The most recommended books about social control

Who picked these books? Meet our 32 experts.

32 authors created a book list connected to social control, and here are their favorite social control books.
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What type of social control book?


Partial Justice

By Nicole Hahn Rafter,

Book cover of Partial Justice: Women, Prisons and Social Control

Ashley Rubin Author Of The Deviant Prison: Philadelphia's Eastern State Penitentiary and the Origins of America's Modern Penal System, 1829-1913

From the list on the origins of American prisons.

Who am I?

I have been captivated by the study of prisons since my early college years. The fact that prisons are so new in human history still feels mind-blowing to me. I used to think that prisons have just always been around, but when you realize they are actually new, that has major implications. This is nowhere more clear than at the beginning: how hard it was to get to the point where prisons made sense to people, to agree on how prisons should be designed and managed, and to keep on the same path when prisons very quickly started to fail. It’s still puzzling to me.

Ashley's book list on the origins of American prisons

Why did Ashley love this book?

Prisons were originally built for men (really, white men), not for women. But women were sent to prison, just not in big enough numbers to merit their own facilities until much later. Women were also viewed as a difficult population by reformers and prison administrators alike: Women who committed crimes were deemed so morally repugnant that they could not be rehabilitated, so the routines and purposes of prisons seemed not to apply to them (prisons were originally supposed to rehabilitate their prisoners).

As a small and unprofitable population (because they were assigned unprofitable labor like sewing and laundry), women prisoners were considered especially burdensome. Using the prison histories of three differently situated states, Rafter describes the experiences of incarcerated women and how those experiences were shaped by their unique position and the biases about women criminals.

By Nicole Hahn Rafter,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Contemporary Research on crime, prisons, and social control has largely ignored women. Partial Justice, the only full-scale study of the origins and development of women's prisons in the United States, traces their evolution from the late eighteenth century to the present day. It shows that the character of penal treatment was involved in the very definition of womanhood for incarcerated women, a definition that varied by race and social class.Rafter traces the evolution of women's prisons, showing that it followed two markedly different models. Custodial institutions for women literally grew out of men's penitentiaries, starting from a separate room for…

Book cover of So You've Been Publicly Shamed

Dashka Slater Author Of Accountable: The True Story of a Racist Social Media Account and the Teenagers Whose Lives It Changed

From the list on facing down extremism, online and off.

Who am I?

I’ve spent the past ten years reporting and writing true crime narratives about teenagers and hate, first in The 57 Bus and now in Accountable. My research has led me into some fascinating places and has left me convinced that we cannot prevent what we don’t understand. In both books I found that the young people who harmed others weren’t the stereotypical grimacing loners I’d always associated with hate and extremism. Instead, they were imitating behaviors that we see all around us. Being young, with brains that aren’t fully developed in important ways, and lacking the life experience that teaches us a more nuanced understanding of the world, they are ripe for radicalization.

Dashka's book list on facing down extremism, online and off

Why did Dashka love this book?

Jon Ronson has also written a highly entertaining book about extremism called Them, but I chose this one because it could just as well be called Us. Public shaming on the Internet is almost a sport at this point, but Ronson shows how, after the mob moves on, the target of the virtual stoning has to figure out how to put themselves back together and carry on.

A funny, readable romp, this book also asks the reader to think deeply about how morality plays out online and what we are saying when we use degradation and dehumanization as a way of communicating moral ideas.

By Jon Ronson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked So You've Been Publicly Shamed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the Sunday Times top ten bestselling author of The Psychopath Test, a captivating and brilliant exploration of one of our world's most underappreciated forces: shame.

'It's about the terror, isn't it?'
'The terror of what?' I said.
'The terror of being found out.'

For the past three years, Jon Ronson has travelled the world meeting recipients of high-profile public shamings. The shamed are people like us - people who, say, made a joke on social media that came out badly, or made a mistake at work. Once their transgression is revealed, collective outrage circles with the force of a…

Book cover of First in Violence, Deepest in Dirt: Homicide in Chicago, 1875-1920

Peter Boag Author Of Pioneering Death: The Violence of Boyhood in Turn-Of-The-Century Oregon

From the list on death and violence of late-19th-century America.

