The best books on turning sobriety into a super power

Why am I passionate about this?

Most drunks struggle to accept that they have a disease called “alcoholism” and feel shame, intertwined with fear, having to admit it. I, on the other hand, embraced it. Being alcoholic meant I wasn’t “crazy” after all like Grandma. At 21, I embraced the disease along with 12 Step recovery, thanking my lucky stars that there was something I could do about my chaotic hippied lifestyle. “Don’t pick up the first fix, pill, or drink and you can’t get drunk.” Could the solution be so simple? It is. From the moment I set down the drink and drugs, I knew I had to share this amazing revelation with others and my writing career began.

I wrote...

Escaping Myself: Lee B's Biography, a true story of sobriety and his best tall tales

By Shelly Marshall,

Book cover of Escaping Myself: Lee B's Biography, a true story of sobriety and his best tall tales

What is my book about?

A sober alcoholic and well-known muralist in Western Colorado, Lee maintained sobriety for 56 years before covid took his life in 2021. Abandoned as a child, a kid who beat up bullies, a toilet-hugging drunk, court-martialed for murder, escaped the mob, he embraced a 12 Step program at age 22. Repeating many of the mistakes of his parents, including getting married six times (three times to the same woman), he eventually broke the pattern of generational transgressions to find and give forgiveness. Lee is the most impulsive, destructive, selfish, completely insane sober drunk that you will hate to love, but you’ll love Lee, anyway. 

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Drop The Rock: Removing Character Defects - Steps Six and Seven

Shelly Marshall Why did I love this book?

One alcoholic helping another is the way the 12 Step program works.

This book explores Steps 6 and 7 from the personal experiences of others in recovery. It helped me examine my defects, you know, the rocks I held that were sinking me. But I am not alone in my quest to drop these rocks.

This book includes personal stories that let me know how others have overcome the same roadblocks as myself. They talk to me, addressing my need to spiritually surrender my shortcomings. Various insights help contribute to my sobriety which, after all, is what I strive for in a clean and sober life.

By Bill P., Todd Weber, Sara S.

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Drop The Rock as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A practical guide to letting go of the character defects that get in the way of true and joyful recovery.

Resentment. Fear. Self-Pity. Intolerance. Anger. As Bill P. explains, these are the "rocks" that can sink recovery--or at the least, block further progress. Based on the principles behind Steps Six and Seven, Drop the Rock combines personal stories, practical advice, and powerful insights to help readers move forward in recovery. The second edition features additional stories and a reference section.

Book cover of Do One Thing Different: Ten Simple Ways to Change Your Life

Shelly Marshall Why did I love this book?

Full disclosure, I know Bill Hanlon and we exchanged books at one of several speaking engagements together.

I cherish this book and have a signed copy featured in my collection. It is a simple straightforward ingenious way to disrupt destructive patterns in all relationships. And it works! Being in the mental health field, I would make this wonderful book mandatory for all counselors to read, if I had that power.

Full of examples on how to modify micro-behaviors, results could not be more life-changing. I found that I had the power to alter destructive patterns in my life by reacting differently in any given situation! Bill’s book explains how to do it.

By Bill O'hanlon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Do One Thing Different as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"If you do one thing different, read this book! It is filled with practical, creative, effective, down-to-earth solutions to life's challenging problems."-Michele Weiner-Davis, author of Divorce Busting

The 20th anniversary edition of a self-help classic, updated with a new preface: Tapping into widespread popular interest in highly effective, short-term therapeutic approaches to personal problems, author Bill O'Hanlon offers 10 Solution Keys to help you free yourself from "analysis paralysis" and quickly get unstuck from aggravating problems.

Tired of feeling stuck all the time when you're trying to solve a problem or are facing conflict? Do you get easily flustered or…

Book cover of The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition Into the Forces of History

Shelly Marshall Why did I love this book?

It may not seem relevant to sobriety to recommend a book on how evil is rooted in man’s very existence, yet I find that both alcoholism and recovery are also rooted in my existence.

