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The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober

Discovering a Happy, Healthy, Wealthy Alcohol-Free Life
Narrated by: Catherine Gray
Length: 10 hrs and 15 mins
5 out of 5 stars (190 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Ever sworn off alcohol for January and found yourself drinking by the 7th? Think there's 'no point' in just one drink? Welcome! There are millions of us. 

Before embracing sobriety, Catherine Gray was stuck in a hellish cycle of drink, horrible decisions and hangovers, during which she had her fair share of 'drunk tank' jail cells and topless-in-a-hot-tub misadventures. 

'I discovered that I was about a million times happier sober than I ever had been while drinking. As were the hundreds of sober pals I picked up along the way. I found myself with dozens more hours in the week, heaps more energy, £20K more money over three and a half years, deepened friendships, revived family relationships, better skin, a tighter body, tanned legs for the first time ever, the ability to sleep for eight uninterrupted hours, a bone-deep sense of well-being, a totally turned-around positive outlook and an infinitely more successful career. What's not to like?!' 

This inspirational, aspirational and highly relatable narrative champions the benefits of sobriety with a three-pronged approach combining the author's personal experience, factual reportage and contributions from expert sources and self-help advice for anyone who wants to reduce their alcohol intake or eliminate it completely. The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober is the new bible of sobriety. 

©2017 Catherine Gray (P)2017 Octopus Publishing Group

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Inspiring

I thought this book was very well written and narrated. As someone who has recently realised the relationship with alcohol can be a bad one is amazing to know im not the only one. I could relate to so many of these instances, even being a male.
This book has given me plenty of tips to help me stay sober!

3 people found this helpful

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  • RT
  • 11-11-2019

LOVED! ✨

Catherine I just loved your book, it really is the only book on sobriety I think anyone ever need read. Your voice is incredibly easy to listen to and delightful. I love all your quirky comparisons to things like “like being given a broken toy boat and then a yacht with a pool on deck” I want to listen to your book again and again. I particularly liked the chapter on sober celebrities, I found it so relatable. I’m 41 days sober and find I don’t really crave a drink at all. I have lifted the lid on this sober lifestyle and think I will really like what’s inside. Or, was I in a box all along and sobriety is on the outside? Either way the sober life looks much more glittery and bright. I rate myself a 5 on the spectrum. I just finished your book while on a hike, am listening to Sultans of Swing on Spotify and life is good. I’m on a mission to lose 16kg of weight. Thank you for a beautiful book and I hope you keep writing more! Rosie (Australia)

2 people found this helpful

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Great Read!

This was my first sobriety book & I loved it! I was a little skeptical to begin with as I don't go for self-help books that are 3/4s waffle. I wanted something that was going to grab me in the first page & give me hope from every page after that (figuratively speaking). It was an honest account of a life made messy by too much alcohol. When it stops being fun, becomes anxiety, sadness & hopelessness you know you need a friend. Catherine became a friend & I know she'll always be there when I need her. In the language of sober - she is now in my sobriety toolbox!

1 person found this helpful

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inspirational, incredible and insighful

What a heartfelt story, Catherine's vulnerability and story has literally changed my life. I highly recommend

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Fantastic listen

Heartfelt and raw account of her relationship with Alcohol. I found it relatable and insightful

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A well deserved 5 stars!

An absolutely fantastic read, both interesting and informative. I enjoyed this book so much, I couldn’t fault it!

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Perfect

Loved this book!
I Connected soo much with Catherine's story which is Honest and bursting with reassurance that sober is indeed worth it. Also her voice is calming and soothing to the ears. Thank you Catherine x

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Just what I needed

This was brilliant and just what I needed to help support me on my own journey of sobriety. A lot of ah-ha moments and some very interesting, somewhat shocking facts. Thank you for sharing your journey with me.

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5 stars

Game changer if you want to quit drinking. Catherine Gray paints a beautiful picture of life without booze - thank you🙏

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heart wrenching and heartwarming

All too 'real' and relatable! So eye opening and honest. Loved it and love Cath. Time to get sober.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-12-2018

Exceptional Read

Catherine did an amazing job of narrating this book, I absolutely loved it. Great read

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 19-02-2020

I loved this book

Having recently decided to become sober myseld, this book helped me understand some behaviours and helped me fully commit to a sober life. Thank you for your openness and vulnerability in sharing your story Catherine.

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  • Aleyah
  • 10-02-2020

Fan-F*kn-tastic!

Her voice is soothing and witty. Her story is accessible, fascinating, and meaningful. Loved it.