Who am I?

As a student, the Gilded Age bored me to no end. Since then, I have come to understand that the era’s paradoxes, contingencies, and uncertainties are what has created modern America; they have preoccupied my research and writing since. I undertook Pioneering Death as a meditation on how one of the darkest and most intensely personal events—parricide—is both an expected and unexpected outcome of the interconnectedness between place, region, and nation during the Gilded Age. I hope my very select booklist about death, violence, and brutal killings assists you to recognize how these are central to the human condition and how they are foundational to modern America. 

Peter's book list on death and violence of late-19th-century America

Why did Peter love this book?

Lynching is central to the late 19th century and thus the theme that I explore in my recommendations, but covers this tragic subject elsewhere. Instead, for my last book, I offer Adler’s study that explains the persistently high and even increasing rates of violence and homicide in Chicago during an era when varied modern social controls—urban reform, the discipline of the factory floor, expanding education and the bureaucratic state—swept over that city as they did over America, too. According to older theories about social turbulence and murder, these should have declined. Instead, the opposite was true, though the forms that violence took did change. Perhaps it was Adler’s intention to leave frighteningly unanswered what it is about people generally, and Americans specifically, that the dark impulses they have run so deeply that they are impervious to social control.

By Jeffrey S. Adler,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked First in Violence, Deepest in Dirt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Between 1875 and 1920, Chicago's homicide rate more than quadrupled, making it the most violent major urban center in the United States--or, in the words of Lincoln Steffens, "first in violence, deepest in dirt." In many ways, however, Chicago became more orderly as it grew. Hundreds of thousands of newcomers poured into the city, yet levels of disorder fell and rates of drunkenness, brawling, and accidental death dropped. But if Chicagoans became less volatile and less impulsive, they also became more homicidal.

Based on an analysis of nearly six thousand homicide cases, First in Violence, Deepest in Dirt examines the…

The Giver

By Lois Lowry,

Book cover of The Giver

M. R. Reed Author Of Enthrall

From the list on doing what is right when others are against you.

Who am I?

I’m drawn to the idea of doing what you think is right when others are against you because I’ve always felt the desire to row against the current and just do my own thing. I tend to avoid following the crowd because oftentimes I simply don’t agree with them. Am I being purposely difficult? Maybe. But I fear a society that goes with the flow simply because it’s easier and it doesn’t require them to think for themselves. It’s okay to listen to other people, but before you make any major decisions, ask yourself a question: Is this right for me?

M. R.'s book list on doing what is right when others are against you

Why did M. R. love this book?

In The Giver, Jonas lives this very lonely life and as the reader, we understand him. We see what he’s going through. 

However, nobody else in his town except for The Giver really knows what he’s dealing with. When Jonas has to make a choice that will have a huge impact on everybody, we’re rooting for him because we ultimately know that it’s better to be human and feel pain than it is to live the ignorant, hollow lives that we see the people in his town living.

This really stuck with me because it shows that people don’t always know what’s best for them, and sometimes you have to make those tough choices and just hope that it works out. 

By Lois Lowry,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked The Giver as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE GIVER is soon to be a major motion picture starring Jeff Bridges, Katie Holmes and Taylor Swift.

Now available for the first time in the UK, THE GIVER QUARTET is the complete four-novel collection.

THE GIVER: It is the future. There is no war, no hunger, no pain. No one in the community wants for anything. Everything needed is provided. And at twelve years old, each member of the community has their profession carefully chosen for them by the Committee of Elders.

Jonas has never thought there was anything wrong with his world. But from the moment he is…

Violence and Social Orders

By Douglass C. North, John Joseph Wallis, Barry R. Weingast

Book cover of Violence and Social Orders: A Conceptual Framework for Interpreting Recorded Human History

Mark Koyama Author Of How the World Became Rich: The Historical Origins of Economic Growth

From the list on politics and economics in preindustrial societies.

Who am I?

I've always been fascinated with history. The study of economic history allows me to combine my passion for understanding the past with a rigorous and systematic set of analytical tools. In my own work I'm interested in understanding the economic, political, and institutional transformations that have created the modern world. The books I've selected here help us better understand quite how different the past and they have proven to be invaluable to me as inspirations. 

