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Sane New World: Taming the Mind [Paperback]

Ruby Wax
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (499 customer reviews)
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Book Description

27 Feb 2014

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 + Sane New World: A User's Guide to the Normal-Crazy Mind + How Do You Want Me?
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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (27 Feb 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444755757
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444755756
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (499 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 254 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)

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)

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
64 of 65 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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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read and lots of good advice 5 Jan 2014
By Mrs. T
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Ruby uses just enough science, personal anecdotes and humour to make this book easy and worthwhile reading. It's full of common sense and advice for life in the 21st century. I'd recommend it to anyone who suffers from anxiety or would class themselves as an excessive worrier. If nothing else this book will give you some laughs!
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141 of 149 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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Of course, that's not possible as neuroscience is only just beginning to understand how our brains work. Still, this book is invaluable to anyone and everyone. Intuitively, I always knew that stress is the root of all evils, that meditation and mindfulness help me to calm the mind as does yoga but no meditation or yoga teacher has ever explained to me the physiological principles behind mindfulness. Ruby Wax does more than that. She ascertains that we are all crazy and helps to navigate to the sane shores with clarity and uncanny humour. To me this is the best and most profound book I've read in a decade.
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54 of 60 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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143 of 162 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.
Read more ›
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A funny book with a very important message 21 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Ruby writes about mindfulness in a way that actually makes sense. Her open and honest account of her own mental illness adds a layer of reality and truth sometimes missing in more zen like approaches to mindfulness.
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Comedienne and now Psychotherapist, Ruby Wax deserves a Royal Albert Hall sized standing ovation for her new book.

Ruby talks with a deep and compelling honesty about her own struggles (not always pleasant) and how practicing mindfulness has made a huge difference to her own life. She makes mindfulness much simpler than many other speakers and authors. She removes the religious aspects associated with it, making it accessible to anyone of any religion or none.

Written in plain english with humour she gives a tour of the different parts of the brain. She lists the results of many compelling scientific studies that clearly show how mindfulness quickly brings about positive changes in the brain and the body.

Ruby lists many different practices and exercises that can help improve how we think and feel about ourselves, others and the world around us. Whilst some determined effort will be required, it is simply a case of choosing a few that you want to try and that you think you can practically do. I have used some of her 5 second mindfulness techniques over the last week and already feel a greater sense of calm.

Ruby gives us all some compelling answers to overburdened health services and budgets. I want every every GP and NHS manager in the country to read her book. I shall be recommending her book to many of my own coaching clients.

A big thank you to you Ruby!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good book for people that suffer from stress
Published 15 hours ago by Bowden
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good read
Published 19 hours ago by dee6
5.0 out of 5 stars funny and would recommend it to anyone who wants to ...
I found the book helpful, funny and would recommend it to anyone who wants to find out about 'mindfulness'.
Published 2 days ago by Dawn
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Interesting. Clearly and entertainingly written
Published 2 days ago by T.R.Moyle
5.0 out of 5 stars Sane New way of thinking
This book is great to read , not just if you're coping with depression like me but because it is very informative in its own right Ruby Wax has done a great job of explaining what... Read more
Published 2 days ago by stephen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant read and helps to understand Mindfulness
Published 2 days ago by HazelD
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
brilliant book great service
Published 3 days ago by jane rockett
5.0 out of 5 stars ... finished this book yet but already feel it's the best book I have...
Not even finished this book yet but already feel it's the best book I have read in awhile, well written, humorous, blunt and honest, confronting a lot of issues of this day and... Read more
Published 4 days ago by G
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Love this book. With any writer if you don't tune in to what they are saying it makes things less relevant for you so you may switch off. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Tallulahcat
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read
Published 6 days ago by Eileen Lister
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