Cover Image: Sad Happens

Sad Happens

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

I loved this anthology! Sad Happens was really helpful for me to read as I'm currently experiencing grief. I liked the variety of perspectives on sadness, feelings in general.

Was this review helpful?

"Sad Happens" is a beautiful testimony to the shared experience of grief. A collection of stories meant to make you feel, the authors of this book shed light on the last time they cried. Through moving narratives and images, they pull back the curtain on the isolation of grief. This would make a powerful gift to someone in your life who is grieving.

Was this review helpful?

A series of short essays about sadness, as situations, and crying (in public). There is little explanation behind the situations or resolution afterwards.

Was this review helpful?

This was a wonderful anthology with a lot of great people in it, including a lot I've heard of and many I haven't but am now excited to explore more from. Stosuy is a great editor and I loved the concept and his introduction. I enjoyed his other books and his work on The Creative Independent as well, so I was not surprised that this book was a new favorite as well.

Was this review helpful?

A Celebration of tears and how people navigate tears, not just a book of sadness but a book of humanity and how we navigate each twist and turn in our own unique ways. Such a clever idea brought to life with such lovely illustrations and stories that bring your feels right to the surface and make you pause to feel. Thank you so much for allowing me to enjoy this lovely collection with the arc.

Was this review helpful?

I truly love the concept of this book. I’ve always been a crier, but the last two years I’ve become an ultimate-crier. It was nice to read about how and why other people cry.

Since this was written by so many different people, not every essay hit the same. I enjoyed most of them, there were a handful that made me pause and re-read, but many of them I had to skim because they were just not my cup of tea. You should read this book if you struggle with expressing sadness.

Was this review helpful?

this is a beautiful book about grief and healing and how the most heartbreaking things our lives can also be the most hilarious. extreme emotions of every kind.

Was this review helpful?

Not so much a celebration of tears as, self-described by the editor, an archive. This is a collection of essays about the personal when, where, and how of crying. It's not a self-help book meant to free everyone up to let lose in public. It is a literary demonstration that we are not alone. And its most notable feature is that it, intentionally or not, has a soundtrack. From Bon Iver's Holocene to Randy Newman's theme from Toy Story, there are 50 or so songs or bands referenced in this work and I listened to almost all of them while reading these essays.

Was this review helpful?

I like books and movies that explore loneliness and isolation, the desire for connection - wanting to be understood, not just physically desired. Shopgirl, The Girl in the Cafe, Lars and the Real Girl, Lost in Translation, Her. This book about sadness is an unexpected addition to the roster.

Artists, musicians, comedians, poets, teachers, first responders, and others wrote in to talk about the emotional release of weeping, the unexpected shared connection. It is expected that they talk about old hurts triggered by new traumas, letting go of unhealthy relationships, watching loved ones deteriorate and die, Covid-19, and other stresses. Authors talk about gendered expectations, too, of being a “strong black female - that is, repressed” and the conditioning to smile and always be pleasant, our shame in taking up space or potentially ruining another person’s experience. We all go around so tightly wound, so isolated, so lonely, that often a small kindness, a small breath of peace, a long over-due massage can trigger a release. The stories I found especially beautiful are the ones where tears brought people together. The gay bookseller who explained to his long time customer that he had a husband, and crying that it was something he had to whisper and her regrets that she hadn’t been as brave. To the anonymous traveler who left a note on a person’s suitcase who had been having a moment - I hope you can remember that we are human, there is love. Reading about a young child who was absolutely destroyed by a maudlin song, and remembering my own version -“He Stopped Loving Her Today” by George Jones. A college acquaintance blurting out in small talk “my dad died a couple of weeks ago” to someone who had also just lost their father, and how they felt safe enough to cry together over a shared pain made more real.

Like the editor states, this isn’t meant to be a sad book, despite the title. It’s meant to be cathartic and helpful, to make you feel less weird for having big feelings (that maybe you weren’t taught how to handle) and less alone.

Each stand-alone entry is a quick read, most just a few paragraphs long. Like any collection of essays or short stories, there are some that are stronger than others. My only complaint is that I would rather have had fewer entries with more depth and analysis (or a point to be made) and culled a few of the more superficial or redundant view points.

Was this review helpful?

I truly love the concept of this book. I’ve always been a crier, but the last two years I’ve become an ultimate-crier. It was nice to read about how and why other people cry.

Since this was written by so many different people, not every essay hit the same. I enjoyed most of them, there were a handful that made me pause and re-read, but many of them I had to skim because they were just not my cup of tea. You should read this book if you struggle with expressing sadness.

This was given to me by net galley in exchange for a review.

Was this review helpful?

Sad Happens is a giant collection of mostly short, revealing answers to a simple prompt: when was the last time you cried? Some familiar names in here (Matt Berninger (the National), Phoebe Bridgers, Lingua Ignota) and an overall very diverse collection of voices. It’s always welcome to see such a counterpoint to the over prevalence of vapid “alpha” posturing in the world today.

**I was given a copy of this book by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to Simon & Schuster and Netgalley*

Was this review helpful?