Mark's book list on politics and economics in preindustrial societies

Why did Mark love this book?

This is a landmark book in political economy and economic history. 

Douglass North won the Noble Prize in Economics in part for the study of institutions in economic history. 

This was his final work (coauthored with Wallis and Weingast). And while the lessons of North's earlier work on institutions have been incorporated into the wider body of scholarship in economic history and development economics, I think the lessons of this book haven't been fully absorbed.  

The fundamental idea is that all societies face "the problem of violence". They have to deter individuals from resorting to violence in order to take what they want. But the means through which society limits violence vary and are often detrimental to long-run economic growth. There is thus a "natural" form of government that is common throughout history, capable of producing social order but not widespread prosperity.

Achieving sustained economic growth in the long-run requires…

By Douglass C. North, John Joseph Wallis, Barry R. Weingast

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Violence and Social Orders as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

All societies must deal with the possibility of violence, and they do so in different ways. This book integrates the problem of violence into a larger social science and historical framework, showing how economic and political behavior are closely linked. Most societies, which we call natural states, limit violence by political manipulation of the economy to create privileged interests. These privileges limit the use of violence by powerful individuals, but doing so hinders both economic and political development. In contrast, modern societies create open access to economic and political organizations, fostering political and economic competition. The book provides a framework…

Book cover of Slaves and Masters in the Roman Empire: A Study in Social Control

Martha Marks Author Of Rubies of the Viper

From the list on the Roman Empire in 1st Century AD.

Who am I?

I made my first visit to Pompeii at age seven. That day, I told my parents that I had been there before. It was all very familiar. And that sense of déjà vu has never left me. I feel it whenever I go back to Pompeii, Herculaneum, and the Roman Forum. I don’t believe in reincarnation, but... As an adult, I’ve returned many times to those places and visited others featured in my books: the Etruscan necropolis at Caere, which was already 1,000 years old at the time of my novels; Athens; and the ancient ports of Piraeus in Greece and Itanos in Crete. I earned a Ph.D. at Northwestern University, taught for many years, and enjoyed a million marvelous experiences, but my lifelong love of ancient Rome is the direct result of that long-ago visit to Pompeii with my parents.

Martha's book list on the Roman Empire in 1st Century AD

Why did Martha love this book?

My novels take place in several ancient Mediterranean lands where slavery was an accepted, unchallenged reality. It’s hard for today’s writers and readers to grasp what relationships must have been like between human chattel and their owners in a world totally devoid of modern mores. Some authors who write about that time period choose to ignore the slaves and focus on the masters, but I was determined to get into the minds of both groups and explore their lives equally. Bradley’s subtitle, “A Study in Social Control,” held the key for me. His book revealed the “carrots and sticks” at work in such societies and helped me bring them to life in my fiction.

By K.R. Bradley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Slaves and Masters in the Roman Empire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A first-rate book....Excellent in drawing out the basic facts, and giving a wholly convincing interpretation....Clear, compassionate and compelling."--JACT

Book cover of Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick

Steve Morris Author Of Out on Top – A Collection of Upbeat Short Stories

From the list on short stories for when spare time is short.

Who am I?

Short stories suit the speed of modern society. I began writing them as a child and began to get them published in magazines. My first collection of stories in 2009 got quite a lot of press in the UK and two more collections followed. Initially, they were darkly-themed backfiring scenarios for the anti-hero and I redressed the balance in Out on Top. We all deserve some good Karma!

Steve's book list on short stories for when spare time is short

Why did Steve love this book?

This was recommended to me as having been the lyrical inspiration to songs by several musical artists I was listening to in my teens. To this day I am still baffled and impressed as to where on Earth Dick ever found the ideas for some of these stories. Almost experimental in their nature, particularly at the time of writing, and breaking ground as he went along, P. K. Dick’s skill of crafting chilling perspective scenarios again and again have, become popular film plots. In this book and his other short story collections, you can feast on many more deeply original plots, any number of which could be made into Hollywood films. Many years ahead of his time and almost predicting the disposable instantaneous world we would live in, Dick’s short stories almost arrived from the future themselves. I think he had the edge on dialogue too. I don’t own a…

By Philip K. Dick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick contains twenty-one of Dick’s most dazzling and resonant stories, which span his entire career and show a world-class writer working at the peak of his powers.

