Book Review: The Moth Presents All These Wonders True Stories About Facing the Unknown

Publisher’s Blurb:  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

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. Readers will encounter: an astronomer gazing at the surface of Pluto for the first time, an Afghan refugee learning how much her father sacrificed to save their family, a hip-hop star coming to terms with being a “one-hit wonder,” a young female spy risking everything as part of Churchill’s “secret army” during World War II, and more.

High-school student and neuroscientist alike, the storytellers share their ventures into uncharted territory—and how their lives were changed indelibly by what they discovered there. With passion, and humor, they encourage us all to be more open, vulnerable, and alive.

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, back to The Moth Presents All These Wonders.

We have been steady fans of The Moth and since podcasts, we listen to it a lot while traveling.  I am amazed that normal people can get up on stage and tell their stories with such aplomb and panache.  After listening to episodes, The Hubs and I always get into a discussion as to what story we would tell if we ever got the chance.   (He always pleads that he doesn’t have a tale, but I maintain that he could tell the “hilarious” story of us losing his parents’ dog while pet-sitting.  We almost got a divorce over this little incident.)

All These Wonders  is a compilation of some of the best told tales in Moth history.   Besides those “normal” people who tell their tales, there are some famous story tellers in the collection:  Louis C.K., Nadia Bolz-Weber, Tig Notaro, Meg Wolitzer, and John Turturro.  The others are just typical people with fascinating and poignant tales.  Sometimes the stories may be a bit ordinary in plot, but the story-telling talent is extraordinary.

Stories are grouped together into themed sections and most are short, making this a quick read.   This collection would appeal to most all readers.  There’s truly something for everyone here.  (Except, I might add, the most hilarious tale ever told on The Moth is absent from this book.  That would be “All at Sea,” the saga of one man’s quest to traverse the English Channel in a bathtub.  Check it out.)


I received a complimentary book from Blogging for Books for this review.  All opinions, exclamations, gushings and rants are my own.



For my other Blogging for Books reviews, click here.



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Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table
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