The best books about trauma and addiction

Zoe Fishman Author Of Invisible as Air
By Zoe Fishman

The Books I Picked & Why

Postcards from the Edge

By Carrie Fisher

Book cover of Postcards from the Edge

Why this book?

I love this book about addiction and a return to life post-rehab. It’s also everything about Hollywood you love to hate and a mother/daughter relationship for the ages. Carrie Fisher is funny, vulnerable, and real. What value did you get from this book? Addiction is often the result of trauma and Fisher navigates the cause and effect in a disarming way. Her writing is authentic and funny. especially set against the Hollywood backdrop. I laughed and I cried, and best of all I related to her struggle despite the differences in our experiences.

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A Million Little Pieces

By James Frey

Book cover of A Million Little Pieces

Why this book?

This book became infamous when Oprah outed Frey on her show – what he had published as a memoir was actually a work of fiction. That said, there’s no denying that this book is unputdownable; a wild ride of addiction from the addict’s point of view. The highs, literal and figurative are written in sharp contrast with the lows. Frey has a way of making the reader empathize with an inherently unlikable character, which is very hard to do as a writer.

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Drinking: A Love Story

By Caroline Knapp

Book cover of Drinking: A Love Story

Why this book?

Knapp dazzled me with her honesty about her addiction and her battle with its hold on her. The courage it takes for her to admit she has a problem and her journey to recovery are both astounding and relatable. I was also so glad to read about a female struggle with trauma and addiction.

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She's Come Undone

By Wally Lamb

Book cover of She's Come Undone

Why this book?

This is an unforgettable heroine who’s addicted to food. We follow her through her adolescence to womanhood; struggling to untether herself from pain. Heartbreaking and hilarious at the same time: my favorite mix. It also tackles food addiction, which is often overlooked in fiction despite the fact that it’s likely the most relatable one of all.

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Running with Scissors

By Augusten Burroughs

Book cover of Running with Scissors

Why this book?

This is the most unlikely origin story I’ve ever read – I laughed, cried, and cringed on this boy’s journey to adulthood after being given away by his mother to her absolutely unqualified psychiatrist. Everyone is nuts. Highly entertaining and inspiring.

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