The best ‘quit lit’ books to change how you think about addiction

Why am I passionate about this?

My name is Laura Cathcart Robbins and I am the author of the ‘Quit Lit’ memoir, Stash, My Life In Hiding. When I got sober in 2008 I was full of shame and reluctant to share my struggles with addiction with my friends. Because I’ve always been a voracious reader, I scoured bookstores for stories like mine. It was on these shelves that I found my community, addiction stories to which I could relate and connect. These books were the foundation of my recovery. Now they live on my bookshelves at home and I lend them (with enthusiasm) to anyone who wants to examine their relationship with substances.


I wrote...

Book cover of Stash: My Life in Hiding

What is my book about?

After years of hiding her addiction from everyone—from stockpiling pills in her Louboutins to elaborately scheduling withdrawals between PTA meetings, baby showers, and tennis matches—Laura Cathcart Robbins settles into a complicated purgatory. She learns the hard way that privilege doesn’t protect you from pain. Facing divorce, the possibility of a grueling custody battle, and internalized racism, Robbins wonders just how much more she can take.

With courage and candid openness, she reveals how she managed to begin the journey towards sobriety and unexpectedly finding new love. Robbins harrowingly illustrates taking down the wall she built around herself and what it means to be Black in a startingly white world. Stash is the story of how badly the facade she created had to shatter before Laura could reconnect to her true self.
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The books I picked & why

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

Laura Cathcart Robbins Why did I love this book?

Quit Like A Woman (QLAW) gave a whole new perspective on ‘big alcohol” and the messaging we all receive every day about how alcohol is a panacea for anything that causes us discomfort. 

Holly’s description of her own struggles with drinking and her sobriety journey allowed me to see my own recovery through a different lens. I loved how celebrities posted about QLAW on social media, crediting it for their sobriety. And was especially delighted to see it featured in And Just Like That (the Sex and The City series sequel built an entire episode around it). 

I recommend this book to literally everyone who wants to examine their relationship with alcohol.  But I especially recommend it to women because of how QLAW calls out dating culture for permitting and encouraging alcohol use as a so-called social lubricant.

By Holly Whitaker,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Quit Like a Woman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “An unflinching examination of how our drinking culture hurts women and a gorgeous memoir of how one woman healed herself.”—Glennon Doyle, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Untamed

“You don’t know how much you need this book, or maybe you do. Either way, it will save your life.”—Melissa Hartwig Urban, Whole30 co-founder and CEO

The founder of the first female-focused recovery program offers a groundbreaking look at alcohol and a radical new path to sobriety.

We live in a world obsessed with drinking. We drink at baby showers and work events, brunch and book…


Book cover of Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

Laura Cathcart Robbins Why did I love this book?

I read the first chapter of Wild when I was getting sober, and remember actually looking around to see if anyone else was witnessing what felt like a phenomenon.

I was astounded that someone could write that honestly about their life. I didn’t know it was okay to write about drug use and grief so unapologetically. Wild not only changed how I felt about myself, but it changed the way I put my own words on the page.

By Cheryl Strayed,

Why should I read it?

27 authors picked Wild as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an eleven-hundred-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe—and built her back up again.

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the…


Book cover of Push Off from Here: Nine Essential Truths to Get You Through Sobriety (and Everything Else)

Laura Cathcart Robbins Why did I love this book?

Besides the fact that Laura and I have so much in common (our first name, our publication date, our genre), I am a huge fan of the way she makes recovery accessible to everyone. 

In Push Off From Here, Laura uses her experience to encourage the reader to explore their relationship with substances. Her ‘nine essential truths to get you through sobriety and everything else’ are simple, spot-on, and user-friendly.   

By Laura McKowen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Push Off from Here as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the bestselling author of We Are the Luckiest and founder of the international recovery community The Luckiest Club comes a modern exploration of addiction that offers nine foundational building blocks that anyone at any stage of sobriety can use.

No matter how far astray you’ve gone or how many times you’ve tried and failed before, as long as you’re still sitting here, breathing, and reading these words, freedom and joy are still possible.

