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Everyday Matters

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  1,840 ratings  ·  78 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 Hachette Books (first published 2003)
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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 pictures at

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
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
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
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
Mirek Kukla
Poignant and uplifting, “Everyday Matters” is a short but unique graphic memoir in which Danny Gregory tell us, in doodles and handwritten commentary, how he rediscovered meaning in the world by taking up drawing.

After his wife becomes disabled in a terrible subway accident, Gregory falls into a cycle of depressive self-pity and guilt. Life becomes a "meaningless hell" (8), until one day - one a whim - Gregory starts drawing. The experience has a profound impact on him: "I took my time and sudde
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.
I knew Danny Gregory by reputation for a long time before really encountering him through Sketchbook Skool. I found I really appreciated his take on art and sketching and journaling. I liked the idea of connecting with something by drawing it. This book is basically a memoir through sketching of the time following his wife's tragic accident that left her paralyzed from the waist down. It's sad and beautiful and hopeful and inspiring. I read it in one sitting and will definitely be reading it aga ...more
I find Danny Gregory highly inspiring, and I enjoyed this volume of his very much. It is part memoir, part sketchbook, and all heart. Having read this, Art Before Breakfast, and The Creative License, my favorite is The Creative License, which has more to say to readers who want to build a sketchbook habit—more tips, more pep talks, more ideas for things to draw. But I did enjoy this, and I will return to it from time to time, because anything by Danny makes me want to draw. So I'll finish this b ...more
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
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
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
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
This book was recommended to me in a drawing class. I fell in love with it not because Danny Gregory is a phenomenal artist, but because he opens my eyes to creating art from everything around you. It is written/drawn as a journal including his humor and emotions about what he draws. It made me want to start my own writing/drawing journal as a way to record my own journeys through life.
Great food for thought and inspiration to draw.
Lisa Lou
Mar 05, 2015 Lisa Lou added it
Shelves: read-in-2015
I don't feel comfortable rating this book. I would feel like I was "judging" or "rating" the author's coping mechanisms and healing process in moving forward after a difficult, life-changing accident. Everyone deals with stress, emotions, and life situations differently. Although this book was not written in the typical format I prefer, it did offer a few good life mottos that one should remember to practice.
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
Pat Loughery
This is Danny Gregory's sketchbook/journal, begun after his wife's tragic accident that led to her paralysis and to the family's transformation. Though the story loses steam partway through (the raison d' etre fades and Gregory's place based sketches come to the forefront), the book works well as an invitation to journal visually, to process emotionally and to heal by any means necessary.
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
I used this book for a school project, and being an artist, never knew how much it has in store. The authors view on the world, no matter how much it's beat him down, is remarkable. He packs so much deep philosophical meaning into each page, and will inspire every single person that reads it.
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.
Maki Stapleton
For anyone who wants to get back into drawing (or wants to begin drawing). It's not about creating masterpieces- it's about how drawing can be a form of meditation and how it's a technique of forcing you to be in the moment.
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.
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
This book has made me so homesick for lower Manhattan. It was a funny trip back into my memories that I didn't expect.
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
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
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