Though Bill Clegg has written that â€śthe story of ruin is just simply more captivating, especially if the fall is swift and from any height,â€ť these memoirs pull us in with stories of resilience and recovery.Â Â Some of these former addicts write of substituting for one toxic crutch with a less destructive one, like sex or religion; others write of overcoming the need for crutches altogether.Â Â Even so, when author Steven Martin (whose book "Opium Fiend" was included in yesterday's addiction roundup) was asked byÂ The New YorkerÂ if he missed the drug, he confessed, â€śEvery minute of every day.â€ť
"Lit"Â by Mary Karr
Named one of the top ten books of 2009 by theÂ New York Timesâ€™Â Michiko Kakutani, this gravelly-voiced and often funny sequel to the coming-of-age memoirÂ â€śThe Liarâ€™s Clubâ€ťÂ is an honest, grown-up book about honest, grown-up alcoholism.Â Â Mary Karrâ€™s Texan mother was a drunk, so was her father; Karr -- a poet -- didnâ€™t descend into her own alcohol abuse until she was up to her ears in mothering and marriage.Â But this book is aboutÂ recovery, not addiction, and a leaning toward Roman Catholicism that introduced her to two stellar models for autobiography, Saint Augustine and Thomas Merton. Â â€śWhat undergirdsÂ LitÂ is not, in fact, the alcoholism that paralyzed Karr for so many yearsâ€¦but the journey to faith that her alcoholism catalyzed,â€ť according toÂ The Fix.
"Ninety Days:Â Â A Memoir ofÂ Recovery"Â by Bill Clegg
This is Cleggâ€™s portrait ofÂ recovery, beginning with the goal of just ninety clean, sober days.Â Â Â The wunderkind literary agent chronicles his return to New York City -- treacherous territory for a recovering addict, with a bar on nearly every corner and a culture hinged upon working and playing hard -- the endless, drab rehab meetings, his friendships with new but loyal allies, and a harrowing relapse on the eighty-seventh day, when he succumbs to temptation and must begin again. â€śRelationshipsâ€¦are the real focus ofÂ Ninety Days, and as a result there is a tenderness at its heart.â€¦â€ťÂ says Vogue.
"Dry"Â by Augusten Burroughs
From the author of "Running with Scissors," this second of several memoirs is the story of an alcoholic simply trying to outrun his next drink.Â Â For Burroughs, a successful if restless young advertising copywriter, the race begins with an agreement -- dry out, or get fired -- so he chooses a gay clinic in Minnesota on the intutition â€śâ€¦a rehab hospital run by fags will be hip.â€ťÂ Â His thirty-day experience was quite a different thing.Â Â Dreams of group therapy with Robert Downey Jr. are dashed by the reality of fluorescent lights and paper hospital slippers.Â â€ś[H]eâ€™s an original, a step aslant of the cutting edge,â€ť saysÂ Kirkus Reviews.
"Booky Wook 2:Â Â This Time Itâ€™s Personal"Â by Russell Brand
Called a â€śdevilishly hilarious roundup of his fame-era shenanigansâ€ť byÂ Entertainment Weekly, Brandâ€™s send-upÂ recoveryÂ memoir chronicles the comedianâ€™s pact with the devil:Â Â trading crack and heroin addiction for sex addiction,Â a lotÂ of sex addiction.Â Â Â Drug-free but still scandalous, the star writes of raucous tours, chat show shenanigans, and tabloid scandals, glancing at his navel every once in a while to ponder the consequences of his immense popularity.