In “The Days of Perky Pat,” people spend their time playing with dolls who manage to live an idyllic life no longer available to the Earth’s real inhabitants. “Adjustment Team” looks at the fate of a man who by mistake has stepped out of his own time. In “Autofac,” one community must battle benign machines to take back control of their lives. And in “I Hope I Shall…

The Social Psychology of Power

By Ann Guinote (editor), Theresa K. Vescio (editor),

Book cover of The Social Psychology of Power

Richard Heinberg Author Of Power: Limits and Prospects for Human Survival

From the list on understanding power.

Who am I?

I’m a systems thinker (Senior Fellow at an environmental think tank, author of 14 books and hundreds of essays) who’s addicted to trying to understand the world. After a few decades, the following is my state of understanding. Power is everywhere and determines everything in our lives. Whether due to the physical power of energy channeled through technology, or the social power of organizations and money, we’re enabled or disabled daily. During the last century, fossil-fueled humanity has overpowered planetary systems, as evidenced by climate change, species extinctions, and resource depletion. Few think critically about power. Unless we start doing so, we may be inviting the ultimate disempowerment—extinction.

Richard's book list on understanding power

Why did Richard love this book?

Social power is the ability to change the thoughts and behavior of other people. Power affects many people like a drug: they become addicted to wielding power or serving the powerful. We’re all embedded in webs of hierarchy and rank that often make us literally crazy. This rather obscure book does a good job of summarizing an enormous trove of research by clinical psychologists on the pathologies of power.

By Ann Guinote (editor), Theresa K. Vescio (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Addressing an issue of central concern in social life, this authoritative book examines how having or lacking power influences the way individuals and groups think, feel, and act. Leading international experts comprehensively review classic and contemporary research with an eye toward bridging gaps across theories and levels of analysis. Compelling topics include the evolutionary bases of power; its effects on physiological processes, cognitive abilities, and health; what sorts of people are given power; when, how, and whom power corrupts; and power dynamics in gender, social class, and ethnic relations. The integrative concluding chapter presents a cogent agenda for future research.

Policing Stalin's Socialism

By David R. Shearer,

Book cover of Policing Stalin's Socialism: Repression and Social Order in the Soviet Union, 1924-1953

Lynne Viola Author Of Stalinist Perpetrators on Trial: Scenes from the Great Terror in Soviet Ukraine

From the list on Stalin’s Great Terror.

Who am I?

Lynne Viola is a University Professor of Russian history at the University of Toronto. Educated at Barnard and Princeton, she has carried out research in Russian and Ukrainian archives for over 30 years. Among her books, are two dealing with Stalinist repression: Stalinist Perpetrators on Trial: Scenes from the Great Terror in Soviet Ukraine and The Unknown Gulag: The Lost World of Stalin’s Special Settlements. Both are based on work in previously classified archives, including the archives of the political police.

Lynne's book list on Stalin’s Great Terror

Why did Lynne love this book?

This monograph changed the way historians understand the Great Terror. Shearer focuses on state fears not of foreign invasion, but of domestic social disorder. Based on voluminous archival research, he explores the structural prerequisites to the “mass operations” of the Great Terror by looking at the social purging campaigns of the mid-1930s and the practices of civil and political policing.

By David R. Shearer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Policing Stalin's Socialism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Policing Stalin's Socialism is one of the first books to emphasize the importance of social order repression by Stalin's Soviet regime in contrast to the traditional emphasis of historians on political repression. Based on extensive examination of new archival materials, David Shearer finds that most repression during the Stalinist dictatorship of the 1930s was against marginal social groups such as petty criminals, deviant youth, sectarians, and the unemployed and unproductive.

It was because Soviet leaders regarded social disorder as more of a danger to the state than political opposition that they instituted a new form of class war to defend…

You've Been Played

By Adrian Hon,

Book cover of You've Been Played: How Corporations, Governments, and Schools Use Games to Control Us All

Leslie Shannon Author Of Interconnected Realities: How the Metaverse Will Transform Our Relationship with Technology Forever

From the list on when hot new technology meets reality.

