20 Alcoholics Best Books to Read – The 2024 Edition

Looking for a gripping read that delves into the world of alcoholism? Whether you’re seeking personal insight or a compelling story, these 20 books on alcoholics are sure to captivate you. From memoirs to fiction, these titles offer raw and honest portrayals of addiction, recovery, and the human experience. Get ready to be moved and inspired by these powerful narratives that shed light on the complexities of alcoholism.

20 Best Books About Alcoholics

The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath

by Leslie Jamison

The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath by Leslie Jamison is a compelling exploration of addiction and recovery. In this profound book about alcoholics, Jamison weaves together personal memoir, literary analysis, and cultural critique to examine the complexities of alcoholism and the challenges of sobriety. Drawing from her own experiences and those of famous writers and artists, she delves into the seductive allure of alcohol and the destructive consequences of addiction. Through her poignant and insightful prose, Jamison offers a powerful reflection on the nature of addiction and the journey toward healing. The Recovering is a thought-provoking and deeply empathetic alcoholics book that sheds light on the struggles and triumphs of those grappling with addiction.

Drinking: A Love Story

by Caroline Knapp

Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp is a captivating memoir that delves into the author’s personal battle with alcoholism. Knapp’s candid and introspective writing offers a raw and honest portrayal of her struggles with addiction, as she explores the complex relationship between alcohol and her own sense of self. Through vivid storytelling and compelling insight, the book provides a powerful and illuminating look at the destructive nature of alcoholism, while also offering hope and inspiration for those grappling with similar challenges. This poignant and thought-provoking book about alcoholics is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the complexities of addiction and the journey to recovery.

Dry: A Memoir

by Augusten Burroughs

Dry: A Memoir by Augusten Burroughs is a compelling and candid account of the author’s struggle with alcoholism. Through his witty and raw storytelling, Burroughs takes readers on a journey through his battle with addiction, his time in rehab, and the challenges of sobriety. This memoir offers a unique and personal perspective on the complexities of alcoholism, as well as the impact it has on relationships, career, and self-worth. Burroughs’ unflinching honesty and dark humor make this book about alcoholics a captivating and eye-opening read for anyone interested in addiction and recovery. Dry is a powerful and thought-provoking memoir that sheds light on the often misunderstood world of alcoholism.

Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget

by Sarah Hepola

Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget is a poignant memoir by Sarah Hepola that delves into her struggle with alcoholism. In this raw and honest account, Hepola shares her experiences of blacking out and the shameful and destructive behaviors that came with it. The book offers a gripping and unflinching look at the inner turmoil and desperation of someone battling with addiction. Hepola’s writing is both poignant and humorous, and she skillfully navigates the complexities of her journey, offering insight into the mind of an alcoholic. Blackout is a compelling and deeply personal exploration of the darkness and the long road to recovery, making it a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the complexities of addiction.

Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood

by Koren Zailckas

Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood by Koren Zailckas is a gripping memoir that delves into the author’s struggles with alcohol abuse during her teenage and college years. Zailckas candidly recounts her experiences with binge drinking, blackouts, and the destructive consequences of her alcohol-fueled behavior. Through vivid and raw storytelling, she explores the societal pressures and personal traumas that contributed to her dangerous relationship with alcohol. This compelling and eye-opening book offers a powerful firsthand account of the devastating impact of alcohol abuse on a young woman’s life. Zailckas’ unflinching honesty and introspection make Smashed a must-read for anyone seeking insight into the complexities of addiction and the journey to recovery.

Lit: A Memoir

by Mary Karr

Lit: A Memoir by Mary Karr is a gripping and raw account of the author’s turbulent journey through alcoholism and redemption. Karr takes readers on a deeply personal and introspective exploration of her struggles with addiction, family dynamics, and the search for spiritual awakening. The book offers a candid and unflinching look at the impact of alcoholism on her life, relationships, and self-discovery. Through vivid storytelling and evocative prose, Karr invites readers to witness her harrowing experiences and eventual transformation. Lit is a powerful and poignant memoir that delves into the complexities of addiction and the path to recovery. It is a compelling and honest portrayal of the author’s battle with alcoholism and the profound effect it had on her life.

The Trip to Echo Spring: On Writers and Drinking

by Olivia Laing

The Trip to Echo Spring: On Writers and Drinking by Olivia Laing is a captivating exploration of the relationships between some of the most celebrated American writers and alcohol. Through a blend of literary criticism, biography, and memoir, Laing delves into the lives of iconic authors such as Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Tennessee Williams, shedding light on the complex links between their creative genius and their struggles with alcoholism. The book offers a poignant and insightful look at the ways in which alcoholism can both fuel and hinder artistic expression, making it a compelling read for anyone interested in the intersection of creativity and addiction. Laing’s meticulous research and lyrical prose make this a must-read for anyone fascinated by the lives and works of these influential writers, offering a nuanced and compassionate exploration of the often tumultuous relationship between art and alcohol.

