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Publisher's Summary

Ruby Wax - comedian, writer and mental health campaigner - shows us how our minds can jeopardize our sanity. With her own periods of depression and now a Masters from Oxford in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy to draw from, she explains how our busy, chattering, self-critical thoughts drive us to anxiety and stress.

If we are to break the cycle, we need to understand how our brains work, rewire our thinking and find calm in a frenetic world. Helping you become the master, not the slave, of your mind, here is the manual to saner living.

©2013 Waxworks Ltd (P)2014 Hodder & Stoughton

Critic Reviews

"Ruby Wax has an extraordinary mind, and she has brought it to bear with trademark wit and searing honesty on the subject of that mind, and the minds of all us. Very few will be able to read this wonderful contribution to the literature of mental health without recognising some part of themselves, and certainly of someone they know. A ruby beyond price" (Stephen Fry)
"In Sane New World, Wax touches upon her own anxieties and fears with honesty and humour...it royally hauls a stigmatised fact of life kicking and laughing into the open." (The Times)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Loved it

A personal story and scientific overview with an exhortation to practice mindfulness (and how to do it) without resorting to woo woo and fluffy thinking

If you are ever bothered by the voices in your head then listen

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  • mark
  • 06-23-14

An out standing book!

What made the experience of listening to Sane New World the most enjoyable?

Ruby Wax has an excellent narrative voice & the content is easy to follow, interesting & done with humour.

What other book might you compare Sane New World to, and why?

Steve Pinker

Have you listened to any of Ruby Wax’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I haven't, but if you think Ruby Wax was just an annoying celebrity going on about depression, this book will change your mind, she is extremely intelligent, insightful & down to earth.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, I've listened to this book at least 5 times, because I found it incredibly interesting.

Any additional comments?

If you have an interest in how the mind works & why we feel the way we do, you wont be disappointed.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Matthew
  • 04-28-14

The best audiobook to date

Would you listen to Sane New World again? Why?

I would listen to this again and again, not just because it's insightful and funny, but because the content is so well written and expressed. The chapters are broken down into short concise elements that will either have you laughing or contemplating on hours to come. If you are at all interested in science, have a sense of humour or are just curious about the human mind (and how it can go wrong!), this is for you.

What did you like best about this story?

The way you can relate to Ruby's past either judgementally or empathically. She has many short stories which help depict the struggle many people face with anxiety or depression with a human face. It helps to be able to laugh through the problems as they come and realise that anyone can use the techniques and theory described here.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The scene with Richard E grant and the shark cage - the point when you take stock of things and realise your time in spotlight may have dimmed. The way she is openly descriptive of shamelessly wanting to hang on to celebrity at any cost. To be open an honest like this from someone who I had some fairly fixed opinions on before downloading the audiobook was fantastic. Ruby may have single-handily made me avoid owning a Vauxhall in the 1990's (remember that Corsa advert !), but she has a warmth and honesty about her life story that is impossible to put down.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Expressing her view towards her family and attention towards her children looking back. This was the most moving part of the book for me

Any additional comments?

The last 15 minutes of the book made me pull over, zip back and listen to it again with a deep sense contentment. Most people who are looking for a few answers have probably downloaded other CBT or self-help books in an effort to find some answers. <br/>For me, this book has been the first piece of material that has helped me find some peace. Thank you Ruby.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Lucy Giles
  • 11-29-14

Mindfulness over Matters

What an absorbing read and even so one I will have to return to time and time again. Be warned it is meaty! Ruby Wax has clearly immersed herself thoroughly in all matters neurological and is a practitioner of mindfulness. With a wealth of experience behind her, she is well placed to comprehensively deal with this particular subject. The book starts with an overview of the busy-ness and pressures of modern life, an in depth view into the functionality of the brain and finally she tackles mindfulness.
I loved the style of the book which reflects the intelligence and wit of the woman who wrote it, Wax's passion for the subject is genuine and based on extensive research and study in the field. She has gained an admirer in me.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • J E Carrington
  • 03-04-14

This is a cracker

At last a book on mental health issues that is both brilliantly informative and side achingly funny.
Ruby Wax has created a gem that for me rates as one of the best books i have ever read. The knowledge, insight and hilarity in this book will i hope one day be regarded as a text book to in some way help us to understand what makes us tick.. Ruby i love you.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Caro
  • 07-16-14

Great user manual for the human brain

This is the first audiobook I have listened to twice back-to-back, going back to listen to parts repeatedly. It is engaging, hugely informative with great exercises to help you towards mindfulness. It is not fluffy or new-agey, but very funny, sometimes moving and comforting in showing one is not alone in the sometimes tricky affairs of the brain. Above all, it has good instructions of stuff to actually do, not just comforting words or positive speak, although it has that too. Whether you were into Ruby Wax or not, if you want to still that nagging voice in your head then this is a great start. I wish I could thank the author personally for her work, it is a really helpful book and I would imagine that it could be a stepping stone to further investigation and a chance at happiness for many people. Thankyou Ms Wax.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • irune
  • 07-07-14

excellent entertainment and very informative

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend this audiobook, it was a pleasure to listen to a subject that I love but told in a very amusing and easy to understand way

What was one of the most memorable moments of Sane New World?

the sudden burst of funny expressions of Ruby so natural and so genuine

Have you listened to any of Ruby Wax’s other performances? How does this one compare?

This is the best performance from Ruby as it was a mixture of serious and funny stuff, very well complemented

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I listened to the book while decorating and I wasn't in a hurry to finish the work as the book helped me to forget the hard tasks ahead.

Any additional comments?

Many people would not read the book because they have the wrong image about Ruby but this book will change that.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Maria
  • 04-04-14

Funny and highly iInformative

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. It speaks of the brain and how it works making it easier to understand why we do what we do with the added twist of a wicked sense of humour.

What did you like best about this story?

This is a self help book that informs and amuses.

What about Ruby Wax’s performance did you like?

She is relaxing to listen to.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Mrs. L. H. Kirby-garton
  • 02-27-15

Sound advice

Really enjoyed this. Have since bought the book and given it to a number of people. I love Ruby's bravery in sharing her story with us.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-09-17

I smiled

I was recommended this as I was not a particularly good place. Just listening to it made me feel better. I tried some of the exercises and I have to say I'm feeling better. Cheers ruby!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • wendy
  • 01-22-15

Thanks ruby

Thanks ruby for a book I can understand and makes me feel better about myself and everyone else. A great listen, just got to put the wisdom into practice now .

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Vince
  • 10-17-17

The message eventually comes through

I was about to abandoned this after listening to the first 50% of this novel but, I persisted and lucky I did. If you stick past all the sarcasm and poor jokes, Ruby eventually does a great job of explaining how the human mind works.

Her experience in psychology and neuroscience has paid off as she could clearly explain some difficult theories such as emotions, brain chemistry and therapies in layman's terms.

This is a must if anyone who is or has dealt with depression and anxiety. She shows some great techniques to manage the monkey mind and use mindfulness to help many situations.

I found it difficult to relate to her personal life story, but she does a fabulous job of explaining the mind talk to a person who is suffering from mental illness. I think many will relate to this and will enjoy her descriptions.




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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-06-17

chock full of negativity

the first 5 chapters were cool but i kinda got sick of the casual racism, fatshaming and general negativity. Youre not special and youre not an individual seems to be a theme. if youre looking for a feel good read this is not it.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-29-17

Great read

What a book! so so informative and witty. will definitely be using some of the suggestions

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  • Amanda
  • 03-21-16

Fantastic!!!

A book with much wisdom, science and humour. Should be read by all who want a grounded and kindness filled life.