If you’re in recovery or interested in it then you might like some sobriety literature. There is a lot of text out there available for anyone to read. However you might be curious, what are the best books for early sobriety? This list is here to help you decide where to start or provide suggestions on what to read next.
1. Alcoholics Anonymous (The Big Book Of AA)
If you’re interested in the original old-school literature of Alcoholics Anonymous then the Big Book is for you. This book sets forth the cornerstone concepts of recovery from alcoholism originally written in the 1930s. It tells the stories of men and women who have overcome the disease by means of the 12 steps. The newest edition (fourth edition) includes over 20 new stories that share minders day stories for alcoholics seeking sobriety in A.A. The Big Book also includes stories of the early years of the 21st century to help connect to its roots. The fourth edition has been approved by the General Service Conference of Alcoholics Anonymous.
AA is an international fellowship with an estimated 2 million followers all over the world. The co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill Wilson, was born on November 26, 1895, and he passed away on January 24, 1971, in complete sobriety. The big book is considered one of the best books for early sobriety.
Significant chapters of Alcoholics Anonymous:
Chapter 1 “Bills Story” – Bill Wilson shares his story and experience with alcoholism.
Chapter 2 “There Is A Solution” – This chapter speaks about the hopelessness of Alcoholism, the illness aspect, and the solution to the problem.
Chapter 3 “More About Alcoholism” – This chapter is about the peculiar mental twist and the suggestion of a Higher Power.
Chapter 4 “We Agnostics” – This chapter goes into depth about the importance of finding a Higher Power.
Chapter 5 “How It Works” – The first few pages of this chapter are so important that they are read aloud at the beginning of AA meetings all over the world.
“Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves.
There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity, to be honest.
Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it — then you are ready to take certain steps.
At some of these, we balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.
Remember that we deal with alcohol — cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help, it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power — that One is God. May you find Him now! Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.
Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Many of us exclaimed, “What an order! I can’t go through with it.’’ Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.
Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventures before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:
(a) That we were alcoholics and could not manage our own lives.
(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.
(c) That God could and would if He were sought.” pages 58-60 in the book Alcoholics Anonymous.
Copyright © by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. 1939, 1955, 1976, 2001.
NA text is one of the best books for early sobriety
Narcotics Anonymous 6th Edition
Some people have a hard time identifying themselves with the stories of Alcoholics because they see themselves as drug addicts. Although the basic principles apply to any type of substance abuse, The Narcotics Anonymous 6th Edition is helpful for those who don’t feel as though alcohol itself is the problem. The basic text of the Narcotics Anonymous fellowship is read worldwide to help addicts recover from addiction. This book helps addicts through the concept that there is no “cure” for addiction but recovery is possible through a 12 step program adapted from the Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Narcotics Anonymous 6th Edition is written by addicts for other addicts and sets forth spiritual principles used by hundreds of thousands of addicts. Included are the stories of many men and women who have recovered as well as the NA Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. This excerpt from the text explains important aspects of the book:
“Who is an addict?
Most of us do not have to think twice about this question. We know! Our whole life and thinking were centered on drugs in one form or another—the getting and using and finding ways and means to get more. We lived to use and used to live. Very simply, an addict is a man or woman whose life is controlled by drugs. We are people in the grip of a continuing and progressive illness whose ends are always the same: jails, institutions, and death.”
NA White Booklet, Narcotics Anonymous This is NA Fellowship-approved literature.
Copyright © 1976, 1983, 1986 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All rights reserved.
Twelve Steps And Twelve Traditions
This text is perfect for those who found success with either NA or AA. That’s because it goes into depth about each individual step of the 12 steps as well as AAs’ 24 basic principles. It was written in 1953. To be more specific, a co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous (Bill Wilson) describes in-depth of members recovered and how the group conscience functions. Twelve Steps And Twelve Traditions provides a detailed interpretation of the steps and principles for individual recovery and the organization of the group. Bill Wilson began this book’s work in early 1952 and 50,000 copies were in circulation by 1957. It is considered one of the best books for early sobriety.
This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol, Find Freedom, Discover Happiness & Change Your Life
If you’re not looking to read recovery program text and are interested in an inspiring book about the psychological and neurological components of alcohol use based on the latest science, this is the book for you. This novel also discusses the cultural and industry factors that support alcohol dependence in our society. It is reviewed as one of the best books for early sobriety.
This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol, Find Freedom, Discover Happiness & Change Your Life was written by Annie Grace. She has had a unique life from the very start. Annie Grace grew up in the mountains of Colorado in a one-room cabin with no water or electricity! Somehow by age 26 became the youngest VP in a multinational corporation. At the height of her success, she realized she had a problem. Once acknowledging she had a problem she decided to tackle it in a completely unique way. As a matter of fact, Annie’s program has been featured in Forbes, the New York Daily News, and the Chicago Tribune. Today she is happy, sober, and married with 3 kids.
5 best books for early sobriety
The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober: Discovering a happy, healthy, wealthy alcohol-free life
This text is written by the award-winning author and editor, Catherine Gray. She has worked for such publications as Cosmopolitan, GLAMOUR, and the Sun’s Fabulous supplement. Additionally, she has done freelance writing for such publications as Stylist, Marie Claire, YOU, Women’s Health, Grazia, the Guardian, Shortlist, BBC Earth, Emerald Street, Heat, and the Daily Mail. Catherine Gray enjoys yoga and loves dogs.
More about The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober: Discovering a happy, healthy, wealthy alcohol-free life
Have you ever told yourself you’d quit drinking for a specific time period but find yourself intoxicated by the next day or two? Catherine Gray can relate as she was stuck in the awful suckle of drinking and bad decisions. Her journey included hangovers, ‘drunk tank’ jail cells, and hot tub misadventures. She also goes into what happened after she quit drinking and the reality of staying that way. She also talks about society’s love of alcohol and talks to top neuroscientists and psychologists about why we drink. If these aspects pique your interest then maybe this book is for you.