Sober Books - best reads

In early sobriety you will probably find that you can’t stop thinking about drinking, which is perfectly normal and to be expected. Indulge your thoughts to motivate, inspire and educate yourself by reading as many books on alcohol as you can. I especially love memoirs but there is a whole world of quit lit to be discovered. Here are some of the books I’ve read. Grab a cuppa, sit back and relax with a good book!

sober books

sobriety books

Unwasted – My Lush Sobriety

By Sacha Z Scoblie

This is a hugely entertaining mind trip into early recovery and beyond. From howling at the moon, talking to a higher power, being ‘fed’ alcohol and discovering a love of running, Sacha’s story is utterly compelling, elegant and achingly honest about the feelings and experiences faced when drinking is abandoned in favour of a life truly ‘unwasted’.  Sacha looks back at her life from childhood to wild rock chick to finally embracing a much calmer, more purposeful life on the other side of chaos and horror.

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best sober books

Blackout – Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget

By Sarah Hepola

Sarah’s story of her ‘drinking career’ with frequent blackouts is extreme, honest, witty and wonderful. Even better is her account of what it is like to let go the only thing she knew, about sitting in a cupboard for hours too terrified to face the world without booze. It’s about growing up and discovering a spark of someone you once buried a long time ago, setting her free and watching her flourish. Sarah takes us on one the most eloquently written roller coaster rides through drunken nights, the pain of not remembering them and finally the beauty of discovery, discovering that actually you are much nicer and happier without alcohol in your life.

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the sober diaries

The Sober Diaries

By Clare Pooley

Like many of you, I first met Sober Mummy Clare Pooley through her blog, ‘Mummy was a Secret Drinker’ and was immediately inspired. When I did quit, I was so excited to get the book and I read it in about 3 days. I love the diary format and would find myself on a certain day, checking the book to see what happened to Clare and if she could help me through that day – she always did! Clare’s memoir is hilarious and at times heart wrenching, totally down to earth and as a mum myself just what I needed to read. Beautifully written, this book will have you laughing out loud and shedding a tear as Clare’s journey through her first year of sobriety is honest, true and written from the heart. (interview with Clare here)

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sober books

The Girl On The Train

By Paula Hawkins

I was gifted this book whilst still drinking and while it is not ‘quit lit’ as such the alcoholic narrative is what stood out to me. This is a chilling, physcholocial thriller made even more terrifying by the personal drinking demons the main character faces every day from hiding clinking bottles of G&T on the train to losing complete control of mind and body as a result of drinking. The plot is full of disturbing twists, obsession and the consequences of what can happen when our memories and imagination become intertwined and we lose sight of where one starts and the other ends. Although a fictional story it is made even more scary due to its’ realness and believability.

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quit lit

Kick the Drink Easily

By Jason Vale

This is a controversial book, a bit like Marmite – you either love it or hate it. Let’s just say that I did not love it although I can see why a lot of people do. I can’t deny that the message is very powerful and if you want to reframe your drinking habits and understand what alcohol really is, then this book is an eye opener.Vale tries to drill down deep that alcohol does us no good whatsoever and regardless of all the marketing hype a life without alcohol is much better than a life with it. However, I found the book a bit naive, repetitive, shouty and patronizing using extreme and sometimes dubious analogies to get his point across. I do get it though, that the point of the book is important and it has helped a lot of people.

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unexpected joy of being sober

The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober

By Catherine Gray

This has to be one of my favourite books about what happens when you stop drinking or ‘quit lit’ as we call it! Catherine’s story is heartwarming, hilarious, terrifying and heartbreaking all at the same time. It is beautifully written, searingly honest and unputdownable. This was the first book I read when I stopped drinking and perhaps if I had read it before I had stopped, it would have inspired me to quit sooner. Catherine’s memoir really goes deep into her personal drinking hell  and the beautiful and very unexpected joy that sobriety brings.

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