When Laura McKowen was two years sober, she received an email from a woman whose sister was struggling with alcohol addiction. McKowen had barely climbed out…


Book cover of Dry: A Memoir

Laura Cathcart Robbins Why did I love this book?

I read this book until my eyes burned when I first got sober. 

I resonated deeply with Augusten’s wit, his hilarious resistance to sobriety, and his ultimate surrender. It was the first addiction memoir that made me laugh out loud and boy, did I need a laugh.

When I was two years sober I went to New York and did a little “Dry” recovery tour, popping into many of the recovery spaces he wrote about so beautifully in Dry.

By Augusten Burroughs,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Dry as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the New York Times Bestselling author of Running With Scissors comes the story of one man trying to out-drink his memories, outlast his demons, and outrun his past.

“I was addicted to “Bewitched” as a kid. I worshipped Darren Stevens the First. When he’d come home from work and Samantha would say, ‘Darren, would you like me to fix you a drink?’ He’d always rest his briefcase on the table below the mirror in the foyer, wipe his forehead with a monogrammed handkerchief and say, ‘Better make it a double.’” (from Chapter Two)

You may not know it, but…


Book cover of Group: How One Therapist and a Circle of Strangers Saved My Life

Laura Cathcart Robbins Why did I love this book?

Even if this memoir weren’t a “Reece’s pick,” I would have devoured it (pun intended). 

Christie is a successful attorney who’s been binging and purging since the seventh grade. She invites us in as she carefully counts and eats apples every night for dessert (“I spent more on apples than I spent on cable, gas, and transportation combined”).

Christie takes the reader with her into the recovery rooms and gives us a ring-side seat to her journey. I could (and will) read this book again and again and again.

By Christie Tate,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Group as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A REESE'S BOOK CLUB PICK

'Every page of this incredible memoir by Christie Tate had me thinking, "I wish I had read this book when I was 25. It would have helped me so much!"'
Reese Witherspoon

'This unrestrained memoir is a transporting experience and one of the most startlingly hopeful books I have ever read. It will make you want to get better, whatever better means for you.'
Lisa Taddeo, New York Times bestselling author of Three Women

For fans of Three Women and Everything I Know About Love comes a refreshingly original memoir about self-discovery, loneliness and love.…


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Rip Current

By Sharon Ward,

Book cover of Rip Current

Sharon Ward Author Of In Deep

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Even as a kid, I was intrigued by the underwater world, so as an adult, I learned to scuba dive. I took to it like a fish to water, and my husband and I spent the next several years traveling to tropical islands to experience the local dive conditions whenever possible. I loved learning how every island had a different culture and a different undersea environment. Since I love tropical islands, scuba diving, mysteries, and adventure stories, these books really hit my sweet spot.

Sharon's book list on mysteries set on a tropical island

What is my book about?

Unsettled weather has caused life-threatening rip currents to sprout up seemingly at random in the usually tranquil sea around Grand Cayman. Despite posted warnings to stay out of the surf, several women lose their life when caught in the turbulent waters. Fin attempts some dangerous rescues, and nearly loses her own life in the process.

Meanwhile, Fin and the team at RIO are struggling to find more sources of funding for the Institute’s important research, and danger arises from an unexpected source while Fin and hot movie star Rafe Cummings are filming an upcoming documentary. When a young internet influencer goes missing and is feared drowned, Fin realizes that someone lured all the dead women into the dangerous rip currents. But who, and why?

Rip Current

By Sharon Ward,

What is this book about?

Unsettled weather has caused life-threatening rip currents to sprout up seemingly at random in the usually tranquil sea around Grand Cayman. Despite posted warnings to stay out of the surf, several women lose their life when caught in the turbulent waters. Fin attempts some dangerous rescues, and nearly loses her own life in the process.
Meanwhile, Fin and the team at RIO are struggling to find more sources of funding for the Institute’s important research, and danger arises from an unexpected source while Fin and hot movie star Rafe Cummings are filming an upcoming documentary.
Soon after a young internet…


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