Thursday, June 14, 2012:
Since I wrote Running Away From Me, I’ve read more than 100 books about, or related to, addiction and recovery. I’ve read memoirs, memoirs by family members, self-help books, a few about spirituality and a few about prison since that’s where my addiction led me. I’ve reviewed all of them on this website and now I’d like to tell you which ones were my favorites.
I read more than 30 addiction memoirs, and Permanent Midnight by Jerry Stahl was one of the first and good enough to read twice. I read three memoirs by Mary Karr who’s turned her life into a work of art. Lit was about her recovery from alcoholism. Broken by William Cope Moyers, son of Bill, really stands out as well as Tweak by Nic Sheff which also deserved two readings.
As for memoirs by family members of addicts, Beautiful Boy by David Sheff, father of Nic, was without a doubt the best. I also enjoyed and learned a lot from Stay Close by Libby Cataldi who wrote about her son’s addiction. And Breaking Night by Liz Murray was as heartbreaking as it was inspirational. Both of her parents succumbed to the ravages of addiction, leaving her homeless as a teenager; not exactly the traditional path to Harvard where she wound up.
As for self-help books, some were good for family members of addicts and some for addicts themselves. For family, Why Don’t They Just Quit? by Joe Herzanek was one of the best along with Addictive Thinking by Abraham Twerski who’s written extensively about addiction. And Willpower’s Not Enough by Arnold Washton and Donna Boundy was very informative.
For the addict or alcoholic, Compassion and Self-Hate by Theodore Rubin was a paradigm-shifter and life-changer for me. The value of what I learned from this book is probably greater than all the others combined.
Waiting by Marya Hornbacher is good for anyone struggling with the spirituality of the 12 steps and 12 Stupid Things that mess up recovery by Allen Berger is a must-read for all recovering addicts, it’s the ABCs of relapse prevention.
Two that also deserve mentioning are To Die in Mexico by John Gibler. It’s about the drug war in Mexico and was a shocking eye-opener, and In Defense of Flogging by Peter Moskos is about the failure of our prison system and his unorthodox idea of reform.
Well those are my favorites out of 100 and if you’re looking to learn more about addiction, you can’t go wrong with these books.
Buy Running Away From Me as a Kindle format ebook.