Cover Image: Ten Steps to Nanette

Ten Steps to Nanette

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Member Reviews

This is one of those stories that sticks with you long after you finish the written portion. Hannah Gadsby's Nanette show and her written memoir are both poignant pieces of queer media meant to be treasured and passed on.
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Nanette was a game changer for its audience and creator, even the art of stand-up itself. I, personally, was deeply impacted by the Netflix special upon its release and Hannah's subsequent special Douglas. The moment this book was announced I *knew* I needed to read it.

I am so glad that I did.

Hannah lays out her path to Nanette, not the creation of a stand-up special but the culmination of her life experiences that led to the raw anger and vulnerability that she shared with us on stage. Much like the special, I found myself laughing, crying, and settling into uncomfortable tensions. I cannot recommend this book enough, though it is important to look up any trigger warnings before going in.  

Hannah Gadsby is a living legend and I am so grateful for her voice.
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I learned a great deal reading Hannah Gadsby's Nanette, not only about Gadsby herself but also about the worlds of autism and standup comedy. Nanette is terrifically funny but mostly brutally honest: sometimes painfully so. Gadsby does an excellent job of communicating her inner thoughts and external reactions through joy, heartache, and even abuse. This isn't an easy read but is certainly worthwhile for anyone who loves Gadsby's work as well as for anyone who is curious about her based on her specials. Recommended!
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I am just so utterly obsessed with Hannah Gadsby. As with many other people, I first heard of her because of Nanette, so I greatly appreciated reading about her life and her creative process leading up to the special. I knew that she had experienced large amounts of trauma in her life, but reading about the adversity and struggles she has endured made me so grateful she is still on this earth. As an autistic genderqueer lesbian, reading about her figuring out her identities and coming into her own was so meaningful and personal to me. I struggled with some of the same issues as her and it made me understand not just that I am not alone, but also that I can persevere. I appreciate everything she does and creates and I am so happy to see her success.
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If you've seen Hannah Gadsby perform live or on one of her Netflix specials, you know that her voice is wholly original and absolutely authentic. It's a joy to read Ten Steps to Nanette and hear that voice so clearly captured on the page. But knowing Gadsby is not a prerequisite to enjoying and appreciating her memoir, which is, I hope, just the first of at least several. Nor is Ten Steps a book of comedy. Rather, it's Gadsby's origin story, and, in some ways, a message of hope, empathy, and even a bit of how-to for queer humans, women, the neurodivergent, and those who love them. Gadsby's descriptions of her feelings and sensations are visceral and terribly painful, although she doesn't wax sentimental... that's not in her skillset. What she does is inspire those feelings in the reader. She did the same with her performance of Nanette, but the delivery device operates entirely differently. This is why her talents are so impressive, as is her persistence, as is her grit and determination to work around an obstacle to reach her destination. Gadsby has generously and courageously opened a window into her thinking that is fresh and unique, moving and terrifying. But the reader needn't worry. There are well-earned laugh out loud moments throughout, as well. Life would be unbearable without them. READ THIS BOOK.
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This book was difficult to read but in the way it was also difficult to watch Nanette. It is so well written and so raw and vulnerable that you feel exposed just reading about it. I don’t know if I’ve read anything by someone as self-aware as Hannah Gadsby. If you like Hannah’s work so far, I think this is a brilliant and necessary read. Honestly, I feel like more people could stand to listen to other people’s stories and expand their world views. But she also talks about some very serious and possibly triggering topics so I understand that this might not be a read for everyone. All in all, really well written and highly recommended.
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Its rare to read a memoir where it feels like the subject is talking directly to you, but in Ten Steps to Nanette it feels like Gadsby is talking directly to you. Her asides, and interludes that clue you in to the world (or area) events going on at the time, really make you feel like you're living in the moment with her. 

I felt like I had a great insight to Gadsby after watching Nanette, but this book proved that it didn't even show us the tip of the ice berg.
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Hannah Gadsby has a magical way with words, a fact fans of her comedy special are well aware of. This memoir shows just how precisely Gadsby can make you laugh, think, and cry in one short anecdote. From Gadsby's youth to entering the comedy scene to the creating the show that made her an international sensation, this book was funny and thought-provoking in equal measure. I imagine it makes a fantastic audiobook, since I could hear it in Gadsby's voice from the writing!
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Really loved this memoir. You can almost hear Hannah Gadsby reading the words to you, and there is so much information packed in along with her story of growing up and becoming herself that are at turns hilarious, depressing, outrageous, heartbreaking, and inspiring. Hannah Gadsby is a survivor with an unflinching take on her own life, and she doesn't mince words or excuse people who don't deserve it. 

I highly, highly recommend this book to anyone who's seen Nanette, or grew up not sure why they didn't fit in, or who had family and friends that didn't understand them.
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If you're a fan of memoirs or Hannah Gadsby's comedy special, "Nanette" you'll love this book.

Hannah Gadsby tells her life story alongside broader cultural and historical context concerning the gay rights movement in Australia. I particularly liked the parts when she talked about her start in comedy as well as the process of writing "Nanette."

