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Finding help at the bottom of … the bookshelf

Jussi Reading for Moderation

We just love books here at Club Soda. And so do many of our members; some have even written books themselves.

We have also set up our own little online Club Soda bookshop, for information and inspiration. All the books (and films) there have been recommended by our members. Why not take a look and find some reading?

There are three main types of books to read when it comes to changing your drinking.

Personal stories

The first are personal stories. There is a good choice of books about people’s relationship with alcohol. Many writers have quit completely, while others have successfully cut down on their drinking. One example is Julian Kirkman-Page, whose “I Don’t Drink!” has many little stories from his life, and tips on helping you quit once and for all. You will get to read more from Julian right here at Club Soda next week, when he will be guest blogging for us about health and drinking.

Self-help and other support

Many personal stories offer advice as well as the stories. There are also books written specifically for advice, often from a more professional perspective. Self-help books are a well-established genre, with a wide variety of books about quitting and cutting down on drinking too. One that we at Club Soda particularly like is Stuart Linke’s Thinking About Drinking. It is a not-too-long, very-common-sense book, written by a psychologist with years of experience helping people with alcohol problems. There is lots of interesting information, and many simple and practical exercises to do.

Drinking stories and alcohol tales

And of course there is fiction. Writers have long had a reputation for drinking, and alcohol is also a popular topic in books. One recent favourite of mine is Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch. She famously takes her time with her writing: in nearly 30 years she’s only published three novels, but all of them are amazing reads and well worth the wait. They are also on the long side: The Goldfinch is nearly 900 pages long. But it is a tale that grabs you from the very start and keeps you hooked until the end, with love and friendship, art and antiques, and a lot of drinking. The book does have some very violent scenes though, so be prepared for big shocks in between the plot twists…

Wellbeing and mental health

Reading books has long been recognised as a form of therapy for mental wellbeing, going all the way to ancient Greece in fact. Today, good friends of ours – they are called Biblio – are setting up an online bibliotherapy service, where curators will recommend books for members to read, based on their personal challenges.

They are now looking for a few volunteers to test how their idea would work. If you are facing a mental wellbeing challenge, and feel that this type of service might help you, you can request an invite on their website. You will receive a personally recommended free book, in return for answering some questions from the Biblio team. You can read more about how it works here.

Meanwhile, at Club Soda we are constantly adding new books to our bookshop. If you have a recommendation that you think other members would benefit from reading, then feel free to leave a comment at the end of this blog post, or at the Bar.


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I am Laura the Co-Founder at Club Soda. I gave up drinking in 2012 and hope that I can support you to take a self-guided journey to change your drinking whatever your goal.

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