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The Moth Presents Occasional Magic: True Stories about Defying the Impossible

4.47  ·  Rating details ·  290 ratings  ·  62 reviews
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - From storytelling phenomenon and hit podcast The Moth--and featuring contributions from Meg Wolitzer, Adam Gopnik, Krista Tippett, Andrew Solomon, Rosanne Cash, Ophira Eisenberg, Wang Ping, and more--a new collection of unforgettable true stories about finding the strength to face the impossible, drawn from the very best ever told on its stages

Hardcover, 368 pages
Published March 19th 2019 by Crown Archetype
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4.47  · 
Rating details
 ·  290 ratings  ·  62 reviews

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Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Why live just one life, when I can live so many, through the voices of others' stories?
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-non-fiction
These stories made me smile, laugh, gasp, and cry. Sometimes all in the same one. (Sorry to the folks sitting near me on the plane tonight - I was a mess!)

Charlie Ravioli
Inside Joke
Love Wins

Favorite line: “If everything fell apart, if everything went to hell in the worst way possible, would I think to myself, I am so glad I did not let myself experience joy or enthusiasm in the good moments because it really protected me from the future?
No. Life doesn’t work like that. No
Rachel Morrison
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful collection of stories to remind you that real life is infinitely more absurd and improbable than imagination.
Kate Castellano
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
All these stories feel so close to me when I was reading them. They can take you from sobbing to loudly laughing in a few seconds.
Holly R W
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
On the weekends while driving around doing errands, I listen to a radio show called The Moth Radio Hour. It features every day people talking about aspects of their own lives. Their talks are about some turning point or unique experience that was quite meaningful for them. The stories they tell are fascinating to hear and in turn, can be funny, painful, illuminating, inspiring, poignant, etc.

Since I like the radio show so much, I wanted to read "The Moth," which is a collection of some of the m
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I laughed out loud multiple times, learned a fair few things and cried once. I love the Moth radio hour so when I found out there were short story collections, I had to get my hands on them. So worth it, to live the lives of so many in their own words is truly something special
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I always enjoy these collections and there were several that will stay with me forever. An excellent read!
Hannah Duiven
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
The Moth stories in print are just as lovable as they are out loud. I will read my favorite stories again and again and cherish them every single time.
Farhat Raza
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Reading this book is like taking repeated punches to the gut...but somehow those gut checks leave you with a feeling of hope.
Emily Whitmore
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Love The Moth! I had heard most of these stories through the Podcast, but loved the re-read!
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
this is the most wonderful collection of stories. Hard to read just one. If you need a pick me up, like you have a root canal scheduled, get this book immediately. it's totally great.
Rose Ann
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
---Full disclosure: I received this book for free from Goodreads. ---

I more or less devoured this sucker. I believe I enjoyed more of the stories in this collection than I have in any other book of shorts that I've read. I'd give it 5-stars, but there were a small handful of stories that I just didn't understand why they'd been included. Fortunately, they are indeed short stories, & the boring or eye-rolling minority are easily moved past. There are of course a few stand-out selections tha

Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Book Review: The Moth Presents Occasional Magic: True Stories About Defying the Impossible
Edited by Catherine Burns
Publisher: Crown Publishing/Crown Archetypes
Publication Date: March 19, 2019
Review Date: December 13, 2018

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley and approval to read prior to publication by Crown Books.

This is the second Moth book of stories edited by Catherine Burns. The first book is titled: The Moth Presents All These Wonders: True Stories About Facing the Unknown.

Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As expected, this was excellent. If you're a Moth fan (I like the show, but don't love it -- and even if you've never heard of the show -- this book is a guaranteed win. Funny, sad, scary, etc... It's probably obvious that reading these is different than hearing them (the audio versions are better), but they were obviously carefully selected and certainly work on paper. As a reviewer of another book wrote (which made me chuckle), this book "made me feel all the feels." I haven't read the other M ...more
Nov 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The book I needed, when I needed it.
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Just so happens that I requested a Kindle book from NetGalley and entered a Goodreads Giveaway and was awarded both! So thank you kindly to Crown Publishing, NetGalley, and Goodreads for the opportunity to read this book. I received a copy in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.

