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The Moth Presents All These Wonders: True Stories about Facing the Unknown

4.47  ·  Rating details ·  4,612 ratings  ·  584 reviews
From storytelling phenomenon The Moth, 45 unforgettable true stories about risk, courage, and facing the unknown, drawn from the best ever told on their stages
Carefully selected by the creative minds at The Moth, and adapted to the page to preserve the raw energy of live storytelling, All These Wonders features voices both familiar and new. Alongside Louis C.K., Tig Notar
Hardcover, 331 pages
Published March 21st 2017 by Crown Archetype
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Apr 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Going into this I had no idea what to expect since I wasn't really familiar with the storytelling phenomenon that is The Moth. But after having read Neil Gaiman's forward , my curiosity was piqued. And I was surprised to find myself finishing the majority of this collection in one sitting because of how compelling these real life stories were.

All These Wonders features voices both familiar and new. Storytellers include Louis C.K., Tig Notaro, John Turturro, and Meg Wolitzer, as well as a hip hop
Conor Ahern
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My friend Brendan has this saying, something he calls the "Grand Unifying Theory of New York." It's a bit grandiloquent and certainly misnamed, but the logic is sound. Essentially, he maintains that you're totally free to cry in public in New York, because of some combination of 1) people are accustomed to emotional outbursts in public here; 2) we're all too rushed and self-absorbed to really notice anyone else; and 3) it's hard to spot people you know amidst the throngs of humanity. This book a ...more
Leo Robertson
Apr 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Most of these stories are spectacular and unmissable—Kevin McGeehan's almost had me in tears during lunch! I can highly recommend this book :)

I do have a gripe with what I'm now seeing is the common voice/style of American storytelling that I recently encountered in My Heart Is an Idiot—that kinda folksy ass, seems-all-random-'cept-for-moments-like-these, it-ain't-so-bad, 'We're all just sentient meatpackets on a crazy blue spacemarble looking for love/where else in the world would you see a cra
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was a gift, in more ways than one. I loved reading each person's story. In many cases, it made me want to know more about all of them. It was and enlightening and uplifting read. And I can highly recommend it.
 Charlie - A Reading Machine
Brilliant, thoughtful and very enjoyable. It is a wonderful collection of highly personal stories that in some way shape or form changed the person or helped define them. I read three or four a night and each time found myself falling asleep with something to think about. From the boy who excelled at paintball because he grew up as a child soldier, to the little girl left with a super star at the airport because her mum had to run off to the man who struggles to let go of a childhood betrayal. E ...more
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have to admit that I had never heard of The Moth – an organisation whose mission is to “promote the art and craft of storytelling and to honor and celebrate the diversity and commonality of human experience” – before picking up this collection of forty-five of their favourite stories about facing the unknown. And while we are assured that these previously oral stories have only been lightly edited for the page, I'm not certain that writing down that which is meant to be spoken makes for a tota ...more
April Saunders
Feb 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Poignant and raw, these storytellers capture the essence of living through sharing their stories. As engrossing as The Moth radio hour.
Leah Rachel von Essen
Mar 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Read the original review here!

I cried several times in the course of reading The Moth Presents All These Wonders: True Stories About Facing the Unknown, edited by Catherine Burns, with a forward by Neil Gaiman. The Moth is a storytelling platform that hosts events all over the United States. It launched in 1997 and holds events, each themed, where people tell their stories without notes to a live audience. This is a packed collection of 45 stories about risk, courage, worry, and facing the unkno
Apr 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I thought this would be a collection of short stories and was pleasantly surprised to discover a series of short memoirs. John Turturro’s story was particularly interesting to me as I am a big fan of his work.