Who am I?

I’m the Head of Trend and Innovation Scouting for Nokia, and I’ve been with the company since the glory days of Nokia mobile phone world dominance. I know first-hand what happens when a company focuses exclusively on the technology, not the humans that use it, and how quickly that can lead to disaster. One of the lessons that I see repeated continuously in the field of innovation is that a huge amount of attention gets paid to the new technology, and not nearly enough on how the technology will interact with our existing systems, beliefs, attitudes, and culture. Learning from the mistakes is the best way to make sure that the future doesn’t repeat them!

Leslie's book list on when hot new technology meets reality

Why did Leslie love this book?

Adrian Hon is the founder of the truly fabulous fitness app Zombies, Run, in which you listen to a story in which you are a character as you run or walk to work out. 

Yes, there was a zombie apocalypse in this story, and every so often, the zombies appear – and you have to run!! (I didn’t know about Zombies, Run before I read this book, but I have since started using it, and I love it!)  

Adrian has been in the gaming world for a long time, and he is highly aware of how gaming can become coercive. He built Zombies, Run specifically to avoid coercion of any kind, but is deeply infuriated by all of the games out there that shamelessly continue to rely on coercion to generate usage and, of course, cash. 

In You’ve Been Played, Adrian outlines just how nasty some techniques can be,…

By Adrian Hon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked You've Been Played as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How games are being harnessed as instruments of exploitation - and what we can do about it

Warehouse workers pack boxes while a virtual dragon races across their screen. If they beat their colleagues, they get an award. If not, they can be fired. Uber presents exhausted drivers with challenges to keep them driving. China scores its citizens so they behave well, and games with in-app purchases use achievements to empty your wallet.

Points, badges and leaderboards are creeping into every aspect of modern life. In You've Been Played, game designer Adrian Hon delivers a blistering takedown of how corporations,…

Public City/Public Sex

By Andrew Israel Ross,

Book cover of Public City/Public Sex: Homosexuality, Prostitution, and Urban Culture in Nineteenth-Century Paris

Holly Grout Author Of The Force of Beauty: Transforming French Ideas of Femininity in the Third Republic

From the list on sex and the city in modern France.

Who am I?

Holly Grout is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Alabama. Her research interests include the cultural history of modern France, women and gender studies, and the history of beauty, fashion, celebrity, and consumer culture. Her current project, Playing Cleopatra: Inventing the Female Celebrity in Third Republic France, investigates many of the same themes around sexuality, female bodies, public decency, and spectacle. She chose these works in particular because they exemplify some of the best on sex and the city, and they address many of the same issues that Colette raised so long ago – suggesting that sex and the city was a turn-of-the-century fascination in Paris long before HBO turned it into an international cultural phenomenon.

Holly's book list on sex and the city in modern France

Why did Holly love this book?

Public City/Public Sex offers a provocative foray into the dance halls, brothels, and even the public urinals of nineteenth-century Paris. By centering sexuality conceptually and geographically, Ross advances the novel argument that public sex constituted public culture in the capital city. Vividly illuminating how urban clandestine and public sexual encounters (between men and women, men and men, and to a lesser extent, women and women) necessitated a new form of civic management, Ross cleverly demonstrates the intricate, intimate ways in which sex was implicated in, and developed alongside, the modern city.

By Andrew Israel Ross,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Public City/Public Sex as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the 1800s, urban development efforts modernized Paris and encouraged the creation of brothels, boulevards, cafes, dancehalls, and even public urinals. However, complaints also arose regarding an apparent increase in public sexual activity, and the appearance of "individuals of both sexes with depraved morals" in these spaces. Andrew Israel Ross's illuminating study, Public City/Public Sex, chronicles the tension between the embourgeoisement and democratization of urban culture in nineteenth-century Paris and the commercialization and commodification of a public sexual culture, the emergence of new sex districts, as well as the development of gay and lesbian subcultures.

