Pride & Joy

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Stories of success, happiness and hope from the LGBT community

Stories that comprise the best of LGBT history: Pride and Joy: LGBTQ Artists, Icons and Everyday Heroestells the stories of queer citizens of the world living OUT and proud happy, fulfilling, successful lives. Diverse and global. Famous and unsung. There is a story here for everyone in the LGBT community who has ever questioned their sexual orientation or gender identity, or discovered it.

Discover LGBT community stories that will stir you and reveal:

  • why Tony Kushner quit cello and how Colm Toibin found his voice.
  • why Emma Donoghue calls her experience a fluke and the best advice Bill T. Jones got was from his mother.
  • how being an inaugural poet changed Richard Blanco’s life and how Ugandan activist “LongJones” escaped death threats and gained asylum.

Award-winning writer and longtime LGBTQ activist Kathleen Archambeau tells the untold stories from diverse LGBT community voices around the corner or around the world. Not like the depressing, sinister, shadowy stories of the past, this book highlights queer people living open, happy, fulfilling and successful lives.

Be inspired by LGBT community stories that celebrate the human spirit:

  • Be emboldened by the bravery of a Uruguayan author who was rejected by her immediate family even as she began a family of her own.
  • Be inspired by the audacity to fight for justice that motivates National Center for Lesbian Rights Executive Director Kate Kendell, a Mormon who grew up in Utah.
  • Learn how two couples transcend time and distance to finally be together and how one NBA sports executive summoned the courage to come out.
  • Discover the message of love from the first openly lesbian United Methodist Church Bishop.
  • Learn the secrets of successful OUT IBM executive based in London and the rewards of Ballroom Basix founder in Harlem.
  • See how the Maori philosophy of whānau guided the MP who won marriage rights in New Zealand and how high expectations overcame disability and bullying for an acclaimed mezzo-soprano.
  • Know how the Armenian Genocide and family tensions impacted a professional violinist and composer.

Pride & Joy is a window into the LGBTQ community for straight friends, allies, parents and families of this finally emerging marginalized group. There’s hope that, in the words of Dan Savage, “It Gets Better” for:

  • the transgender choreographer and dancer who continues to break rules and enlighten audiences to the Dutch singer, songwriter and independent theater producer who breaks down stereotypes.
  • the Russian émigré award-winning computer scientist to the Chinese folk dancer.
  • the founder of an award-winning smoking cessation program to the California Political Director of the Obama re-election campaign.
  • and, for Entrepreneurs and gay dads, ballroom dancers and Hungarian activists on neo-Nazi “hit lists.”
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Welcome to the Jungle, Revised Edition

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A Bipolar Guide from a Bipolar Person

Welcome to the Jungle has a greater focus on bipolar people, not the diagnosis: the ways in which each person can find his or her own way through the extreme emotional states and intense experiences that we are calling “bipolar”—whether that means medication or meditation, psychiatrists or vision quests, good sleep or good all-night dancing, or a little bit of everything.

An honest, relatable book that can help you figure out how to live your life with bipolar disorder. Many bipolar books are too clinical, too alarmist, and too clearly written for family members and caretakers of people diagnosed with this mood disorder. Welcome to the Jungle is different. Author Hilary Smith wrote this guide because it is the book she wishes she'd been given when she was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder. It answers questions, points to resources, and most of all, comes from someone who understands what it’s like to be thrown off course by an overwhelming mental health issue—and what to do afterwards.

Know that you are not alone—and that many paths can lead to healing. Just like for everyone else, there are many, many paths that bipolar people can take in life. Learn more about how to live your own life with a mental illness using the help of the insights in Welcome to the Jungle, which covers topics such as:

  • Wrapping your head around triggers, causes of mood swings, medications, and therapists
  • Recovering from mental breakdowns, manic moments, and major depressive episodes
  • Living your life beyond the diagnosis—and helping your family to do the same

Readers of bipolar mental health books like The Bipolar WorkbookRock Steady, or OMG That's Me! will love the devastatingly on-target, honest insights offered in Welcome to the Jungle.

*This book is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent any illness or act as a substitute for advice from a doctor or psychiatrist.*

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The Wrong Dog

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New York Times Bestselling Author and 2018 International Book Awards Winner

A cross country dog rescue that leads to a powerful bond and adventure. A heartwarming and hilarious memoir of a mischievous dog and the unconditional love he forges with the family who mistakenly adopts him.

Meet Simba II, a playful white Labrador puppy brought home by accident. As he grows into an enormous ninety-pound dog with a huge personality, Simba cements the bond between two families and enriches their lives in countless ways.

Road trip. When the family moves from San Francisco to New York, the author is charged with the ultimate animal rescue−bringing Simba to the family’s new home. He and his best friend, Erick, load the old hound into the back of a station wagon and set out on a 3,300-mile once-in-a-lifetime road trip across America.

