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The Moth - All These Wonders

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4.45  ·  Rating details ·  6,211 ratings  ·  738 reviews
From storytelling phenomenon The Moth: a collection about risk, courage, and facing the unknown, drawn from the best stories ever told on their stages.
All These Wonders features The Moth's customary variety of voices. Storytellers range from Suzi Ronson (who styled David Bowie's hair into Ziggy Stardust) to author Jung Chang, by way of a hip hop 'one hit wonder', an astron
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Kindle Edition, 408 pages
Published April 20th 2017 by Serpent's Tail (first published March 21st 2017)
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Average rating 4.45  · 
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 ·  6,211 ratings  ·  738 reviews


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Nat
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
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Conor Ahern
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
Paul Bryant
Not only is this a terrific bunch of stuff, it also functions as a personality test, and the things you find out about yourself might not be the things you particularly wanted to know.

I was completely unaware of this Moth phenomenon. It’s been going on since the late 90s, it says here, and it’s all about storytelling. Some person will get on a stage and talk into a microphone and tell the audience a story. This has become a really big thing. What did I know. Me and the zeitgeist, we are not so c
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Leo Robertson
Apr 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Heather
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
 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
Krista
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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Stephen
Jul 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These "Moth" stories are great - especially if you are like me and carry a book with you everywhere and read it in short bursts as each story can be read in a few minutes. Didn't quite enjoy this collection as much as the original one (The Moth: This Is a True Story but it was still a very strong 4 star read if not a 5 star read like that one. The latest collection The Moth Presents: Occasional Magic: 50 True Stories of Defying the Impossible is still quite expensive to buy and there's hardly an ...more
Tina
Apr 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Kate
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.)
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Tamara
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.
Kristine
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sydney
Dec 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 Wulff
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
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
JenLovesBooks
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Janet
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Apurva
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Karen
This is a collection of stories originally shared by the authors in an open mic setting. They are all fairly short stories, true stories, about key events in people's lives. Like life, some stories are funny and some are heartbreaking or terrifying. All the stories make you appreciate the gifts you have received in your own life and make you wonder if you would be able to live through the events that each of these people have.

This was my first experience with The Moth. But I intent to read the
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Heidi
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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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
Sharon Barrow Wilfong
More than the first book, these are stories told by successful media personalities. I personally prefer reading about every day people. I can relate to that more. However, these stories were certainly interesting, predominantly about the narrator overcoming hardship: cancer, the birth of a baby with Downs Syndrome, the suicide of a husband.

I liked the stories about family relationships, both good and hard the most. A couple of the stories are poignant. Like the family from Afghanistan who forged
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Lily
Feb 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So many good stories all in one spot and the best things is they are all true! Huge fan of the MOTH. You get to hear from so many different people. Shared humanity is beautiful. They also have an amazing podcast if you are into that.
Jenifer Jacobs
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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! ...more
Elazar
May 26, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Reading these stories is not as good as listening to them.
CS Taylor
Jan 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first thing that struck me about these stories within All These Wonders is the voice. As I mentioned before, they’re written in slam style, meant for performance. And as a reader, you can tell. It feels as though the writer of the piece is speaking to you, as if the writing itself has a literal face and voice, coaxing you into it. I don’t often find that in nonfiction or memoirs, that sense of…invitation into the story. It was calming, relaxing, enticing in a fresh and intriguing way. Each v ...more
Susan
May 23, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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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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