Best Books to Read When Giving Up Alcohol (Quit Lit)

In the early days of quitting alcohol you'll probably find that you can't stop thinking about drinking, which is perfectly normal and to be expected. So indulge your thoughts to motivate, inspire and educate yourself by reading as many books on alcohol as you can.

Quit literature, popularly known as ‘quit lit' is a mixture of memoirs, self-help, and psychological or scientific study books about different relationships with alcohol, and what it takes to stay alcohol-free. Quit lit supports those who want to readdress their relationship with alcohol, allowing the reader to see things from new perspectives, offering tips, tricks, and reassurance that you are not alone in your quest for a healthier lifestyle.

Top Ten Best Books To Read When Giving Up Alcohol
Best Books To Read When Quitting Alcohol

Here are some recommended reads for cutting back on your drinking and going sober:

The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober by Catherine Gray

In The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober, Catherine Gray shines a light on society's drink-pushing and talks to top neuroscientists and psychologists about why we drink, delving into the science behind what it does to our brains and bodies.

Much more than a tale from the netherworld of addicted drinking, this book is about the escape, and why a sober life can be more intoxicating than you ever imagined. Whether you're a hopelessly devoted drinker, merely sober-curious, or you've already ditched the drink, you will love this book.

Buy: The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober.

Drink? The new science of alcohol + your health by Professor David Nutt

Alcohol - a simple molecule that can induce so much pleasure and pain at the same time... As the most harmful drug in the UK, it has a profound and wide-reaching impact on our health and on society at large. Drink? is the first book of its kind, written by a scientist and rooted in 40 years of medical research and hands-on experience treating patients. Professor David Nutt cuts through the noise to explain the long- and short-term effects of alcohol, makes complex science digestible and takes readers through its journey inside the body and brain from the very first sip.

Drink? holds the key to all the questions you want to know the answers to, covering mental health, sleep, hormones, fertility and addiction. It sheds light on what 'responsible drinking' truly means and equips us with the essential knowledge we all need to make rational, informed decisions about our consumption now and in the future.

Buy: Drink?: The new science of alcohol + your health

This Naked Mind by Annie Grace

Millions of people worry that drinking is affecting their health, yet are unwilling to seek change because of the misery and stigma associated with alcoholism and recovery. They fear drinking less will be boring, difficult and involve deprivation, and significant lifestyle changes.

This Naked Mind offers a new solution. Packed with surprising insight into the reasons we drink, it will open your eyes to the startling role of alcohol in our culture. Annie Grace brilliantly weaves psychological, neurological, cultural, social and industry factors with her extraordinarily candid journey resulting in a must-listen for anyone who drinks.

Buy: This Naked Mind.

Alcohol Freedom by Kevin O'Hara

Alcohol is destroying everything you love. Learn the mindsets you need to get your life back! You don't quit alcohol because everyone has told you it's a harrowing experience. You know you'll have shakes, vomiting, and headaches. You've heard you have to attend meetings for the rest of your life. At least, that's what author Kevin O'Hara thought, until he realised everything he'd been told about quitting was wrong.

Buy: Alcohol Freedom.

Recommended Sober Reads
Recommended Sober Reads

The Sober Diaries by Clare Pooley

This book is the story of a year in Clare's life. A year that started with her quitting booze having been drinking more than a bottle of wine every day. It sees her starting a hugely successful blog, then getting and beating breast cancer. By the end of the year she is booze free and cancer free, two stone lighter and with a life that is so much richer, healthier and more rewarding than ever before. Sober Diaries is an upbeat, funny and positive look at how to live life to the full.

Interwoven within Clare's own very personal and frank story is research and advice, and answers to questions like: How do I know if I'm drinking too much? How will I cope at parties? What do I say to friends and family? How do I cope with cravings? Will I lose weight? What if my partner still drinks? And many more.

Buy: The Sober Diaries.

Love Yourself Sober: A Self Care Guide to Alcohol-Free Living for Busy Mothers

Are you sick of thinking about drinking? Have you tried to cut down or stop, but just can't seem to? Do you want to learn to love being sober? Now you can, with this empowering self-care guide at your side.

This book is for anyone, whether they are sober-curious, already sober or considering becoming sober. Broken into four parts, you will discover, how to:

  • Understand your relationship with alcohol, including grey-area drinking.

  • Use the full sober toolkit to help you build and sustain your sober life.

  • Stay sober, particularly on high days and holidays, and rediscover who you are without alcohol.

  • Fine-tune your toolkit to make it perfect for you and your new life.

Brimming with wellness strategies, exercises, tips and tools alongside coaching advice, you will learn how it feels to stop drinking and reclaim your wellbeing so you can bring your A game as mums and as women.

Buy: Love Yourself Sober.

Sober: Football. My Story. My Life. by Tony Adams

Tony Adams was a charismatic figure on the football field, a true leader for Arsenal and England. He won league titles in three separate decades, and after the Gunners moved to their new stadium at the Emirates, it was fitting that a statue of him was erected outside to celebrate his extraordinary career. But, for much of that time, he was also drinking heavily and eventually admitted in his book Addicted that he was an alcoholic.

Now, in that book’s stunning successor Sober, Adams reveals what happened next. He discusses the impact that Arsene Wenger had when he arrived at Arsenal in 1996, and how the manager’s new methods helped extend his career and brought new success to the club.