The Sober Diaries: How One Woman Stopped Drinking and Started Living

by Clare Pooley

The Sober Diaries: How One Woman Stopped Drinking and Started Living by Clare Pooley is a captivating and raw memoir that chronicles the author’s journey to sobriety. Pooley, a former ‘drinker’ herself, bravely shares her struggles with alcohol addiction and the transformative power of giving up alcohol. The book is a candid and humorous account of her experiences, from the chaotic early days of sobriety to the joys and challenges of living alcohol-free. Pooley’s story is both relatable and inspiring, offering hope and encouragement to anyone who may be struggling with their own relationship with alcohol. The Sober Diaries is a must-read for anyone looking for a deeply personal and honest portrayal of the journey to sobriety. It’s a powerful ‘book about alcoholics’ that will resonate with readers on a profound level.

The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober

by Catherine Gray

The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober by Catherine Gray is a refreshing and insightful book on sobriety. This memoir chronicles Gray’s personal journey from struggling with alcohol addiction to finding unexpected joy in a sober lifestyle. Through candid and humorous storytelling, she shares the challenges and triumphs of navigating social situations, dating, and self-discovery without alcohol. This book about alcoholics offers practical advice, heartfelt encouragement, and a refreshing perspective on the benefits of sobriety. Whether you’re sober-curious or seeking inspiration on your own journey to recovery, Gray’s honest and relatable writing will leave you feeling empowered and hopeful. The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober is a must-read for anyone looking for a thought-provoking and uplifting take on the sober life.

The Outrun

by Amy Liptrot

The Outrun by Amy Liptrot is a captivating memoir that delves into the author’s battle with addiction and her journey towards recovery. Liptrot’s raw and honest account takes readers on a powerful exploration of her struggle with alcoholism, as well as her connection to the rugged landscape of the Orkney Islands. The book is a poignant and moving portrayal of the author’s resilience and determination to overcome her demons, while finding solace in the untamed beauty of the natural world. Liptrot’s evocative writing and vivid descriptions make The Outrun a compelling and insightful read, offering a unique perspective on the challenges of addiction and the healing power of nature. This is a must-read for anyone seeking a compelling and honest portrayal of the journey towards recovery from alcoholism.

The Spirituality of Imperfection: Storytelling and the Search for Meaning

by Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketcham

The Spirituality of Imperfection is a captivating book about alcoholics that delves into the human search for meaning and spirituality through the power of storytelling. Authors Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketcham explore the universal struggle for perfection and the acceptance of imperfection, drawing from the wisdom of various cultures and traditions. Through a collection of poignant stories and insights, the book offers a profound exploration of the human condition and the quest for spiritual fulfillment. It challenges the reader to embrace imperfection and find meaning in the imperfect moments of life. The Spirituality of Imperfection is a thought-provoking and enlightening alcoholics book that offers a fresh perspective on spirituality and the human experience.

The Night of the Gun: A Reporter Investigates the Darkest Story of His Life

by David Carr

The Night of the Gun: A Reporter Investigates the Darkest Story of His Life by David Carr is a gripping memoir that delves into the author’s struggles with addiction. Carr, a renowned journalist, takes a unique approach to his own story by investigating his past through interviews, research, and documentation. The book provides a raw and unflinching look at Carr’s battle with substance abuse, offering a candid portrayal of the impact it had on his life and relationships. This compelling alcoholics book offers a deeply personal account of addiction, recovery, and the complexities of facing one’s own demons. Carr’s fearless and honest storytelling makes The Night of the Gun a powerful and moving read for anyone interested in the human experience of addiction.

Lit Up: One Reporter. Three Schools. Twenty-four Books That Can Change Lives

by David Denby

Lit Up by David Denby is a captivating exploration of the impact of literature on the lives of high school students. The author, a journalist, immerses himself in the English classes of three diverse high schools, observing the transformative power of reading as students engage with classics such as The Great Gatsby and Heart of Darkness. Denby’s narrative delves into the struggles and triumphs of the students, as well as the challenges faced by the dedicated teachers guiding them through the world of literature. Through his observations, Denby highlights the profound effect that books can have on young minds, offering a compelling argument for the importance of literary education. With its insightful exploration of the potential of literature to change lives, Lit Up is a must-read for anyone passionate about the power of books to inspire and shape the next generation.

The Lost Weekend

by Charles R. Jackson

The Lost Weekend by Charles R. Jackson is a powerful and gripping novel that delves into the harrowing world of addiction. This book follows the protagonist, Don Birnam, as he spirals into a weekend of heavy drinking, grappling with the demons of his alcoholism. The story is a poignant and raw portrayal of the struggles faced by those battling with addiction, and the devastating impact it has on their lives and relationships. Through vivid and haunting prose, Jackson paints a vivid portrait of the mind of an alcoholic, capturing the desperation and despair that comes with the disease. The Lost Weekend is a compelling and unflinching exploration of the depths of addiction, and a must-read for anyone seeking insight into the tumultuous world of alcoholism.

