The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober - Catherine Gray

The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober

By Catherine Gray

  • Release Date: 2017-12-28
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 4.5
From 386 Ratings



'Not remotely preachy' - The Times

'Jaunty, shrewd and convincing' - Sunday Telegraph

'Admirably honest, light, bubbly and remarkably rarely annoying.' - Alice O'Keeffe, Guardian

'Truthful, modern and real' - Stylist

'Brave, witty and brilliantly written' - Marie Claire

Ever sworn off alcohol for a month and found yourself drinking by the 7th? Think there's 'no point' in just one drink? Welcome! There are millions of us. 64% of Brits want to drink less.

Catherine Gray
was stuck in a hellish whirligig of Drink, Make horrible decisions, Hangover, Repeat. She had her fair share of 'drunk tank' jail cells and topless-in-a-hot-tub misadventures.

But this book goes beyond the binges and blackouts to deep-dive into uncharted territory: What happens after you quit drinking? This gripping, heart-breaking and witty book takes us down the rabbit-hole of an alternative reality. A life with zero hangovers, through sober weddings, sex, Christmases and breakups.

In The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober, Catherine Gray shines a light on society's drink-pushing and talks to top neuroscientists and psychologists about why we drink, delving into the science behind what it does to our brains and bodies.

Much more than a tale from the netherworld of addicted drinking, this book is about the escape, and why a sober life can be more intoxicating than you ever imagined. Whether you're a hopelessly devoted drinker, merely sober-curious, or you've already ditched the drink, you will love this book.

'Haunting, admirable and enlightening' - The Pool

'A riveting, raw, yet humorous memoir with actionable advice.' - Annie Grace, author of This Naked Mind

'Like listening to your best friend teach you to be sober. Lighthearted but serious, it's packed with ideas, tools, tips and, most importantly, reasons for living a sober life.'- Eric Zimmer, host of podcast The One You Feed

'Gray's fizzy writing succeeds in making this potentially boring-as-hell subject both engaging and highly seductive' - The Bookseller

'Her exquisitely crafted thoughts on the joys of being sober are not only deeply honest and pragmatic, but she manages to infuse tons of humor. This is a delightful, informative, and compelling read for all those who are sober or seeking sobriety.' - Sasha Tozzi, Huffington Post

'No other author writes about sober living with as much warmth or emotional range as Catherine Gray. Her deep insight into the subtle psychologies of drinking, and of life, means that everything she writes is both utterly relatable and stretches our minds. Hers is a rare wisdom.' - Dr Richard Piper, CEO, Alcohol Change UK


  • Too long

    By To The Core Fitness
    Way too long for the info. It gave. Some good moments but was more like a dairy.
  • Great read if you’re sober curious

    By SarahS50266
    The honesty was very comparable to moments I’ve had myself. It’s helped soar me to week 3 of sober living and kept my mind busy during weak moments. Worth the read.
  • Hard to put down

    By kaitlynjones98
    Recently sober this book has been incredibly helpful for me. I read it in maybe 4 days. Thank you Catherine for this.
  • Convinced

    By elloDomi
    I began reading this book with less than 7 days sober. I knew I needed something to look forward to, yet, hadn’t found it until I stumbled upon this book. I have recommended this book many times in LifeRings secular recovery groups and I hope others find what I found in this book. Hope and a well deserved, unicorn filled future. 21 days and counting.
  • Wonderful book for all

    By Apaeth
    Absolutely incredible read!!! Highly recommend for all people considering quitting drinking.
  • A light of hope!

    By 10parkersl
    I started reading this book pretty early (a few days) into my sobriety and what a perfect book to help push me through.