We regularly review new books on mindful drinking and sobriety, and there are again a few to share. If you need more recommendations, our previous reviews are here. We give Amazon links for all the books for convenience, but please support your local bookstore if you have one!
Erin Jean Warde: Sober Spirituality
In one way this book is not very different from many others. Erin writes about her struggles with alcohol, and how she eventually quit drinking. What makes Sober Spirituality different from most quit lit books is the fact that Erin is an ordained Episcopal priest. Her faith is a big part of the book, and informs the way she approaches the topic. I am not a Christian myself, but I found the discussion interesting, especially Erin’s thoughts on how the Bible sees alcohol (Jesus’s wine was very different from what we drink nowadays!).
I also liked the inclusive approach Erin takes. She highlights earlier contributions from African American and LGBTQ writers, and talks in some detail about harm reduction. And there are funny bits too: one chapter is titled “From Fundamentalist to Whiskeypalian”. Very much recommended, especially if the Christian approach appeals to you.
Kayla Lyons: Soberish
The subtitle of Soberish is “The Science-Based Guide to Taking Your Power Back from Alcohol”. Kayla starts with a quick personal story of her drinking history and how it ended. The main parts of the book cover the impact alcohol has on us, and how to change your habits to reduce or remove it from your life. The book is useful reading for everyone, regardless of your personal goals.
The early part of Soberish covers the science of alcohol – what its harms are and so on. There’s a chapter on using non-judgmental language around booze, some work to do on introspection and the different types of drinking habits. From setting your goals Kayla moves on her toolkit of help and support. This chapter covers a range of topics: food and nutrition, rest and sleep, movement, intuition, cold therapy, meditation, sound healing, journaling, manifestation, and community. The final main chapter covers “backsliding” (i.e. relapses and other ways of moving backwards on your journey) and its warning signs and self care.
Sarah Williamson: Drink Less; Live Better
Sarah’s book is made up of 79 short, bite-sized chapters of a couple of pages each. Between a quick introduction and conclusion, the chapters are organised under four headings: awareness, acceptance, action, and alignment. Each chapter ends with an “Action point”, an exercise, further reading or watching suggestion, or question for reflection.
Drink Less: Live Better covers a lot of ground in an engaging and non-judgmental way. Sarah mixes personal experience, wisdom learned from others, and practical tips. I can imagine that this book would be nice to read over time, maybe one chapter every day, and slowly digest.
Dupe Witherick: A Cocktail of Clarity
Dupe’s personal story is not an unfamiliar one in the world of sober books: a high-flying career, busy family life, and ever upwards creeping alcohol consumption. There was no rock bottom for her, rather a slow realisation that she needed to change something. And a 21-day church challenge provided the perfect alibi for giving up booze. The temporary became permanent, and Dupe is now also helping others to quit. A Cocktail of Clarity covers all the basics about quitting alcohol in a simple and practical way. Each chapter ends with questions to ask yourself, and an action to take.
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