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Sane New World: Taming the Mind [Hardcover]

Ruby Wax
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (251 customer reviews)
RRP: 18.99
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Book Description

6 Jun 2013
Ruby Wax - comedian, writer and mental health campaigner - shows us how our minds can jeopardize our sanity. With her own periods of depression and now a Masters from Oxford in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy to draw from, she explains how our busy, chattering, self-critical thoughts drive us to anxiety and stress. If we are to break the cycle, we need to understand how our brains work, rewire our thinking and find calm in a frenetic world. Helping you become the master, not the slave, of your mind, here is the manual to saner living.

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Sane New World: Taming the Mind + How Do You Want Me? + Shoot the Damn Dog: A Memoir of Depression
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (6 Jun 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444755730
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444755732
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.8 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (251 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,801 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Ruby Wax has an extraordinary mind, and she has brought it to bear with trademark wit and searing honesty on the subject of that mind, and the minds of all us. Very few will be able to read this wonderful contribution to the literature of mental health without recognising some part of themselves, and certainly of someone they know. A ruby beyond price. (Stephen Fry)

I love this book more than I love Ruby. And that's saying quite a a loud, funny voice. Yes...I love this book. And I know books. And I know love. And Ruby's book is both. (Carrie Fisher)

Ruby Wax combats ignorance with knowledge, confusion with crystal clarity, prejudice with open-mindedness, rigidity with humour and slays the dragon of stigma in this superb introduction to the twenty-first century science of the mind. This book will be a turning point in our battle to bring parity of esteem to mental and physical health. Explaining in simple language the nature of mental disorder and describing evocatively what you can do about it, is a substantial contribution to making our society a better place. This manual for living must be read by everyone. (Peter Fonagy, Freud Memorial Professor of Psychoanalysis at UCL)

Ruby Wax is at her best in this wonderful book. Its acute observations are both extremely funny and deeply moving. Many people will be grateful for her courage, openness, humour and wisdom. (Mark Williams, author of Mindfulness)

Ruby Wax combines neuroscience with her usual eloquence, clarity and humour. You will laugh and cry but certainly understand more about how to live a 'sane' life in our crazy, chaotic world. (Marjorie Wallace CBE, founder of SANE)

In Sane New World, Wax touches upon her own anxieties and fears with honesty and royally hauls a stigmatised fact of life kicking and laughing into the open. (The Times)

Her wonderful, painfully funny and instructive book has inspired this depressive to sign up for mindfulness training. (Alison Pearson, The Telegraph)

The book does succeed as a 'life manual' exactly because it is Ruby Wax who has written it...her life-affirming humour carries it through on a tide of quirky jokes and separate anecdotes from her life. (Daily Express)

Book Description

Comedian, writer and mental health campaigner shows us why and how our minds can send us mad and how we can rewire our thinking, especially through mindfulness, to calm ourselves in a frenetic world.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you Ms Wax... 6 July 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Brilliant Book. I read it with Ruby's voice in my head which made it easy and amusing. I wish she had written this book when I was 14, it would have saved me years of heart/head ache.. A must read for those who want to find out more about themselves and those around them. Thank you Ms Wax, I am only sorry that you had to suffer first in order to get tothis point in your life...
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107 of 113 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Owners Guide to the Mind 7 Jun 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I've read a lot of books about neurology, psychology and psychotherapy. Just put this one down having finished the last page. This one is a bit special because it has been written by someone who writes from the heart, with an honesty that's compelling. It has been said that there is no owner's manual that comes with each brain. This one provides a pretty good idea of what to do if you feel that your own brain is not quite getting you through your life the way you'd like. Highly recommended. I've always liked the author as a comedienne... I like her even better as an author and educator.
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80 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant sensitive Read 3 Jun 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
For anyone affected directly or indirectly by mental illness this is a must read. It is the first book that I have read on the subject that clearly explains how to turn around your thought process in laymen's terms. The technical details are explained clearly without being condescending.Sane New World: How to Tame the Mind
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49 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BRILIANT 6 Jun 2013
this book is a gift to the world. it's a helpful book without being a 'self help book.' funny, insightful and a revelation. it makes the most impossible concepts accessible for everyone and will help anyone understand the intricate workings of the brain and the responses we have to life. a must have for anyone trying to navigate their way through all the madness. major thanks to miss wax...
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123 of 139 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What's the one thing we all say when asked what we'd wish ourselves or our children and loved ones? A happy life. This excellent book isn't just for those people with a mental health diagnosis. It's a book for any human being who wants a happier life. A manual for improved life quality - improved thinking, feeling and behaviour. I want to send one each to all our children.

