Any Ordinary Day
As a journalist, Leigh Sales often encounters people experiencing the worst moments of their lives in the full glare of the media. But one particular string of bad news stories - and a terrifying brush with her own mortality - sent her looking for answers about how vulnerable each of us is to a life-changing event. What are our chances of actually experiencing one? What do we fear most and why? And when the worst does happen, what comes next?In this wise and layered book, Leigh talks intimately with people who've faced the unimaginable, from terrorism to natural disaster to simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Expecting broken lives, she instead finds strength, hope, even humour. Leigh brilliantly condenses the cutting-edge research on the way the human brain processes fear and grief, and poses the questions we too often ignore out of awkwardness. Along the way, she offers an unguarded account of her own challenges and what she's learned about coping with life's unexpected blows.Warm, candid and empathetic, this book is about what happens when ordinary people, on ordinary days, are forced to suddenly find the resilience most of us don't know we have.

Any Ordinary Day Details

TitleAny Ordinary Day
Author
ReleaseOct 1st, 2018
PublisherPenguin eBooks
Rating
GenreNonfiction

Any Ordinary Day Review

  • Cathy Miers
    January 1, 1970
    Loved it - such an interesting topic well handled. Was great to meet such a variety of people who were willing to open themselves up to this extent. All the cases are things I remember well so I found it really relevant. I loved Leigh revealing her own vulnerability too. Well done.
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  • Michael Livingston
    January 1, 1970
    In contrast to everyone else I follow on Goodreads, I didn't love this. Sales interviews a handful of people who have suffered high profile tragedies about how they coped with the trauma, loss and attention they went through. The interviews are honest and interesting and provide a powerful look at recovery, resilience and grief. The book weaves Sales' own trials and scientific research around these interviews and here, especially the science bits, I was bit underwhelmed. It's a thoughtful and mo In contrast to everyone else I follow on Goodreads, I didn't love this. Sales interviews a handful of people who have suffered high profile tragedies about how they coped with the trauma, loss and attention they went through. The interviews are honest and interesting and provide a powerful look at recovery, resilience and grief. The book weaves Sales' own trials and scientific research around these interviews and here, especially the science bits, I was bit underwhelmed. It's a thoughtful and moving book, but it didn't really sweep me along with it the way I was hoping it would.
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  • elisabeth
    January 1, 1970
    couldn’t finish this one. I’m a massive fan of leigh’s journalism and podcasting, but her pop-psychology attempt didn’t hold my interest. I was interested in the idea behind this book and some of the subjects interviewed but I feel like she should have stuck to her strengths - interviewing, getting stories out of people, and then highlighting that more than scientific studies and statistics. it was also a pity because I did find her interview segments quite interesting, especially her segment ab couldn’t finish this one. I’m a massive fan of leigh’s journalism and podcasting, but her pop-psychology attempt didn’t hold my interest. I was interested in the idea behind this book and some of the subjects interviewed but I feel like she should have stuck to her strengths - interviewing, getting stories out of people, and then highlighting that more than scientific studies and statistics. it was also a pity because I did find her interview segments quite interesting, especially her segment about Port Arthur. I thought these interviews were well considered and definitely what I’m used to Leigh doing - interesting questions dealt with sensitively. the rest just...didn’t click for me.
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  • Nancy
    January 1, 1970
    Finished: 04.10.2018Genre: non-fictionRating: A++++++#AWW2018Conclusion:If you have a pulse...and I know you dothis book will grab you and not let go.Absolutely inspiring!Sometimes I have to let a book sink in for a few days....and this was one of them.Last year I commented on my post 23 Nov 2017 about losing somebody dear to us.We don't realize we were making memoires back then when times were better...festive family get-to-gethers…we were just having fun. When some leaves you life there's no o Finished: 04.10.2018Genre: non-fictionRating: A++++++#AWW2018Conclusion:If you have a pulse...and I know you dothis book will grab you and not let go.Absolutely inspiring!Sometimes I have to let a book sink in for a few days....and this was one of them.Last year I commented on my post 23 Nov 2017 about losing somebody dear to us.We don't realize we were making memoires back then when times were better...festive family get-to-gethers…we were just having fun. When some leaves you life there's no one to share your memories anymore. They become like secrets. I must mention the new book by Leigh Sales 'An Ordinary Day'. My review (NF) was so short on #AWW2018 because the book had such an impact on me...I was at a loss for words. But every day I think about that book...every day. Leigh Sales managed to make me realize that if you look around your 'ordinary day'...in hindsight they are nothing but miraculous. Life can change in an instant. As I watch the news this past week with a devastating Hurricane Michael...people's homes are blasted from the face of the earth. If you are feeling contemplative....'An Ordinary Day' is worth reading....it put life into perspective for me.