He movingly explains the struggles he’s faced to stay sober for twenty years and why he set up Sporting Chance, the charity which provides treatment and support for sports stars suffering from addictions. He gives his incisive thoughts on England’s continued failings in major tournaments and assesses why Arsenal have struggled to repeat the title-winning formula of his own time there.

Sober is a truly inspirational memoir from someone who has battled with his demons, but has continued to take things on, one day at a time.

Buy: Sober: Football. My Story. My Life.

Unwasted: My Lush Sobriety by Sacha Z. Scoblic

The single glass of wine with dinner... the cold beer on a hot day... the champagne flute raised in a toast... what I'd drink if Hunter S. Thompson wanted to get wasted with me... these are my fantasies lately. Too bad I've gone sober.

When Sacha Z. Scoblic was drinking, she was a rock star; the days were rough and the nights filled with laughter and blackouts. Then she gave it up. She had to. Here are her adventures in an utterly and maddeningly sober world... and how she discovered that nothing is as odd and fantastic as life without a drink in hand.

"Wildly entertaining... an unabashed account of getting clean and getting a life." - Steve Geng

Buy: Unwasted.

More Recommended Sober Reads
More Recommended Sober Reads

Blackout (remembering things I drank to forget) by Sarah Hepola

For Sarah Hepola, alcohol was 'the gasoline of all adventure'. She spent her evenings at cocktail parties and dark bars where she proudly stayed till last call. Drinking felt like freedom, part of her birthright as an enlightened twenty-first-century woman.

But there was a price. She often blacked out, waking up with a blank space where four hours should be. Mornings became detective work on her own life. What did I say last night? How did I meet that guy?

Publicly, she covered her shame with self-deprecating jokes, and her career flourished, but as the blackouts accumulated, she could no longer avoid a sinking truth. The fuel she thought she needed was draining her spirit instead.

A memoir of unblinking honesty and poignant, laugh-out-loud humour, Blackout is the story of a woman stumbling into a new adventure-the sober life she never wanted. Shining a light into her blackouts, she discovers the person she buried, as well as the confidence, intimacy, and creativity she once believed came only from a bottle. Her tale will resonate with anyone who has been forced to reinvent themselves or struggled in the face of necessary change. It's about giving up the thing you cherish most, but getting yourself back in return.

Buy: Blackout.

Kick The Drink... Easily! by Jason Vale

'There is no such thing as an alcoholic and there is no such disease as alcoholism! (as Society understands it)'.

Whether or not you agree with this statement, one thing is for certain, you will never see alcoholism in the same light ever again after reading this book. Jason Vale takes an honest and hard hitting look at people's conceptions of our most widely consumed drug. His major argument is that there is no such thing as an alcoholic and that we have been conditioned to accept alcohol as a 'normal substance' in today's Society despite the fact that it is the major cause of many of today's social problems and a wide range of health issues.

Kick The Drink Easily is much more than a simple eye opener, it will change the way you see alcohol, show you how to stop drinking and help you enjoy your life more without drinking alcohol. So open your mind and take a journey with Jason to explore the myths about the most used and accepted drug addiction in the world!

Buy: Kick The Drink... Easily!

How to Quit Alcohol in 50 Days by Simon Chapple

Simon Chapple is a Certified Alcohol Coach who has helped thousands of people change the way that alcohol features in their lives. In How to Quit Drinking in 50 Days he'll give you a structured way to find complete freedom from alcohol - for now, or forever.

This 50-day journey to freedom is split into two parts. Days 1-25 will ask you to take an honest look at the impact alcohol has had on your life, to examine the reasons for your drinking, and will arm you with the best strategy for quitting alcohol successfully. Days 26-50 will ask you to make the commitment to taking a break from alcohol - taking each step with one chapter a day, and answering the questions that come up.

There are strategies for dealing with challenges and setbacks, and a wealth of resources for finding support and inspiration. Above all, there is a genuine passion for the sober adventure, and the huge rewards of an alcohol-free life - a life of freedom that's waiting for you.

Buy: How to Quit Drinking in 50 Days.

This Naked Life: 48 True Stories of Finding Freedom from Alcohol by Annie Grace

Thousands of people have forever regained control of their drinking through This Naked Mind. Now, they’re telling their stories.

This Naked Life offers forty-eight raw and real stories of people who have found freedom from alcohol.

In these pages, discover how Bryan went from hopeless certainty that drinking would eventually kill him to absolute peace over the course of a single day.

See how reading one book gave Jennifer total freedom after twenty years of binge drinking.

Watch Becca thrive in ways she had never thought possible, all because she learned it was okay to question her relationship with alcohol before she hit rock bottom.

Find out how Kari broke a family legacy of deadly alcohol abuse that stretched back generations.

Alternately poignant and humorous, This Naked Life will surprise, challenge, and inspire you. These stories, written by relatable humans from all walks of life, pull no punches and prove that, no matter where you are in your journey with alcohol, you are not alone.

Buy: This Naked Life.

This post contains affiliate links which means I may get a small commission if you decide to purchase, but please don’t worry, it’s at no cost to you and I only ever recommend products I really like myself. Thank you for your support!


Movies to Inspire when quitting the booze!

If reading's not quite your thing and you'd rather watch a film, read my Top Ten List of Best Movies to Inspire When Giving up Alcohol.

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