Reading the Best Books

Sep 25, 2014

One great way to avoid boredom, find fulfillment, and learn new things during recovery is by reading good books. You need to be careful which books you choose though, since you don’t want to read anything that depresses you, induces cravings, or otherwise detracts from your progress. AA has published quite a bit of literature that pertains to addiction in general, and it can all be found very easily for free. Besides The Big Book and Living Sober, here are a few choices that other recovering addicts highly recommend.


The Language of Letting Go- Hazelden Meditation Series- Melody Beattie


Self-help style books can provide recovering addicts with the extra motivation they need to keep setting goals, and to continue achieving them. This particular self-help book is specifically geared toward addicts and the unique challenges they face in calming their troubled minds. Organized into daily meditations, the book focuses on improving self-esteem, acceptance, relationships, problem solving, self-awareness, and much more.


Drinking, a Love Story- Caroline Knapp


This, and many other addiction memoirs paint a realistic, harrowing picture of the pitfalls of addiction. Taking a look at someone else’s journey from a third person perspective can be difficult, and might not be for everyone, especially those in early recovery. Reading tales of those who have risen above addiction in a conquering spirit can be very inspirational, though, and can motivate you to continue making necessary changes in your own life.


Everything Changes- Help for Families of Newly Recovering Addicts- Beverly Conyers


Addiction doesn’t just affect the addict, it affects everyone who loves them as well. Support for the whole family will be needed for successful recovery, and some of this support can be found in educational books. Everything Changes helps families understand what to expect in the early days of recovery, how to deal with setbacks, and how to be supportive of an addict, while still meeting the needs of other family members.


Clean- Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy- David Sheff


Educating yourself on your disease, recovery options, and other people’s experiences with addiction can help you to gain perspective, make a solid game plan for recovery, and find ways to re-relate to the world around you. There are tons of books that provide information on addiction, but many of the best ones come from first hand experience. The author of Clean, David Sheff, also wrote Beautiful Boy, an autobiography detailing his experiences with his son, who had a meth addiction. Clean focuses more on the addiction problem as a whole in this country, and how we can get rid of it on an individual and societal basis.

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