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  • Tanya
    January 1, 1970
    #mindblown #perspective It's fair to say that until a recent turn of events occurred in my life, I have never really experienced "trauma". Certainly, a few shitty things have happened to me in my life but nothing that has shaken me to my core. In the aftermath of said trauma my dearest friend happened to mention a podcast she had listened to by Leigh Sales over a dinner gathering. I swiftly listened to the podcast then ran to the first book store I could find to purchase Any Ordinary Day.In the #mindblown #perspective It's fair to say that until a recent turn of events occurred in my life, I have never really experienced "trauma". Certainly, a few shitty things have happened to me in my life but nothing that has shaken me to my core. In the aftermath of said trauma my dearest friend happened to mention a podcast she had listened to by Leigh Sales over a dinner gathering. I swiftly listened to the podcast then ran to the first book store I could find to purchase Any Ordinary Day.In the wake of the most unfathomable tragedies, Leigh Sales explores how people react after the worst day of their lives. To say I was riveted would be an understatement.The people she interviewed for the book in some cases have experienced multiple traumatic life events. My own experience and reactions to what I believe was the worst day of my life have been completely unprecedented so I eagerly wanted to hear the reactions of others. We all think we would know how we would cope getting any type of bad news but until it happens you really don't. In every case those interviewed for the book emerged stronger, wiser, kinder. My regret is not having a highlighter in my hand as I read it. But I will read it again.In in the aftermath of my own trauma two people in my life fronted up and showed me such kindness that my view of friendships was also transformed. Much like the survivors in Sales book I have come to view kindness in a whole new light. "I'm so changed. I'm so different. I feel like I've sort of had a layer of skin removed. I'm still me, I still hold the same values. But I'm able to live my life now in a very different way. I just find peace and beauty in the smallest moments now...……...it's as if surviving the hardest thing - the greatest pain - frees me to live more courageously. You can crumble and give up. Or you can keep living and loving. I choose the latter". Hannah Richell
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  • Carly Findlay
    January 1, 1970
    Any Ordinary Day by Leigh Sales is good literary journalism. So good. I read it quickly, in three sittings.A mix of interviews with people whose live have changed suddenly and often tragically, statistical research and memoir by Leigh. She reflects on her own writing and research for the book, and her mistakes as a journalist. I kept sending screenshots of “wow” moments to a friend who has finished it. While the topic is quite dark, and the interview subjects have been through some devastating t Any Ordinary Day by Leigh Sales is good literary journalism. So good. I read it quickly, in three sittings.A mix of interviews with people whose live have changed suddenly and often tragically, statistical research and memoir by Leigh. She reflects on her own writing and research for the book, and her mistakes as a journalist. I kept sending screenshots of “wow” moments to a friend who has finished it. While the topic is quite dark, and the interview subjects have been through some devastating tragedies, the book is joyous. There’s wonderfully light moments - like when Louisa Hope, who was in the Lindt Cafe siege recalls joking to the surgeon that she would have liked some liposuction, and the surgeon said her fat saved her; some moments when you realise the power of selflessness - like when. Walter Mikac reached out subtly to Matt Golinski (both men lost their wife and children suddenly); moments when you see the good in people - John Howard writing to the familiies of those killed in the war; and moments that show you just how tough Leigh Sales is. Ultimately, as Wendy Liu who works in the morgue says, death and seeing death is often about love. And that’s what this book is about. It’s lovingly written, knitted together with hope and resilience. Definitely recommend it. A smart, beautiful, spine tingling book.
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  • Jaclyn Crupi
    January 1, 1970
    Leigh Sales shows us what real resilience looks like and reminds us to treasure our vulnerable, messy, cusp-of-tragedy at any time lives. Powerful and life-affirming.
