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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
RISE OF THE SOBERISTA
By Lucy Rocca
I bought this book from Amazon two years before I quit drinking and it said so much to me, I so wanted to be like Lucy enjoying peace, new found creativity and being a sober mum. I just finished the book again and this time I really took it all in. I can really relate to Lucy’s struggles about what being sober actually means in the Western world today, the fear, the stigma and how to overcome our own stereotypical views and find our way but most of all trying to figure out what it means to me personally to be sober. The book is so well researched and beautifully written charting the darks days of Lucy’s drinking and how she found her sober feet and purpose. Lucy’s story is a wonderful example of how you can be healthy, happy, sober and definitely not boring.
THIS NAKED MIND
By Annie Grace
When I spoke to Annie Grace in a recent YouTube interview which you can watch here, she told me that initially she had to self publish this book because there was no interest. Quite unbelievable considering that this book has changed the lives of so many people. I must confess that I didn’t use the book to quit but rather read it about six months in to try and make sense of it all and understand why I was hooked for so long. Intertwined with personal accounts of Annie’s drinking life before and after she quit, the book really does lift the lid on the alcohol lies that keep us trapped for so long. This is a science based approach to quitting drinking, it dispels the myths we all believe about alcohol especially in the psychological, social and cultural aspect of drinking helping us to see that alcohol is not the magic potion we once believed it was.