It Is Just You Everything’s Not Shit by Steve Stack


Steve Stack’s It Is Just You Everything’s Not Shit is a gentle response to the whingers in this world (who’ll find a reason to moan about everything from global warming to the temperature of their morning coffee).

The book is essentially an alphabetized collection of first-world-pleasures. And that’s okay. Because while horrid things will always exist, it’s fine to feel happy when cracking the top of a boiled egg; to feel soothed by Sir David Attenborough’s dulcet tones; and to relish lying in a hot bath reading a book. Basically, Stack is saying yes, there’s shit going down, but appreciate what you have, be grateful, and realise that while you’re busy fretting over the state of the world (and your first-world-problems), there is still lots of ace stuff to put a little ‘Yay!’ in the day.

Stack has a number of entries for each letter of the alphabet and goes into considerable detail for some. Peppered with historical facts, trivia and interviews with inspiring people, the book makes for interesting reading. But the real joy is that it’s thought-provoking. What makes you happy?

I’ve done my own list (without descriptions and justifications, so make of it what you will). Note that it’s not a complete and exhaustive list (I like lots of things that begin with some letters but won’t pretend that x-rays brighten my day).


cloudDips as a main meal
Engraved pencils


Fresh bedlinen
Globes (and atlases)
Holiday planning
John Irving books

Keeping photo albums up-to-date
Mint green nail polish
Nana naps
Opera-length strings of pearls
Polarised sunglasses
Quick service when you’re anticipating the opposite
Reading on the beach
Social media from the international space station


Timpani drums
Words that sound like what they mean e.g. peevish

4/5 Live a little.


15 responses

    • It was certainly a lovely post to write. There were some letters I could have listed a dozen things for – doesn’t matter because the exercise of just thinking about simple pleasures was enough.

  1. I love your list and the author is right there are many of the smaller things we enjoy – to me there is nothing like waking up and realising it is Sunday with no obligations to anyone else I can do exactly as I please πŸ™‚

  2. A lovely post and a great list. I also own The Cloud Collector’s Handbook, it’s wonderful πŸ™‚

    Only one thing on your list stands out as something I cannot share your joy in – a visit to Ikea is likely to have me screaming the slogan on the pencils through my tears of hot rage πŸ˜‰

  3. I love the idea of this book. It reminds me of The Book of Awesome. And I love your list – just making a list like this would brighten up your day. Yellow is also my favourite. πŸ™‚

    • I love the story of Ampelmann (which I didn’t know about until I visited Berlin). Most of the astronauts at the space station have their own Twitter accounts as well – must admit, I’m a bit obsessed and follow lots of them – so awesome to see different parts of the world each day from space!

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