Wednesday, June 18, 2008

"In a world of tension and breakdown it is necessary for there to be those who seek to integrate their inner lives not by avoiding anguish and running away from problems, but by facing them in their naked reality and in their ordinariness."
Thomas Merton

DRINKING: A Love Story

Just finished this book. I know, I know, who reads books like this on vacation?


While I thank God (and even more profoundly after reading this book) that I don't struggle with alcohol, I know so many people that do/have, including two of the three parents that raised me.

I am pretty well versed in Al-Anonese, been to my fair share of meetings, been a visitor to more than one rehab program, but still, this book really pried my eyes wide open to the thinking behind the drinking. Scary. And so, so heartbreaking.

Caroline Knapp does an excellent job of giving you a behind the scenes look at the life of an alcoholic, an active alcoholic, one that knew for years and years she was an alcoholic before she finally got sober.

If you, or someone you know is in this crazy love affair, I recommend this book. I didn't love the writing, and had a hard time caring about the author, but she made her point, and she made it well.

Next fun reads:

Eating disorders and bipolar disorder, two more issues that have touched so many that I love...


Deb said...

Have you and Jerri been talking? All these great books to add to my piles. I'm really ready to start a pile which we've authored - any or all of us. It's time, don't you think?!

courtneywrites said...

I read Drinking a few years ago -- and I was so sad when Caroline Knapp passed away. My sister loves Marya Hornbacher's work.

Have you read Elizabeth Wurtzel's book Prozac Nation? I remember we all carted it around in college. It's heartbreaking and brilliant. Perfect for your vacation!

Full Soul Now! said...

I can't remember the title but there was a book I read in my 20's by Jean Kirkpatrick that depicted her struggle with alcoholism.

It changed my perception, cracked open a little space for the possibility of compassion for my father.

Jenny said...

I read those types of books on vacation too! :-)

La La said...

Love the Thomas Merton quote!

And I read these kinds of books on vacation!

Terry Whitaker said...

you are sending that straight to Beacom Lane, right?

Jerri said...

Vacation is the best time to concentrate on and truly absorb those books.

*Drinking* fascinated me. Can't wait to hear your reports on the other two.

Eileen said...

I read several of Caroline Knapp's books, including this one. So sad when she died. I loved her one on her relationship with her dog. She seemed happiest at that point.

I just finished Madness. Very good, very comprehensive about what happens in the bi-polar mind, but also scared me on so many levels. Wish I didn't read it, for obvious reasons. Very honest thou, and helped me understand.

I am addicted to those type of books, but am forcing myself to read "lighter" for the summer. Wish me luck!

Jess said...

I read that book a few years ago. I don't have any particular connection to alcoholism in my life, but I LOVED that book. the issues it talks about are so universal and she writes about all of it so well.

Plus she grew up in (and writes about) Cambridge, where I grew up too. So I loved that.