Apr 21, 2020 | By Bea Potter

The Top 8 Books on Addiction and Recovery


Countless books will talk about addiction and recovery, and how sobriety has changed someone’s life – memoirs, psychology books, and so on. However, all roads to recovery are different, and so are addictions, even though everyone experiences some kind of struggle. Here, we put together a list of eight books that are not only notable mentioning, but can also be thought-provoking for somebody looking to find that much-needed saving grace in his or her life. As you read through the list of books to consider, please understand that everyone’s situation is different, and that you’re not alone in whatever it is that you’re going through.

**Disclaimer – Please not that these books are the opinion of the author. 

Lit by Mary Karr

Set in Boston (Cambridge), Mary Karr recounts her road to sobriety, while intertwining it with her turbulent life story (from her dysfunctional childhood, to her adult life making the dysfunction worse). While having a witty tone and crackling honesty, her memoir is so personal that it’s too human and heartfelt to pass up.

The Language Of The Heart by Bill Wilson

Bill Wilson, co-founder of AA, wrote this book as a reminder that every person has to face their demons at some point, especially if you’re wanting to overcome an addiction. Wilson shines in The Language of the Heart as a man who had to battle many bouts of depression, even after being sober for multiple decades. He even talks about the AA, in terms of what the traditions are, and how members can use its principles in their own lives.

Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp

This book by Caroline Knapp is a definite page-turner as a memoir, offering a unique and emotional literary study on the world of addiction. Drinking: A Love Story was one of many books in the 1990s that had paved the way for female voices on addiction; and this book continues to reach out to people like Knapp today.

Blackout by Sarah Hepola

Offering a modern take on recovery, Sarah Hepola writes about how blackouts are considered “normal,” or a sign of “successful” drinking. Describing alcohol-induced amnesia in vivid detail, Hepola then tears off the veil, uncovering the dark truth about drinking. This book offers a powerful lesson of how drinking can take away a person’s power, pride, and dignity, despite it convincing us the opposite of that.

Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis

Based on the song of the same name by Red Hot Chilli Peppers, this autobiography by the band’s frontman Anthony Kiedis gives us a heart-wrenching book about sobriety. In explicit detail, Kiedis recounts his own demons during his years-long battle with addiction, and how there’s a possibility of a full recovery. Since he became sober, Kiedis has been an icon in the sober community.

A New Pair Of Glasses by Chuck C

This book was written by a member of AA named Chuck C. He has become a bit of a legend in the AA community as he was a very well-known circuit speaker who truly helped thousands. This book is actually one of Chuck’s speaking engagements that has been transcribed into this influential read, which focuses on the joys of a healthy and slow recovery, and what it means to have long lasting sobriety.

Dry by Augusten Burrough

Augusten Burrough delivers funny, sarcastic, and (perhaps) heartwarming elements in his writing. In addition, he offers a bit of dryness (hence the title) in his memoir, detailing his battle with alcoholism. Dry is a must-read for anyone looking for meaningful redemption in their lives, in the midst of addiction.

The Big Book Of Alcoholics Anonymous

This one is considered the granddaddy of all addiction and recovery books out there. A textbook, of course; but this book’s ultimate purpose is to educate people on how to live forever sober, which has always been an unattainable goal for many people who suffer from addiction. As a valuable resource to the reader looking for a solution to his or her alcohol problem, this book is a Godsend for those who want to start a new life, free of addiction. And the good news is, this book on sobriety has been reported to have helped millions of people recover from addiction, changing and saving lives.


As you check out these eight books on addiction and recovery, perhaps they’ll inspire you to make a change for the better. And, the best part about all this is that they can be shared with friends and family who you believe needs the second chance in life.

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