Epic journey and unconditional love. With stops at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace; the Las Vegas Strip; Meteor Crater; the Painted Desert; Cadillac Ranch; Winslow, Arizona; Gallup, New Mexico; Graceland, and other all-American landmarks, this engaging and poignant volume chronicles an epic journey, the unconditional love between one dog and his family, and the vast and benevolent role dogs play in American family life. But most of all, The Wrong Dog shows us how the end of life can sometimes be the richest part of all.

If you’re a dog lover who’s enjoyed books such as Puppies For DummiesNo Ordinary Dog, or Zak George's Dog Training Revolution, then you’ll love and laugh along with The Wrong Dog.

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LaToya's Life

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LaToya Forever ─ Life, love and laughter with a great YouTube star

YouTube star: LaToya "LaToya Forever" Ali has been putting a smile on people’s faces since 2009 when she first picked up a video camera and started sharing her fascinating thoughts, hilarious stories and moments from her life. She soon became one of the great YouTube stars. A hugely successful black woman as well as great YouTube star, LaToya continues to capture the hearts of millions with her playful, quirky, and inspirational vlog (and with the help of her adorable daughter and loving husband).

How she became LaToya Forever: However, LaToya didn’t always fit in. In this no-hold-barred inspirational memoir, she carefully looks back on her journey from friendless to “internet famous,” and her step-by-step journey from self-consciousness to self-loving. In her words, “Just being able to connect with people from all walks of life. My videos have made an impact…I feel like I’m making a positive change in the world.”

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The ABC's of LGBT+

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Seeking a Deeper Understanding of Gender Identity?

“Ash Hardell's The ABC's of LGBT+ serves as a powerful tool for those that might be questioning their own identity, as well as for those seeking a deeper knowledge….” ―Everyone Is Gay

#1 Best Seller in Transgender Studies, Bisexuality, and Sexuality & Pregnancy

The ABCs of LGBT+ is a #1 Bestselling LGBT book and is essential reading for questioning teens, teachers or parents looking for advice, or anyone who wants to learn how to talk about gender identity.

Ash Hardell (formerly Ashley Mardell), a beloved blogger and YouTube star, answers your questions about:

  • LGBT and LGBT+
  • Gender identity
  • Gender dysphoria
  • Teens in a binary world
  • The LGBT family
  • And more

Understanding gender identity and gender dysphoria. The 21st Century has seen very positive movement for LGBT+ rights. The overturning of DOMA, the SCOTUS ruling in favor of the Marriage Equality Act, American transgender politicians elected to office, and landmark moments such as Apple becoming the most valuable company in the world under the leadership of an openly gay CEO have advanced LGBT awareness and understanding.

The trusted voice of Ash Hardell. We are living in a post-binary world where gender fluency and awareness of gender identity and a real understanding of our LGBT family is essential. Ash Hardell, one of the most trusted voices on YouTube, presents a detailed look at all things LGBT+ in this remarkable book. Along with in-depth definitions, personal anecdotes, helpful infographics, resources, and more; Hardell’s LGBT book is proof it does get better every day in a world where people are empowered by information and understanding.

If you have liked books such as Queer, 2nd EditionYou and Your Gender IdentityThis Book is Gay; or This Is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids, you will love The ABC's of LGBT+ by Ash Hardell.

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How to Survive Life (and Death)

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Learn to Live Life Fully

When you nearly die three times, you learn a thing or two about how to live…

Three times to cheat death. Over the years, Emmy-nominated art director Robert Kopecky had not one, but three, near-death experiences. What he brought from the other side was a book not just about surviving life and death, but about learning how to live. A relaxing and illuminating read, in How to Survive Life (and Death) you'll discover the calm determination to live life accordingly and share Love.

Three things death teaches us about life. One of the most common fears in human beings is death. Whether an existential crisis or social anxiety, we get bogged down by our daily lives. In How to Survive Life (and Death), Kopecky shows us the other side of our fears about dying—and living. He urges us to take a chance, learn something new, and go about life with an open heart. Complimented by personal stories, he shares his three keys to life:

  • Radical Kindness
  • Radical Forgiveness
  • Radical Surrender

If you want to be the best version of yourself, and enjoyed books like Dying To Be MeWhat If This Is Heaven?, or Knowing, then you’ll think How to Survive Life (and Death) is quite heavenly.

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Good Stuff from Growing Up in a Dysfunctional Family

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In Every Bad, There’s Some Good─And A Lesson to Be Learned

Twenty-four survivors recount their stories of living in a dysfunctional family. It isn’t always easy. You can’t choose your situation or where you come from, but you can choose the lessons you take away.

Is there a silver lining to growing up in a dysfunctional family? Bestselling recovery author Karen Casey looks at stories of people who grew up in dysfunctional families and "the good stuff" that can come from the experience. "Throughout my many decades in recovery rooms I have interacted with thousands of women and men whose journeys reveal, in detail, the harrowing history of dysfunction that has troubled their lives," says Casey. "But what is also apparent in their stories is their eventual and quite triumphant survival, often against extreme odds."

