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The Sober Diaries: How one woman stopped drinking and started living

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  2,829 ratings  ·  198 reviews

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 m

Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published December 28th 2017 by Coronet
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Average rating 4.40  · 
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 ·  2,829 ratings  ·  198 reviews

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This was a very good book written to help others. Claire has gone down a different route to her sobriety than I had ever considered! She has gone online and started a blog; where others use Alcoholics Anonymous for their journey of self discovery and sobriety. What AA members gain through meeting others in person to share stories of hope, love and recovery Claire has used her online community of fellow addicts as her support system. Different strokes for different folks, these fundamental di ...more
Jul 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'll start this review by stating that I rarely drink. There were many years when I did, and drink far too much. Then I stopped. This book is all about how Clare realises her life is infinitely better without alcohol. It's brutally honest, funny and sad all at the same time. She faces breast cancer and explains how she maintains her sobriety throughout the scariest time of her life. She has 3 young children, and a husband and many supportive friends but starts a blog that few of them know about. ...more
Laura Collins
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book so much. If you are recently sober it is fantastic to read the account of a first year sober. one thing which I found very good was the fact that Claire didn't have a rock bottom moment (unless it was the wine at 11am). I think that some people enjoy reading addiction memoirs to see the rock bottom moments, but this book isn't like that. In my own journey to sobriety there was no rock bottom moment, more a creeping realisation that I was drinking far too much and it was negativ ...more
Edel Ryder-hanrahan
This book isn’t BAD, but if you’re up for a memoir about someone moving from drinking to quitting, then Sarah Hepbola’s Blackout and Augusten Burrough’s Dry are much better - or for the more “normal person” account - Mrs. D is Going Without.

The author’s small judginess was starting to wear as I approached the end of her story, and the constant name-dropping of middle-class markers (Of COURSE I went to Waitrose, can’t let the standards drop! My kids are all dressed in Boden! I missed a lunch wit
Helen Palmer
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It felt as thought this book was written for me and about me. Honest, humorous, touching.
I feel as though I can re think my attitudes to alcohol, thanks to Clare's story.
Alyson Edenborough
I saw Clare Pooley being interviewed on tv and asked for her book for mothers’ day. I had been unhappy with the amount I was drinking for several months, and was inspired by Clare’s success. This book could have been a hidden camera transcript of my life, if it had been a textbook there would be more yellow highlighting than not throughout its pages. I lost count of the references and moments that I could identify with, but particularly loved the Katniss mentions. I was drawn to this book for so ...more
Melissa Kerryn
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 stars! Try it for yourself - it’s funny, authentic and really touches home about valuing life. I loved it and enjoyed some “laugh out loud” moments. Great book! :-)
Laura K
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars. Audiobook. I was into it at first but it ended up just being ok.
She got on my nerves by the end with her humble bragging and vanity (ok everyone keeps telling you how fantastic you look and you lost two stone - who cares). It seemed a little too easy for her to quit drinking - so it didn’t make for a very compelling read. And it got to be a little much how everything in her life was sooooo improved after - for example, claiming she hardly ever got mad at her kids anymore. That just d
Sharon Jones
Mar 13, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Really couldn’t warm to the author who also seemed to find it very easy to give up drinking. I didn’t find it brutally honest’ or ‘touching’ or ‘humorous’ as other readers did. I couldn’t get past the humble bragging, the continual references that she went to Roedean, Cambridge, was the youngest this, daughter plays the clarinet and that she only lives in Fulham! The house prices in Fulham are way out of the league of most workers. Lots of name dropping and glamorous parties. To me, the whole bo ...more
kate. keenan
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant book

This is a must for anybody concerned with their drinking. I think the best in it's category. Funny, informative and brilliantly written.
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this as an audiobook. The reader was excellent. The material was great and focused on what happens after you make a huge life change. Funny and engaging, I highly recommend it!
Feb 26, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am sort of taken aback by the high ratings of this book but then again, a certain type of demographic (think sex in the city’s cast drinking LOTs of wine) totally eats this type of shit up.