  • A.B. Gayle
    January 1, 1970
    I was drawn to this book out of respect for the author as an investigative journalist and because she is a very fair interviewer. I knew the subject would be explored thoroughly and with integrity. It was.The author acknowledges, “If you often watch the news, you may come to believe that the events that are reported (terrorist attacks, shark maulings, child abductions) are more common than they really are.”This book explores a number of personal tragedies which, due to their nature, became very I was drawn to this book out of respect for the author as an investigative journalist and because she is a very fair interviewer. I knew the subject would be explored thoroughly and with integrity. It was.The author acknowledges, “If you often watch the news, you may come to believe that the events that are reported (terrorist attacks, shark maulings, child abductions) are more common than they really are.”This book explores a number of personal tragedies which, due to their nature, became very public. They drew the media’s attention. The author talks to those brushed by these tragedies. The survivors, the victim’s families, the officials who dealt with them and the boffins who have studied the different aspects of death and grieving.She looks at how those people coped at the time, how the experience changed them as a person and the long term effect of the tragedy.Her interviews and research into each of the tragic incidents are used to illustrate the different aspects. First, why we have this morbid fascination - ie it could have been me. As she says, “We hate to feel vulnerable, and seek reassurance any way we can.” Our obsession can be seen as a survival instinct. In exploring the Lindt Cafe siege she states: “The brain wants an explanation so it can satisfy its desire for cause and effect. Something like the Lindt siege shatters our individual feeling of security and the brain desperately wants that restored. Such events don’t come with a ready explanation and yet the brain still hunts for one. It needs an answer so it can file the experience away and move on to thinking about less threatening things, like what to cook for dinner.”But for those caught up, they can’t “Move on” there is never “closure”. Instead there is the “New Normal” which they have to learn to accept even if they don’t like it.In the words of a Walter Mikac, who lost his wife and daughters in the Port Arthur massacre, ‘A year on, you’re just functioning. I really didn’t have any idea what I was going to do in the future. Twenty years on, it’s probably more like a surgical wound. You can see the scar. You’ve experienced a whole gamut of emotions but it sits okay. I still think about what the children would have been doing at this age. They might have finished uni. It’s a daily thought, just the loss of potential and what they could have been. Sometimes, I just wish so much that I could give them a hug.’At one point, a Jesuit priest, Steve Sinn, says to the author: “You have a substance to your life if you’ve felt pain. You’ve got understanding, that’s where compassion is. It makes you a deeper, richer human being.“There are so many good lessons to learn in this book. Words of wisdom, food for thought, actions that inspire.One section dealt with how we, as individuals can have an affect. Probably the most important lesson for all of us. For Walter Mikac: “having friends avoid him for fear of not knowing what to say or do was one of the worst things in the aftermath of losing his family.” As he puts it, “There’s nothing anyone could say, no matter how badly it came out, that could be as bad as what’s already happened to you. So it’s much better for people to just let you know that they’re there to help, if you need it.”This was reiterated by another interviewee: “people become paralysed because they want to offer something authentic or meaningful and they fear not delivering.” He goes on to recount how a young man helped him by simply expressing sorrow, asking how he was doing then offering help should he need it.The media’s role was explored in detail. In interviewing James Scott years after his ordeal in the Himalayas, the author questions it herself: “Where is the balance between the cost to the individual and the public’s desire to know the story?” The role of the media manager is described as necessary, plus the different way interviews are conducted. The author admits she was not always considering the wellbeing of her interviewees when pursuing a story for a deadline.The section where she interviews Amanda Gearing should be compulsory reading for all journos. Amanda is a journalist who has studied the effect of media interviews on their subjects. For starters, Amanda recommends the approach, “There is going to be a story in the paper about this. If there is anything you would like to say about your child or husband or wife, the paper is interested now. Next week, they probably won’t be so interested.”Amanda’s research showed that interviewees wanted four things: humanity (don’t lose sight of the fact that you’re dealing with people, not characters in a story), empathy (try to understand what the person is going through and act accordingly), autonomy (allow the subject to lead the discussion), and respect (make allowances, give the person time and space, and above all, don’t be exploitative). She added that interviewees should understand that they don’t have to answer every question that journalists ask them.Perhaps the most hopeful thing to come out of all this talk of tragedy, loss and suffering was the concept of post traumatic change.There is no denying: “one of the hardest things is that life keeps relentlessly rolling on.” But in the words of a woman who lost her husband in a tragic surfing accident: “It’s as if surviving the hardest thing –the greatest pain –frees me to live more courageously. You can crumble and give up. Or you can keep living and loving. I choose the latter.”So, lessons for all of us in just the right amount of detail to ensure authenticity without losing the essence of what is important. A recommended read.
