempt to remodel her thinking before her 40th birthday.

She begins describing her anxiety about everything, her unwillingness to let anything go; the clutter of her household, the stresses, strains and pleasures of mothering two adopted daughters, both of whom have special needs, her relationship with her husband.

Many writers would drive readers away with such an outpouring.

But Patty is an excellent writer, recording the first moments of her resolve to overcome her many fears through the final moments of the book where a liberated Patty has become not only a 40 year old woman, but an adventurous person who has learned to face her fears and overcome them.

It's a good story, entertaining and uplifting enough to have kept this reader surprisingly involved for all 348 pages.

In fact, Patty Chang Anker has inspired me to face a few of my fears and try to face them down.

Jerry
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