Best Sobriety Books: 9 of the best Quit-Lit Reads
This is an updated post because since the first release, there has been other books come on the market, including my own. Wehey! Obviously, I am proud of my own book but I am also proud to follow most of the other sober authors and can honestly say that from my experience, everyone has something to offer the would be sober curious. With these experiences, you have some quality reads to get you started, help you along the way or just to read for interest and any are worthy of being in a best sobriety books category. Even well before I finally stopped drinking alcohol, I read a few books on the theme, given the fact that deep down I knew I was drinking too much. Reading is a great inspiration and, depending on the type of book it can encourage you in all aspects of life and not just alcohol.
As I have mentioned a few times I’m sure, understanding my emotions and the reasons why I drank was a major part of the process and my eventual success. For me drinking was the tip of the iceberg and by sorting out the mass below the surface, i.e. the raw emotional side of why I felt like I needed alcohol, I gained an understanding of the tools I needed to quit the drink. My top selection below all have this theme of dealing with everyday life, battling the booze and eventually being successful in sobriety whilst realism, honesty and humour are prevalent.
As this is written by myself, I would rather let it be described by a peer and a reader as follows:
“This powerful book challenges you to deeply explore your thoughts and fears around letting go of alcohol, and release them, using a unique and effective blend of storytelling and Neuro Linguistic Programming techniques. This book will change lives”!
– Annie Grace, Author of ‘This Naked Mind’
“Darren is a word smith and being from the US, I learned some new words from this book! Real talk, his story isn’t unlike many of those of us who have reflected on our journey with alcohol. It was a refreshing departure from the harsh addiction rhetoric I had experienced elsewhere. I cannot recommend this book highly enough”!
– MrsRizMitts, Reader, US
Girl Walks Out of a Bar by Lisa F Smith
A book I can certainly relate to and an extremely honest account through memoirs of the life of someone burning the candle at both ends. This book tells a story of how Lisa held down a high-end job and at the same time was spiralling out of control on a personal level. I found this book rather comical and yet gripping at the same time. It takes you into a world of alcohol abuse and leaves you really routing for Lisa to come through and see the light which of course she does. I would love to have dinner with Lisa and swap stories. Excellent.
You may or may not know that I had a dabble with AA and whilst I have the utmost respect for the 12 steps it just wasn’t for me. However, although this book is based on the 12 steps, Russell has demonstrated it in more of a “universal” way, in his own style and with the use of the word F*** rather a lot to demonstrate them. An insight into addiction and how the 12-step program has helped many. In Layman’s terms
Sober Positive is both the story of Julia’s journey over the last two years and a detailed road map for anyone else looking for their own way out of the alcohol maze. This book looks to change your mindset around alcohol, how to assemble your own personal sobriety toolbox and how to cope with sober firsts like social events, holidays and Christmas. You will gain insight into why you might be struggling with alcohol and how you can address other compulsive behaviours which may arise in early sobriety. This book contains everything the author learned in the past two years that helped her get there so it has some great advice too.
Simon Chapple metaphorically takes the reader by the hand and leads them through a journey to freedom from alcohol. As the title suggests, the book is a guide and split into 2 halves. Firstly, around the early stages of sobriety and then in the skills required to continue. He demolishes pervasive myths about alcohol consumption and cessation, like having to hit bottom or having to call yourself an “alcoholic”. This book encourages the reader to be curious, experiment and find out for themselves what a life free of alcohol would be like.
One of the main things I took from reading this book is the way Annie Grace looks at the way society perceives alcohol. In a nutshell people fear that they cannot have a good time without it and be deprived, and I was one of this people. From psychological to culture and other factors this book looks at reasons why we drink and I like this style because it is similar to some of the NLP work I went through, where we deal with causes rather than symptoms and alter the thought process. The book also touches on the issues faced by others rather than the drinker but to sum it up this book dispels the cultural myth that alcohol is a requirement of life happiness and replaces it with fact that regaining control over alcohol is essential to personal happiness and fulfilment.
This was the first “real sobriety” book I read and the one which made me realise I was drinking a fair bit given it seems even more than what Clare was putting away. I really admire the honesty in this book, and it gets you thinking about the normalised way we use alcohol as a wind down, particularly with the day to day stresses of parenting. It is also a good indication of what to expect when you quit, and this is what the Sober Diaries is all about. It was also my introduction to Becks Blue.
Clare has also recently published her first novel called The Authenticity Project which I haven’t read yet, however I’m told it is a cracking read so it would be worth checking it out, I will be doing.
Catherine is a top writer by trade and her story resonates with me so much in terms of the way her drinking intertwined with her work and some of the scrapes involved. It combines some of the facts with personal experience, is self-help advice and Catherine demonstrates that what people see on the outside can differ from feelings within. Above all, it demonstrates that going sober will make you happier. A must read and it will leave you knowing that you are not alone in some of the things you have gone through.
Alcohol Explained is a guide to alcohol and alcoholism. It explains how alcohol affects human beings on a chemical, physiological and psychological level which sounds in depth, however, this book provides a logical, easy to follow explanation of the phenomenon and detailed instructions on how to beat it. Despite being entirely scientific and factual in nature the book is presented in an accessible and easily understandable format.
There are many other books which I haven’t read so cannot include them until I have (hope my fellow authors understand). There are also those aimed at the ladies amongst us including The Sober Girl Society Handbook and Love Yourself Sober for example. Again, I haven’t read these but am told that they are great.
In summary, these are just 9 books out of many I have read, and they all have their different merits. I chose these 9 because each has its unique style and quite frankly, I couldn’t choose which one I liked the best because they are all brilliant in their own way.
All the best…. Darren