Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Thinking Person's Guide to Sobriety

By Bert Pluymen
ISBN 1-880092-40-9

Reviewed by Don B.

I was immediately drawn to this book while browsing through the recovery section of a bookstore by its title -- after all, I consider myself to be a "thinking person." I just had to read it -- and glad I did. It's now a permanent part of my recovery library.

The book is largely anecdotal (primarily the author's own story, plus many others -- which can become tedious) combined with interesting scientific facts and studies. Although each recovery involves AA, it's not excessively pro-AA. The author is very open-minded when it comes to alternative support groups -- mainly Women For Sobriety and SOS. He provides his e-mail address and we have communicated frequently, ever since I read his book, about SOS. If there was a meeting in Austin, I'm sure he'd be there.

The author is a self-described "high bottom" alcoholic, recognizing his alcohol addiction before getting into serious legal, financial, or career problems. He prefers the term "alcohol addiction" to "alcoholism" and stays away from "disease theory" -- although he does bring up hereditary, ethnic, economic, and environmental contributions towards addiction.

Overall, I consider this to be one of the best recovery books I've read -- and shared with others at our SOS meeting. While not revealing anything that was new to me, it is well-written and an enjoyable read. Also of interest, is a separate section dealing with women and alcohol that is especially good.

(January 1998)

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