The Sober Diaries

How One Woman Stopped Drinking and Started Living
Narrated by: Karen Cass
Length: 10 hrs and 12 mins
5 out of 5 stars (875 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Like many women, Clare Pooley found the juggle of a stressful career and family life a struggle, so she left her successful role as a managing partner in one of the world's biggest advertising agencies to look after her family.

She knew the change wouldn't be easy, but she never expected to find herself an overweight, depressed, middle-aged mother of three who was drinking more than a bottle of wine a day and spending her evenings Googling 'am I an alcoholic?'

This book is the bravely honest story of a year in Clare's life. A year that started with her quitting booze and then being given the devastating diagnosis of breast cancer. By the end of the year she is booze-free and cancer-free, no longer has a wine belly and is two stone lighter and with a life that is so much richer, healthier and more rewarding than ever before. She has a happier family and a more positive outlook.

Sober Diaries is an upbeat, funny and positive look at how to live life to the full. Interwoven within Clare's own very personal and brilliantly comic story is research and advice as she discovers the answers to questions like:

  • How do I know if I'm drinking too much?
  • How will I cope at parties?
  • What do I say to friends and family?
  • How do I cope with cravings?
  • If I stop drinking, will I lose weight?
  • What if my partner still drinks?

And many more.

©2017 Clare Pooley (P)2017 Hodder & Stoughton Limited
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The performance makes this one worthwhile...

What made the experience of listening to The Sober Diaries the most enjoyable?

I enjoyed this book, though I believe a lot of my enjoyment came from the narrator, who is excellent. The author is very chummy in her approach, and this was both charming and, at times, off-putting. The author assumes her readers all spend their holidays thumbing through endless stacks of party invitations and deciding where to go on vacation. This is the author's life, and there is certainly nothing wrong with it. However, she seems oblivious to the fact that very few people actually live as she does. The fact that you don't hate the author by the end of the book is a testament to her skills as a writer.

If you’ve listened to books by Clare Pooley before, how does this one compare?

N/A

What does Karen Cass bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She is an amazing narrator, as she makes the central character seem very likable.

What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

She described the joys of sobriety very well. The material was consistently encouraging and inspirational and will likely help people who struggle to find meaning in their lives after they stop drinking.

Any additional comments?

A worthwhile listen, despite the author's often myopic worldview.

7 people found this helpful

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Not as interesting as several other sobriety memoi

This book is fine, but I just don't find it nearly as interesting as many of the other sobriety memoirs out there. I preferred the Kristi Coulter, Leslie Jamison, and Lisa Smith books over this one. Oh, and Caroline Knapp's "Drinking: A Love Story," possibly the book that invented the genre.

6 people found this helpful

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Brilliant!

This was such a good read! It has you engaged the whole entire time. I really hated when I got to where I was going cause I just wanted to keep on listening. I honestly felt like I was watching a movie. It’s a very funny heartfelt and very honest look into drinking. I highly recommend this to anyone!

5 people found this helpful

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OMG

This may be it. As in, I think I'm done drinking, or at least have many reasons to try or try again

3 people found this helpful

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This book helped me so much!

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who is trying to stop drinking alcohol. Clare Pooley is so inspirational!

3 people found this helpful

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1 months sober and Feeling Fabulous!

this book is incredible, it's delightful informative incredibly helpful and makes you feel as though you're part of community of so many people that have gone down this horrendous path. But Claire puts an entertaining side to becoming sober. it doesn't have to all be that bad, we can all get through this with some humor and compassion. Excellent book I would read this again.

6 people found this helpful

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Stellar work by an amazing author

I stumbled across this incredible book and Clare Pooly at a crucial time. I was sober 10 mos and in AA until August of 2018. I tried the moderate drinking until now but I truly missed my sobriety and the joy that came from being a non drinker. She put it perfectly I had the devil and angel on my shoulders. I was just tired of the energy I was spending on deciding if and where I would drink and how I could control it. Now, I’ve recommitted to my sobriety. I can’t moderate and I love my life without alcohol. The way she explained the waves of emotion that one goes through in the first months of sobriety were spot on. The ups and downs, the introspective piece of the journey. Please read even if you are not considering quitting booze. Her story is so relatable to anyone. I’m 44 and single no kids. She is a mom of three and married and a Brit! I’ve never felt more connected to any author or story before. Just superb and full of hope, hilarity, compassion, and love!!!

2 people found this helpful

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An amazing book

Get this in audio book, not only you will hear her lovely Slightly posh London accent but every kind of accent she perfectly impersonates but also how funny and witty she sounds. A great book for someone contemplating sobriety, trying to cut back or dealing with cancer who wants to see everything in a more humorous way. I couldn’t read “the naked mind “ because it was so preachy and judgmental, but this was the opposite. Claire is brilliant!

1 person found this helpful

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Day 1

Just the motivation I need! I have such respect and admiration for the author. Enjoyed thoroughly!

3 people found this helpful

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Authentic

An honest, funny retelling of one woman’s journey to find her authentic self that was hidden by her all consuming life of alcohol. Inspiring and laugh out loud funny.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Rebecca
  • 04-24-18

Inspirational

this book will make you laugh (out loud!) and likely get you from the get go (it did me!) Clare has helped me start a new AF journey which is exciting and challenging all at once. I wouldn't have started without the help of Clare and her inspired story! if you want to cut down drinking, moderate, stop or just want a good book that will make you laugh at and feel good reading - get this. I found myself missing Clare and her family when I had finished and want to be her friend!!!

11 people found this helpful

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  • KS
  • 02-12-18

Enjoyed whilst reassessing my drinking habits

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

yes - I have recommended to friends. I like the perspective it gives on drinking

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

The moment when Clare's friend sent her the AA coin.

Any additional comments?

