Sober Memoirs

Reading has helped me so much on this journey towards becoming a better human. I started reading sobriety memoirs by accident. Mary Karr is a writer that I have long admired, so when I saw her book ‘Lit’ at our local used bookstore last Christmas-time, I snatched it up pretty quickly, and immediately read it twice in a row. That is not super unusual for me, as books become like good friends and I often repeat read them. I identified with her writing and her story in many ways. Sometimes I even read it while I was drinking some wine or beers in the evenings. She has a way of telling a story that is very engaging, and this one is no different. I definitely recommend it if you haven’t had a chance to read it yet.

The next ‘sober’ book that I read was Caroline Knapp’s ‘Drinking: A Love Story.’ This has got to be one of my favorite books in the genre. I read this while I was still drinking this summer, and it was one of my biggest motivators to quit. She tells her story in a really honest and heartbreaking way with a ton of self-reflection. I really saw myself in her, and it made me less afraid to face some of my own demons.

Here are a few other good books that I have read on sobriety. These are memoirs, though I have been delving into some scientific stuff lately as well. I highly recommend and love these books. They helped me realize that it is possible to become a happy, healthy sober person.  I checked most of them out from the library, but I think I want to purchase all of them and have a little sober library at home so I can revisit them like old friends.

– ‘Unwasted: My Lush Sobriety’ by Sacha Scoblic

– ‘Dry’ by Augusten Burroughs

– ‘Parched’ by Heather King

Please share your favorite memoirs about sobriety if you have any!

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8 thoughts on “Sober Memoirs

  1. My recommendation –
    Your Voice in My Head: A Memoir by Emma Forrest.
    The hollywood guy she’s dating is Colin Farrell – cause the name is changed to protect the innocent… ya know.

  2. I’ve not heard of Mary karr – am going to check that out. I read My Lush Sobriety earlier this summer and loved it, it made me laugh and cry. Might have to re read that soon. Right now I’m reading My Name Is by Alastair Campbell. He’s a former alcoholic but the book is actually a fictional story about a teenage alcoholic. It’s good and I can see myself in bits of her character.

  3. Oh, I love to talk books! I also have read a number of sobriety memoirs since I quit drinking in June. In addition to the ones you and others have mentioned, I liked DRINK by Ann Dowsett Johnston. It’s not pure memoir–she is a journalist and the book is an investigation into the role of alcohol in women’s lives–but there is a lot of memoir woven through as Johnston is also a recovering alcoholic. And don’t forget drunk novels! THE GOOD HOUSE by Ann Leary (wife of Denis and also a recovering alcoholic) is a lovely funny-sad book about a woman pretending to be in recovery. And finally, Michelle Huneven is a writer I’m always pushing on people who like fiction in the Anne Tyler vein. BLAME is probably her best-known novel and alcoholism is one of its main topics, but her other books, ROUND ROCK and JAMESLAND, have a lot to say about it too. She’s just a fabulous writer. (Whew! I told you I like talking books. 🙂 )

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