Reading Material

It's very important that we throw everything at getting sober in the early days, and that includes soaking up as much material as you can related to recovery. This Sober Toolbox is a space for telling others about the great books, blogs, podcasts, articles and other resources that have helped you on your way. If you're looking for more discussion, interactions and feedback, head inside our Members Feed. That's where the real-time conversations take place.

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508 Comments
  1. AndyMack 5 days ago

    I’ve read and am a member of Alcoholics Anonymous .
    The literature is old but effective .
    The part which has been the most effective has been the fellowship of having and being surrounded by like minded people .
    It’s not for everyone but if you reach a point where you have no other option I would personally reccomend it .
    I would suggest trying all other options first because once you come it’s hard to walk away

  2. Trace3 6 days ago

    Annie Grace’s The Naked Mind
    The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober – Catherine Gray
    Alcoholics Anonymous – Bil Wilson
    Alcohol Explained – William Porter
    Recovery: Freedom From Addiction – Russell Brand
    One Breath at a Time – Kevin Griffin
    Between Breaths – Elizabeth Vargas
    Drinking: A Love Story – Caroline Knapp
    Blackout – Sarah Hepola
    Alcohol Lied to Me – Craig Beck

  3. delgirl68 3 weeks ago

    Rachel’s Holiday by Marian Keys. Not a sobriety book as such, it is fiction. Marian is a lovely and hilarious writer. I’ve just listened to this on audiobooks and omg it hits me hard. I read it 20 years ago and recognised myself in there, I always knew the time would come one day where I would have to commit to being clean and sober. Listening to this book again I have (re)learnt much about myself. It’s about a chick who ends up in rehab and her denial with her addiction. It’s not a dark heavy read, some parts are laugh out loud funny, but the underlying message in there is crystal clear. I can’t recommend this book highly enough!

  4. Anonymous 4 weeks ago

    List of recommended books: The Lost Weekend; Blackout; Dry, Drinking: a Love Story; Girl Walks out of a Bar

  5. Gidget99 4 weeks ago

    SBS Australia had an excellent interview called Wine O’Clock about 2 years ago. It was a huge wakeup call for me. Not a book, but definitely worth watching.
    https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/1055513667523/insight-wine-oclock

  6. McLynnie 1 month ago

    This Naked Mind by Annie Grace (totally changed my mindset).
    Kick the Drink… Easily by Jason Vale (pretty much repeats what Annie says but worded differently).
    Mrs D is Going Without by Lotta Dann (it’s a memoir).
    A Happier Hour by Rebecca Weller
    The Sober Diaries by Clare Pooley
    Lit by Mary Karr
    Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget by Sarah Hepola
    The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober by Catherine Gray
    Dry by Augusten Burroughs
    Girl Walks Out of a Bar by Lisa F Smith

    A friend of mine recommended Refuge Recovery: A Buddhist Path to Recovering from Addiction, which I’m going to take a look at.

  7. Jonas1116 1 month ago

    Hi all
    Day 14 and starting to struggle. Any recommendations for podcasts to motivate me to keep fighting the good fight?
    J

    • DavidFS 1 month ago

      Hey @jonas, how are you doing now?

      • Jonas1116 4 weeks ago

        Hi David
        I am alright. I broke on Friday and drank 5 beers after 21 days off. I am not beating myself up though. It’s a tough time of year to kick this habit! Managed to not drink today despite going out for dinner last two nights so I will take that point!
        How are you going David?

  8. MichaelrpG 1 month ago

    Until recently I read a lot of AA literature. However I find their negativity difficult to cope with so I am trying other avenues.
    I like Eckhart Tolle although it can be quite hard work.
    I have recently read Alcohol Lied to Me by Craig Beck. This is really worth a read because he makes the point over and over that alcohol is actually poison an the biggest con trick / illusion known to man.
    I have also read The Naked Mind and The Alcohol Experiment by Annie Grace.

    For me after many years of trying, some very difficult and painful, I am now of the mind set that I just DON’T WANT poison in my body.

    • AndyMack 5 days ago

      Could you explain to me what parts of AA literature are negative ?

    • truthangel 1 month ago

      Agree totally. When I got it that alcohol is a lethal poison, a con trick, it wasn’t hard for me to quit. I dont like being conned.