Here's a modified something I wrote on Ruby Wax's website ( today.

"I'm glad the Irish Sane New World Tour went so well. My work hours were reduced from 36 to 12 per week when I had to have time off for an episode and the doctor's certificate showed 'bipolar depression'. That's a 2/3 cut in my salary. We moved area and I now work from home doing something I love. But mental illness can still hit us in the pocket and lower self-esteem further in this way, as you mention in SNW. The law definitely needs changing. We can never have too many people being open and honest about their experiences.

I'm now told by my e-reader I'm at '94 of 150' and thus at Part 4 of Sane New World. Although I took two NHS Mindfulness courses, the brain part was only explained in that we can change our thinking and thus feeling and behaviours. There simply wasn't the budget or time on the NHS to go into that detail and we concentrated on the actual practice.

So, at very long last, someone has explained for me in layman's/Joe Public human terms what scientists and scholars actually know, from all the research we have up to now (and clearly more needs doing), about our brains and minds. I knew Mindfulness was doing me good, making life richer and me more content, but the info in SNW's been a revelation to me. How complex is the brain! No wonder it's taking time to work it all out.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you've not encountered how mindfulness techniques can help with depression before, this book by Ruby Wax is a good place to start. It explains the concepts simply and wittily, and provides useful exercises at the end to help put the theory into practice.

I found the second chapter - 'For the Normal-Mad' - superfluous (it seemed a case of stating the obvious to me) but still I'd recommend the book overall, especially if you're down. The short chapters make it easy to digest when concentration is poor (often a side effect of depression) and Ruby's willingness to expose her own vulnerabilities makes it feel as if you're in the company of a good friend as you read.

There are, it's true, other more fulsome books on mindfulness out there (I'd recommend 'The Mindful Way through Depression' by Williams, Teasdale, Segal and Kabat-Zinn if it's detail you're after) and there are more searing accounts of going through breakdown too (I'd cite Sally Brampton's 'Shoot The Damn Dog' and Gwynneth Lewis's 'Sunbathing in the Rain' as two of the best I've come across) but they don't detract from this book, which, as a cross between the two genres (part self-help tome, part memoir), aims to do something different.

Moreover, because Ruby Wax is a household name, there's every chance 'Sane New World' will find its way into the hands of people who might not otherwise read about depression, and that can be no bad thing. I have enormous respect for Ruby and admire what she's done (and continues to do) to raise awareness of mental illness. Indeed, as an aside, I'd go so far as to say the programmes she fronted for Channel 4 in 2012 acted as a source of inspiration to me personally. So thank you Ruby, for being brave enough to stand up and be a spokesperson for one in four; 'the Mad-Mad'. That takes even greater courage than stand-up comedy, and I'm sure I'm not alone in being grateful for your bravery.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible book, helpful, insightful and funny. A must read for...
Thank you Ruby Wax.
I have recommended this to a whole host of people and have decided to read more around the concept of mindfulness.
Published 16 hours ago by Natalie Allen
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
I found this book really interesting. I have never read a book like it. It is very positive and encouraging.
Published 1 day ago by happy
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty and insightful
A fun insight in to one persons coping mechanism. A good read than will offer you something to consider and use.
Published 2 days ago by dido
5.0 out of 5 stars A remedy to insanity :P
I have to admit that Ruby`s voice is a bit annoying but this is a book so it doesn`t matter :)
I like the way she explains what goes on in our brains. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Marzena Zebryk
4.0 out of 5 stars Captivating and funny
Enjoyable read from start to finish, Ruby leaves littles gems that keep you wanting to read more about her life.
Published 2 days ago by kvarley
5.0 out of 5 stars changing.
Well done Ruby. Thank you for writing, and I hope the message reaches those who need it. If only they knew how much they do.
Published 3 days ago by Keith
5.0 out of 5 stars Great.Textuarrily Indiependent!
In terms of self-determentship,it came to an almost,best seller.While going through the adaptive spaces that reached through the biographer's setting,the influence of it's content... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Dim
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerising
Truly brilliant book written with humbleness and humour , Ruby Wax and her ultimate knowledge from both sides, student and sufferer.
Published 3 days ago by Chris Bruin
3.0 out of 5 stars book
my husband bought this book so i can not comment on it as he hasnt read it yet ! !
Published 3 days ago by Maria
5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful explanations
This is very well written, it is light hearted, funny, but also very factual. Not too high brow so even I can understand it!
Published 3 days ago by Brigitte Wise
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