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  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    What an absolutely beautiful book made even more powerful by listening to Leigh’s narration on Audible. Very grateful for Leigh daring greatly to capture these stories, to accompany grief and to share some lessons learned. None of us know when something will happen that changes everything. And we have no ability to control or prevent death and grief visiting us and our loved ones. Understanding how other people have endured grief does not give you a blueprint but it does give you faith in our re What an absolutely beautiful book made even more powerful by listening to Leigh’s narration on Audible. Very grateful for Leigh daring greatly to capture these stories, to accompany grief and to share some lessons learned. None of us know when something will happen that changes everything. And we have no ability to control or prevent death and grief visiting us and our loved ones. Understanding how other people have endured grief does not give you a blueprint but it does give you faith in our resilience and the kindness of others. The key take away - be kind. Take that forward every day.
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  • Fiona
    January 1, 1970
    Eye-opening, Heartbreaking. Excellent read.
  • Belinda Ramsay
    January 1, 1970
    This is my pick for the best non-fiction book of 2018. The book weaves emotive interviews with individuals who have faced high-profile traumas with statistical and psychological research that provides an explanation of the often unexplainable human themes of trauma, adversity and resilience. Leigh lends her own honest voice to her experiences and preconceptions in a way that is reminicent of Helen Garner's non-fiction works. Overall, an incredibly interesting and introspective read from one of A This is my pick for the best non-fiction book of 2018. The book weaves emotive interviews with individuals who have faced high-profile traumas with statistical and psychological research that provides an explanation of the often unexplainable human themes of trauma, adversity and resilience. Leigh lends her own honest voice to her experiences and preconceptions in a way that is reminicent of Helen Garner's non-fiction works. Overall, an incredibly interesting and introspective read from one of Australia's best journalists.
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  • Bridget Mutton
    January 1, 1970
    A thought provoking and interesting read. Leigh delves into subjects that a lot of us don’t think or talk about much, and in many cases may actually avoid, but that’s what makes this book and others like it so important. In a world in which we face so much uncertainty and fear it’s important to remember and appreciate our extraordinary capacity to endure and overcome the hardships life offers.
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  • Anna Baillie-Karas
    January 1, 1970
    An excellent book. Leigh Sales explores how we recover from sudden traumatic events, with compassion, curiosity and the skills of a seasoned journalist. Fascinating interviews with a range of people including a coroner, priest, homicide detective - as well as famous survivors and John Howard, re the Port Arthur massacre & aftermath. Beautifully written and I loved her warmth and honesty throughout - it’s like being in her company as we learn how to navigate life’s ‘blindsides’ or how to help An excellent book. Leigh Sales explores how we recover from sudden traumatic events, with compassion, curiosity and the skills of a seasoned journalist. Fascinating interviews with a range of people including a coroner, priest, homicide detective - as well as famous survivors and John Howard, re the Port Arthur massacre & aftermath. Beautifully written and I loved her warmth and honesty throughout - it’s like being in her company as we learn how to navigate life’s ‘blindsides’ or how to help a friend after a death, for example. It’s both inspiring & practical about coping with tough times. Highly recommended.
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  • Claire Fuller
    January 1, 1970
    I was really interested in the interviews with the individuals, but the premise of the book wasn't clear enough. What happens after the worst day of your life either wasn't strong enough to carry the book, or Sales didn't stick to it closely enough. So it seemed to meander into some pop psychology, statistics (which were repeated), secondary worst days, and other things that diluted the whole thing.
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  • Byron Bibliotherapy
    January 1, 1970
    Highly recommended. Really delves deep into some amazingly tragic experiences in high profile cases. But resonates because they’re cases that could have happened to anyone. People often mistakenly think they can control every aspect of their lives, but this book shows this is an illusion. However, it offers insights into how to respond to tragedy, and the role of the media.
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  • Kolumbina
    January 1, 1970
    I am a big fan of Leigh Sales and absolutely love her 7.30 report on ABC channel and all her brave and open questions to various politicians, artists, academics…“Any Ordinary Day” is a beautiful and a valuable book, a writing that gives hope. Very, very special.Leigh Sales meets and talks with various people who faced or experienced the worst possible moments in their lives, terrorism in Lindt Café, landslide in Thredbo, broken families…Some people also started (or continued) their lives again, I am a big fan of Leigh Sales and absolutely love her 7.30 report on ABC channel and all her brave and open questions to various politicians, artists, academics…“Any Ordinary Day” is a beautiful and a valuable book, a writing that gives hope. Very, very special.Leigh Sales meets and talks with various people who faced or experienced the worst possible moments in their lives, terrorism in Lindt Café, landslide in Thredbo, broken families…Some people also started (or continued) their lives again, in a way. As always her interviews (questions) are brave, open, and excellent.Also a very personal book.Beautiful, outstanding, excellent, lots of wisdom.Loved it. Brilliant!