These are poignant and insightful true stories that give you a different perspective of their lives. Well written and interesting, you may feel as if you are at a personal reading or sitting in their den as their story unfolds. I’m actually still reading some of the stories but so far I lov
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Every one of these stories is related in a lively, engaging, individual voice. (Well of course they are: storytelling is what The Moth is all about.)
For best effect, I read just a few entries at a sitting. The theme of "facing the unknown" is thoroughly illustrated, but too much of that felt like more than enough heartstring-pulling for me. I appreciated each entry much more when I let it take the stage all by itself.

(I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway.)
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I rarely stumble upon this NPR series when flipping channels on the radio, but every time I do it pulls me in. This compilation had the same power. A more polished but just-as-honest version of the Storycorp series.
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received The Moth as a Christmas gift from a fellow coach/friend/neighbor. Prior to this, I was not at all familiar with this story-telling phenomenon and had no idea what to expect. I found so many of the true stories to be a powerful reflection of the human spirit. Who couldn’t use that now - has me asking myself, what can I learn about my own resilience...if I’m quiet enough to reflect and listen.
Dec 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I had a hard time reviewing this book. The stories are so varied and cover all aspects of life from experiences of people all over the world. They were heart-breaking, fascinating, joyous, or even absolutely insane and unbelievable. But there were also some stories that honestly bored me a bit. I think that’s just the risk with true story collections, and the book is still a good representation of the variety of experiences people have worldwide in life. I would recommend this to anyone who love ...more
Allie Jones
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Omg this was the perfect introduction to my 2020 reading plans. Would HIGHLY recommend, but would also recommend reading max 2-3 stories per sitting to fully absorb how wonderful and poignant they can be.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Apr 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: happiness
I've finished two great books this week, and that is enough for me to say it's been a good reading week. Both books have a lot of similarities. Both On Living by Kerry Egan and All These Wonders: True Stories About Facing the Unknown are nonfiction. Both books are about times in one's life when a person faces an enormous, potentially life-changing situation and about how those situations play out. All These Wonders is stories told at various locations around the world at The Moth on the storytel ...more
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaway-wins
"The Moth teaches us not to judge by appearances. It teaches us to listen. It reminds us to empathize. And now, with these wonderful stories, it teaches us to read." - Neil Gaiman

This book does just that. I had never heard of The Moth... where have I been? But, glad I was able to read this and learn about it. It is captivating, and honest. Joyful and painful through every page read. This is one I will keep on my shelves and gladly share with friends and family.

Even though the events in which th
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I received this uncorrected proof from Goodreads through a giveaway. Thank you!

I heard many of these stories on the radio over the last few years. Reading them in book form is a wonderful experience. I found myself crying on the train almost everyday as I read it. I love being able to connect with the humanity represented in every story. The range of author from teenager to nonagenarian and from African genocide to Chicago crack addicts to the father of a murdered woman and the mother of a child
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was the exact read I needed when I picked it up. I have always loved short form stories and these were made infinitely better by the reality of them. It’s as if someone took the premise of chicken soup for the soul and made it less trite and more focused. Each story touched so strongly and tightly on a point, a thought, or a narrative. This may be one of the few books I buy this year instead of checking it out from the library repeatedly. I am grateful for these storytellers and the st ...more
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Love The Moth and would so love to see a live show. What gems.
Angela Juline
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved, loved, loved this collection of stories. There were so many amazing ones - I can forgive the editors for including some not so great ones. You'd read some of the stories and be captivated by the story...and then you'd read about the author and you'd be even more amazed. I've got to get out there and start making my mark on the world.

