Cover Image: The Comfort Crisis

The Comfort Crisis

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Member Reviews

If you're looking for a self-help book on the benefits of discomfort and how to embrace it, you'll get only a little bit of that in this book. If, on the other hand, you're looking for a narrative about a man who left a workaholic life and found redemption in immersive, deep-backcountry hunting trips, you will enjoy this book.

In fact, if you're a hunter or fan of biographies, you'll love this book because it's primarily a recounting of those trips, or "misogis," he went on, as well as his treks to meet sages and experts in things like achieving happiness in humble circumstances. It's from those trips and treks that he puts together what I would call a unique combination of ways to achieve discomfort. They include things like moving out of cities, ditching your cell phone, getting comfortable with hunger and the idea of death, and exercising.

I, unfortunately, am not a hunter, although I am a fan of biographies. And I had hoped to see a more concrete dive into the benefits of discomfort, not just that caused by too much work or withdrawal from alcohol, but also by other sources like life difficulties, illnesses, family drama, etc. And I wanted a more concrete dive into the ways one can achieve discomfort. I wanted to see steps or recommendations. But I was provided with neither, at least none that were named as such. I wanted less "modern life is bad for you" (because I already know that) and more "here's how the common person can achieve a reasonable amount of discomfort to move forward in life."

So the fact that I was disappointed may be on me because I formed expectations of the book based on the title and description. But the fact that so much of the book is about his extreme hunting trips seems like a recommendation in and of itself, one I didn't feel was realistic. As another reviewer of this book said, "Not everyone's idea of getting back to nature means hunting. And not everyone's idea of being healthy means doing what Navy SEALS do."

Too, although I enjoyed reading about his treks to meet with monks, sages, and experts, I don't feel like I gained anything I didn't already know, such as the evils of getting too comfortable on the couch. And such descriptions and the points they related to tended to be laborious and long.

So, if you're part of this book's target audience, congratulations! Enjoy. If not, or if you're looking for anything like self-help, look elsewhere.
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I enjoyed this book and I liked the combination of data/research intertwined with the journey he describes. The back and forth has a way to providing important context to this topic while we get deeper into the adventure he describes spending 33 days across the remote Arctic back-country. He challenges reader to not sleepwalk through life in terms of being aware of patterns we may be stuck into and come more into presence AND the importance of doing something new every day. The misogi idea is intimidating to think about, but I appreciate the concept and need to challenge ourselves to be uncomfortable. He also describes how important boredom and disconnection (from technology and frenetic lives) is for helping us recharge and to better know ourselves. 

We interviewed Michael for the The Curiosity Hour Podcast (episode 185) and he talked about writing that improves lives, the need to acknowledge our mortality, the importance of creating your own misogi self-challenge, and his journey to create this book.
https://soundcloud.com/thecuriosityhourpodcast/s09-e185-michael_easter
(also available free on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Soundcloud, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, Podbean, Overcast, PlayerFM, Castbox, and Pocket Casts).

Note: I voluntarily requested, read, and reviewed this book. Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for sending me a temporary digital advance reading copy/advance review (ARC) galley of this book in exchange for an honest review. As always, my opinions are my own and do not represent my co-host or the podcast. I request, read, and review many books prior to publication to explore possible future guests for the podcast. I wish we could interview the author of every one of these books because I'm so impressed by the creativity, thoughtfulness, and wisdom shared through the temporary books I get through NetGalley.
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I don’t usually read self help books and after this book I may have to start reading more. I really liked this book. It was very informative and really made me think about things, and I thought it was pretty relevant to what’s happening now especially being stuck at home for a year due to the pandemic. What I really loved though was how Michael Easter threw in an adventure story mixed in with all the facts. It was the perfect balance of learning and being entertained at the same time. I even watched Donnie’s YouTube videos because I wanted to know what he looked like because he cracked me up.
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I’m not sure what I was expecting here, but this was not it. The tone was way off for me and I didn’t finish it.
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I found this book informative but didn't like the format. It was half data dump and half adventure story. It jumped between the two but didn't always make sense why. I thought it would have been helpful to have takeaways or exercises to come away with so this could be more actionable. There were some nuggets of info that I really resonated with so overall I did enjoy the read.
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His book was written really well but it just wasn’t for me unfortunately..............................................
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An interesting book, that led to several wonderful discussions with my husband and friends. The idea that we are so programed to seek comfort, and are now so dependent on it that we are afraid of living resonated with us. The idea that pushing ourselves outside the everyday norm sounds practical to appreciate and view things differently. At times it felt a bit didactic though, and repetitive, but basically I really enjoyed this book and the concept of thinking and living outside the same old same old. If you feel you are in a rut, or want to be a bit adventurous, read this book. It gives a lot of food for thought, and I highly recommend it and the author. Fun touches of humor helps the flow and interest of the topic.
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In many ways, we're more comfortable than ever before. But could our sheltered, temperature-controlled, overfed, under-challenged lives actually be the leading cause of many our most urgent physical and mental health issues? In this gripping investigation, award-winning journalist Michael Easter seeks out off-the-grid visionaries, disruptive genius researchers, and mind-body conditioning trailblazers who are unlocking the life-enhancing secrets of a counterintuitive solution: discomfort.
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How frustrating is it to be told by all the different sources the things you must do to be successful in life? This book definitely does NOT do that. It instead takes an empathetic approach and gives bite size approaches and allows you to have kindness and patience with yourself when dealing with life. This is so necessary for everyone to read in life. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
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I received an advance copy of, The Comfort Crisis by Michael Easter. I did not like this book, It was boring actually, and not interesting at all.
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