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  • Caren
    January 1, 1970
    I have long admired Leigh Sales as an investigative journalist. What I most appreciated in her book was her willingness to reveal not only her strengths, but particularly her fears, insecurities and most human responses to the traumas she was personally encountering and those of the people she interviewed. The research undertaken allowed her to discuss psychological responses in dealing with the acknowledgement and aftermath of horrific losses due to the murder of loved ones, incidents of terror I have long admired Leigh Sales as an investigative journalist. What I most appreciated in her book was her willingness to reveal not only her strengths, but particularly her fears, insecurities and most human responses to the traumas she was personally encountering and those of the people she interviewed. The research undertaken allowed her to discuss psychological responses in dealing with the acknowledgement and aftermath of horrific losses due to the murder of loved ones, incidents of terror, catastrophic accidents - those unexpected events that are life-changing and seemingly without reason. Included in these accounts is the focus on individuals who have experienced "post-traumatic growth", those who have emerged stronger in their survival and sometimes able to return to a life of positive thinking. Sales explores what allows these individuals to rebuild their lives, what kind of responses from the people around them are the most beneficial in their "recovery", and how they view their catastrophic losses (as random, as fateful, as tests from God, etc). Her humility and openness in revealing her own reactions to the traumas she experienced reveal how she has been fortified by her own resilience and belief that "life is richer, kinder and safer than the news would have you believe." Thus, the book is not a record of human despair; rather, it encourages us to live in the present and believe "You will be okay." Sales deals with intense emotions as her interviewees allow her "in" - yet, like her reporting, there is never melodrama or sensationalism. And, there is always integrity in how she reports what they have told her.
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  • Kathy Fogarty
    January 1, 1970
    This book was a timely read for me. I'm a clinical psychologist and one of my dear clients who I'd already been seeing for several months suffered a sudden, and unbearably tragic loss. This book affirmed something I sensed amidst my own feelings of horror and helplessness, which was that although she had come to me as a psychologist, in the immediate aftermath she needed my humanity above and beyond my psychological knowledge. The message about accompanying people in grief spoke to me, and I was This book was a timely read for me. I'm a clinical psychologist and one of my dear clients who I'd already been seeing for several months suffered a sudden, and unbearably tragic loss. This book affirmed something I sensed amidst my own feelings of horror and helplessness, which was that although she had come to me as a psychologist, in the immediate aftermath she needed my humanity above and beyond my psychological knowledge. The message about accompanying people in grief spoke to me, and I was especially moved by the chapter that showed how a priest and a detective had brought their ordinary humanity into the picture to accompany a particular woman in the early stages of her grief. I loved this book so much.
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  • Annaleise
    January 1, 1970
    Bearing in mind I don't love non-fiction generally, this was a really good read. I have always liked Leigh Sales as a journalist and public figure, and she delivered a really insightful look into what happens in the aftermath of tragedy for the people closely involved. It was hard to listen to in places (Stuart Diver's story shocked me more than most others), but ultimately provided some sage words on life and how very temporary it is.
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  • Carmel Demery
    January 1, 1970
    This is such a great book - not just great but a must read. Most Australians know Leigh Sales as an award winning tough journalist who never backs down from the hard questions. In this pretty short book her highly skilled journalistic talents are used to probe emphathetically into the lives of many famous Australians who have had their ordinary lives transformed by a tragic event. It is so well done and backed by research and statistics around how unlikely such tragedies are yet how they can pla This is such a great book - not just great but a must read. Most Australians know Leigh Sales as an award winning tough journalist who never backs down from the hard questions. In this pretty short book her highly skilled journalistic talents are used to probe emphathetically into the lives of many famous Australians who have had their ordinary lives transformed by a tragic event. It is so well done and backed by research and statistics around how unlikely such tragedies are yet how they can play on our minds to our detriment. Whilst it was all incredible to read, 2 chapters in particular spoke to me - one about how we can’t let fear of something going wrong stopping us living our lives and one about how more people experience post traumatic growth as opposed to post traumatic stress after terrible life changing events. I can’t really do it justice with my limited vocabulary however I did feel very satisfied that her ‘conclusion’ emphasized that in life we need to honor and relish the simple moments and be kind.