Here are 3 of my favorite points from 3 different storytellers:

"Just walk fearlessly into the house of mourning, for grief is just love squaring up to its o
Rebecca McPhedran
A beautifully organized collection of stories, that were originally performed around the world. The popular podcast The Moth tells stories of courage, strength and facing the unknown. Some of the voices you might recognize, and some you may not. But every story has a purpose, and a lesson to be taught. Whether it's appreciating the sacrifices your parents made, or seeing a decade's worth of work come to fruition, forgiving your child's murderer, or losing a loved one. You can't help but love the ...more
Jenifer Jacobs
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I almost always cry when listening to The Moth podcast, so I'm not sure why I thought reading the stories would be any different. Empowering, enduring, lovely, brutal, vulnerable, and hopeful. These stories were marvelous and tear-worthy. I highly recommend both the book and the podcast!
May 26, 2017 rated it did not like it
Reading these stories is not as good as listening to them.
May 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
All These Wonders was pretty much universally loved in reviews over at Goodreads, so I was excited to request a review copy (thanks, Blogging for Books). It’s made up of a series of short stories which were presented as talks in programs known as “The Moth.” Apparently “The Moth” is a large phenomenon of which I’d been unaware; an organization that promotes oral storytelling. I figured these would be stories kind of a la “Chicken Soup for the Soul,” but maybe with a more literary bent. I decided ...more
Mandy Cave
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I picked this book up because the cover is beautiful! I bought this book because it was one of the most affordable items at Anthropologie and because the Foreward didn’t make me feel foolish for never having hear of The Moth before. But I savored these 44 stories over the last several months because each one is completely unique and engaging and extremely well written. I could have devoured this book but each story was so impactful, I needed time to process and digest the profound life experienc ...more
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Celebrating the 20th anniversary of storytelling phenomenon The Moth, 45 unforgettable true stories about risk, courage, and facing the unknown, drawn from the best ever told on their stages."

First of all, let me say that I have been noticing a lot of anniversaries lately that make me feel ancient. The Moth is really celebrating a 20 year anniversary? Wow. (Then there's The Princess Bride at thirty. The novel, The Outsiders, turned fifty this year. I feel elderly. Where did my youth go?)

But, ba
Smitha Murthy
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who love the real stories. Not the Instagram-quote-hogging generation.
I first heard of The Moth when I came across an article in the New York Times. Storytelling is a dying art, I thought. But not if Catherine Burns has anything to do with it! In December last year, I visited a village in Nagaland. The Angami tribe there proudly showed me their ‘evening entertainment’. On a little platform, every evening, the children and adults alike gather to listen to...stories. The African tradition of oral storytelling is well-known. Storytelling is not dying. No. No. And as ...more
Apr 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When The Moth released its second compilation of its spoken stories in written form, I was immediately interested. The Moth Presents: All These Wonders, True Stories About Facing the Unknown is easily one of my favorite books this year. (Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the publisher through the Blogging for Books program. Opinion reflected in this review is my honest one.)

Besides the fact that these are true stories told by real people, what I love about them are the unexpected tw
Dec 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
There was no doubt in my mind that I was going to love this book even before I started reading it and upon finishing this book, I was not disappointed. I have been a huge fan of the Moth Radio Hour for awhile now and was glad that some of my favorite storytellers and their stories have made it into this book for an even wider audience.

Along with old favorites, some of which have changed my life, like Hector Black's Forgiveness , I also found myself tearing up reading The House of Mourning
Marsha Hubbell
Apr 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I had never heard of The Moth, a "not-for-profit organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling." I read a recommendation on Facebook by Neil Gaiman, who writes the foreward, and knew the book was something I wanted to check out. However, I did not expect to fall in love from the opening page to the last.

Given the times we live in, we've pretty much labeled people by party affiliation and don't always go much deeper. But in "All These Wonders," we knock on the doors of each new cha
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Catherine Burns is artistic director of The Moth and the editor of The Moth: 50 True Stories, The Moth Presents All These Wonders, and The Moth Presents Occasional Magic.

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There are many ways to take action against racism. Reading in order to learn more about oppression and how to oppose it is just one of those ways...
150 likes · 122 comments
“Just walk fearlessly into the house of mourning, for grief is just love squaring up to its oldest enemy. And after all these mortal human years, love is up to the challenge.” 7 likes
“This is what I know. In the deepest, blackest night of despair, if you can get just one pinhole of light…all of grace rushes in.” 6 likes
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