  9. Shewolf38 2 months ago

    Thank you all for the recommendations. I started reading the sober diaries. Funny how her story rings true…..

  10. AllesNeu 2 months ago

    Alcohol Lie to Me by Craig Beck

  11. PabloArg 2 months ago

    Alcohol explained
    Alcohol lied to me
    The unexpected joy of being sober
    This naked mind
    The alcohol experiment

  12. Maureen 2 months ago

    I think William Porter’s Alcohol Explained is the best for a simple easy to understand explanation of what alcohol does to the body and mind. I’ve read a lot of the others. Catherine Gray really is good for the nitty gritty of her worse times and the joy of her sobriety. I’m now listening to Mrs D on audible and doing Sober October. Well done to everyone who has cracked it. 👏💕

  13. healthyishnix 3 months ago

    Thanks to recommendations on here. I just started listening to Annie Grace’s podcast “This Naked Mind”. Have started at episode 1 (episode 210 has just aired this week) so that I could listen to the whole “journey”. Just finished episode 2 and it’s really great, she’s speaking my language, my behaviour, the relevance is uncanny and scary when you think how many millions of us are in this same boat.

  14. maude023 4 months ago

    Mrs D is going without : Lotta Dann
    Kick the Drink ….Easily: Jason Vale

  15. mkusch 4 months ago

    The Sober Diaries by Clare Pooley, Alcohol Lied to Me by Craig Beck

    • mkhum 3 months ago

      I love The Sober Diaries I will probably reread as soon as I finish, which sadly will be soon.

  16. Simo 4 months ago

    Alcohol Lied To Me … I found this book really encouraging

  17. Betsy19 4 months ago

    The Unexpected Joy of being Sober – Catherine Gray

  18. MrsFruitTea 5 months ago

    The Sober Diaries by Clare Pooley
    Alcohol Lie to Me by Craig Beck

  19. Jessica0676 5 months ago

    Friends I was 8 days sober n relapsed on day nine. But that was only one day. I still counted the 8 days sober n I counted day 9 the day after I relapsed.. Out of 14 days I’ve been sober 13 days n that’s progress. You don’t have to start over at 1 day. Count your sober days n if u relapse during that time just don’t count that as a sober day but please continue to count your sober days.. That’s what’s kept me going is knowing there is no day 1 again even after a relapse.. We all at the beginning relapse but don’t take away your success with one relapse.. It’s worked 4 me

  20. hugh mcfadden 5 months ago

    Booze Musings BOOM

  21. Hugh McFadden 5 months ago

    This Naked Mind

  22. ditchick 5 months ago

    Pinterest Affirmations on recovery plastered throughout the house..

  23. Ryantaiji 5 months ago

    “When things fall apart” Pema Chodron

  24. Dylan 6 months ago

    “Recovery — Freedom from our Addictions” by Russell Brand

  25. Bisok 6 months ago

    This Naked Mind
    The Alcohol Experiment
    The Biology of Desire

    • Maxie 6 months ago

      Thanks for the recommendations. I am going to go on the Barnes and Noble site today and order one or two.

  26. brendab 6 months ago

    The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, tells my story in a hundred different ways, no sugar coating about the affects of my drinking on family, relationships, work and of course me..shows a way out and the importance of connection with others, having a support group of other people who are sober was so important for me, once I stopped drinking for 9 years but didn’t know anyone else who didn’t drink so felt very “other” and ultimately went back to drinking to belong ..that worked out as badly as you would expect..now I have that through AA and it makes me so much more comfortable and resilient…I love the stories at the back of the book, particularly the Australian edition, as I am an Aussie too…take what you need and leave the rest…also Dry by Augusten Burroughs, humorous but also tells the deadly serious story of alcohol addiction and the benefits of sobriety..good luck to everyone…doesn’t matter where or how you find a sober community, but to me it is critical to getting through the darkness..addicts are v sensitive and isolation kills us IMO..B

  27. Dixiemama 6 months ago

    This Naked Mind by Annie Grace
    Alcohol Lied to Me by Craig Beck
    The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober by Catherine Gray
    Drink by Ann Dosset Jones(?)
    Alcohol Explained by William Porter
    Blackout by Sarah Hepola

  28. mollyroxanne 6 months ago

    This Naked Mind.

