Reviews of books to help those recovering from alcohol and other addictions that are not AA or 12 step based..

Ihave found it really useful to read as much as possible, about different methods of overcoming my problems, to find solutions that had worked for others, and adapt them for myself. I am glad that Amazon now exists, because there are not a great deal of worthwhile books on the subject in my local bookstore, and I live in a big city. It must be even harder for most people. You won’t find any of the books by Stanton Peele or Lance Dodes on sale in most UK shops but Amazon and Kindle can sort out this problem.  Many of the American books are much more progressive in outlook, which I find slightly surprising as the 12 step solution seems to be accepted as the key method, by many there. There are more books in my “blog category Books” , but the few highlighted here are a great selection for those wishing to explore alternatives to 12 step recovery or to find a method that works for them.

One of the things that surprised me about AA, was how old and out of date most of the literature was. I was surprised that nobody had bothered to write anything up to date. “Living Sober” is almost funny these days and the “Big Book” still fails to make sense and has taken the place of the Bible, in the eyes of many “Old timers”. Chapter 5 is generally read out at meetings, and held up as a solution for anyone, but in reality, it is probably why most people leave 12 step groups, after a few meetings. Many do not want to try a solution that relies on “God” these days. They need a rational solution.

Most modern books tend to contradict the “religious/spiritual approach” of AA, and look at the reasons many turn to drink in the first place. Many drinkers have low self-esteem, or have suffered a loss, and learning to deal with these issues are the core to a long-lasting recovery. I have found other more general, health books have become important for me as my recovery becomes longer. I tend to read books about mindfulness that really helps me to visualise the world in a new calmer way.

After reading some non 12 step literature, I could see many problems with the 12 step methods and began to question what I was being told. It was one of the things that gave me the strength to move on, and I am glad that I did. Books such as the “Diseasing of America” by Stanton Peele talks about the way the 12 step culture has taken over in America, and is very critical of the methods used. I agreed with most of it. I must put it on here soon! He had another book come out in February with Ilse Thompson, who runs the “Stinkin Thinkin” website called “Recover”. Stinkin Thinkin was the first recovery blog I went on, in the years after AA, and it felt good to connect with others who had rejected the 12 step world, for a more rational solution. I only discovered Lance Dodes through starting this blog, and I feel his work is superb.

I will add to the list of books over time and have discovered that there are many out there that I have not read. This will  take some time as I have limited time to spend on the blog at the moment. Let me know if there are some good books out there, that you have come across!

Other Books to read! There are more in the Books category in the sidebar.

The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction Is Not a Disease
The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction Is Not a Disease
August 3, 2015

The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction Is Not a Disease is a book by Marc...

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts – Dr Gabor Maté
In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts – Dr Gabor Maté
June 29, 2015

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts is an amazing book and I would...

Harm Reduction Psychotherapy: A New Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Problems
Harm Reduction Psychotherapy: A New Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Problems
March 17, 2015

Harm Reduction Psychotherapy: A New Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Problems Book edited...

High Price – Drugs, Neuroscience and discovering myself. DR Carl Hart.
High Price – Drugs, Neuroscience and discovering myself. DR Carl Hart.
December 7, 2014

High Price – Drugs, Neuroscience and discovering myself. DR Carl Hart. I still...

The Compass of Pleasure
The Compass of Pleasure
May 26, 2014

The Compass of Pleasure – David J. Linden   I thought this was a...

How to Change Your Drinking: a Harm Reduction Guide to Alcohol (2nd edition) Kenneth Anderson
How to Change Your Drinking: a Harm Reduction Guide to Alcohol (2nd edition) Kenneth Anderson
May 11, 2014

How to Change Your Drinking: a Harm Reduction Guide to Alcohol (2nd edition)...

Love and Addiction
Love and Addiction
March 24, 2014

Love and Addiction By Stanton Peele. I have wanted to read this book...

Memoirs of an addicted Brain.
Memoirs of an addicted Brain.
March 19, 2014

Memoirs of an addicted Brain. A neuroscientist examines his former life on drugs....

The sober revolution – calling time on wine o’clock
The sober revolution – calling time on wine o’clock
January 17, 2014

This is another book that covers a similar subject to the one written...

Her Best-Kept Secret
Her Best-Kept Secret
January 14, 2014

Her Best-Kept Secret, Why Women Drink – And How They Can Regain Control I was...