10 books like Hustle

By Tom Pitts,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Hustle. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Permanent Midnight

By Jerry Stahl,

Book cover of Permanent Midnight: A Memoir

The gold standard of recovery books. I found this gem literally in the gutter when I was homeless. Changed my life by showing me if I could get my shit together, I, too, could write a book about my experience, and, in the process, maybe help someone else who was suffering as well.

Permanent Midnight

By Jerry Stahl,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Permanent Midnight as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Jerry Stahl's seminal memoir of drug addiction and a career in Hollywood, Permanent Midnight is a classic along the lines of Hubert Selby, Jr.'s Last Exit to Brooklyn. Illuminating the self-loathing and self-destruction of an addict's inner life, Permanent Midnight follows Stahl through the dregs of addiction and into sobriety. In 1998, Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, and Maria Bello starred in a film version of Permanent Midnight to much acclaim. Nic Sheff, author of Tweak, writes the introduction to this edition.


Orangutan

By Colin Broderick,

Book cover of Orangutan: A Memoir

Orangutan is a working-class opus. Broderick excels in his display of the grind and how some men can weather and accept, as the Boss sings, dying little by little, piece by piece, and how others need more help to make it through the day. The most compelling part of Broderick's writing is the way he is able to delineate between the haves and have-nots. And, no, I don't mean money. Some men can drink a six-pack on the weekend, even do some blow. They'll be fine. Others? Like Colin? A shot is too much of an allure. Not just to get drunk, wasted, blotto. It goes way deeper. It's a form of wakeful suicide. You get through the day. You get your paycheck. You survive. But the price is not living.

Orangutan

By Colin Broderick,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Few people who have been slave to an addiction as vicious, as destructive, and as unrelenting as Colin Broderick's have lived to tell their tale. Fewer still have emerged from the darkest depths of alcoholism—from the perpetual fistfights and muggings, car crashes and blackouts—to tell the harrowing truth about the modern Irish immigrant experience.

Orangutan is the story of a generation of young men and women in search of identity in a foreign land, both in love with and at odds with the country they've made their home. So much more than just another memoir about battling addiction, Orangutan is…


Some Things That Meant the World to Me

By Joshua Mohr,

Book cover of Some Things That Meant the World to Me

I’m starting to feel bad it’s all dudes (and white dudes) on my list, but I think that, despite the fact that these days I only read women-written domestic psychological thrillers (they’re just better at it), when I first got straight I sought out others just like me. I didn’t think recovery was possible. Josh’s book is as harrowing and poignant and gorgeously written as they come. I mean, I think Oprah picked it for a book of the month. What more can you ask for?

Some Things That Meant the World to Me is gritty with plenty of down and dirty. But at the center of Josh’s (and his stand-in Rhonda's) story is a poet's heart (as well as a love letter to my city too, San Francisco).

Some Things That Meant the World to Me

By Joshua Mohr,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Some Things That Meant the World to Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#8 of 10 Terrific Reads of 2009. "Charles Bukowski will dig the grit in this seedy novel, a poetic rendering of postmodern San Francisco." -O, The Oprah Magazine

A Best Book of the Year -The Nervous Breakdown

"Where Michel Gondry would go if he went down a few too many miles of bad desert road." -The Collagist

"Mohr's prose roams with chimerical liquidity. The magic of this book is a disturbing, hallucinogenic magic." -Boston's Weekly Dig

Following a 30-year-old man named Rhonda suffering from depersonalization, Some Things That Meant the World to Me is a gritty and beautiful work that…


Wasting Talent

By Ryan Leone,

Book cover of Wasting Talent

This one hurts. Because when I was asked to write this list, Ryan’s book immediately came to mind. Part fiction, part memoir, all hell, Wasted Talent might be the most aptly titled book ever. See, Ryan, who was an amazing writer, talent, and friend, died last week. I don’t know what of. I’m not gonna speculate. But he was in his thirties and wasn’t hit by a car. Over the last few years, Ryan and I weren’t in touch as much, though I did put money on his books when he returned to prison. Ryan’s life and work are a testament to one irrefutable fact. I didn’t go the AA route. But, boy did they get the final destination right. Addiction ends one of three ways: jails, institutions, death. Wasted Talent is Ryan’s only novel. That he didn’t grace the world with more defends his titular choices.

Wasting Talent

By Ryan Leone,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wasting Talent as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

ALL AUTHOR PROCEEDS FROM KINDLE VERSION WILL GO TOWARDS STARTING A NON-PROFIT TO HELP OPIOD ADDICTS GET NARCAN FOR FREE (a life saving drug used to reverse overdoses and save lives.)

Ryan Leone's Wasting Talent stands out as a shining example of survivor literature. Ryan's prose evokes lost giants like Hubert Selby Jr and Eddie Little. As art, and as inspiration, Wasting Talent delivers. Ryan Leone is the real deal!"
- Jerry Stahl, bestselling author of Permanent Midnight

"I feel I should write a disclaimer about Ryan Leone's Wasting Talent, like 'Don't try this at home.' So, I will: Don't…


Addictions

By Edward T. Welch,

Book cover of Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave: Finding Hope in the Power of the Gospel

After 30 years of counseling and 1000s of people in bondage to various sexual behaviors, I take a minority view, and do not believe that addiction, and sexual addiction in particular, is a disease; it is a bondage to sin. This book, I believe helps supports that view. I find in counseling, that when you deal with the sin problem as sin, not just a behavior problem, which is a symptom of sin, lives are radically changed. I could give hundreds of examples, but one that stands out was a sexual predator who seduced 100s of women, but after a radical heart change, his marriage survived and he went on to minister and help others, rather than to continue to use others.

