This reading group guide for Monkey Mind includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Daniel Smith. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.
Introduction Monkey Mind
is a memoir of one man’s life of anxiety and his quest to both understand and overcome it. Anxiety once paralyzed Daniel Smith, causing him to chew his cuticles until they bled. It has dogged his days, threatened his sanity, and ruined his relationships. In Monkey Mind
, Smith articulates what it is like to live with anxiety, demystifying the disease with humor and evocatively expressing its self-destructive absurdities. With honesty and wit, Smith shares his own hilarious and heart-wrenching story of anxiety and how he was finally able to tame the affliction. Topics & Questions for Discussion
1. Smith begins Monkey Mind
with two epigraphs, one from The Woman in White that reads, in part, “We all say it’s on the nerves, and we none of us know what we mean when we say it,” and one from Nabokov’s “Signs and Symbols” that reads, “Everything is a cipher and of everything he is the theme.” Discuss both of these epigraph