The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober

Discovering a happy, healthy, wealthy alcohol-free life

by Catherine Gray

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

'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


  • Octopus Books; December 2017
  • ISBN: 9781912023417
  • Read online, or download in secure ePub format
  • Title: The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober
  • Author: Catherine Gray
  • Imprint: Aster

About The Author

Catherine Gray is an award-winning writer and editor who has been featured in the Guardian, Stylist, the Telegraph, Grazia, The Lancet Psychiatrist, Mr & Mrs Smith, BBC Earth, Women's Health, Stella, T2, Private Eye, Woman's Hour and BBC Breakfast.

Catherine's hit debut, The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober, was a Sunday Times top 10 bestseller. Since then she has published The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober Journal and the critically acclaimed Unexpected Joy of Being Single.

When she's not writing, Catherine can generally be found taking twenty (identical) pictures of the sunset, wondering why she's always the sweatiest person in yoga, fighting her 'spend it all!' financial urges, or scanning the body language of strangers to see if it's OK to pet their dog.

Find out more about Catherine Gray on Twitter @cathgraywrites and Instagram @unexpectedjoyof