Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come by Jessica Pan – #eARC #BookReview

Goodreads: Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come
Publish date: 28 May 2019
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Genre: Non Fiction, Memoir

An introvert spends a year trying to live like an extrovert with hilarious results and advice for readers along the way.
What would happen if a shy introvert lived like a gregarious extrovert for one year? If she knowingly and willingly put herself in perilous social situations that she’d normally avoid at all costs? Writer Jessica Pan intends to find out. With the help of various extrovert mentors, Jessica sets up a series of personal challenges (talk to strangers, perform stand-up comedy, host a dinner party, travel alone, make friends on the road, and much, much worse) to explore whether living like an extrovert can teach her lessons that might improve the quality of her life. Chronicling the author’s hilarious and painful year of misadventures, this book explores what happens when one introvert fights her natural tendencies, takes the plunge, and tries (and sometimes fails) to be a little bit braver.

Non Fiction is a genre that I don’t normally pick, not because I don’t want to read them, but most of the time I struggle to find something to catch and hold my attention. Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come was my first NF read of the year and I absolutely loved this book! I honestly don’t know why it took me so long to finish it and I’m sorry that I didn’t get to it even sooner; although I’m convinced that I picked it up when I really needed it most. I’ve already recommended it to countless friends who’ve mentioned something in passing and my brain would ping back to things mentioned in this book. It’s not a self-help book but it’s filled with such relatable experiences. Not only that but it was just downright hilarious! I don’t think there was one chapter in which I didn’t laugh my ass off at least once (seriously). With a title like that, how can you resist wanting to pick it up right?

We follow Jessica Pan, a shin-trovert (shy introvert) who faces a bit of a ‘midlife crisis’ after moving to the UK and struggling with her increasingly introverted life and inability to make meaningful or even non-meaningful connections with people. After confronting a health-scare with a member of her family, she decides to embark on a one-year journey doing extroverted things that would make all introverted people want to curl up in a corner and cry about. Things like stand-up comedy, public speaking, improv, and *shudder* striking up conversations with strangers. What follows is a personal and hilarious recounting of all her experiences and what she took away from living life as an extrovert for a year.

This book brought me great comfort at a time when I was feeling such debilitating anxiety and stress due to an event in my life that required me to speak in front of close to 100 people, followed by networking with all those people who just witnessed me most likely make a fool of myself. Public speaking is still insanely uncool but when I came across Pan’s own experience with it in this book, I found myself completely awed and enamored by her courage to get up on that stage to face one of everyone’s greatest fears. It wasn’t smooth sailing, and to be honest, my actions at the time mirrored hers in the book 100% (i.e. pushing off making my presentation until the very last minute due to intense fear). But it made me want to steel myself and plunge forward just like her. Obviously, it wasn’t as simple as wanting to do it, but the fact that she, someone who I saw big parts of myself reflected in, could do it, then I could too, right?

There’s no greater comfort in knowing that there are others out there who experience the same fears, and feelings of loneliness, as well as anxiety about what to do with it. Like Pan all my friends are scattered across the globe and since moving to where I am now and entering my 30s, I’ve noticed it has become progressively harder to make friends. Or even to just meet people in general. While I couldn’t see myself doing half of the things she did, I liked the insight that she gave through her experiences. I think at the end of the day, it’s not really about realizing being extroverted or introverted is better than the other, but knowing that putting yourself out there, even when you really don’t feel like it, can often times lead to really great, and sometimes even life changing things.

This was such a fantastic read and I know that I’ll always want to keep it on my shelf so that I can go back to it whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed by my increasing need to introvert. This book was written in a very conversational tone so that none of the moments felt dull and it kind of felt like just chatting to a friend. I’d highly recommend it!

Thanks to NetGalley, Jessica Pan and Andrews McMeel Publishing for providing the e-ARC for an honest review.
Have you read Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come? Did you love it? Hate it? Feel ‘meh’ about it? Come let me know in the comments and let’s chat!

Friday Favorites: Outside of My Usual Genre

It’s time for another Friday Favorites hosted by Kibby @ Something of the Book! This weekly meme is where you get to share a list of all your favorites based on the list of prompts on Kibby’s page. Sounds fun, right? This week’s prompt is: books outside of my usual genre. When I think of books outside my usual genre I tend to think of books outside my “comfort zone”. I’m usually open to all genres, barring horror coz I’m a scaredy, so it’s always hard for me to choose things outside of my “usual”. That said, the first ones that come to mind are: Non-Fiction and books with Magical Realism (yes, I’m counting this as a genre).

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and The Birth of the FBI by David Grann. Every year my goal is to read more non-fiction. I find a lot of non-fiction doesn’t hold my attention and I find my mind wandering about 80% of the time. But then there are times where I come across a non-fiction such as Killers of the Flower Moon and I devour it in one night. I just couldn’t put it down. It’s written like a story, it’s compelling and horrifyingly fascinating. So much history has been lost, it’s a shame that it’s only through stories such as these that we learn more about it. 1,000% recommend!

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Surprise, surprise, this book is getting another mention on my blog! I know I mention it regularly, but it’s one of my all time favorites for a reason. Surprising then (maybe?) that it appears on this list! Magical realism and I often don’t see eye-to-eye and I feel like classic Spanish authors utilize it abundantly. Unpopular opinion time: I read One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and I wanted to cry out of sheer confusion and boredom 😭 So when my friend suggested I read Shadow of the Wind, one of her all-time favorites, I was really hesitant. You can bet I was surprised by how much I loved this book and sped through the pages. It’s so captivating and Zafon has a magical way with words that transports you to wherever you are in a story.

I’m Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come: An Introvert’s Year of Living Dangerously by Jessica Pan. This is a non-fiction and ARC that I finished very recently. I finished it late and it already came out at the end of May(!!), but I’m so glad that I picked this up. Following Jessica Pan’s journey as an introvert doing all the extroverted things in one year was not only HILARIOUS but also very comforting. She did all the crazy things that I have nightmares about (talking to strangers in public, public speaking, stand-up comedy, unplanned travels alone, and guess what? She survived all of it! I loved the way she wrote this so openly and honestly, and I’m pretty sure I laughed through 90% of the book. This was 1000% relatable especially at this similar stage of life. Is it weird/creepy to say that she’s the introvert that I wish I could be? Coz she is.

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan. I was so pleasantly surprised by this book. As mentioned above, magical realism tends to confuse me 🙃 and while I wasn’t expecting to encounter it in this novel (though really, I should’ve) I really enjoyed what it brought to the book! This story was touching, so beautifully told, and I feel like elements of magical realism is such a big part of Asian culture and storytelling. It simply just worked!

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. I guess this is a bit of a bonus because it’s neither NF or magical realism, it’s sci-fi! I included Dark Matter because up until now it’s still one of the only (adult) sci-fi novels I’ve read. Even if I included the YA sci-fi books I’ve read, I don’t think the number extends beyond the singles. I’m working on remedying that but (obviously) my TBR is a million unmanageable books long. So it’ll happen, just maybe not anytime too soon?

What are your favorite books outside of your usual genre? Any of these? Leave me a comment below and let’s chat in the comments!