Books About Alcoholism and Drinking Problems

There are many books about alcoholism and drinking. To help you in this journey, we have listed the books that best cover various relationships and needs.

Finding the right fit for you in the avalanche of ‘quit lit’ and self-help for drinking can be hard. The boxes made for problem drinking can be restrictive.

Words like ‘alcoholic’, ‘social drinker’ and ‘binge drinker’ don’t always describe how you feel about your relationship with alcohol. If you want to change this relationship, it is important that the path you take works for you as an individual.

When we put ourselves in a category that doesn’t fit us, the chances of succeeding are much lower.

Books about Alcoholism Joy of being sober

The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober by Catherine Gray

What’s so great about this book?

It’s positivity. You might expect this from a former Glamour UK magazine writer and editor. While she doesn’t shy away from telling the gritty and scandalous tales of her decline into problem drinking, most of the book is about living the ‘good life’ sober. The author does her best to focus on the bright side of life without alcohol. As she says, ‘why bother…when you can feel, look and be so much better without it (alcohol)?’.

Try Desistal to Stop Drinking

Who is this book for?

This is a book for everyone. The author states, straight off the bat, it’s not just for those looking to be teetotal. If you have struggled with alcohol, been affected by someone’s drinking, or just felt sober-curious.

Written by a woman, and a glamorous one at that, the stories and subject matter might appeal more to this group. It isn’t heavy either, so that you can dip in and out of it for busy folks.

The story is told in the form of days in the author’s life, both drunk and sober. It refrains from waxing lyrical about the evils of drink and lets you draw your conclusions from the experiences laid out.

Alcohol book Hungry Ghosts

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts by Gabor Mate, MD

What’s so great about this book?

It’s compassion and heart. Despite its fearsome-sounding title, this book about alcoholism and drug addiction uses a scientific and psychological approach to addiction and dependence. Looking over the evidence, the author and likely the reader conclude that forgiveness and kindness are key to winning against addiction.

Mate is a medical doctor in Vancouver who has dedicated his life to studying and treating those hardest hit by dependence. As a psychologist, academic and victim of childhood trauma in Nazi Hungary, he takes no prisoners in his advocacy of the link between mental health and addiction.

Try Desistal to Stop Drinking

Who is this book for?

More hard-hitting than some other ‘quit lit’, Mate’s work is more do or die. If you are looking for an intense look at the science and psychology behind why we drink and take drugs, this is it. It isn’t an easy read, it’s a tough ride, but it’s a tough subject.

Alcohol Books AA Big Book

The Big Book of AA (Alcoholics Anonymous)

What’s so great about this book?

It’s a practical guide, a step-by-step to recovering from alcoholism. You would expect nothing less from Alcoholics Anonymous, the pioneers of recovery. Using decades of experience, this book reflects the heavy weight of knowledge the AA as a group possesses.

This is more of a handbook than a story or motivational tale. It tells you how you can take back control of your life and grow as a person. It outlines the 12 steps to recovery and speaks to everyone who needs to hear the truth about alcoholism.

The Big Book comes in different editions; it has been going on for a long time. The latest is the 4th edition, so it is best to choose this one for the most modern and relevant guide.

Try Desistal to Stop Drinking

Who is this book for?

This is not just for people who attend AA meetings, but that is who it is mainly geared towards. It is open-minded but does have a spiritual element to its guidance, so it is ideal for those who want to follow a more religious program.

The Big Book is not just for people directly struggling with alcoholism but for those affected too. There are sections specifically to help friends, family and those who worry they are enabling alcoholism.

Alcohol books sober on a drunk planet

Sober on A Drunk Planet by Sean Alexander

What’s so great about this book?

It’s reassurance. Stopping drinking can be isolating, and it seems like everyone is drinking but you. It’s a great blend of hilarious and clear-cut science. Sean Alexander provides a wider view of the drinking vs sober debate without seeming preachy or bossy.

Who is this book for?

So many of us stay in a cycle of drinking and disaster long after we should have quit. Sean Alexander shows through his brilliant and often shocking stories how living without alcohol can be a life hack to improving our home and professional lives. If you live in a family, social group or work environment where alcohol is all around you, this is a great book for perspective.

Try Desistal to Stop Drinking

Choosing the Best Alcoholism Book for you

The most important thing is you find the book that works for you. You might try a few books before finding the one that speaks to your experience, needs and ideas. It is well worth making a journal of your own to express your feelings and thoughts about alcohol. This can serve as a reminder of your reasons and everything you have put into stopping drinking.