The Glass Castle

by Jeannette Walls

The Glass Castle is a captivating memoir written by Jeannette Walls that offers a poignant and often shocking glimpse into her unconventional and tumultuous upbringing. Walls recounts her experiences growing up in a dysfunctional family with deeply flawed parents who struggle with alcoholism and erratic behavior. The book delves into the complexities of family dynamics, resilience, and the enduring power of hope in the face of adversity. With unflinching honesty, Walls shares the challenges and moments of love and tenderness that characterized her unconventional childhood. The Glass Castle is a compelling and thought-provoking read that offers a raw and unfiltered portrayal of the impact of alcoholism on a family, making it a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the complexities of this issue.

The Tender Bar

by J.R. Moehringer

The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer is a captivating memoir that delves into the author’s coming-of-age story in a Long Island bar. This poignant and humorous book provides a raw and honest portrayal of the author’s journey growing up without a father figure, seeking guidance and wisdom from the colorful characters in the bar. It’s a heartwarming and sometimes heartbreaking account of finding a sense of belonging and understanding in a community of misfits and mentors. The bar becomes a sanctuary for the author, offering him a sense of camaraderie and support as he navigates the complexities of life. This book about alcoholics is a beautifully written tribute to the resilience of the human spirit and the power of unconventional families to shape our lives.

The Easy Way to Control Alcohol

by Allen Carr

The Easy Way to Control Alcohol by Allen Carr is a revolutionary book about alcoholics that challenges traditional methods of dealing with alcohol addiction. Carr’s approach is refreshing and effective as he debunks common misconceptions about alcohol and its control. Through his unique perspective, he encourages readers to reevaluate their relationship with alcohol and provides practical advice on overcoming addiction. The book about alcoholics is written in a conversational and engaging style, making it accessible to anyone seeking a new approach to regaining control over their drinking habits. Carr’s empowering message and insightful techniques make this a must-read for anyone looking to break free from the cycle of alcohol dependency.

Under the Influence: A Guide to the Myths and Realities of Alcoholism

by James Robert Milam

Under the Influence: A Guide to the Myths and Realities of Alcoholism by James Robert Milam is a compelling and insightful book about alcoholics and the complexities of alcoholism. With a blend of personal stories, scientific research, and practical advice, Milam delves into the myths and realities surrounding alcoholism. He explores the genetic, psychological, and social factors that contribute to alcoholism, dispelling common misconceptions along the way. Milam’s compassionate and empathetic approach offers hope and understanding to those struggling with alcoholism, as well as their loved ones. Whether you are seeking a deeper understanding of alcoholism or looking for guidance on how to support someone dealing with addiction, this book is an invaluable resource that sheds light on the challenges and realities of alcoholism.

Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol

by Ann Dowsett Johnston

Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol by Ann Dowsett Johnston is a compelling exploration of the complex and often overlooked connection between women and alcohol. Johnston delves into the societal, psychological, and physiological factors that contribute to the rising rates of alcohol abuse among women. She draws from her own personal experiences and extensive research to shed light on the unique challenges that women face in relation to alcohol consumption. This eye-opening book offers a poignant and insightful look at the ways in which alcohol has become intertwined with the lives of many women, and the impact it has on their physical and emotional well-being. Whether you’re interested in the topic of alcohol abuse or looking for a thought-provoking read, this book about alcoholics is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction

by Elizabeth Vargas

Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction by Elizabeth Vargas is a raw and honest account of the author’s struggles with anxiety, panic attacks, and alcoholism. Vargas, a well-known journalist, shares her journey of self-discovery and healing, from the height of her career to the depths of her addiction. This powerful memoir delves into the complexities of mental health and addiction, offering a poignant and relatable narrative for anyone who has grappled with similar challenges. Vargas’s story is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and serves as a source of inspiration for those seeking hope and recovery. Between Breaths is a compelling and insightful book about alcoholism that sheds light on the often misunderstood and stigmatized issue of addiction.

Conclusion

Whether you’re looking for personal stories of struggle and triumph or seeking guidance on how to support a loved one battling alcoholism, these 20 best books about Alcoholics offer a wealth of insight and inspiration. From memoirs to self-help guides, these books provide a comprehensive look at the complexities of alcoholism and the journey to recovery. With their powerful narratives and invaluable advice, these books are essential reads for anyone affected by alcoholism.

Which Alcoholics book is best?

The best book on Alcoholics can vary with personal preference, but three widely recommended titles are:

  1. The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath by Leslie Jamison,
  2. Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp,
  3. Dry: A Memoir by Augusten Burroughs.

Each offers valuable insights and could be a great starting point.

What are the best books to learn about Alcoholics?

What are the best books on Alcoholics?