  29. nessibnzl 6 months ago

    Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book & Daily reflections
    The unexpected joy of being sober – Catherine Gray
    Mindfulness and the 12 steps – Therese Jacobs-Stewart

  30. Dylan 7 months ago

    Under the Influence: A Guide to the Myths and Realities of Alcoholism, by James Robert Milam and Katherine Ketcham (Amazon). Provides compelling insights into the physical and mental effects of alcoholism. Reviews: “The most important breakthrough in alcoholism since the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1935.”—Ron Fagan, founder & director, Ceder Hills Alcoholism Treatment Center; “A landmark . . . A must for anyone concerned about drinking.”—Alcoholism, Journal of the American Medical Society on Alcoholism and the Research Society on Alcoholism; “Vital, simple, world-changing information.”—Co-Evolution Quarterly

  31. bestself 7 months ago

    New member and I want to thank all of you for these recommendations. I will need these books and pod cast’s as I enter this bright new world.

  32. Redheadrocks 8 months ago

    This TED about addiction is a goody too! https://youtu.be/OJY4GkpRc7U

  33. TheBee 8 months ago

    I’ve also read Kristi Coulter’s ‘Nothing Good Can Come from This’, Sacha Scoblic’s ‘Unwasted: My Lush Sobriety’ – all harrowing and amazing journeys of self-discovery and courage, but by far and away my favorite as it resonates completely with my own journey is Ruby Warrington’s ‘Sober Curious…’ biography – how to give up something one loves and that hasn’t destroyed our lives or anyone else’s, but just made us realise that life without it IS probably better but it is, after all, a potent drug.

  34. Anonymous 9 months ago

    Thanks for the tip. ? Will download it tonight on my Kindle. ?

  35. AmyB 9 months ago

    This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol by Annie Grace (she also has a podcast)

    This book has seriously changed my life. It has changed my life more than any other book, therapy, counselor, class, doctor, or addiction specialist ever did, combined.
    One of my initial hesitations with the book was the fact that it contradicts a lot of the central tenets of Alcoholics Anonymous. I did get sober with AA at one time of my life, but never liked that I had to introduce myself as an “alcoholic” like I was a flawed human being and could only be saved with a “higher” power. Well, the truth is that AA operates on the assumption that there is nothing wrong with alcohol, only with alcoholics. If AA works for you that is wonderful, but for some of us that’s not the case.

    There’s something about Annie’s book that almost immediately caused a complete shift in my thinking. She talks about how society and the liquor industry have manipulated us into thinking there is somethings wrong with us if we choose not to drink. When we chose not to drink alcohol we can sometimes be pitied, questioned, thought of as a prude when in reality we are choosing to be healthy and not pour deadly poison into our bodies. Her book introduced me into a complete psychological mind shift.

    She’s genuine and talks about her own experiences. I am so thankful that I found this book and her podcast.

    • hugh mcfadden 5 months ago

      Same here… Fantastic and liberating…

    • Gingergal 8 months ago

      Allen Carr has a very similar approach and has helped me stay sober for 9 months in the psst

    • truthangel 9 months ago

      It has changed mine too . Its painted a whole new picture of alcohol by revealing the deep truth about it. No doctor or counselor could explain it like she does. I tried AA years ago and It wasn’t for me at all. Was sober for 3 years but always felt defective and abnormal. Works well for some though.

  36. 4wards 9 months ago

    The very first book I read was Mrs. D is Going Without- a classic. The Sober Diaries from Claire Pooley is also very good.

  37. Julielynn 9 months ago

    One of the first books I read was Mrs. D is going without. Now iI am listening to the Unruffled Podcast while driving to and from work.

  38. Julielynn 9 months ago

    One of the first books I read was Mrs. D is going without. Now i am listening to the Unruffled Podcast while driving to and from work.

  39. morgan 9 months ago

    DOPAMINE – FEEL GOOD BRAIN CHEMISTRY A must read if feeling low or just setting out on the A/F journey. A wealth of information.

    https://bebrainfit.com/increase-dopamine/

  40. Torontosoberina 9 months ago

    Drinking: A love Story by Caroline Knapp and Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget by Sarah Hepola are two fantastic reads. They are both brilliant writers.