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  • Serena
    January 1, 1970
    An astonishingly and tragically beautiful book.There are some very confronting topics discussed including death, survival and murder. Leigh somehow makes this an inspirational read. One of my favourites of 2018.
  • Reannon Bowen
    January 1, 1970
    I didn’t think I’d like this book. I thought it would be hard & cause my overly anxious mind to go into overdrive. But I loved it. I watch Leigh Sales most nights, I listen to her podcast. She feels familiar & trustworthy. The way she narrates this book is so open, so honest & her natural curiosity shines through. And yes, the stories were hard to listen to, made me catch my breath, broke my heart but overall it made me feel uplifted & amazed at how strong & resilient humans I didn’t think I’d like this book. I thought it would be hard & cause my overly anxious mind to go into overdrive. But I loved it. I watch Leigh Sales most nights, I listen to her podcast. She feels familiar & trustworthy. The way she narrates this book is so open, so honest & her natural curiosity shines through. And yes, the stories were hard to listen to, made me catch my breath, broke my heart but overall it made me feel uplifted & amazed at how strong & resilient humans are. I’m so glad I’ve read this book, it’s such a life affirming book.
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  • Rach
    January 1, 1970
    An extraordinary take on such a sensitive topic. Having lost my mum just over a year ago I found this to be therapeutic as much as educational. I loved Leigh’s story telling and her journalistic approach. I could hear Leigh’s voice as I read the book. She handled all the different experiences with a wonderful sensitivity. I have tickets to the launch event on Tuesday and I can’t wait!!
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  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    I shed a few tears. The resilience and emotional strength of people touched by a sudden horrific event are so moving and life-affirming. I definitely thought more about my mortality, the fragility of life and everyone I love and care about, and my own fear of death and tragedy.I suppose my only critique is that I'd have liked Sales to interview a more diverse group of Australians, not only from different ethnic and religious groups (as how people go through grief and recovery varies greatly by c I shed a few tears. The resilience and emotional strength of people touched by a sudden horrific event are so moving and life-affirming. I definitely thought more about my mortality, the fragility of life and everyone I love and care about, and my own fear of death and tragedy.I suppose my only critique is that I'd have liked Sales to interview a more diverse group of Australians, not only from different ethnic and religious groups (as how people go through grief and recovery varies greatly by culture), but also other kinds of hardship (not just deaths).
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  • Amra Pajalic
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book and couldn't stop reading it. Leigh Sales embarked on writing this book after a series of events in her life that profoundly changed her and made her think about how we deal with trauma. She interviews a series of high profile survivors of tragedies and ruminates on how we deal with trauma, why we behave the way we do, and if there are any lessons to be learnt. Because Leigh is a journalist she is able to both write from the perspective of a objective journalist, while also bri I loved this book and couldn't stop reading it. Leigh Sales embarked on writing this book after a series of events in her life that profoundly changed her and made her think about how we deal with trauma. She interviews a series of high profile survivors of tragedies and ruminates on how we deal with trauma, why we behave the way we do, and if there are any lessons to be learnt. Because Leigh is a journalist she is able to both write from the perspective of a objective journalist, while also bringing the reader into her thoughts and getting us to understand how she is doing these interviews and why. There were so many occasions when as a journalist she wanted to ask the hard, uncomfortable questions of her subjects and hesitated, and I was imploring her in my head, yes, please ask. And she did because she views it her job to present the truth to the reader. There are a lot of thoughts I'm left with from reading this book, but also a lot of great lessons. One of the most important ones is that when someone goes through a tragedy or trauma it is our place to accompany the sufferer. To be there rather than back away because we are scared or uncomfortable. Loved this book so much and there is a lovely reading list that is provided in the back where Leigh shares her reading that helped form some of her ideas as there are threads I want to know more about.
