Cover Image: Belong


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Member Reviews

Unfortunately my Amazon account got hacked numerous times and I closed my account. When closing the account, I lost all of my electronic kindle ARCs from netgalley under that email including this title which I am unable to review
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Too much self promotion., most of this book is just her promoting Daybreakers, her morning dance, rave company book is not what I expected. I'm not sure what I expected, to be fair, but it wasn't this.
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This was a disappointment, but at least it was a quick read. It ended up incredibly surface level, full of gimmicky acronyms/concepts (Red Ego/Green Ego, V.I.C, FYF, FSF, etc.) and page-count-bloating illustrations, while not actually diving into how to create community and connect with people in a more fulfilling way. It felt like her definition of community had more to do with shared activities than authentic connection. She also used her own company (Daybreaker) as an example of community-building over and over again, so it came across as a bit of a commercial (and she ends the book by saying she's starting a consulting business for community building, of course)
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I believe this was the first book I requested from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  I wasn't quite sure of the process and didn't read it until now.  I enjoyed the book and honestly find it even more relevant in this time where many of us aren't getting much social interaction due to Co-vid.  It's basically a "find your tribe" book, explaining how to find the right people to surround yourself with based on your values.  The author made some good points about the use of social media and how it lulls us into a false sense of community.
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It’s hard to find a community or friends as an adult and I really wanted to like this book. However, I felt it was both overly simplistic with its ideas and complicated with too many unnecessary acronyms.  I definitely feel like there are better books out there on the subject. 

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review this book,
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Thankyou Workman  Publishing and Netgalley for an ARC of this book.

Radha guides the reader, providing tools and ideas into how to make your place in a community.  As someone who relocates regularly this was an enjoyable, useful book.  Radha highlights the deep importance of having “your tribe” on our overall well being.  
This book is super useful for anyone with an impending move, or for anyone who is feeling surrounded but alone in their environment.
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Unfortunately, I was unable to get into this title. It just wasn't a good fit for me. Thanks so much for the opportunity to read this title. I will not be posting a review online, in order not to skew the ratings.
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Such an enjoyable read. Besides the great writing, there is other great content hidden in this book: the illustrations. I just adored all those little illustrations and doodles that help you visualize a concept and stay on your mind more easily. (At least for a visual learner like me).

"Belong" is a book full advice and activities, or almost like homework, where the author presents you with actionable advice.

This book could be followed to the T and used as a blueprint with the various exercises and actions included in it, or just like a guide and inspiration to know where to start looking for a connection in your life. Personally, I prefer the option of finding inspiration and reading about some else's point of view and advice. I'm a free spirit, and can't always follow blueprints step by step, so I adapt it to my way of life, and of course, so can you. 

For whatever reason you might be looking to connect with your community, this book is a great read. Maybe you changed jobs, moved, or started school/college in a new city. No matter the reason, this little book is sure to give you the nudge you need and with great ideas on how to get started.

And although the community building and "belonging" is the main focus of this book, it also has sections on self-awareness, to ask questions about yourself. 

The part that impacted me the most is about her acronym D.O.S.E., and how we need a daily "D.O.S.E." of Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, and Endorphins.
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More and more frequently people feel disconnected from the world and from themselves. This interactive book not only inspires but provides a blueprint to find yourself and find your people.
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I liked the formatting of this book. It was easy to read and understand. The concepts are good. It could have been more indepth, however, this is a good starting point.
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Just the self-help book we need in these divided times. Helps you find yourself, your voice and your community so you can create nurturing environments for yourself and those around you,
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Belong by Radha Agrawal is about connecting with people by joining and building communities. The premise is we all feel happier when we are connected to other people. In fact, Radha says “having weak social ties is as harmful to our health as being an alcoholic, and twice as harmful as obesity” – scary.

The aim of the book is for you to become “aware of who you are and intentional about what you want so that you can go out and build your dream community.” Therefore the book includes sections on understanding yourself and caring for your own wellbeing and energy levels as well as interacting with other people.

I really liked this book. It has helped me understand more about myself, what I can do to build communitities and actions other people have taken to build communitities. For example, eating together and dressing up. During my life, I haven’t been to many fancy dress parties, but I’ve been to two this year and had an amazing time. Probably because as Radha says “life is way more fun when we make excuses to dress up. When you dress up together, there’s a camaraderie that’s created and you feel a deeper sense of belonging.”

The only negative I have about the book is the use of so many acronymns such as FYF (fuck year friend) and FOBLO (fear of being left out). Some of them were used through out the book and I didn’t remember what they were so I had to keep looking back to remind myself.

I highly recommend Belong to people who want a greater sense of belonging or just want some tips on how to build a strong community. I’ll finish with a quote that is my biggest take away from the book “the big secret to keeping community alive is to Give Give Give.”
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If you are either feeling like you don’t have enough friends or your friendships aren’t nourishing and supporting you the way you’d like, this book provides guidance on finding friends who will align with your values and interests, understand and accept you, and fill your emotional tank.

If you’re interested in organizing a community, this book offers some practical steps to take and suggests some helpful questions to answer to help you design a sustainable community with a clear goal.