Gadsby writes a bit about her past traumas, so be careful to check content warnings before reading.

Thank you, NetGalley, for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I watched Nanette when it came on Netflix, and I was in awe. The content was an absolute punch in the gut, rendered by a comedian who delivered each "punchline" with the perfect inflections and timing. Hannah Gadsby is a great comedian. When Douglass premiered on Netflix, I watched with rapt attention on the edge of my seat as Hannah Gadsby gave another fantastic performance.

Truthfully, I was a little wary of this book at first. Even though it was Hannah Gadsby, I was a little nervous to read this book because I didn't know what to expect. However, I shouldn't have worried.

If you thought Nanette was a punch in the gut, this book was a whole body slam.

This book gave a lot of context to the "jokes" presented in Nanette, and when watching the show after reading this book, the jokes felt deeper and landed even harder. Ten Steps to Nanette (a memoir situation) was a recounting of Hannah Gadsby's life up to the point of her ground-breaking show Nanette. While a little slow at points, it was worth the setup. Honestly, though, even the slow bits I didn't mind because listening to Hannah Gadsby's voice and delivery is mesmerizing, and I found every time I put this book down, I couldn't wait to pick it back up. There was just something about it that grabbed my attention and wouldn't let me go.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine for a copy of this ARC in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.
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WOW, ok. Hannah Gadsby is an excellent comedian and, no surprise, that carries over into her writing as well. This book is very well written and her voice and personality rings true. It's probably one of the most authentic books I'll ever read. She dives into her life, her comedy, and her experiences walking the world as an autistic, queer woman. She is unapologetically and unabashedly herself and does a fantastic job of contextualizing both herself and her work. The second chapter in particularly is quite long, but excellent in content. Once I got through that, I flew through the rest of her book. I would highly recommend this.
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What a smart, interesting, curious, honest, courageous person - that was wonderful!  Having been blown away by the comedy special, I was so grateful when Ballantine sent me an advanced copy.  Each section of this book made me want to read more and more. Highly recommend. Make sure you watch her special, too.
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This was a really well written book. I laughed out loud quite a few times. Hannah Gadsby is so relatable and likable.

I do think that watching Nanette is a serious prerequisite for reading this, as the writing assumes that one is here because they saw Nanette.

Really appreciated the couple of moments with really wonderfully inclusive language for genderqueer & nonbinary people.
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Ten Steps to Nanette is as raw, real and funny as the comedy special where it gets its namesake. Hannah approaches the telling of her trauma in a way that while matter-of-fact, will make readers feel safe. She combines her life growing up as an undiagnosed, closeted child and teen with Australian and Tasmanian history. This helps readers, especially international readers, the important context that surrounded her life then, and still impacts her today. 

However, while trauma and politics are discussed, there is certainly much more to the book than that, We get funny anecdotes and an insight into how the hit not-comedy special  Nanette came about. I highly recommend this book to everyone wanting to get a new perspective.
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This memoir from Hannah Gadsby traces the course of her life from growing up in small town Tasmania where homosexuality was illegal until the mid-1990s to her journey toward comedy. She's  overcome so much to create this life for herself and it was really remarkable--and heartbreaking-- to read about. I felt it could've been tightened up a bit in places, but it's a great piece of nonfiction nonetheless. Even inspired me to rewatch Nanette for the third time after reading it.
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I really like Hannah Gadsby but I am not sure I can say the same about this memoir. This book is several things all in one. It is a view into the mind of a neurodivergent, history of gay rights in Australia, a list of many physical injuries, and finally the impact repeated trauma and misdiagnoses can have on a person.

I think my biggest issue with Ten Steps to Nanette was the first and largest part of the book. It was a yearly breakdown of Hannah's childhood with the corresponding history of gay rights in Australia. It was a struggle to get through this section which I can only imagine was maybe some of what Hannah felt at times.

But even with this I am glad I read it and would recommend it.
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I may be biased but I absolutely adore Hannah Gadsby. Her Netflix specials are one of a kind, life changing, beautiful moving pieces of art and her book is no different. Her words have so much meaning and emotion behind them. Would highly recommend this read whether you are a fan or not! Ty for the advanced copy
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Hannah Gadsby never misses. Whether it's her stand-up or her writing, I am in eternal awe of this phenomenal being. Ten Steps to Nanette was exactly as heartwrenching and gut-tickling as you'd expect to be.
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Hannah Gadsby is a smart, funny, wonderful human, and I greatly enjoyed getting to hear about Hannah's life. I sought an autism diagnosis after seeing Hannah's show Douglas live in 2019. I wrongly assumed that the majority of this book would be about Hannah's autism diagnosis. It is certainly discussed in depth, but it is not the main focus of the book. Hannah's life experiences had me reflecting on my own, but I discovered we have less in common than I previously assumed and didn't see myself in the pages to the degree I thought I would. That's not a bad thing and is entirely due to my own presumptions. Still a strong and enjoyable memoir.
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