Steve Stack’s It Is Just You Everything’s Not Shit is a gentle response to the whingers in this world (who’ll find a reason to moan about everything from global warming to the temperature of their morning coffee).
The book is essentially an alphabetized collection of first-world-pleasures. And that’s okay. Because while horrid things will always exist, it’s fine to feel happy when cracking the top of a boiled egg; to feel soothed by Sir David Attenborough’s dulcet tones; and to relish lying in a hot bath reading a book. Basically, Stack is saying yes, there’s shit going down, but appreciate what you have, be grateful, and realise that while you’re busy fretting over the state of the world (and your first-world-problems), there is still lots of ace stuff to put a little ‘Yay!’ in the day.
Stack has a number of entries for each letter of the alphabet and goes into considerable detail for some. Peppered with historical facts, trivia and interviews with inspiring people, the book makes for interesting reading. But the real joy is that it’s thought-provoking. What makes you happy?
I’ve done my own list (without descriptions and justifications, so make of it what you will). Note that it’s not a complete and exhaustive list (I like lots of things that begin with some letters but won’t pretend that x-rays brighten my day).
Dips as a main meal
Globes (and atlases)
John Irving books
Keeping photo albums up-to-date
Mint green nail polish
Opera-length strings of pearls
Quick service when you’re anticipating the opposite
Reading on the beach
Social media from the international space station
4/5 Live a little.