Adrian Chiles: The Good Drinker – How I learned to Love Drinking Less
Adrian is a British TV and radio journalist, perhaps best known as a football commentator and fan. He did a TV programme a couple of years ago called Drinkers Like Me, where he examined his drinking habits and wondered whether he should cut down. This book is a sort of follow-up to the TV show.
It’s safe to say that Adrian used to drink too much – as he freely admits himself. Over the last few years he has cut down significantly though, as he tells in the personal chapters of the book which cover his whole drinking life, from his first teenage beers to today. But he has no wish or intention to quit completely. He still enjoys some drinks, but not others; this is a big theme for him.
The Good Drinker also has the stories of other moderate drinkers, interviews with experts, and practical tips and strategies for cutting down. Adrian is a good and engaging writer so the book is a pleasure to read, and there is lots to digest for anyone considering or practising moderate or mindful drinking. I didn’t agree with everything (for example I think Adrian puts too much emphasis on units, though if they work for him then calculate away!). But this book is a great addition to the still very small collection of books aimed at the moderate drinker.
Note: We will be hosting Adrian at our Tasting Room in early 2023, where Laura will discuss the book with him. You can find all the details on our events page, we will announce the date in late December.
Kate Baily and Mandy Manners: Love Your Sober Year – A Seasonal Guide to Alcohol-Free Living
Kate and Mandy are familiar faces in the Club Soda community, and this is not their first book either. Love Your Sober Year builds on their previous Love Yourself Sober book, set around the annual cycle of nature. The four seasons are the main sections of the book. Each section is divided into 12 chapters.
There are regular exercises to do, and a planning page for every season for things to do. The book has lots of ideas of activities, and prompts for journalling on different topics. Although Love Your Sober Year is mainly aimed at women, there is plenty of content for everyone. And sober living is weaved into the text throughout; though it is not the only topic, everything supports it.
You can also hear Kate and Mandy talk about the book on a recent Club Soda podcast episode.
Anne Schaeffer: New Mocktails Bible
The long subtitle of this book is All Occasion Guide to Alcohol-Free, Zero-Proof, No-Regrets, Sober-Curious Lifestyle. Anne covers everything you would expect from a book like this. The book covers the basics of making cocktails (whether alcohol-free or alcohol-full), the ingredients, the equipment. And there are altogether 250 non-alcoholic drink recipes. Not all of the 250 are strictly cocktails though. Many are coffee and tea based hot drinks, and juices and other drinks.
What is unique to New Mocktails Bible, are recipes provided by many alcohol-free drink producers, using their own products. These drinks are all available in the US, but sadly not all of them are imported to the UK. And for full disclosure, Club Soda founder Laura has also written two pages to the book on her thoughts on alcohol-free cocktails.
Carder Stout: We Are All Addicts. The Soul’s Guide To Kicking Your Compulsions
Carder is an addictions psychologist with lived experience of alchol abuse as well. His book takes a Jungian psychology approach to addictions and drinking, with five universal archetypes as the thread through his take on the topic. Carder’s view is that addiction is not a disease, but rather negative actions we take. He starts by discussing the basics of his approach, emotions and how to handle them, and our self-beliefs. He touches on social media, sex addiction, and eating disorders.
Other chapters consider work, and telling lies. Throughout, there are exercises to do. The “soul” of the book’s title doesn’t refer to a religious idea by the way, but more to an internal essence we all have. And Carder doesn’t claim that we are all addicted to alcohol or drugs either!). I wouldn’t say We Are All Addicts is a typical quit lit book. But it is well written, and has some interesting things to say about how we see addiction and recovery, especially for American readers.
For more book recommendations, read our 2022 quit lit books review.