When I first quit drinking it seemed like all I did was read about people who had gotten sober. I loved it. I loved the feeling of knowing that my story could turn out like Mary Karr’s, or Caroline Knapp’s. I can see why people go to AA- that spirit of camaraderie that comes from sharing a life experience can be a huge boost to your confidence when you start a new thing.

I still haven’t made it to AA, but. I read a lot, a LOT, about being sober and being a person in general. I just found another great book that I’m about 1/3 of the way through. It occurred to me that I could put together a list of what I’ve been reading over the past almost year so that y’all can read them too.

In no particular order here they are:

Drinking: A Love Story Caroline Knapp

I read this so many times before I got sober, maybe once a year for like 13 years.

Unwasted Sacha Z. Scoblic

I read this early in my sobriety.

Lit: A Memoir Mary Karr

Another I’ve read over and over.

Mommy Doesn’t Drink Here Anymore Rachael Brownell

This one helped me with the mom parts of my drinking life. It was such a relief to know I wasn’t the only mom out there drinking and loving my family at the same time.

Drink Ann Dowsett Johnston

This is the new one I’m reading. I’m liking it because it is making my brain work about the word alcoholic vs. the word I think I really am that I haven’t come up with yet.

Kick the Drink…Easily Jason Vale

Another one I read pretty early in my sobriety.

The TurnAround Mom Carey Sipp

This one helped with the mom parts too. We need a brave dad to write about the TurnAround Dad.

The Power of Now Eckhart Tolle

I haven’t finished this one yet. It’s full of big big stuff, so I have to digest it in bits. It gave me one of my biggest things I use when I feel overwhelmed or start obsessing about future problems: Reduce it to “What is the problem RIGHT NOW?” Solve that one (usually there isn’t one), and not the ones I’m imagining or that have already happened.

The Gifts of ImperfectionDaring Greatly Brene Brown

Holy shit, I could not love her any more than I do.

Introvert Power Laurie Helgoe

I always thought I was a shy extrovert, and that being an introvert was a bad thing. It was so cool to read this and recognize that I am actually an introvert- and that that doesn’t mean shy, or bad. It means I understand myself better. Cool.

Sober Is My New Drunk Paul Carr

Another early read.

Stop Being Mean to YourselfFinding Your Way HomeThe Language of Letting GoMore Language of Letting Go Melody Beattie

I’ve been reading her for years. You know, all the years I knew I had a problem but just kept right on drinking. Maybe it helped me not be worse that I was.

The Alchemist Paulo Coelho

Not one about getting sober, but life perspective.

The Happiness ProjectHappier at Home Gretchen Rubin

I don’t think you have to be happy all the time, but I like books like this anyway.

Eat and Run Scott Jurek

This reminded me that anything is possible. ANYTHING. And that that anything possible wasn’t just for other people, it was for people exactly like me. We all all possible people. Especially when we aren’t drinking ourselves into oblivion.

MWF Seeking BFF Rachel Bertsche

Getting sober can mean needing different friends. This helped me sort out what my requirements are for a friend besides “You can drink as much as me.”

This is HowDry Augusten Burroughs

I read “This is How” about five times last winter/early spring. “Dry” I haven’t read this year, but I recommend it.

Traveling MerciesPlan BGrace(Eventually)Bird by BirdOperating InstructionsSome Assembly RequiredHelp, Thanks, WowStitches Anne Lamott

She is. The. Greatest. In my dream world she is my neighbor and she comes over for cornbread and tea and we talk about stuff and my soul fills up. In my real world she writes these amazing books that speak to my heart and my soul fills up.

Y’all comment and suggest books too. Many of us don’t go to meetings, and books were and are my meetings when I need some sober shoring up.