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  • Writer's pictureJillian Speck

Sober Curious Reading List - 8 Books to Get You Started

Updated: Sep 12, 2022

I’m a self-proclaimed self-help book lover, so I thought it would be nice to share some that I think could be helpful for you on your sober curious journey.

Full Disclaimer: I haven’t read all of these, but I’ve heard good things about them.

I really think that when it comes to books like this they can speak to people differently during different times in their lives. Something you read today might land completely differently for you in a decade depending on what that decade has brought you.

I think this list is a good starting point, just pick one you think sounds interesting, and start there!


Sober Curious: The Blissful Sleep, Greater Focus, Limitless Presence, and Deep Connection Awaiting Us All on the Other Side of Alcohol

by Ruby Warrington


Some people might wonder if life would be better without alcohol. After all, many of us take care of our bodies in other ways, like eating healthy food and exercising regularly. But sometimes, after a long day or a tough situation, we drink anyway. We tell ourselves it's just one glass of wine, but it often turns into more. And then we feel awful the next day. It's hard to deny that alcohol doesn't make us feel good.


Sober Curious is all about challenging the myths that keep so many of us drinking. Inspiring and timely, this book is a conversation starter and handbook that empowers readers to transform their relationship with alcohol. So we can lead our most fulfilling lives.



The Sober Curious Reset: Change the Way You Drink in 100 Days or Less

by Ruby Warrington


This follow-up to Sober Curious is a 100-day process that helps you rethink your drinking. Each day features observations, exercises, and insights that offer a more profound process of self-discovery than common month-long programs like Dry January or Sober September.


Ruby's friendly, honest, and non-judgmental tone helps you understand the deeper "whys" behind your drinking, why 100 days is so transformational, and how to create a truly sustainable shift in habits.


The Sober Curious Reset is all about empowering you to make the best choices for you when it comes to drinking. Whether that means total abstinence or just cutting down, Ruby's 100 days is all about changing your relationship to alcohol to lead a life with more clarity, confidence, and connection.



When All You Have Is Hope

by Frank O'dea


Frank O'Dea had a tough start in life. He was born into an upper-middle class family in Montreal, but he was sexually assaulted by a priest at a young age. This led to drinking, and he soon found himself destitute and living on the streets of Toronto. However, he found help from the Salvation Army and Alcoholics Anonymous, and he was able to quit drinking and start a small business.


This business eventually became the Second Cup coffee chain. Over the years, Frank has also been involved in philanthropic activities like AIDS fundraising, child literacy in the Third World, and landmine removal. His message is simple: hope, vision, action.



Being Sober: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting To, Getting Through, and Living in Recovery by Harry Haroutunian


This book tackles the phases of addiction without using the traditional 12-step plans. Written by Dr. Haroutunian, the physician director of the Betty Ford Center, it includes a simple - small steps - approach to being sober.


It also discusses the idea that someone can be “highly functioning” while battling addiction. Those people are still able to achieve personal and professional success. And the forward is written by Steven Tyler, which is pretty cool.



Mindful Drinking: How Cutting Down Can Change Your Life

by Rosamund Dean


This one is a game-changer when it comes to reducing stress and anxiety. In it, she provides a three-step guide that combines scientific expertise with practical advice. In just three steps, you can improve your mood, your skin, your sex-drive, and your overall health.


Whether you're sober curious or just looking to cut down on alcohol consumption, this book will show you why and how reducing your intake can change your life for the better.



This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol, Find Freedom, Discover Happiness & Change Your Life

by Annie Grace


In this book, you will find a permanent solution to give up alcohol without having to go through any pain, scare tactics, or rules. Annie addresses the causes instead of symptoms and by doing so, it removes the psychological dependence that makes it hard for you to either drink less or stop drinking altogether.


She dispels the myth that alcohol is essential to a good time, and shows how regaining control over drinking can lead to personal happiness and fulfillment. For those who have been affected by secondhand drinking, this book is essential reading. And because it’s chock full of clarity, humor, and original research, it’s a pretty fun read too.



Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice to Not Drink in a Culture Obsessed with Alcohol

by Holly Whitaker


Holly Whitaker's journey to sobriety wasn't just about giving up alcohol - it was about understanding the role that alcohol plays in our society, and in the lives of women in particular. She realized that alcohol companies were targeting women in the same way that tobacco companies had targeted generations before.


It’s an insightful and humorous book that takes a fresh look at drinking culture and explains why cutting out alcohol can lead to a better life. It’ll change the way you think about drinking forever.



Good Morning, Monster: A Therapist Shares Five Heroic Stories of Emotional Recovery

by Catherine Gildiner


This one is more about overcoming obstacles than being sober, but I still wanted to put it on the list. It reads more like a novel, where therapist Catherine Gildiner presents five of her most heroic and memorable patients.


Among them is a successful, first generation Chinese immigrant musician suffering sexual dysfunction; a young woman whose father abandoned her at age nine with her younger siblings in an isolated cottage in the depth of winter; and a glamorous workaholic whose narcissistic, negligent mother greeted her each morning of her childhood with "Good morning, Monster."


Which one will you try first?


All of these books are interesting for their own reasons, so just pick one that spoke to you and dive in! That’s what I say.


And if you’re new on this journey and you’d love some help navigating what your path looks like, I’d love for you to book a complimentary mini-session with me!


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