Saturday, 16 May 2015

SoberMummy's Book List

Day 76.

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am obsessed by books on alcohol, alcoholism, quitting alcohol, being sober etc etc.

If I'm wrestling with the wine witch and can't stop thinking about drinking, I find that a handy trick is to indulge myself and read about it, rather than actually doing it.

Lindsay suggested a post on all the books I recommend reading, so here it is.

I'll keep posting links back to this one, so please add your own comments on any of the recommendations at any point (feel free to add negative ones as well as positive ones!), and do suggest any books that I've missed!

Books for the just-thinking-about-being-sober

I suggest to everyone who has just embarked on the sobercoaster that, before they do anything else, they read Kick the Drink, Easily by Jason Vale. There is a very similar Alan Carr book, but Jason's is, in my view, a bit more accessible.

Jason uses powerful argument, and a hell of a lot of repetition, to begin to break down the brainwashing we've all been subjected to that tells us that life without booze will be hell, and not worth living. He helps you to begin your sober journey with a sense of excitement and anticipation rather than doom and gloom.

Then I think it's a good idea to read some memoirs, so you know what you're letting yourself in for!

My favourites are:

Mrs D is Going Without by Lotta Dann.

Lotta is a boozy, New Zealand housewife who quits the booze, starts a blog and changes her life. It's a light, funny, uplifting memoir - you'll love it.

Sober is the New Black by Rachel Black

If you want to know how life without booze differs from life with it, then this is the one for you. Rachel juxtaposes 'then' and 'nows' throughout her book so you get an honest, heart warming view of the transformative effects of going sober.

Rachel's just released a new book too, looking at the journey further down the line, and how life keeps evolving. It's called The Secret to Being Fashionably Sober and Fabulous, which I'm currently reading!

The Sober Revolution by Lucy Rocca and Sarah Turner

This is the story of Lucy, the founder of Soberistas. But it also includes stories of other 'problem drinkers' and looks at the different reasons why we drink, and ways in which we drink. It's where I first discovered the term 'maintenance drinker' which is what I am (was).

Books for more established sober people

When you hit 'The Wall' and start getting a bit more introspective (why me? How did I get here? What's life all about anyway? Aaarrrggghhhh!) then you might want to read something a bit deeper, a tad more melancholy, and more analytical.

My two big favourites are: Drinking. A Love Story by Caroline Knapp and Drink by Ann Dowsett Johnston

Both these ladies are beautiful, lyrical, hugely intelligent writers and their books will make you think, laugh and cry. Wait until you're brave enough....


And then, if like me you are so obsessed that you even like your fiction to feature a good old low bottom alkie, then read Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins and Rachel's Holiday by Marain Keyes. The first is a great, page turning whodunit that everyone's been talking about, and the second is a classic laugh and cry romp by the Queen of chick-lit.

Please, please add your own views and recommendations for all the newly sober (plus those of us who are constantly after more good stuff to read) below!

Thanks, and happy weekend!

SM x


  1. I've read mrs d, glass half full and sober is the new black. Like you I'm obsessed at the minute. I have Caroline knapp book on its way. If you have any others let me know. I've been avoiding Jason Vale as read it's powerful and I was concerned it might make me actually stop drinking.... which deep down is what I want to do!! How the mind works eh. ..

    1. I read your blog - i couldn't leave a message - some techie reason - hang in there. And read Jason Vale, he makes so much sense.x

    2. Hi exploringsomethingelse! I've tried to get to your blog but can't! Is it or have I got it wrong? Love SM x

  2. Hi SM:) I am currently reading Jason Vale (thank goodness for Amazon express delivery) whilst entertaining the family for a bank holiday weekend here in DK. I have just decided to sit and read it openly and endure the teenagers comments - mostly surprise and support with just a little teasing! It is a fab book and really gets you thinking about how alcohol is perceived and how addictive it really is. I have though been AF since our correspondence on Wednesday morning. I an tired, tired, tired but alert and calm and awake to see the end of the film in the evenings! Day 4. Thank you xx

    1. Hope you read this (sorry for the pun!) - are you in Denmark? I would love to chat. You are a couple of months ahead of me - stopped July 15.

  3. Jack trimpneys rational Recovery is very good and dry by augusten burrows.wild by Cheryl strayed is a great read too.

  4. I have been flirting with the sober life for some time, before I finally committed - 7 days ago, and have read most of these. Jason Vales' is the most helpful to me in terms of introducing a new perspective on why we (I) drink. Some of the other memoirs help to remind me that I am not alone - like these wonderful blogs. I would add "Unwasted" by Sacha Z Scoblic, and " High Sobriety - My year Without" by Jill Stark, and on the fiction front, "The Empty Room" by Lauren B Davis.

  5. In the fiction field I really enjoyed Della Galton's 'Ice and a Slice'. How I was that girl!

  6. Hey wine bitch ( don't like calling you that) thanks for reading the blog I'm following yours too. Well done on day 7!! Not sure why you couldn't comment have another go sometime. I'll get Jason Vale just waiting for Caroline knapp x

  7. Hi SM, reading in bed is a great sober tool so what better than a sober reading list! Love your list. Flossie x

  8. I'm definitely going to take these suggestions. I downloaded "Drinking: a love story" by Knapp. I read "My Best Kept Secret" by Glaser and that was very eye opening. Lots of history.

  9. I think maybe Hollenstein's Drinking to Distraction is for you if you haven't already read it.

  10. Another little plus about not drinking - the next day you can actually REMEMBER what you read - how fascinating :)

  11. Another Love by Amanda Prowse is extremely powerful, a brilliant book!

  12. Russell Brand's 'Recovery' is powerful stuff and very entertaining, too.

  13. Don't miss This Naked Mind by Annie Grace! Awesome book.

  14. Don’t forget Alcohol Lied to Me by Craig Beck! Love all the books above but had not heard of Jason Vale, so will read that next. Clare I am about to finish your Audio book and saw your Ted Talk, loved it and think you are the best!!!!