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  • Rob O'Hearn
    January 1, 1970
    When you are blindsided by unexpected tragedy your world can seem to disintegrate. If the misfortune continues and there is no return to normality, you can start to take it personally. Feeling isolated from others, you begin to see your life is supported by very flimsy scaffolding. You may feel cursed and haunted, or at least, deeply unlucky.What is it then, that gets you through? How do you find solidity and rejoin?These questions drive Leigh Sale’s third book (her most personal yet), Any Ordin When you are blindsided by unexpected tragedy your world can seem to disintegrate. If the misfortune continues and there is no return to normality, you can start to take it personally. Feeling isolated from others, you begin to see your life is supported by very flimsy scaffolding. You may feel cursed and haunted, or at least, deeply unlucky.What is it then, that gets you through? How do you find solidity and rejoin?These questions drive Leigh Sale’s third book (her most personal yet), Any Ordinary Day.After years of interviewing people on their very worst days, and spurred by a series of shocks that had rattled her own (previously charmed) life, Sales sets out to explore resilience. She starts with a series of interviews with many high-profile victims of extraordinarily bad days, including Walter Mikac (who lost his family in the Port Arthur massacre) and Stuart Diver (whose wife perished in the Thredbo landslide). This not mere reportage, but rather a compelling quest into human strategies.“A day that turns a life upside-down usually starts like any other”, she notes. But when it rapidly changes to disastrous, how you deal with it depends on many factors. Some folk use faith for support whilst others have an almost existential approach to the perceived randomness. Questions of fate, bad luck and karma arise for many. Is there a pattern? Why me?Using findings of behavioural psychologists, the experience of counsellors, and even the statistical analysis of the ABS, Sales asks why we look for patterns of meaning and predictability. Does it do any good to do this? Can you extract goodness from the worst experience of your life? Why are some of us better at it? What can we do to be prepared?I found this book to be an immensely rewarding read, heartbreaking and yet optimistic. Those of us who have been touched by black swan events of death and disaster will find deep resonance, and the many issues raised are handled elegantly and with care. Philosophies raised are individual and varied, but the uncommon wisdom of those interviewed, especially the counsellors and investigating detective, will stay with you, no matter your view. There is much useful advice in these pages, but also many moments that will bring forth tears. Life is fragile and fleeting, and the sudden endings detailed here are distressing and poignant in their effect on loved ones.This book takes us on a journey to understand big questions rarely raised. It is a personal therapy for the author that enfolds the reader in its empathy. Thankfully Leigh Sales is always honest with us. She has no pretense of answers, is not prescriptive, and she makes no secret of her own mishandling of delicate situations. Indeed, Sales’ take on the role of the media in further traumatizing disaster victims makes this book vital reading.There are many inspiring people in Any Ordinary Day, and it is a privilege to access their thoughts and experience. Their generous and courageous sharing form the core and soul of this book, and a lesser author may not have been worthy or as skilful in their handling. The small moments: the rituals, personal values, and the genuine honouring of each other; these are the real treasures that help us in difficult times, and the author highlights them beautifully.Leigh Sales has crafted one of my favourite books of the year, it is empathetic, balanced and compassionate, sprinkled with humour and insight. I thoroughly recommend Any Ordinary Day to thoughtful readers everywhere. It is particularly essential for journalists and frontline counsellors, but then again, we can all be of better use in a crisis, if only to ourselves. To that end I urge you to read it.We are all in danger of the great blindside, but this book is ultimately about paying attention to the precious thing we call life, on any ordinary day at any ordinary moment. This is uplifting and inspiring writing from a national treasure.
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  • Ron Brown
    January 1, 1970
    Like so many other Australians I find Leigh Sales an impressive journalist, writer and woman. I read her 2007 publication “Detainee 002: The Case of David Hicks” and her small publication “On Doubt”.On reading the first few pages of this book I felt somewhat voyeuristic of peoples’ pain and suffering. However, as the book proceeded the integrity of Ms Sales infiltrates the pages and it appears that the interviewees were all comfortable at being interviewed by her. She was cautious in approaching Like so many other Australians I find Leigh Sales an impressive journalist, writer and woman. I read her 2007 publication “Detainee 002: The Case of David Hicks” and her small publication “On Doubt”.On reading the first few pages of this book I felt somewhat voyeuristic of peoples’ pain and suffering. However, as the book proceeded the integrity of Ms Sales infiltrates the pages and it appears that the interviewees were all comfortable at being interviewed by her. She was cautious in approaching many of the people she wanted to interview, Walter Mikac, Stuart Diver, among others. I did wonder if she received any rejections. She does mention Phillip Hughes and Jake Kovco but had no follow-up interview.Her honesty is demonstrated when she explains her trepidation and concern for those who she is about to interview. She even appears to have become friends/associates with some of those she has interviewed. (Louisa Hope from Lindt Café siege)Ms Sales employed a researcher so that she could collect the data and information about individuals dealing with traumatic situation. So there is a research basis to her theses and comments about how people and communities deal with personal tragedy both to themselves and their loved ones.In my twenties I use to go running with a guy in his late 50s and we had many discussions. I remember him saying that people who became extremely upset at funerals, especially for older people, were being selfish and self-centred. They were mourning their loss and not the passing of another. I would ask people who lose someone young and dear to them would you have preferred for them to have never been lived or do you value the time that they were part of your life?Many of the survivors of violent and extreme events seem to develop strong and meaningful insights into life and its struggles. They seem to have character and integrity that many politicians, media personalities and commentators on social media fail miserably at having.She applies this knowledge and her journalistic experience to examine how people deal with calamity on the long-term consequences. Finally, Ms Sales displays and openness and honesty about her own life experiences and the emotions she dealt with as she interviewed the participants and reflected on what they had told her.A warm sincere book that I would recommend to people interested in this topic.
