Everyday Matters
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Everyday Matters

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4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  1,437 ratings  ·  68 reviews
In the tradition of Persepolis, In the Shadow of No Towers, and Our Cancer Year, an illustrated memoir of remarkable depth, power, and beauty Danny Gregory and his wife, Patti, hadn't been married long. Their baby, Jack, was ten months old; life was pretty swell. And then Patti fell under a subway train and was paralyzed from the waist down. In a world where nothing seemed...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published January 9th 2007 by Hyperion (first published 2003)
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Jon
I so enjoy exploring a good bookstore, and herein is a case in point. I stumbled across this in one, a great little discovery. Everyday Matters is the personal sketchbook/diary of Danny Gregory, an advertising guy in New York who was living the uptown, fast-paced good life with his wife and son. His wife was then involved in a horrific subway accident that left her paralyzed. This book is a sketchbook account of life during and after this life-altering experience.

On the back cover Gregory sums...more
Parka

(More pictures at parkablogs.com)

Everyday Matters is a personal sketchbook journal started by Danny Gregory after his wife's accident on the subway.

The writing is personal and heartfelt. The perspective unique. Danny Gregory talks about his life after the event, how it motivated him to draw, and how he learned to see things differently.

The illustrations are watercolour and black and white ink sketches, complete with captions and thoughts when he drew them.
Josephus FromPlacitas
This stopped being a book with a forward-moving concept after the first dozen or so pages and devolved into something of a sketchbook or journal of drawings. The author gets his true-life tale moving with the story of his wife's catastrophic accident and permanent injury, then shows in real time how he uses the drawings as a means of regaining normalcy and adapting to his new life. Along the way he explains how the family members' lives have changed and how they're struggling to deal with his wi...more
Carmen
The entirety of the book is in sketchbook format - absolutely no printed words. This, in my opinion, only serves to make the book more intimate between us and the author - like we are actually sitting here reading his sketchbook. However, it wasn't the book I thought I was buying. I really hesitate to say this as I don't want it to come across the wrong way and am struggling to put into words what I mean... I thought the book would be dealing more with how Danny dealt with the accident, how the...more
Ruth
I'm generally a fan of Danny Gregory's books, and have rated 'The Creative License' and 'An Illustrated Life' very highly, so I was disappointed when I found myself feeling generally let-down and unsatisfied by 'Everyday Matters', which is one of his more publicised books. I suppose I expected more of a structure, whereas 'Everyday Matters' is less of a memoir, and more of an instance of one-of-Danny-Gregory's-journals that just so happens to be timed around the accident that left his wife disab...more
Tchatchke
Danny Gregory is one of those people who doesn't have to try hard to inspire because he inspires just by being himself and living his life. If you don't want to start drawing after reading this book, then you'll probably want to start doing something else creative. You'll look at your life in a new way, that's certain.
Jakub
I absolutely loved this book! My art teacher Angela Wilcocks recommended it so I got it right away. Finally read through the whole thing and it was just what I needed, Super fun and inspirational. Its also done in exactly my style of drawing and writing, so that makes it even more inspirational. It also got me to start drawing again, so mission accomplished, and I feel good about reading a book in just a couple days. This is definitely one of those that I will come back to periodically, it would...more
Chris
There is a moment, near the end of Everyday Matters, when Mr. Gregory speaks of overcoming his discomfort of drawing in public. It was awkward he said, to have strangers approach and ask to see his drawings. He felt pretentious, shy, inadequate, etc. Gradually, though, he began to allow others to see what he drew, to see as he saw. In return, these people would generally talk to him about themselves. They would tell stories of how they saw New York, of missed subways and late night pizza and occ...more
Ciara
Dec 05, 2008 Ciara rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sketchbook artists, folks with the patience visual art deserves, aspiring drawing people
i may have been a touch uncharitable in my rating of this book. allow me to explain: this book is comprised of pages from sketchbooks the author kept following his wife's tragic accident in a new york subway station. she fell on to the tracks as a train was coming & her lower body was crushed by the train. she is now in a wheelchair. the accident changed their lives in many ways, & inspired gregory to start documenting through drawings & making more of an effort to slow down & ap...more
Sue
Aug 26, 2011 Sue rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: memoir, own
I have been wanting to read this book for awhile, after finding the Everyday matters challenge group online during a prolonged web surf a few years ago. It is an illustrated diary/journal that the author started after his wife was disabled in a subway accident. What drew me to the book at first was that there didn't seem to be many illustrated journals published in the book market [most are online blog-type viewing, if at all, which is understandable as they're normally for the artist herself] -...more
Kate  Powell
I loved the drawings. The writing was good, but not great, but this may be because the book describes it as his chronicle back from the brink when his wife was paralyzed (not a spoiler.) Maybe they edited him, but I expected more of his insights along the way, writing wise. I compare him to Nancy Mairs or Terry Tempest Williams or Ken Wilber (when his wife died) or Linda Hasslestrom, and he falls short. It is a lighter weight book, but a good read.
Sherry (sethurner)
"I've only started drawing fairly recently, but I've found it has a power to change my life and the world around me so profoundly that I'd like to share it with you."