Addictions

By Edward T. Welch,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Addiction, according to Welch, is when we worship ourselves and our desires instead of the true God.


Infinite Jest

By David Foster Wallace,

Book cover of Infinite Jest

One of the best criteria for a book to read in prison is length. Sometimes it’s hard to get more books quickly, and since some facilities have limits on how many books you can have at one time, the longer the better. At 1,079 pages, David Foster Wallace certainly delivers on that front. In the free world, that might seem like a bit of a slog but the book is also funny and has some nuggets of wisdom about addiction and recovery that resonated with me when I read it a decade ago during a brief stint in solitary confinement.

Infinite Jest

By David Foster Wallace,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'A writer of virtuostic talents who can seemingly do anything' New York Times

'Wallace is a superb comedian of culture . . . his exuberance and intellectual impishness are a delight' James Wood, Guardian

'He induces the kind of laughter which, when read in bed with a sleeping partner, wakes said sleeping partner up . . . He's damn good' Nicholas Lezard, Guardian

'One of the best books about addiction and recovery to appear in recent memory' Sunday Times

Somewhere in the not-so-distant future the residents of Ennet House, a Boston halfway house for recovering addicts, and students at the…


The Biology of Desire

By Marc Lewis,

Book cover of The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction Is Not a Disease

What if addiction isn’t a chronic relapsing disease, as described by the National Institute on Drug Abuse? What if a better way to think about it is as a type of learning disorder? Neuroscientist and author Marc Lewis, himself a recovering addict, makes his compelling argument through the stories of five people suffering from substance use disorders. This insightful book left me believing that the attempt to fit addiction into rigid categories does a disservice to the complexity of this condition.

The Biology of Desire

By Marc Lewis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Through the vivid, true stories of five people who journeyed into and out of addiction, a renowned neuroscientist explains why the "disease model" of addiction is wrong and illuminates the path to recovery.The psychiatric establishment and rehab industry in the Western world have branded addiction a brain disease, based on evidence that brains change with drug use. But in The Biology of Desire , cognitive neuroscientist and former addict Marc Lewis makes a convincing case that addiction is not a disease, and shows why the disease model has become an obstacle to healing.Lewis reveals addiction as an unintended consequence of…


Narcisa

By Jonathan Shaw,

Book cover of Narcisa: Our Lady of Ashes

I picked up Narcisa in Portland’s legendary Powell’s bookstore over ten years ago on a whim and it ended up worming its way into my top ten books of all time. The prose is chaotic, evocative, drippy, disgusting, engaging, fantastic. Narcisa is a predatory, magnetic mess of nature and like the narrator, you’ve got to keep flying with her until she throws you down. I was floored and inspired by Shaw’s ability to tame such a blizzard of turmoil between two thin paper covers.

Narcisa

By Jonathan Shaw,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The first trade edition of the cult classic from the artist/author hailed by Iggy Pop as “the great nightmare anti-hero of the new age,” legendary tattoo artist Jonathan Shaw, that chronicles a scandalous, degenerative addiction between two people—a wild, brutal, passionate, and unstoppable ride into depravity and darkness through the back alleys of Rio De Janeiro and New York City.

A legendary tattoo master and notorious creator of trendsetting underground art, Jonathan Shaw has created a masterpiece with this powerful story that captures the destructive addiction of love, sex and drugs, embodied in two people whose irresistible passions threaten to…


The Chemical Carousel

By Dirk Hanson,

Book cover of The Chemical Carousel: What Science Tells Us About Beating Addiction

This book also deals with addiction science, and Hanson is a gifted writer who’s able to express complex ideas in simple, straightforward language. And he also devotes a good deal of time to the care and healing aspects of substance abuse. It takes one to know one, as the saying goes, and Mr. Hanson knows from personal experience and extensive investigative research what it’s like to struggle with addiction. Underrated and underread, this book is right up there with the best on the subjects of addiction and recovery.

The Chemical Carousel

By Dirk Hanson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An in-depth look at addiction science and medical treatments for drug abuse.


Angels

By Denis Johnson,

Book cover of Angels: A Novel

Most people probably know Denis Johnson from his short story collection Jesus Son but this was his first novel and holds a special place in my heart. Jaime is a young woman fleeing an abusive marriage with her two young children. Bill Houston is a bad guy wandering the American Southwest looking for an easy score to get rich. These two characters meet on a bus and partly because of Johnson’s beautiful spare prose we eagerly follow their tragic and doomed trajectory. A very American novel.

Angels

By Denis Johnson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'A dazzling and savage first novel' New York Times

Angels tells the story of two born losers. Jamie has ditched her husband and is running away with her two baby girls. Bill is dreaming of making it big in a life of crime. They meet on a Greyhound bus and decide to team up.

So begins a stunning, tragic odyssey through the dark underbelly of America - the bars, bus stations, mental wards and prisons that play host to Jamie and Bill as they find themselves trapped in a downward spiral though rape, alcohol, drugs and crime, to madness and…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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