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  • Rebekah Roma
    January 1, 1970
    I was unimpressed with this book. I read it because there was an abundance of praise but I don't think it measured up. It may be because I am unfamiliar with Leigh Sales as a journalist and therefore I was after a book which focused on the subjects of her stories rather than her ruminations on their interviews. I didn't find her musings interesting, insightful or fresh. I would have preferred a heavier focus on the psychology which the title alluded to but the work never fully delivered. Interes I was unimpressed with this book. I read it because there was an abundance of praise but I don't think it measured up. It may be because I am unfamiliar with Leigh Sales as a journalist and therefore I was after a book which focused on the subjects of her stories rather than her ruminations on their interviews. I didn't find her musings interesting, insightful or fresh. I would have preferred a heavier focus on the psychology which the title alluded to but the work never fully delivered. Interesting anecdotes I will take away:After 9/11, people were scared to fly and planes carried about 17% fewer people, while miles driven increased by 5%. In the following two years, a 2006 Cornwell study estimated that approximately 2,302 extra people died on roads as a result. Post-traumatic growth is something I didn't know existed. I enjoyed hearing about the study wherein 200 sexual assault survivors reported after 2 years an increase in positive aspects of their lives (philosophy, empathy, self, and relationships) and the negative aspects decreased - not to minimise their trauma at all but to illustrate the resilience of humans. From the studies in this area, it is estimated that 30-80% of people who suffer severe trauma will experience post-traumatic growth while only 10% will develop PTSD.
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  • the.four.readers
    January 1, 1970
    Everyone needs a copy of this heartfelt book. Buy yourself one for Christmas, and get one for everyone you know. Leigh Sales presents the latest research on how the human brain processes fear and grief, interviews people who have lived through unfathomable loss and shares her own personal challenges. The result is a moving, empathetic and beautiful reminder that we are more resilient than we think, that kindness matters most and that people are more decent than the news would have us believe. ‘S Everyone needs a copy of this heartfelt book. Buy yourself one for Christmas, and get one for everyone you know. Leigh Sales presents the latest research on how the human brain processes fear and grief, interviews people who have lived through unfathomable loss and shares her own personal challenges. The result is a moving, empathetic and beautiful reminder that we are more resilient than we think, that kindness matters most and that people are more decent than the news would have us believe. ‘Sometimes, at the worst of moments, one small, beautiful thing to look at - a smooth stone, a flower, a beautifully crafted chocolate - gives the tiniest glimmer of hope.’ Prop this book up on your back fence, surround it with star jasmine, take photos of it and tell everyone you know to read it, now. Watch @Leigh_sales on the 7.30 Report on @abctvListen to Leigh Sales with the fabulous @Annabelcrabbe on the best podcast ever @chat10looks3 Have you read this? Are you a chatter?
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  • Kim
    January 1, 1970
    This book really spoke to me. After a couple of my own blindsides (Thankfully none worthy of media attention) I had come to many of the same conclusions, so Leigh Sales really spoke to my own confirmation bias. There was quite a bit that she researched that I hadn't and I was surprised to learn that some quirks of thinking that we all go through when something blindsides us have been documented in the research. I found it really interesting not only reading about what some of those people have g This book really spoke to me. After a couple of my own blindsides (Thankfully none worthy of media attention) I had come to many of the same conclusions, so Leigh Sales really spoke to my own confirmation bias. There was quite a bit that she researched that I hadn't and I was surprised to learn that some quirks of thinking that we all go through when something blindsides us have been documented in the research. I found it really interesting not only reading about what some of those people have gone through in their very public blindsides and the way they coped but also I found it interesting reading about the professionals who were the best help to them and hearing directly from them and how they assist people the best and be there for them in their worst times. Such an excellent book. Underlined many bits and will be recommending this to everyone I can. Although they may have to get their own copy because I intend to read this again and again.
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