I truly devoured this book and really could have read this in one sitting, but had to do homework along the way! I really enjoyed reading each and every story and truly felt the emotion behind each story as I read
Judy Lindow
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Reading The Moth is always over too soon. I can hardly put the books down. Every story is interesting, but also they're full of: love, discovery, awe, courage. And more. They're like a cross between a good David Sedaris anecdote and O'Henry stories. But more. There aren't a lot of times when I feel proud of my species. Reading the personal stories in the Moth makes me proud.

How did telling and writing about these stories begin? "Founded in 1997 by writer George Dawes Green, The Moth is a live st
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
This is a hard book to shelve, but I guess biography is as good a shelf as any. I have caught the radio program 2X while traveling and hope to catch it again. The fact that the story teller is telling something that happened to her/him, in front of a live audience, and the teller's reflections on the event is not only fascinating, but various in tone: sorrow, amusement, personal growth, etc. Each story is true and while perhaps not earth-shaking in consequence for others, it presents a moment of ...more
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaways, 2019-books
When you read this book, make sure you have three things with you:
1) Sticky notes (to mark your favorite stories)
2) Tissues (you’re going to cry)
3) A friend (so you can share this book with them as soon as you’re done reading it)

I absolutely loved this book. The stories are varied enough that there will be something for everyone—no matter who you are, there will be something you can relate to in these pages. Prepare to be inspired and to feel like there is hope left in this world. And then pr
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Although I absolutely adore The Moth Radio Hour, I was skeptical that a show so dependent on the spoken word (it’s taped before live audiences around the world) would be even remotely captivating in print. After all, it seemed that the real joy came from listening to real people tell authentic stories (without notes) about a moment in their lives that truly mattered. But I could not have been more wrong. Amazingly, the directors of the Moth have put together an exquisite collection on paper that ...more
I received a copy of this ebook from in exchange for an honest review.

This was more of a mixed bag than the previous Moth collection for me. There are some stories that really stood out - from a child having an imaginary friend with an assistant trying to schedule playdates to not dating a serial killer and decisions about having children. But there were a few stories and a couple themes that I'm sure I would enjoy the story if I had seen it live, but didn't speak to me the way t
May 09, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5-4 out of 5 ⭐

A collection of short stories on people persevering through pretty wild situations. However, even though each story was good, now as I type this a day after reading the book, I can't really recall any crazy strong standouts. None of the stories were bad per say but they all blended together. Really quick read though. Each story was taken from a talk which was cool; the stories might have been more powerful hearing the voices of the people themselves.
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Moth Present Occasional Magic edited by Catherine Burns is a phenomenal collections of stories. The arrangement of the stories keeps the reader engaged, each piece is beautifully written about a variety of topics. Readers will feel a range of emotions as you work your way through the collection of stories as the storytellers draw the reader in. I highly recommend this collection, check it out.

#TheMothPresentsOccasionalMagic #NetGalley
Tandava Brahmachari
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
This is a powerful collection of stories covering a huge range of human experience. I want to read their other collection as well, though I may need a bit of a breather first. These things can get pretty intense. Some of my favorites were:

Real Men Don’t Rob Banks
The Value of Words
Have You Met Him Yet?
Seven Shades of Blue
My Post-Nuclear Family
The Junkie and the Monk
Can I Get a Witness?
Matthew Ewoldt
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This a wonderful book that will inspire and challenge us to lead an altruistic life. Thought this book, the hidden tread is that those that shared their tragedies and challenges were able to do so because somewhere, sometime, somebody not just saw but fit their needs and took action to become part of their epic journey though life.
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This collection of Moth stories was just as wonderfully good as All These Wonders. Both books dissolve on your tongue like candy and make you laugh and cry in equal measure. I love The Moth, and I hope they continue to anthologize the stories told on their stages. I will buy them each and every single time.
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book of true stories. The stories are short and memorable. There are stories in this book that I will never forget. Most of the stories packed a powerful punch. I would highly recommend this book to read and also to listen to the Moth on your radio. I listen for a delightful hour every Wednesday night.
Jacob Boesch
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
As a listener of The Moth Podcast, this book was an instant buy for me. The stories in here paint beautiful pictures of snippets of peoples' lives. It'll make you laugh and cry from story to story. It reads fast and I would recommend it to just about anyone.
Casey Peel
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this collection of real-life short stories! The bite-sized glimpses into lives of real people of many different backgrounds made for great reading when you don't have a lot of contiguous time.
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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.
“Occasional magic refers to those moments of beauty, wonder, and clarity, often stumbled upon, where we suddenly see a piece of truth about our life..... the moments when you become "you.” 0 likes
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