Top sober books

If you want to get inspired to set off on your own alcohol free journey, I’d suggest reading some top sober books.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and purchase. 

Quit Lit – Top Books for Getting Sober

I love the term “quit lit” – it describes a genre where people have written literature that share their stories of getting sober. This, of course, includes the challenges, the hard bits, the funny parts and everything in between.

Ultimately, the story ends with the author conquering sobriety – and honestly every book I’ve read, each person’s life has turned out for the better.

How Quit Lit Helped Me

My husband drinks and was not interested in quitting for even a challenge (totally cool and fine with me). And most of my friends drink so it’s not like I have a lot of sober inspiration around me physically. So I turned to a lot of books.

Inspiring quote from a top book on getting sober, The Sober Diaries
Quote from Clare Pooley, author of the Sober Diaries – a top book on getting sober

Reading about someone else’s journey helps a lot

In the beginning of my own sober challenge, I read books. And still look to find inspiration from other success stories.!

I really needed to immerse myself in learning about how other people viewed alcohol in a negative way. Because I wanted to change my behavior and thought patterns.

I was also pleasantly surprised to see that I actually had the energy and interest in reading after the kids went to bed. In the past, I would have wanted to read a book or watch a show. But after a few glasses of wine, I would have just decided to go to bed.

Interested in a reading some of my favorite books?

Rachel’s Holiday

  • Rachel’s Holiday by Miriam Keyes – This book is a new addition to my favorite list of Quit Lit. And the first fiction book I’ve read on addiction and recovery (I think?). The characters are lovable, yet flawed.

Addiction isn’t celebrated or romanticized. But, rather, it shows how addiction can affect not only the individual – but also friends, family and members of the community. It shows a journey of a young woman who struggles to embrace her emotions and drowns them out with drugs and alcohol – a situation that increasingly gets worse. Can anyone relate to that?

There are also lots of funny, humorous and loving moments. It’s a great read and I missed the characters when the book was over (a number one sign of an amazing book, right?!)

Rachel's Holiday book cover

Nothing Good Can Come From This

  • Nothing Good Can Come From This by Kristi Coulter – Kristi’s writing is easy to read, and there are laugh out loud moments and poignant moments and everything in between. She gives an insider’s look at living in the Pacific Northwest, which is interesting to me!, as well as a sneak peek into the work culture at Amazon’s corporate headquarters (which is equally as interesting to me!).

There are four things that I think of when this book comes to mind:

  1. This quote, which is so true: “Thirty second dopamine explosions followed by days of gloom.”
  2. The Barn – an essay in her book that literally had me laughing out loud. It’s funny but with a lesson.
  3. One of her coping mechanisms when a trigger hits. During her early days of her sober journey, she literally thinks through some of the things that she wanted that she wasn’t able to get and survived. She equated this to her desire for alcohol and I liked it!
  4. As she became more confident in her not drinking, she evolved into a more honest person – when it came to reasons why she wasn’t drinking, as well as looking at things that were happening in her life – which I think is a good reminder for all of us.

The Sober Diaries

  • The Sober Diaries by Clare Pooley – I am actually reading this for the fourth time. As a mother of little ones, she just so accurately describes some of the unique stressors that come with being a mom, raising small children and doing all of the little duties that sometimes become pretty mundane. She is funny, smart and compassionate and I just can’t recommend this book enough.

Mrs. D Is Going Without

Mrs. D. Is Going Without by Lotta Dann – This is a fun ride to go on with Lotta. She takes us from “highly functional, Lotta!” to “sober Lotta” and it’s an entertaining story. She’s a mother of young children, which I can relate to. And she also describes really accurately the physical and emotional turmoil one may go through when trying to kick the booze habit once you’ve created it in your life.

Kick The Drink Easily

  • Kick The Drink Easily by Jason Vales – If you are looking for a non sense book, this is it. Jason doesn’t take you on his own personal journey, but just presents the facts about alcohol as he sees them. And he sees alcohol as pretty useless in this thing called life!

This Naked Mind

  • This Naked Mind by Annie Grace – In this book, Annie deconstructs the messages we’ve been inundated with for our entire lives about alcohol. She then takes each message (alcohol relaxes us, alcohol helps us sleep, alcohol gives us courage, etc.) and uses scientific evidence to show why these messages aren’t true. It’s very helpful in flipping the scripts on how you view alcohol – and the role it plays in your life!

A Happier Hour

  • A Happier Hour by Bex Weller – The great thing about sober success stories is that the transition to a happier lifestyle with peace and clarity seems like a truly magical one. Sure, there is a lot of hard work – but Bex’s career and relationships seem to do a 180 after she kicks the drink. And it’s a fun story to read.


    • Dry by Augusten Burroughs – Have you ever started a book that you stayed up in the middle of the night to finish? Or you felt like everything in your life was getting in the way of you reading the book? This memoir is one of those books. I read it before I even had an interest to quit alcohol – and revisit it every few years just to read it again.

The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober

  • The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober by Catherine Gray – Her writing is a dream to read. And she makes excellent points when disecting the messages we receive about alcohol through T.V., marketing activities and movies. Plus, her own personal story – which she shares throughout the book – is one of redemption and recovery.
A great book that inspires sobriety, Mrs. D is Going Without
Quote from Lotta Dann, Mrs. D is Going Without

So, whether you are looking to take a break – or really want to achieve 100% sobriety for your life – I’d suggest reading the words from others who have been where you are (and are currently where you would like to be in the future).