Self-Help Reviews from our Members

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The Tao of Sobriety:
Helping You to Recover from Alcohol and Drug Addiction
By David Gregson and Jay s. Efran, PhD
Thomas Dunne Books; St. Martin's Press, 2002
Reviewed by: Pete H.
   The Tao of Sobriety: , by Thomas Dunne Books; St. Martin's Press, 2002.
  If you have internal voices that seem to compete, one minute singing your considerable praises; the next declaring what a terrible person you are, this book may be for you. The authors use ?Discoveries? to help ?support your role as the supreme manager of a fractious committee of internal voices.?
  They ask questions that we sometimes forget to ask of ourselves, and help us find very useable answers in our work toward controlling alcohol and drug use.
  A small volume with a potential great impact, it also addresses issues of guilt and innocence, detachment, script revision, and commitment.
  In the Forward, G. Alan Marlatt states: ?I recommend this book highly for readers who are searching for an alternative path in their quest to escape the psychological confines of addiction.?
This book is available through

Buzz: The Science and Lore of Alcohol and Caffeine
by Stephen Braun
New York : Oxford University Press, 1996.
Reviewed by: Ken Anderson
   Written in clear and concise layman's terms understandable by anyone, this book describes the chemistry, metabolism, physiological and behavioral effects of alcohol in great detail.
   From the ingestion of alcohol, to its absorption though the stomach and small intestine, its metabolism by the liver, and its effects on large numbers of neurotransmitters in the brain, current research on the effects of alcohol are thoroughly summarized.
   As a bonus, we also get a lesson on the effects of caffeine.
Available from in hardcover:

Also available in paperback:

Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood
By Koren Zailckas New York : Viking Penguin, 2005
Reviewed by: Emily Irish
   I give the twenty-four year old author big points for honesty in this memoir. Zailckas makes no attempt to soften or glamorize her abusive drinking; all of the hangovers and ugliness are in plain view. The author?s prose is unique and perhaps not to everyone?s taste, but I find such a clear young voice refreshing. The series of drunken episodes during her college years is disturbing, and the attempts to quit or moderate will likely resonate for many readers.
   Zailckas is not the first to write such a book, yet I think that her observations about how drinking can shape a young woman?s social development are valuable. The author discovers the hollowness of her college friendships when she quits drinking. By abstaining from alcohol, she has eliminated the common denominator and finds nothing of substance in her relationships. All of the reasons why she liked alcohol in the first place (shyness, anxiety, unhappiness) persist without alcohol as a lubricant and Zailckas realizes that she must learn to cope on her own.
   I was left wondering if the author has any gratitude for the opportunities she has enjoyed outside of her drinking career, such as her education or her summer in New York City. Zailckas has no problem writing about her binges or sexual experiences, yet gives more page time to cheerleading and her sorority than to her academic life. Also, I found myself wanting to read at least a paragraph reflecting on her decision to binge drink so much but found none. Instead she wrote of her frustration with alcohol marketing, the producer of Girls Gone Wild, and cultural attitudes about women and alcohol.
   Overall I do recommend this book for everyone, not just young women. Particularly, this book might be useful, even if disturbing, for parents of college students since it is clear that the author?s parents were ineffective at helping their daughter in any way.
This book is available through

The Enchiridion (Handbook) of Epictetus
by Epictetus
Reviewed by: Ken Anderson
   Epictetus (55?c.135) was a slave, a cripple, and one of the great philosphers of ancient times. The Enchiridion is a forerunner of modern Cognitve Behavioral Therapy, and a handbook for those seeking balance and moderation in all things. A paragraph of the Enchiridion every day is an excellent meditation for the MMer. The book runs to but 53 paragraphs.
   This is a guidebook for one who wishes to take control of one's own life.
   The Higginson translation is available free online:

Paper copies of various translations are also available from Amazon:


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