Are you doing Dry January? Maybe you’re a seasoned veteran and look forward to the lifestyle reset this month offers every year. Or maybe it’s your first time, and you’re questioning the point of a dry January (especially if you’re living in Ontario and we’ve just gone into lockdown) or wondering how you’ll do it. Whatever stage you’re at, reading books on the subject can help keep you motivated and also offer new perspectives on the choice to live a sober lifestyle, while you’re actually practicing it.
Last year was my first time participating in Dry January and I loved it. I saw so many benefits from a Dry January that it inspired me to do a few more bursts of sobriety throughout the rest of the year, and here I am again doing Dry January for the second year in a row. But I will admit, it was a little tricky the first time. When those cravings kicked in and I would question why I was doing it (we were living in Germany at the time, also in lockdown), I found that reading books on the subject really helped to keep me motivated and stay sober. They also provided me with so many new insights and perspectives on our alcohol-obsessed culture and the radical choice some people make to live alcohol-free, and the positive impacts this choice has on their lives.
I’ve actually read so many books on the subject throughout the last year (I became a little obsessed) and wanted to share my top 3 favorite books on the subject. These are the books, out of the dozens I’ve read, that I found to have the most captivating, eye-opening content, offered new knowledge and valuable perspectives I’ve never considered, and were genuinely a joy to read. So whether you’re participating in Dry January or not, I would absolutely recommend these books to anyone, because at the very least they will help you to think a little bit differently about alcohol – and I think that’s a valuable lesson for anyone! Please reach out to me if you do read any of these books and would like to discuss them, I love discussing good books! Happy New Year xx
The Sober Diaries by Clare Pooley
I adore Clare Pooley and this book – I’ve actually read it twice in the last year. It’s a memoir about Clare’s decision to quit drinking and is laugh-out-loud funny. I love the British sense of humor and dry wit, and Clare is an amazing writer. I found myself cheering her on throughout the book at every victory, and wanting to give her a huge hug when life threw a great big wrench her way. Reading how Clare found peace and happiness by putting down the wine, and how it led to a whole new career and life trajectory, was really inspiring.
Quite Like a Woman by Holly Whitaker
You may have seen this book mentioned in the new Sex and the City reboot (if anyone else even got that far ;)) or in Chrissy Teigen’s Instagram story a while ago. There’s a reason it’s so popular – Holly offers a feminist perspective on alcoholism and the alcohol industry in general, a view I’ve never seen mentioned before in any other books. Part memoir and part self-help book, it’s packed with information and data, and is incredibly eye-opening and empowering. Definitely a must-read for anyone who has questioned their drinking habits, especially if you identify as female.
Sober Curious by Ruby Warrington
This book offers a new way to think about our relationship to alcohol, and the author Ruby actually coined the term “sober curious” – which is now a whole global movement! While Ruby doesn’t proclaim to be sober, she does claim to be “sober curious” – and you’ll have to read it to find out what that means! This is a great book if you’re not quite ready to quit drinking, but really want to cut back and experience more of life alcohol-free. Like the other two books I previously mentioned, I found Ruby’s approach to alcohol to be unique and eye-opening, and this book to be incredibly thought-provoking and motivating.