  41. Jocord 9 months ago

    Here is a book written by one of our sober tribe, @Daveh.
    https://lyingminds.sixboats.co.nz/alcoholism-in-a-nutshell/

    • DaveH 7 months ago

      There are three eBooks that can be downloaded freely from my blog. They are “Alcoholism in a nutshell”, “How to help your alcoholic”, and “Understanding and learning from relapse. They can be downloaded here: https://lyingminds.sixboats.co.nz/links/

  42. Seni 9 months ago

    I was very impressed by Amy Liptrot, Catherine Gray and Clare Pooley. Fortunately I could read them in my language, in german. Two wonderful german authors are dominik schottner (he lost his father through alcohol) and Susanne Kaloff (she writes about one year without drinking alcohol, after that experience she stayed sober). I’m searching for more books translated into my language, but they are difficult to find.

    • Metoday 9 months ago

      Hello Seni,

      Nüchtern by Daniel Schreiber
      Blackout by Sarah Hepola
      Timm Kruse

      Warm regards

  43. Sonic 10 months ago

    The sober diaries…brilliant

  44. Susabelle 10 months ago

    I’ve read a few but the following hit home for me. This naked mind by Annie Grace & then the 30 day experiment. Other books prior included Elizabeth Vargus’s story & Gabrielle Glaser’s book “Her Best-Kept Secret”.

  45. 71luck 11 months ago

    First book I read during my rehab was given to me by my support worker. Highly recommend it, although its not your average “rehab” book as its warts and all : “A Million Little Pieces” by James Frey. Not only eye opening, but real, down and dirty, entertaining and not a whiff of any “how to’s…”
    g

    “At the age of 23, James Frey woke up on a plane to find his front teeth knocked out and his nose broken. He had no idea where the plane was headed nor any recollection of the past two weeks. An alcoholic for ten years and a crack addict for three, he checked into a treatment facility shortly after landing. There he was told he could either stop using or die before he reached age 24. This is Frey’s acclaimed account of his six weeks in rehab.” From Amazon

  46. JennyR 11 months ago

    I have read Jason Vale, Annie Grace and William Porter, all wonderful and insightful books . I am a new member today and I am 89 days sober 🙂

    • lealor 11 months ago

      Keep going.

    • bikramrunner45 11 months ago

      Congrats on 89 days!! So great! ?

  47. lhilary 11 months ago

    Every day seems to be a milestone for me. I have started this sober journey as a temporary “dry” month and have realized that I can’t remember the last time that I have gone 10 days with out drinking AND, I prefer feeling the way I feel today and have felt for the past 9 days. I get through the tough moments – being alone is the toughest part – by reading other peoples’ posts, drinking a cup of tea with honey (I need the sugar that I am now craving due to lack of the alcohol), going for a walk, breathing deeply or just sitting and being and realizing I didn’t need that glass of wine to get through the moment. Regardless of the degree of each persons drinking, there are certain constants : Better Sleep, Clear Headedness, Empowerment, Optimism, Productivity, Feeling and Being Productive, Looking and Feeling Healthier…NOT feeling like SHIT in the morning! I LOVE wine, I LOVE the rituals that go along with drinking wine…that said, I LOVE the way I am feeling even more!

    • cath1683 10 months ago

      Exactly…

    • lealor 11 months ago

      So true. I just want 7 days. The last month…i get to 6 days then pick up. This is harder then i thought.

    • cath1683 11 months ago

      I so identify with you! I’m struggling to cook, as I loved the ritual of chopping, mixing etc and drinking my huge glasses of wine :/ never had as many microwaved meals ?

    • kaydee 11 months ago

      Well said! Congrats for getting through each day. 🙂

  48. NewStartSteph 11 months ago

    Highly recommend “Kick the drink… Easily!” by Jason Vale. Makes you realise how messed up our beliefs about alcohol are. Seeing it clearly for what it is for the first time in my life. This book may be the one that makes me truly never want to go back.

    • maude023 4 months ago

      I felt exactly the same by the time I finished his book the first time I had stopped drinking. When things got tough after a couple of weeks I reread and it so helped to keep me sober

  49. 75sober 11 months ago

    I struggled in AA with reaching my higher power “as I understood it”. I read a book called ‘We Alcoholics, The Luckiest People On Earth’ pretty intersting approach, it’s a short book but cool for me since i struggle with religion

  50. Kirds 12 months ago

    Definitely ‘This Naked Mind’ by Annie Grace 🙂

    • delgirl68 10 months ago

      I haven’t read her book but I really enjoy the podcasts

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