I unexpectedly enjoyed this book - going into it not really sure whether I had a problematic relationship with drinking and coming out of it completely reassessing my attitude towards it, particularly around my children and how it affects them. This book also manages to remain light hearted and not in the least bit preachy whilst hammering home a very serious message.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Simon T
  • 02-14-18

Loved it!

This is a great book and really inspiring for anyone trying to give up the booze and become sober. It's really helped me in my own journey.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Shell Belle
  • 02-08-18

I really couldn’t finish this book. Not for me.

I’m really sorry to be what appears to be the only person that couldn’t bare this book.
Initially I loved getting into Clare’s story and the narration really is excellent. But at points I felt like it was comparable to a Sophie Kinsella novel- extremely successful woman/ perfect life. Born into a wealthy life- had a good start in life, with great parents. Goes for nights out to the House or Lords, happy marriage, healthy children. Has nice holidays bla bla bla.

Essentially this nice lady is comfortable & freedom of movement (denied to people who broke and have no prospects) to make her own choices and has the support of her husband, who is a good man.

So I broke off from listening to this book with 5 hours to go, in tears. The penny dropped that I could no longer identify with this lady. Yes to a degree she is alcohol dependent, like so many of us. However I thought if she is struggling, what hope is there for me. Even worse, what hope is there for others trapped in worse life circumstances.

This book just wasn’t for me. A book that has been an absolute tonic is The Joy of being Sober by Catherine Gray. Although our lives are different she projects so much hope. I’ve stopped drinking and am accepting the change well. It’s not hard when you look at the bottles of booze as poison. I lost my mum 20 years too soon (according to research) because of her drinking habit and my sibling is a raging alcohol tumbling through chaotic hell- I couldn’t recommend this book to her, but I have found others more suitable.

Again great narration and great for yummy mums.

6 people found this helpful

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  • k6chris
  • 12-30-18

Enjoyable (but very yummy mummy)

A well written and brilliantly narrated book, which is very much in the self centred world of the middle class yummy mummy. If that is not your world, you may struggle to get as much out of the book as others clearly have. I did develop huge sympathy for the husband however.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amanda B UK
  • 10-29-18

A piece of gold

Immensely thought provoking nourishment, superbly written and narrated, I’m reading it again now, I feel this may just be what I need to terminate my deadly relationship with booze. Thank you Clare, Sobergirlone Soberistas xxx

2 people found this helpful

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  • Gemma Shepherd
  • 10-06-18

heartwarming and witty

A talented writer who took me on her journey and made me laugh and cry with her
Great book

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-24-18

Funny and empowering

This is a great start for anyone wanting to make a change. You don’t need to be at at home mum or even an alcoholic. It’s for anyone daunted by how life can sometimes overtake you during middle age and make you lose sight of yourself. It’s made me feel like change is possible and that I can take back control.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-05-20

Author is somewhat irritating

There is some interesting and entertaining material, however, the author comes across as egotistical with a strong sense of her own self importance. The long-suffering yummy mummy act swiftly wears thin.

1 person found this helpful

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  • H. Thomas
  • 07-10-19

Bit too Fulham for me!

I had just finished Catherine Gray s brilliant 'joy of being sober' and desperately wanted more so picked this. I enjoyed it to begin with but it soon became so grating! Chablis, Waitrose, My days in Cambridge, My friend s country party, boarding school tales... Ugh!
I'm sure it is tough being sober whoever you are and whatever your background but for me i wanted more stuff that I could relate to... Joy of 'hitting the slopes' with alcohol free apres ski, 3 weeks in Cornish house on the beach or Caribbean holidays as rewards are out of reach surely for most of us? I also cringed when she was so lucky to get an appointment with Mr Bigg, the cancer specialist, through a friend... This is privileged, very privileged and not for most of us...that actually made me cross and in no way connected... I don't suggest i wouldn't do the same in the same position(I'm not) however to share it with your readers is unfair... I think :(

1 person found this helpful

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  • Crystal
  • 05-17-18

fantastic book

Love, love, love! i cried, i laughed, i related. Such a great book and an inspiring story.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-25-18

Amazing book.

I didn't like the narrator at first but she grew on me. This book has been my best friend in early recovery. I loved this book so much that for the past 9 days I would listen to it in bed, in the car, on the train, at work and every other place that I had an opportunity to pull my phone out. It really puts emphasis on how the sober life does get easier as time goes on. I'm going to miss this book and I'm sad that I finished it so now I'll have to go stalk her blog instead :)

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-20-18

Fantastic. I

I really enjoyed this book. Very funny in parts and had me feeling emotional too. All up a very worthwhile read.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sally Gibson
  • 01-29-18

Positive Story on Getting Sober

Claire tells her story with humour, honesty and compassion. It’s the most positive story of getting sober I’ve read. Loved it. Thanks Claire

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-18-20

Great narration and many 'uh-huh' moments!

heartfelt and honest and funny, the trifecta here! plus, gratefullness, yaaaasss! Well done Clare 👏🏻

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-29-20

Brilliant

Brilliant Quit-lit. Right up there with Quit like a Woman, Sober Curious & The Unexpected Joy of being sober. Was so good I brought myself a hardcopy after listening to it.

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  • Lee Geach
  • 05-04-20

Good story

Good book. Maybe more discussion on how she had evolved emotionally rather than general talk about herfamily.

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  • Philippa
  • 01-21-20

A truly moving story

Awesome book that really got me thinking about my health and lifestyle.
Also she’s damn funny

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  • emmabulmer
  • 01-09-20

Wonderful

I laughed I cried and I quit drinking thanks to Claire Pooley and this wonderful book. One of the best sober memoirs ever x

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  • Eb
  • 09-15-19

Inspiring

I love love this book. Incredibly inspiring to make you want to quit drinking forever.