The author provides some amazing statistics and health claims. For example, she noted that a study found that “Having poor social connections is as bad as being an alcoholic and twice as bad as being obese.” Unfortunately, she did not provide a citation for that study, so I was unable to refer to the original source to learn more.

I liked the idea of getting to know yourself better so you can be intentional about choosing compatible friends and community. I love the sections discussing personal and community core values, and how by defining the core values and constraints of a community, “you know if it’s your thing, and if it’s not.” I also liked the idea of selecting your friends and designing your community as an act of “thoughtful energy curation.” I appreciated the helpful reminder that “Expectations are resentments waiting to happen,” as well as the suggestion to turn judgment into curiosity.

I was less fond of the author’s invention of multiple new acronyms, which I had trouble remembering. Also, I think the book will probably appeal more to energetic young extroverts than middle-aged introverts like me who cringe at the thought of saying “F*ck yeah” (a phrase the author is fond of).

I was provided an ARC through NetGalley that I volunteered to review. Because I have not seen the final published version, I cannot comment on the final editing and formatting. However, the ARC had minimal proofreading errors, and the quirky formatting and graphics added charm and helped the book stand apart.
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Belong opens up with Agrawal's own discovery that she was surrounding herself with the wrong community. She then guide her readers to become introspective and to delve deep on what they really want from the community they are in and how they can be better versions of themselves in order to attract and contribute to that community they want. The second part of the book gives the readers the advice and tools they need to create the community they want to belong to; how to deal with conflict, how to plan events, etc.
Agrawal not only gives her readers the tools to building their own community, she also periodically stops that readers to offer engaging exercises. Very relevant points are made on the false sense of community that social media offers its users and  the negative effects a toxic community can have. There are valuable lessons to be learned and all readers can gain knowledge on how to create a healthy self and community.
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This book gets right down to one of the biggest dilemmas of the modern age: how to find your community and real connection when we're playing out our lives on social media, and comparing ourselves and how we measure up to everyone else on a world-wide scale, via carefully curated news feeds. Sitting on the computer leaves us depressed and disaffected, while we are posing for 'grammable photos that look aspirational but in fact make us feel like Ingrid Goes West.   We forget we need to go out and talk to other people.  We forget how to have a casual conversation.  We forget what we are doing with our lives to begin with, and how did we become so alienated and frustrated?  This, humans, is a great way to dive in and remedy your deep existential crisis.  Capitalism tells you to compete to be the best, but it forgot to tell you how to be a person among other people.  This text is very fun and easy to dive into, the illustrations are engaging, and it is an extremely approachable guide with well-thought out exercises to work as a springboard to get you back into life, help you connect with others authentically, and give you a sense of fulfillment you know has been missing from your existence for as long as you can remember.   I'm impressed that Agrawal can take such a profound subject matter and make it so accessible and obtainable.  Readers who are miffed at her social/financial access are missing the point.  The focus here is to emphasize your personal interests and values, and apply that to life to participate in a community where you feel good about your own value and can equally value others. Gratitude exercises frequently come up in self-help and this one is no exception.  I really love this book, the concept, ideas, map, and overall execution are fantastic and I'm wholly impressed with how this addressed a lot of ???s I've had about how to approach other people in my own life.  I advise this for anyone feeling disconnected from other people.  It will teach you ideas that you can use for the rest of your life.  Read it!
Amazon reviewer ID: mink arcade
Goodreads reviewer ID: Summer Petersen
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This is an amazing  primer on building  your own   supportive community .I liked the authors  layout of the story   and how they approached the topic.
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This is a very quick and easy read dealing with the importance of having a group to form bonds and connect with. While it does not go into great detail on the different psychological mechanisms involved with connection it does give the broad overview and it does beautifully convey the superficial meaning with very on point illustrations. What it does do is give guidelines for building your own groups from scratch. In this regard it does what is the basic imperative for getting people to act. First explain the importance of the what you want people to do and then second tell people how to do it. If you are looking for the deep understanding of importance for humans of social boding, a book like Tribe and many others would be a better read. However, this book fills a gap that those books do not. It gives an illustrated guide on a superficial level of the importance of those connections and a motivational how to guide for going out there and creating a better life for yourself. This book is excellent for what it is and the gap it fills.

Thanks to NetGalley, the author, and the publishers for supplying a free ARC of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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Looking forward to building a stronger sense of community with the help of this book.  A fun mixture of text and graphics and sections that allow for self-reflection and tasks to incite actualization.
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3,5 stars

I chose this book mainly because of the cover and the title, so I didn't know much about what to expect.
The first few chapters really got my attention, especially because they focused on paying attention to ourselves and to what we are feeling. It got me thinking about myself, and the few exercises the author suggests are helpful to help you analyze the good and bad things about your current situation.

Another positive thing about this book was the fact that it had several illustrations that helped to explain the author's message and made the reading less boring and more enjoyable.

However, towards the end, I have to say that I lost some interest in reading this, and it was probably due to the use of several abstract definitions created by the author. Seeing all those made up terms that, to me, were a little unnecessary, made me kind of zone out once in a while. 

Overall, it was an interesting read, but nothing Iife-changing.
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Simplistic advice about connecting to others in person and not just via social media. Author gives suggestions on widening your circle of support and how to engage others in your community.
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