Honestly, this book reeked of elitism and privilege and is a slap to face of addiction’s real reality. How nice it must be to have literally ALL the resources at your disposal and then successful at staying sober WITHOUT A SINGLE RELAPSE. (Also, it’s pretty awesome to be able to take a SEVEN WEEK vacation du
Sep 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While it was beautifully written, humorous, and clearly authentic as it was based on the author's own story, for me and the experience I had watching my best friend progressively turn into a full blown alcoholic, the author's tone was too light and her experiences a little too shallow to reflect the shame, pain and soul wrenching torment that come with a fight for recovery and the multiple failures that mark this fight. In fact, the author's most shameful experiences seemed to be partying a litt ...more
Alison S
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written, witty and honest. I think this book will help lots of people, particularly as it's very easy to relate to the author's experiences, both as someone who drinks, and someone who's trying not to. My only caveat is that her relative wealth and privilege allow her to access resources and support not available to everyone. I learned a lot about alcohol dependency from reading this book.
Heather Jeffrey
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this. Met Claire at book event at Mainstreet Trading in St Boswell’s. She’s the most lovely, ‘normal’ busy Mum and wife. Her account is so ‘real’ and ‘relatable’ thank you Claire! This will speak volumes to lots of people!
Lynsey Lloyd
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So I have a pile of books in my bedside and I am quite strict that I read them in the order that they have been added to the pile. They get added either by people giving them to me or me buying. I choose what to read from this app, I list in my to read following from recommendations or if I have watched or read an article about the book. So after seeing the author talking about this book it got added to the to read list and then to my pile. It was on the bottom of a pile of about 10 and I knew i ...more
Amanda Jane Vellacott
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Hilarious and thought provoking

I heard the author interviewed on the radio. I don't have an issue with drinking but it sounded worth reading. I was hooked. This Lady can write and put across a lot of good sense in a light hearted way. Would highly recommend it whether you want to give up drinking or not.
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Clare's story simultaneously made me cry happy tears and at times, sad ones. Her honest words were a breath of fresh air and the fact that she turned her first year sober while also getting diagnosed with the big C in the meantime is brave and I'm sure she has helped so many people in different ways.
Lesley Goodwin
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great read.

Loved Clare's very honest account of life before and after booze. Highly recommend. I laughed out loud in parts. A good support if you are thinking you rely too heavily on alcohol. Loved it.
Cressida McLaughlin
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Funny, real and very inspiring- especially as I’m halfway through my first ever Dry January. Lots of insights I found so helpful.
Claire Barlow
Jan 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A brilliant book ! One persons story of her relationship with alcohol . A great read for anyone wanting to change their relationship.
Jackie Baxter
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Funny and true, true, true

This book was a page Turner. Witty, honest and really hits home about an average woman/mom/wife struggle with alcohol controlling her life.
Taylor Tetreau
the book I actually read by this author isn't available on Goodreads and I am nothing if not obsessive about tracking my numbers accurately SO HERE IS A LITTLE WHITE LIE, APOLOGIES
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
This is a fantastic book! Honest, inspiring, humorous, at times gut-wrenching. As someone who has struggled to quit drinking for a few years now (I am not a bad alcoholic or anything, but I am also not a one drink kind of a girl), I find reading one of these memoirs about people who have been successful with quitting, exceedingly helpful. I definitely can appreciate Clare Pooley's candor. She doesn't pull any punches. She is honest about her struggles and how hard it can be, not to mention she i ...more
Irmak Kockan
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I’d had six stars, I’d have given them.

So imperfecly perfect.

And this sentence: “The truth is, I am not one of nature’s moderators. I’m an all-or-nothing person. Moderating anything is not my forte.”

I’m not. It’s not.

So, yeah...
Feb 26, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2018
I like to think I'm a bit of an 'addiction memoir connoisseur'... no judging but it is one of my favorite genres. However, things are getting a little slim since "Blackout: Remembering the Things I Tried to Forget (5 Star reading) so I picked up this little ditty. Yep. Nope. Probably should have just re-read one of the old standards.

Quotes like: "Outside the comfort zone is where the magic happens"... are made for addiction memoirs but for me... all I can think about is true dangerous situations
Alicia Walker
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Why am I reading a book about an alcoholic? Well, honestly, I don’t know. 😆
I was looking for a book for my social anxiety and this one popped up in the list. I thought it was extremely weird (& perhaps a sign from Jesus...🤣) so I clicked on it to see how it related to my search. In the reviews I read a few comments about the ways it helped people with the likes of it.

So, despite the title, I decided to read it with no intentions of learning much. It was more of a curiosity thing because of the
Siobhan Sheeran
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Funny yet serious book on quitting alcohol, could really relate to it and I have no doubt that it has helped and will continue to help others to give up whatever they maybe addicted to
Mrs Kirstan S Boynton
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
funny, witty and sobering

manages to balance humour and wit with facts and information. a brilliant read for anyone considering reducing or quitting alcohol.
Bridget Latter
An easy read with a few parallels to quitting smoking. The humble brags bothered me.
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Clare Pooley graduated from Newnham College, Cambridge and spent twenty years in the heady world of advertising.

When Clare realised that she was drinking way too much, she quit, and started a blog called Mummy was a Secret Drinker, which became a memoir - The Sober Diaries.

The Authenticity Project, Clare’s first novel, was inspired by her experience of telling the truth about her life.

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