Public City/Public Sex examines how…

Behind Closed Doors

By Amanda Vickery,

Book cover of Behind Closed Doors: At Home in Georgian England

Susan Stokes-Chapman Author Of Pandora

From the list on researching the Georgian era.

Who am I?

Ever since watching the BBC adaptation of Pride & Prejudice, I’ve been fascinated by the Georgian era. At university I always chose modules that connected with the period, which typically focused on the works of Keats, Byron and Shelley. One module introduced me to the essayist William Hazlitt, and my first novel Infelice drew on his illicit love affair with serving girl Sarah Walker. My début Pandora is vastly different, but both novels required a plethora of research. The books I’ve chosen all helped me bring my writing to life, and I hope aspiring novelists with a passion for the Georgians will find these as useful as I have.

Susan's book list on researching the Georgian era

Why did Susan love this book?

It’s all in the details. No matter what social circle a Georgian man and woman lived in, knowing how each functioned within their inner circle is key to creating fully fleshed-out worlds. Vickery uses archival material such as diaries, ledgers, letters, court trials, and other sources to show how the Georgians lived in the comfort (or discomfort) of their own homes, and, interestingly, how this also had an effect on their lives outside the home. The author even provides the reader with an insight into how their homes actually looked, from furniture and portraits, right down to textiles and wallpaper. 

By Amanda Vickery,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this brilliant new work, Amanda Vickery unlocks the homes of Georgian England to examine the lives of the people who lived there. Writing with her customary wit and verve, she introduces us to men and women from all walks of life: gentlewoman Anne Dormer in her stately Oxfordshire mansion, bachelor clerk and future novelist Anthony Trollope in his dreary London lodgings, genteel spinsters keeping up appearances in two rooms with yellow wallpaper, servants with only a locking box to call their own. Vickery makes ingenious use of upholsterer's ledgers, burglary trials, and other unusual sources to reveal the roles…

The Wild Boys

By William S. Burroughs,

Book cover of The Wild Boys: A Book of the Dead

Trebor Healey Author Of A Horse Named Sorrow

From the list on erotic themes that are imaginative and insightful.

Who am I?

I’ve been writing stories and poems with erotic themes since I first entered the spoken word scene in 1980s San Francisco. As a young queer boy, raised in the highly eroticized Catholic Church, I was actually comfortable talking about and writing about sex and eros as I’d been stigmatized by it, and it got me fascinated with what the big deal was and why writers were afraid to approach it or why they did so in a corny/predictable/idealized and/or often dishonest and clumsy way. Soon I was teaching erotic writing and have been integrating it into my writing in honest, fresh, and enlivening ways—and helping others do soever since.

Trebor's book list on erotic themes that are imaginative and insightful

Why did Trebor love this book?

The Wild Boys is at once dystopian and utopian, featuring a band of boys who’ve gone rogue and have perfected strange and poetically beautiful sex rites which allow them to ritually and meditatively conjure or reproduce more wild boy offspring. At once science fiction and fantastical in its imaginative scope, it is also, like all Burroughs’s work, a profound exploration of social control, the excesses and assumptions inherent in state and religious terror, and the sexual and erotic oppression and misunderstanding that is the real enemy of freedom. Fearless and experimental, Burroughs inspires me to be bold, blunt, and not afraid to disturb or offend in exploring the poetic and erotic relationships between all manner of ideas.

By William S. Burroughs,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this funny, nightmarish masterpiece of imaginative excess, grotesque characters engage in acts of violent one-upmanship, boundless riches mangle a corner of Africa into a Bacchanalian utopia, and technology, flesh and violence fuse with and undo each other. A fragmentary, freewheeling novel, it sees wild boys engage in vigorous, ritualistic sex and drug taking, as well as pranksterish guerrilla warfare and open combat with a confused and outmatched army. The Wild Boys shows why Burroughs is a writer unlike any other, able to make captivating the explicit and horrific.

Quit Like a Woman

By Holly Whitaker,

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

Laura Cathcart Robbins Author Of Stash: My Life in Hiding

From the list on ‘quit lit’ to change how you think about addiction.

Who am I?

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.

Laura's book list on ‘quit lit’ to change how you think about addiction

Why did Laura 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?

1 author 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…