Any Ordinary Day

Any Ordinary Day 3

Blindsides, Resilience, and What Happens After the Worst Day of Your Life

by Leigh Sales

Paperback / softback Publication Date: 01/10/2018

5/5 Rating 3 Reviews
RRP  $34.99 $27.35

The day that turns a life upside down usually starts like any other, but what happens the day after? Dual Walkley Award-winner Leigh Sales investigates how ordinary people endure the unthinkable.

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.

True stories of heroism
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
Country of origin:
Dimensions (mm):
Leigh Sales

Leigh Sales is an award-winning journalist and author.

She anchors 7.30 on ABC television. From 2006 to 2008, she was the network's National Security Correspondent and from 2001 to 2005, Washington Correspondent, covering the momentous years after the September 11 terrorist attacks. Leigh won a Walkley award in 2005 for her coverage of issues surrounding Guantanamo Bay and was also nominated for her on-the-ground reporting of Hurricane Katrina.

Her first book, Detainee 002: the Case of David Hicks, was published in 2007 to widespread critical acclaim. It was shortlisted for the 2008 Victorian Premier's Literary Prize and won the 2007 George Munster Award for Independent Journalism. Her second book, On Doubt, was published in 2009 as part of Melbourne University Publishing's 'Little Book on Big Themes' series, which features leading Australian writers including Germaine Greer, David Malouf and Don Watson.

Leigh's writing has appeared in The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian and The Monthly. She writes a fortnightly blog for the ABC called 'Well-readhead'. Before joining the ABC, Leigh worked for the Nine Network. She has degrees in international relations and journalism.

This item is in stock at our Sydney warehouse and you can expect to receive your order in 4 working days or less for most Australian capitals. We send it to you via the Australia Post eParcel service, which includes online tracking.

Please check below to see indicative delivery timeframes for your area. Please allow extra time during peak holiday periods.

Delivered to:

NSW Metro: 2 - 4 working days.
NSW Regional: 3 - 5 working days.
VIC & SA Metro: 2 - 4 working days.
VIC & SA Regional: 3 - 5 working days.
QLD Metro: 3 - 5 working days.
QLD Regional: 8 - 14 working days.
TAS: 3 - 5 working days.
WA Metro: 5 - 7 working days.
WA Regional: 6 - 9 working days.
NT Metro: 6 - 8 working days.
NT Regional: 8 - 14 working days.



This item can also be shipped via express post. If all the items in your cart list "In-Stock 2-4 days" then you can select for your order to be shipped via Express Post. Your order will be shipped the next business day, and delivery will be the following business day, if you are within Australia Post's Next Day Delivery Network.

This includes:

NSW - Sydney, Gosford, Newcastle, Wollongong.
VIC - Melbourne, Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo.
ACT - Canberra.
SA - Adelaide.
QLD - Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast.
TAS - Hobart, Launceston.
WA - Perth CBD postcode 6000 only.
NT - Express Post is not available.

Customer Reviews

Average Rating

5 / 5 (3 Ratings)
5 stars (3)
4 stars (0)
3 stars (0)
2 stars (0)
1 stars (0)
  • Highly recommend!

    by on

    A very touching book, I would recommend to anyone whether or not you are going through a challenging time in your life.

  • Any Ordinary Day

    by on

    Written with love and and deep empathy and certainly not a light read, but overwhelmingly resonating with anyone who has suffered bereavement or trauma. Very dense, beautifully written, and Leigh Sales has opened up her innermost heart in recording the stories, her reactions and observations of how we can choose to continue with life after loss. Not what could be described as an “enjoyable read,” but an enlightening one.

  • Review by Robert @ Angus & Robertson

    by on

    In her long career as a journalist, dual-Walkley Award winner Leigh Sales has interviewed many people on the worst day of their lives. She has seen disaster victims blinking in the bewilderment of sudden bereavement, and wondered how their stories resolved when the lights faded. What powers did these folk have to carry on, to bounce back and find joy in life?

    "Any Ordinary Day" is a personal exploration of resilience in the face of such devastating ‘black swan’ events. Sales interviews many high-profile survivors of catastrophic events, from the Lindt siege to the Port Arthur massacre, linking their stories with a harrowing account of her own near-death emergency. This is not a chronicle of sad events, but more a philosophical study of coping mechanisms. We meet many fascinating survivors of unimaginable blindsides, and discover their views on fate, chance and meaning, some religious and some the very opposite. Along the way we also learn much about the huge effect that people surrounding victims in crisis can have, from exploitation by the media to the benevolence and honesty of counsellors.

    This is a revelatory and touching book, full of curiosity and grace, that looks thoughtfully behind the scaffolding of our lives and the meanings we construct. I keep thinking about "Any Ordinary Day", and the moments of damned luck and chance that ripple out into waves - it makes you question the ordinary day you are probably having and your own journey so far. With this book, Sales has gifted us not only with perspective, but shown us the extraordinary strength we all have hidden within us. I fully recommend it to the empathic and thoughtful reader.