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  • dawn fryer
  • 25-01-2020

An entertaining, sometimes sad, sometimes funny read

Whether you consider yourself a raging alcoholic or someone who may need to cut down a bit on the booze, I reckon you’ll enjoy this book. I couldn’t put it down once I started it. For such a serious subject, I consider it a feel good book and have listened to it a good few times. Highly recommend.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-09-2019

Book is great. Performance needs an editor

The author does a great job of reading her story, but it sounds like it hasn't been edited.

For example,

She reads a line,

Clearly,

And then she reads another line,

To conclude the sentence

You have been listening to.

I'm certain this is not the narrator's fault, but that the producers of the audiobook haven't sat down and removed the overly-long pauses between each line. It's a shame, because it's hard for me to listen through without being drawn to these annoying breaks between each part of the sentence.

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  • Ryan
  • 03-05-2018

Is she trying to convince me or herself?

More than half of the book is dedicated to the virtues of being sober. I feel like she’s trying to either convince me to become sober or she trying to convince herself as to why she quit drinking in the first place. She repeats her message so many times than it starts to feel preachy.

On top of the bland performance, it’s also terribly written. The language and conversational style is mor suited to a diary entry than a book. In fact, it feels like much of the book had been taken, entry for entry from her diary.

The only solace is that I’m sure this book will help someone. And maybe that’s enough for an audio book of this nature.

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  • K-Mart
  • 19-01-2018

Intelligent, thought-provoking & inspiring

I loved this book. The writer comes across as very genuine, relatable, likeable. I found her story humbling. It takes a lot of courage to write so honestly. She is of course right about alcohol. We all know it, but we’re scared to really admit it. I’d say this book is essential reading for anyone sober curious, anyone who’s ever worried about their drinking, anyone wondering why alcohol has such a grip on socialising in the UK. I particularly liked her analogies about tunnels and trapdoors - what an accurate way of describing drinking to numb anxiety and pain. I’ve recommended this book to many of my friends.

Thank you Catherine & I wish you all the best for the future!

22 people found this helpful

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  • Neil Symington
  • 26-01-2018

Amazing!

Catherine’s is a heartfelt journey wonderfully told and beautifully written. You can hear the raw emotion in her voice and I was gripped right from the start. I listened to the complete audiobook within three days... If you have a uneasy relationship with alcohol you simply MUST read / listen to this book.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Natalie
  • 21-01-2018

A fantastic book that will make you think

I downloaded this book, thinking I wanted to cut down on drinking in the new year, no intention of stopping. Having absorbed Catherine's amazing story, I'm now working on my first 30 days of sobriety, and am already feeling some amazing benefits.

Catherine is lovely to listen to, feels like a close friend and you can only admire her for having the courage to honestly share everything she's been through.

If you are questioning your relationship with alcohol and the way it makes you feel, do not hesitate to give this book a go!

14 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-09-2018

Life Changing

I picked this up with my usual pessimism as I have with all these books. But the second I started listening it was so relatable on an emotional and practical level that it really resonated.

Gone are the days of moderation, or justification that "everyone is this bad".

Finally after 15 years my poisonous relationship with alcohol has begun to break. It is just the beginning but this book started it.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Martin B
  • 10-01-2018

fantastic

Great listen if you are interested in quiting alcohol. A very personal story and lots of interesting facts that really made me think.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Dave Blundell
  • 20-07-2018

OUTSTANDING READ!!

I loved this book from start to finish. It was interesting, heartfelt and inspiring. Catherine narrates very well and you can feel her anguish at times! I have just given up booze for my 50th birthday and this book has inspired me to stay sober. Many thanks to you Catherine from Dave x

5 people found this helpful

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  • Felicity
  • 16-01-2018

Highly recommended

Any additional comments?

An amazing book written by a very inspirational lady. Catherine, you have been on one hell of a journey but show incredible grit and determination. Thank you for sharing your story. You give hope and show that life without alcohol can not only be possible, but a remarkable difference to life with it. I very rarely write book reviews or read a book twice but both apply here. I have it on audible so have been listening to it on and off for a few days and have cried, laughed, smiled, nodded my head in agreement, laughed and cried again, many times over.

10 people found this helpful

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  • mark cashman
  • 28-02-2018

modern and honest

Where does The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is the best book so far I have read on recovery no banging on about 12 steps very honest at times heart warming very realistic and modern

4 people found this helpful

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  • Elizabeth Clark
  • 24-08-2019

Interesting content but her voice is irritating

I likes the content but I found the narrator hard to listen to, maybe if they’d have compressed her voice it would be a bit easier on the ears.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Rachael Scull
  • 26-06-2019

Life changing

The perspective this book gave me has changed my life. I stopped s drinking after chapter one. I am now on 105 days and not going back. I want to thank Cathy for her honesty and positivity for sobriety. I feel lucky to have stumbled across this book when I needed help.
Rachael Scull - sober star! ⭐️

3 people found this helpful