It’s a monolithic book, but more than half is Bloom citing his sources. The book challenged my view of the world thus influencing my view of recovery. The 12 Steps taught me that problems are basically of my own making and that self-responsibility is the only path to find my way out.

It is not possible to read his book and not see how we humans lay the seeds of our own destruction, not only in a small personal life, but in all of human history. 

By Howard Bloom,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Lucifer Principle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Lucifer Principle is a revolutionary work that explores the intricate relationships among genetics, human behavior, and culture to put forth the thesis that “evil” is a by-product of nature’s strategies for creation and that it is woven into our most basic biological fabric.

In a sweeping narrative that moves lucidly among sophisticated scientific disciplines and covers the entire span of the earth’s, as well as mankind’s, history, Howard Bloom challenges some of our most popular scientific assumptions. Drawing on evidence from studies of the most primitive organisms to those on ants, apes, and humankind, the author makes a persuasive…

Book cover of The Sermon on the Mount: The Key to Success in Life

Shelly Marshall Why did I love this book?

I found this to be a classic grassroots approach to spirituality and a very practical approach to life as well as recovery.

Early AAers used this as one of their texts. In the 12 Step based recovery programs, members recommend that you find a Power greater than yourself to rely on. Emmet’s book is inspired by the wisdom of the ages and led me to a simple, strong concept of a Higher Power that has become my Sobriety Super Power.

It reveals the reasons why living by principle, guided by my Super Power, keeps me from picking up that first fix, pill, or drink. I have never looked back.

By Emmet Fox,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Sermon on the Mount as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Book cover of Man’s Search for Meaning

Shelly Marshall Why did I love this book?

Nazi atrocities and the experience of surviving Auschwitz would not seem to be an uplifting book, but for me, with my history, it was.

It's a reminder that no matter how tough a hand life has dealt you, someone else has always had it worse. Not only did Frankl survive, but he took what he learned and gave the world a great gift: one of understanding suffering, understanding our main drive in living, and he developed a therapeutic technique, transforming adversity into meaning.

I read his book in college and it fast became the blueprint for my existence—not to avoid pain, but to build from it and find meaning in it as I have found meaning in my own rather intense recovery. 

By Viktor Frankl,

Why should I read it?

42 authors picked Man’s Search for Meaning as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the outstanding classics to emerge from the Holocaust, Man's Search for Meaning is Viktor Frankl's story of his struggle for survival in Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps. Today, this remarkable tribute to hope offers us an avenue to finding greater meaning and purpose in our own lives.

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Transforming Pandora

By Carolyn Mathews,

Book cover of Transforming Pandora

Carolyn Mathews Author Of Transforming Pandora

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Creator Meditator Messenger Shopaholic

Carolyn's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Transforming Pandora, women's fiction with a metaphysical undercurrent, is written with humour and a light touch. As the plot slips between two time frames, separated by more than thirty years, the reader explores her life and loves: her ups and downs.

In the opening chapter, Pandora is attempting to come to terms with her husband's death. At a friend's suggestion, she reluctantly attends an evening of clairvoyance, after which her life is transformed by a mysterious spirit who sets her on a new path.

Her romantic life is reignited when she encounters a new man, but complicated by the appearance of a significant figure from her past. At the same time her spiritual life is presented with a challenge when she's offered the chance of enlightenment via a heavenly correspondence course. Her quest in life to find her true purpose is within her reach. Will she grasp this opportunity? Or will she choose love over light?

Transforming Pandora

By Carolyn Mathews,

What is this book about?

Pandora, 51, childless, and still beautiful, is attempting to come to terms with her husband's death. Having a history of being drawn to the esoteric, yet remaining a healthy sceptic, she reluctantly attends an evening of clairvoyance and raises a spirit who sets her on a new path...

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Interested in evolution, life satisfaction, and alcoholism?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about evolution, life satisfaction, and alcoholism.

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