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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  1. delgirl68 4 years 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!

    • Shellbells 3 years ago

      Just finished this book. Great read, and yes saw myself frequently.

    • Whos-The-Lush 4 years ago

      I agree, great book and I also saw myself in it.

  2. Anonymous 4 years ago

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

  3. Gidget99 4 years 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.

  4. McLynnie 4 years 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.

  5. Jonas1116 4 years ago

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

    • DavidFS 4 years ago

      Hey @jonas, how are you doing now?

      • Jonas1116 4 years 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?

  6. MichaelrpG 4 years 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 4 years ago

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

    • truthangel 4 years 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.

  7. Shewolf38 4 years ago

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

  8. AllesNeu 4 years ago

    Alcohol Lie to Me by Craig Beck

  9. PabloArg 4 years ago

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

  10. Maureen 4 years 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. ??

  11. healthyishnix 4 years 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.

  12. maude023 4 years ago

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

  13. mkusch 4 years ago

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

    • mkhum 4 years ago

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

  14. Simo 4 years ago

    Alcohol Lied To Me … I found this book really encouraging

  15. Betsy19 4 years ago

    The Unexpected Joy of being Sober – Catherine Gray

  16. MrsFruitTea 4 years ago

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

  17. Jessica0676 4 years 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

  18. hugh mcfadden 4 years ago

    Booze Musings BOOM

  19. Hugh McFadden 4 years ago

    This Naked Mind

  20. ditchick 4 years ago

    Pinterest Affirmations on recovery plastered throughout the house..

  21. Ryantaiji 4 years ago

    “When things fall apart” Pema Chodron

  22. Dylan 4 years ago

    “Recovery — Freedom from our Addictions” by Russell Brand

  23. Bisok 4 years ago

    This Naked Mind
    The Alcohol Experiment
    The Biology of Desire

    • Maxie 4 years ago

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

  24. brendab 4 years 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 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

  25. Dixiemama 4 years 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

  26. mollyroxanne 4 years ago

    This Naked Mind.

  27. nessibnzl 4 years ago

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

  28. Dylan 5 years 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

  29. bestself 5 years 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.

  30. Redheadrocks 5 years ago

    This TED about addiction is a goody too!

  31. TheBee 5 years 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.

  32. Anonymous 5 years ago

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

  33. AmyB 5 years 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 4 years ago

      Same here… Fantastic and liberating…

    • Gingergal 5 years ago

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

    • truthangel 5 years 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.

  34. 4wards 5 years 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.

  35. Julielynn 5 years 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.

  36. Julielynn 5 years 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.

  37. morgan 5 years 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.

  38. Torontosoberina 5 years 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.

  39. Jocord 5 years ago

    Here is a book written by one of our sober tribe, @Daveh.

    • DaveH 5 years 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:

  40. Seni 5 years 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 5 years ago

      Hello Seni,

      Nüchtern by Daniel Schreiber
      Blackout by Sarah Hepola
      Timm Kruse

      Warm regards

  41. Sonic 5 years ago

    The sober diaries…brilliant

  42. Susabelle 5 years 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”.

  43. 71luck 5 years 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…”

    “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

  44. JennyR 5 years 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 5 years ago

      Keep going.

    • bikramrunner45 5 years ago

      Congrats on 89 days!! So great! ?

  45. lhilary 5 years 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 5 years ago


    • lealor 5 years 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 5 years 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 5 years ago

      Well said! Congrats for getting through each day. 🙂

  46. NewStartSteph 5 years 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 years 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

  47. 75sober 5 years 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

  48. Kirds 5 years ago

    Definitely ‘This Naked Mind’ by Annie Grace 🙂

    • delgirl68 5 years ago

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

  49. SandyA 5 years ago

    I’m hoping to stay sober today, can anyone recommend some good books, blogs or other links that were helpful to your recovery. Thank you.

    • lealor 5 years ago

      The book living sober. Also on you tube their are affirmations for recovery and they sure help me

    • Michael6 5 years ago

      I am finding The unexpected joy of being sober by Catherine Grey helpful.

  50. jamieann 5 years ago

    craig fergusen speaks from the heart on you tube. 12 min. Funny and thought provoking at the same time

    • barnmomma 5 years ago

      Oh my gosh, I’d never heard of him, but this video was awesome! Thanks so much for the tip.

    • Travelbug 5 years ago

      OMG, Hilarious. I just watched this.

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