Nine Books To Read On Your Recovery Journey: A Sober Book List
When asked for sober suggestions, you know, things that help keep us sober, the list could go on and on. Usually, there are suggestions for fitness, fellowship, and self-care, but the suggestion I almost always overlook is reading. With the Internet we are able to find answers quickly, it’s easy to get lost in the confusion. What I like most about books is that I can actually remain on a topic rather than scroll on to the next. A few of the women at Sober Mommies compiled a list of books that have personally benefited us in our sobriety. Hope you enjoy!
I read this autobiography many times in active addiction. Although I had no desire to get sober, I craved understating addiction and the idea that I wasn’t alone. I cannot praise her writing enough, her words evolve as her story unfolds—you can hear her voice as an addict and you can hear her voice change in sobriety. Brown shares her life as an addict and then shares her strength to get sober and ends with how bad-ass her life becomes in sobriety. After four years of sobriety, I often reflect on her story of perseverance during times when I feel defeat, feel like I’m wasting my time or feel like I am undeserving. I often think of Cupcake Brown and how her sobriety along with a shit-ton of HARD work, built her a beautiful life.
When I first stopped drinking, I struggled to work out what exactly had been going on for me. Caroline Knapp helped me to realize that being an alcoholic hadn’t meant that I was a terrible disaster of a person, but that I had been looking for a way to heal deep wounds in me. Drinking presented as a way to heal, or at least, cover up those wounds. Drinking: A Love Story, really helped me to see that I could start to forgive myself for the past, and didn’t need to keep punishing myself.
This book isn’t necessarily delivering anything we haven’t heard before, yet it serves as a great reminder. It’s a crash course in the power of positive self-talk. What I love most about this book (besides the title holding the simplest reminder) is the bluntness. The lack of fluff holds my attention in a very spell-it-out sort of way. It’s all about taking action and using our individual voices to grow. “I am not my thoughts, I am what I do.”
I read this book in early recovery and I continue to reflect on it. It’s a deeper look into the sixth, seventh and eighth step of the twelve step programs. I read it with a few sober friends and the personal stories and ideas sparked meaningful convos. The ‘rocks’ are resentment, fear, self-pity, intolerance, anger and it’s the idea that we can let those rocks drown us, but if we drop them we can continue to swim.
This is the sort of book that will make you cry buckets, but leave you with the feeling that you have experienced real beauty in life. Not a recovery book, it is, nonetheless, a book that will inspire you to want to create that beautiful life you know is your birthright. Each time I’ve read it, I’ve ended with tears pouring down my face, aching facial muscles from crying so damn hard, but a huge smile and a feeling of having been touched by something wonderful in every cell of my body.
This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol, Find Freedom, Discover Happiness & Change Your Life by Annie Grace
This book is HUGE in many of my recovery groups. Without coming across as preachy, Annie Grace discredits the common beliefs that go hand in hand with substance abuse: alcohol is liquid courage, I need it to have fun, I will have to change everything about my life, etc. She also breaks down the science of alcohol and our brains in terms we can relate to. It’s an easy, non-judgmental, non-twelve step read.
Bent back into shape is by one of our own Sober Mommies, Esther Nagle. Esther entered yoga teacher training as a new career venture, and she gained so much more. In this book she describes how yoga has been absolutely instrumental in sobriety. (I just downloaded it on my Kindle, message me, we can read it together!)
What I greatly appreciate about this ‘self-help’ book is the autobiography that weaves it all together. Personally, I can relate to every single one of Catherine’s drunken tales. Her reliability and raw honesty keep me intrigued. A lot like Naked Mind, in which the author breaks down substance abuse in scientific terms, I always recommend this books to those struggling with the concept of addiction, those needing deeper explanations than “I just can’t stop”.
I picked up this book in a thrift store way back in my active addiction, when I was obsessing over alcoholism because it seemed to be the only thing in life that I could understand. It holds a special place in my heart. It’s centered around alcoholism and how it pertains to women; explaining why and how alcohol affects us differently than the opposite sex. ” Mixing cutting-edge research with affecting stories of women who struggle with alcohol problems, Happy Hours challenges our assumptions and expands our awareness of the role alcohol plays in women’s lives.”
That’s our sober book list to get you started!! If you have any suggestions leave them in the comment section, I’d love to expand my library. Happy Reading!
Melissa is a fulltime working mama to her two young boys; Watson and Emerson. She is married to a wonderful sober man and they have created a blessed life in Southern California.
Melissa has been sober since 11.6.13 and is active in 12 step fellowships and the online sober community and . She understands there are no sober blueprints, and different things work for different people. Along with addiction, Melissa struggles with mental health issues, addiction to self-harm, and has a habit of self-loathing. Through recovery, she has begun to overcome those obstacles.
She works at a non-profit, men’s recovery home and spends her free time podcasting with her husband and recycling old clothes.