Everyday Matters is a couple of things, all wrapped up into one. It is the story of a man whose life changes when his wife suffers a spinal cord injury, and who struggles to deal with that. His life is turned upside down; he worries about their child, his wife, his own physical and emotional health. But one thing he discovers that h...more
Rosie
This isn't really a graphic memoir in the sense that the drawings don't form the story, it's actually kind of the reverse: it's more like you're looking through his sketchbook and he's explaining his drawings to you. And there kind of isn't much of a tangible story aside from the explanation in the beginning. Loved the sketches, loved how personal it felt, but not quite what I was anticipating I guess.
David
I really liked the art, and lately I've been reading a lot about drawing and how it teaches you to see the world differently. I participated in NaNoDrawMo, an online challenge to draw 50 drawings in 30 days, and I was on kind of a jag for books on the subject. But something about this one rubbed me the wrong way. I'm glad for Mr Gregory that drawing helped him to work through the tragedy of his wife's terrible accident, and from other things I've read about him he sounds like a great guy, but th...more
Laura
Jun 10, 2012 Laura rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: owned


This book is a graphic memoir by a man who began drawing after his wife was injured by a subway train as a coping mechanism and a way to find beauty in the world around him. He begins by saying "I only started drawing fairly recently. But I've found it has a power to change my life and the world around me so profoundly and I'd like to share it with you.". (2-3). By a picture of water lilies in Nova Scotia he writes, "These lilies bob and weave in the breeze like spectators trying to get an unob...more
Eliza Genang
Very inspiring. Also, a calming read. A similar peace that comes while sketching came over me while reading about sketching. I marvel at Danny's ability to choose which details to include in his drawings and what to leave out. The sketchy-ness of the drawings makes them so enigmatic. Loved it.
Jamie
Wonderful and inspiring! This book gave me inspiration to look at the world around me with fresh eyes and an open heart!Each day matters and this book helps me to fully embrace it. I highly recommend Everyday Matters.
Marisa
Very inspiring. He got me drawing again after many years away from a sketchbook. I loved his class in Rowe, MA and highly recommend the upcoming online class, Sketchbook Skool!
Owen Curtsinger
Everything it needed to be: sweet, heartfelt, inspiring without being cheesy, a tidbit of personal philosophy without being too preachy, and as far as the art goes, talented enough to be interesting to look at. Felt a little disjointed at times, but most sketchbooks are. (I'm not sure how much of this is culled straight from sketchbooks or a single sketchbook or if there's more of an orchestrated production behind it, but the overall feeling of the book comes off as sketchbook material. And I th...more
Vanessa
This book has made me so homesick for lower Manhattan. It was a funny trip back into my memories that I didn't expect.
L
A skinny sketchbook highlighting NYC and everyday life for a man who gets the shock of his system when his wife is paralyzed. This isn't a book to expect a plot & characters, but rather be inspired by the words & pictures. An adult picture book to see the visual journey one can find comfort through when we stop, slow down and really look at a person, object, etc. And in turn whether he meant to or not I was struck by the subtle & soft reminder to look beyond appearances, disabilities...more
Kate
One day everything is just fine. You're busy running from work to home, taking care of a dog and a baby boy. The next day your wife is run over by a subway train and paralyzed for life. That's what happened to the author of this book. His way out of his fear, sorrow and confusion was learning to see the world through drawing. This is a very sweet, nurturing, quick-to-read journal/memoir that doesn't demand a lot of the reader. In fact, it's pretty soothing. It is chock full of his drawings--ever...more
Jenny
After his wife is paralyzed from having an accidental fall onto the subway tracks of NYC, Danny Gregory attempts to make sense of the tragedy of life by picking up a pen and some watercolors to document the everyday objects that we neglect by leading busy lives. His idea of slowing down life, a necessity with his wife, leads him to appreciate the little things that surround us.

I found myself really inspired by Gregory's ability to find a way to cope with the tragedy of life by journaling with w...more
Hafidha
It's pretty good. Enjoyed many of the drawings. None of the quotes or little stories the author shared in the book were fresh to my ears. No lightning-rod moments for me here. Felt a bit uncomfortable with some of the language around his wife's disability, but he avoids the "she teaches me so much" stuff that would have been truly aggravating. Felt like going through someone's journal, some pages have no discernible segues. I greatly enjoyed the drawings.
Adih Respati
Since an unfortunate accident that wheel-chaired his wife, Gregory found himself caught in 'empty' time. His instinctual response to fill up the gap was drawing --which he never mastered nor attempted before. Not only he found himself good at it, he also found by mimicking into papers all in his surrounding he 'sees' meanings he after all his life neglects. And happiness returns --more than the amount he thought has left him.
Lindsaygail
I'm really into sketch journals lately. This one is beautifully done. I love the glimpse into the author's life. He describes how he used sketching and writing to get through the sadness and difficulties his family faced when his wife was paralyzed in an accident. It's such a sad thing, of course, but he really does find a lot of happiness in his new life as well once he starts looking for it. Nicely done.
D.S. Thornton
Combine this book with Danny's other gift to all of us, Creative License, and you might just change your life. You used to draw, of course you did. To paraphrase Danny's kid: "Did you forget?" Live in the moment, see the beauty in all things, slow down, and draw. (Or pick up some other art, even if it's gardening. All things creative are life-affirming.) Go for it!
Marion
I LOVE this book. It's a fascinating memoir/graphic novel about a man whose life changes when his wife is paralyzed. He talks about how, after this experience, he learned to draw and, in doing so, learned to look at the world differently. As is often the case, we're able to see so much more after our hardships.

I loved his art and his story. Not cliche or cheesy.
Linda Tapp
I found this book by accident but I am glad I did. It's a very quick read - a graphic novel basically - that talks about the tragedy that happened to the author's family and how he coped. I love his style of illustration and hearing how he found peace.
Fern
Great fun especially for an artistically inclined reader. I enjoyed his drawings and side comments on the drawings. It definitely inspired me to be more purposeful about sketching everyday. It doesn't get five stars because it meandered too much toward the end and I had a hard time keeping interest.
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