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Publisher's Summary

From the Sunday Times best-selling author.

We're told that happiness is in the extraordinary. It's on a Caribbean sun lounger, in the driving seat of a luxury car, inside an expensive golden locket, watching sunrise from Machu Picchu. We strive, reach, push, shoot for more. 'Enough' is a moving target we never quite reach.

When we do brush our fingertips against the extraordinary a deeply inconvenient psychological phenomenon called the 'hedonic treadmill' means that, after a surge of joy, our happiness level returns to the baseline it was at before the 'extra' event.

So, what's the answer?

The Unexpected Joy of the Ordinary theorises that the solution is rediscovering the joy in the ordinary that we so often now forget to feel. Because we now expect the pleasure of a croissant, a hot shower, a yoga class, someone delivering our shopping to our door, we no longer feel its buzz. The joy of it whips through us like a bullet train, without pause.

Catherine Gray was a grandmaster in the art of eye-rolling the ordinary and skilled in everlasting reaching. Until the black dog of depression forced her to rethink everything.

Along the way, she discovered some surprising realities about the extraordinaries among us: that influencers risk higher rates of anxiety and depression, high rollers are less happy and huge frothy weddings increase the likelihood of divorce.

Learning how to be exalted by the everyday is the most important lesson we can possibly learn. In Catherine Gray's hilarious, insightful, soulful (and very ordinary) next book, you may learn to do just that.

©2019 Catherine Gray (P)2019 Octopus Publishing Group

What listeners say about The Unexpected Joy of the Ordinary

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Happiness is in you

This is her second book that I’ve listened to. Her sobriety journey helped me achieve mine and I think for many of us, achieving sobriety is tinged with wanting more. Wanting more is inevitable I find… Finding happiness and joy and reminding ourselves that our brain power is stacked against us is what she shares with us in an always amusing and not saccharine way. If you are looking to find more joy in your life and perhaps your sobriety I highly recommend this book. Oh, it’s not just for women...

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Love this

Thank you. I love this perspective and the stories to back it up. We need more books like this.

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Worth your consideration.

I enjoyed the listen and benefited from the lesson. Great info and valuable life reminder.

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Life Changing

This book has taught me so many things. I will not pass it on but place it in my "must read again" library. Thank you, Catherine Gray. My life is better because of your insight, wisdom and humor.

1 person found this helpful

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I like this book! My rating system is in the profi

I really enjoyed this book. I usually write one star a book two hateful to be worth finishing, two stars one that I could finish but did not enjoy, three stars a book I actually liked and would recommend to some people that I know. four stars is for a book that I enjoyed and would recommend to everyone, and five is for books only that change by way of thinking or acting going forward.

anyone looking for encouragement, a way to manage their anxiety, or just another bright point of view would be well served by this book.

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Very blah and not enlightening

Obvious statements without insight or enlightenment, i had to stop given the lack of depth. It’s a sob story of her depression and how she changed her point of view on life, in the end, not worth listening to.

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  • CEM
  • 01-28-20

Only relatable if you are in your 20s or 30s!

Whilst I think that there is some useful information in this book I found the authors stereotyping of baby boomers, yes I am one of them, really annoying. Believe it or not some of us do understand how difficult it is for people to get on the housing ladder in todays market. Some of us can even use a smart phone too and shop online!

13 people found this helpful

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  • Katie
  • 02-14-20

Loved it

After finishing the Unexpected Joy of Being Sober nearly 6 months ago, and being sober ever since, I knew I’d love this book too - wonderful and beautifully written 💕💕💕

4 people found this helpful

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  • countryboy
  • 05-30-21

A refreshing perspective and humorous too

As a baby boomer ( I still feel 23) I would disagree with some reviewers and the author, this applies just as much to me as my twenty something family members, I've just had more years to chill out than they have, we have pretty much the same issues at various stages in our lives. Whilst on the subject of age, my 80 ish parents generation seem pretty captivated by smartphones and social media too, so it's not just millenials.
I think the author has really nailed issues like consumerism, dissatisfaction and inadequacies that we perceive in ourselves and our lives and really made me reappraise my assessment of how well I am dealing with all aspects, for the better, a real relief.

The book does indeed cover a wide range of topics so lots of good ideas to think over whatever your age or situation.

Recommended if you want to gain some insight and perspective and re-asses what you think and feel rather than a lot of unhelpful ideas we may have bought into.
I found the Author's style quite humorous once I got used to it and understood her sincerity. The use of british slang, cooloquialisms and the occasional 4 letter heartfelt expletive all served to humoursly reinforce important points from the authors life. Non Brits however should enjoy this this just as much.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-29-20

You! But in a way that makes sense!

I honestly feel like I understand myself a little bit better after reading this beautifully relatable, utterly charming, brave and honest, audited account of a life lived, loved and saved. ✌️

2 people found this helpful

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  • crystal1113
  • 12-29-19

Amazing, absolutely loved this book!

Catherine reads so well and this book has been so refreshing to listen to. Has really helped me in my self healing journey. Catherine is realistic in her advice and isn't at all pushy or judgemental. She also shares her own journey which is endearing and relatable.
I'll be recommending this to all of my friends.
A must read!!

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  • Doreen
  • 12-31-19

love Catherine Gray books but not loving this one

I thought it was a bit all over the place and that it tried to cover too many things. I adored her last two books so sorry to write this and I'll always be a follower but it didn't do it for me.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Julie 73
  • 04-11-20

Fabulous!

loved this book . From start to finish, so honest, very funny, well written .

1 person found this helpful

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  • RHD
  • 10-14-21

I loved this book

A lovely feel good listen that makes a serious point and will nudge you to re-appreciate your life.

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  • Sophie Wells
  • 09-17-21

Reassuring!

full of simple & reassuring truths. great book well worth a listen. worth it!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-18-21

A born writer !

Catherine’s words are perfect and it’s apparent that reading has been a joy since childhood. My brain works similarly- in how she describes the joy in ordinary things ! It will be a book I share with people who don’t see the world like we do on the hope of lifting them into our shared joy of ordinary things ! Look forward to the next book!

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  • Julie Gray
  • 10-26-21

Ok, not great. Needs a lot of editing.

I love Cath Gray's writing. And no, she's not my sister despite the same surname. 100%, her books, Unexpected joy of, being sober, being single, Sunshine, Warm Sober, 100% awesome. And I reiviewed those too. Unfortunately this one lost me. Great in concept, but it's way way WAY too long. It covers others a lot of references and other people's material and I just don't think it's u to her normal standards. I mean read it, don't get me wrong, or rather listen to it, as the narration is excellent, as always, Catherine Gray has a great voice for audible. Just, I was kinda disappointed, and infact, I didn't even finish it. I couldn't. Sorry Catherine. I think it needs edited, The content is awesome just not 10 hours worth.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-02-20

Loved it.

Amazing self help story about the simple things in life. Wanting to relisten, enjoyed the narrator.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-02-20

Steer clear if you’re religious. Or even healthy.

Sorry but I gave this a good go and I still couldn’t help but be offended because I cannot relate to the author or her views on spirituality, marriage, relationship or health. I hope others find it more relatable, not for me.