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Everyday Matters

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  5,004 ratings  ·  124 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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Average rating 4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,004 ratings  ·  124 reviews

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Mar 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Lenny Husen
Feb 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
I LOVE this man. He is a personal hero of mine.
This is a memoir, and a sketchbook, and a look into how one person chose to change to adapt to adversity. Gregory is all about Resilience and Mindfulness, WITHOUT (Thank God) having to use those words to describe the process by which tragedy becomes thriving.

Great for anyone who, like Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, once loved to draw and was discouraged for not being "good enough."
Nov 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art-books

(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.
Oct 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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.
Bill Lancaster
Jan 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a book of a man who finds a way out of despair by the simple act of drawing. Danny Gregory's wife, Patti, had a horrendous accident in NYC and Gregory's life was turned around. And he found that drawing and sketching was a practice that helped both he and his wife recover from her accident.
This is the second time I've read this short book which is illustrated profusely by Gregory's sketches. He is not a great artist, nor particularly skilled at drawing. But he is terrific at describing
Oct 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Even though the ending of this graphic memoir veers off into more telling than showing, most of the book serves as a beautiful reminder of how appreciation of "the little things" can ground us in the wake of tragedy, when we feel most lost in our own despair.
Mirek Kukla
Jan 12, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: other
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
Stephanie (aka WW)
Oct 10, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a charming little book, which features approximately a year’s worth of the author’s drawings and thoughts on everyday matters, which are as disparate as the stuff he keeps in his refrigerator and the skyline of London. The motivation for the book was an incident in which the author’s wife fell in front of a subway car and was paralyzed from the waist down. The change in the couple's lifestyle affects the author, of course, but doesn’t take over his life or this book, which plods along ...more
Apr 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Dec 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Maria Itkin
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An excellent sketch journal-memoir. Danny Gregory shared his story, what made him start drawing, and might even saved his sanity during hard times. It's very inspirational - made me grab my sketchbook and a pen and go out there to draw.
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most unusual memoirs I've read to date, and a very interesting one. It feels like watching over the author's shoulder as he talks and draws. It's personal and beautiful. I enjoyed watching his story.
Oct 22, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book of loss, life, love and drawing. And of New York --
Heather Mattern
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-adventures
This book took my breath away. I wasn’t prepared for the raw “real-ness” of it. This is not just a book about drawing but rather it’s a book on finding happiness in each and every day!
May 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Little Nook
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art, loc-studio
What a wonderful book. I really didn't expect it. Danny Gregory is just a regular guy who had to go through a painful experience with his family and much like the rest of us used art to immerse himself and forget his problems. Through his journey he was able to appreciate every day matters.

The book doesn't teach drawing (similar to some of his other books) but it's more of an illustrated memoir or an art journal. What I really loved was how his drawing style changes with every passing page. In
Oct 10, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  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 & ...more
Josephus FromPlacitas
Sep 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
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 ...more
Andrea Paterson
Feb 06, 2019 rated it liked it
I am very drawn to the idea of this project and also to Danny Gregory's use of art as a way to be present in the world. I'm a huge fan of the Everyday Matters Facebook page and the community of artists gathered there. That being said, I didn't really love this book, and I truly expected to. I think the problem was mostly in that I was expecting more of a story. Based on the book cover description it seemed that there is going to be more of a narrative arc directly related to coming through the ...more
Aug 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, memoir
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
Maddison Holland
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: art-books-read
I have been wanting to get better at drawing and finding my style of illustration and this book kept popping up so I knew I wanted to read it. I had the opportunity to borrow it from a friend and it only took a couple hours to read the whole thing. I didn't realize it was a memoir (because apparently, I don't read) so I was definitely expecting more of a technical book on drawing.

I think it's great that drawing has helped this guy see the beauty in the world, etc but it was a really depressing
Jul 01, 2018 rated it liked it
I learned about this book at a nature journaling weekend workshop. I am certainly no artistic (although I play one in my mind), but this small diary is inspirational to those who want to draw but feel less than.

It’s more than that, of course. It tells the true story of the author and his wife who have a young baby who live in NYC. Tragedy befalls them and derails their lives. The author uses drawing, really seeing things around him as a way through his emotions. It is touching, personal, and
Mar 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Sheri S.
Everyday Matters is a heartfelt book about changes in life and the importance of noticing the little things. Gregory's life was dramatically changed after his wife fell off a subway platform and she was run over by a coming subway. The book reflects his thoughts and feelings following this incident and how his life views changed. In some ways, Gregory's drawings remind me of some of Shel Silverstein's works and I especially like the pages where Gregory used watercolors. I look forward to reading ...more
Cheryl Keller
May 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I learned so much from Danny Gregory in Sketchbook Skool and thought he seemed like such a warm and wise person. This memoir in graphic form just confirms my first impressions. His words are heart-breaking and inspiring at the same time, and his drawings reveal so much about the heart and soul of the writer, which is a beautiful thing. There are so many pages I loved, but my favorite is the very first page with the outline of his young son's hands framing a view of the world they see in front of ...more
Mar 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Nov 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
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.
Cecelia Helwig
May 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A graphic memoir penned by Danny Gregory, a New York creative director, who teaches himself to draw in an effort to restore some meaning to his life after his wife falls under a subway train. She lives, but his sense of “normalcy” is shattered and so he begins drawing everything he sees. The result is captivating and brilliant!

Opens your eyes and your heart to the unremitting beauty that surrounds us, affirming that every day really does matter!

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