The Best Book You've Never Heard of . . .
This book was a surprise. I noticed it first in a list of books Gretchen Rubin found helpful when she was working on The Happiness Project. Since I'm not addicted to hard drugs, cigarettes or alcohol, I wondered if I would connect with it. But then I realized that Gretchen Rubin wasn't either and she still found it useful and interesting. I did too.
This book is for anyone who has tried to quit a bad habit and found it really, really hard. The first person narration keeps the reader inside Shapiro's head as she goes through therapy and transfers her addictive personality from one drug to the next substance. At one point she has a full on addiction to fro-yo. Ultimately, it takes a very long time to overcome addiction and the process is a full time job. It's a great read and I learned a lot about myself while reading.
Whereas Lighting Up is very much a memoir, Shapiro and her therapist later co-authored a non-fiction book together, Unhooked, which goes into more therapeutic detail about how addiction works and how we need to work to overcome it. It's very useful for the non-addict as well as the addict. There are many checklists in this book and many myths about addiction are debunked.