From 24 families rife with dysfunction. Casey interviews the survivors who emerged from the fires of a turbulent household to willingly share their stories and come to realize they had, surprisingly, thrived as the result of their often-harrowing experiences. In The Good Stuff from Growing Up in a Dysfunctional Family, Casey reveals the stories and the skills these survivors developed to live more creative and fulfilling lives.

In this book find tales that help you to:

  • Realize lessons in disguise
  • Acknowledge your personal growth
  • Point out your own silver lining

If you enjoyed books like Daring GreatlyCodependent No More, or Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents, then you’ll want to read Good Stuff from Growing Up in a Dysfunctional Family.

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Addiction & Grief

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Emotional Recovery From Addiction

Authentic recovery is more than an attitude. It is based on emotional work that involves an honest appraisal of one's life. It is through dealing with unresolved feelings of grief and anger that one can truly heal from addiction.

The emotional “bottom” of recovery. Just as one needs to hit bottom with drinking or using in order to begin recovery, eventually one will also hit an emotional “bottom” of fear, anger, and grief. And recovery can only start by first understanding how, when, and where those emotions took control. Author Barb Rogers challenges readers in recovery to investigate the unresolved grief and loss in their lives and helps readers navigate the impacts of those emotions—emotions that can lead back to using if not resolved.

Finding healing and happiness. Recovery from addictions involves more than getting sober. It involves finding happiness, which can only happen if the emotional work is done as well. Negative emotions have the ability to weigh on us and influence both our decisions and the way we handle life’s challenges. If we continue to live with fear, anger, and grief, we aren’t really free from our addictions. The steps to recovery—authentic and complete recovery—involve healing from the deeper issues in our life. Learn more about:

  • The emotional healing that goes hand-in-hand with addiction recovery
  • Dealing with grief and resolving underlying issues
  • How to find happiness after getting sober

If you learned from books like This Naked MindRewiredThe Mindfulness Workbook for Addiction, or A Gentle Path Through the Twelve Steps, then you’ll want to read Addiction & Grief.

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Moms to Moms

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Being a mom is one of the hardest and most important jobs a woman can have. Being a mom in recovery is even more challenging.

In Moms to Moms, counselor Barbara Joy shares the stories, advice, and inspiration from more than 60 mothers in recovery from across the United States who have struggled with addiction. These are women of all ages, races, and religious affiliations who candidly share their experiences: the challenges of being a mom in recovery, the values they want to teach their children, and their fears, struggles, and accomplishments.

This is a book that offers help and hope to busy, stressed out moms in recovery/ a book they can turn to again and again to find inspiration, comfort, and advice. Joy offers evaluation tools and strategies for positive parenting, journaling activities for reflections, and affirmations designed to relieve stress and reinforce positive behavior.

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Peace a Day at a Time

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A Meditation-A-Day to Aid the Addiction 12-Step Recovery Process

Help in staying centered and finding inner peace. Karen Casey’s daily meditation book Peace a Day at a Time offers 365 reminders to help strengthen those traveling the path to recovery from addiction. In this powerful set of daily reminders, Karen draws from her bestselling Each Day a New Beginning, which has helped millions recovering from addiction.

Grow stronger every day with this classic meditation-a-day book. Karen Casey's daily meditation books have guided millions through their recovery and their daily lives, providing serenity and a happier more peaceful life. She has written eloquently about almost every facet of recovery and how to live a sober, balanced life by trying to live in the present, one day at a time. Peace a Day at a Time offers a meditation for every day of the year, opening with a quote and following with a brief essay and a takeaway message. This beautiful book is your powerful set of daily reminders on how to stay centered and find inner peace. Karen also provides a companion index with key theme words to reference any issue you may be struggling with.

In Peace a Day at a Time learn to:

  • Pay attention and listening to your inner voice
  • Avoid drama and to let go of blame
  • Stop living from crisis to crisis
  • Cope with fear, sorrow, anger, and pain
  • Embrace change
  • Practice kindness, joy, hope, and acceptance

If you have been aided by books such as The Language of Letting GoThe Road Back to You, or Let Go Now; then Peace a Day At a Time can help you heal.

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Still Standing

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Stories That Heal You and the Hard Times That Don't Kill You

Bucky Sinister a recovered alcoholic and veteran of the punk rock and spoken word scene, brings the stories from the trenches about how to get sober, stay sober, and live sober.

Beyond the 12-step guide. Still Standing brings you the stories from the misfits, freaks, and weirdos that have come to recovery from a variety of backgrounds including tattoo artists, bartenders, musicians, and flight attendants to help answer the What Now? Question of living sober. Using a mixture of poetic reflection, autobiography and philosophy, Bucky Sinister turns this beyond the 12-step guide into a manual that helps unpack the mind when it’s overly packed.

Stories heal. Bucky Sinister knows all too well the power that words contain. Sober since February 19th, 2002, he’s traveled near and far to bring tales from the trenches about the ups and downs to truly living sober.

If you enjoyed books like Codependent No MoreDrop the Rock, or High Achiever, you’ll love Still Standing.

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If I Die Before I Wake

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Barb Rogers' book begins with the tragic death of her teenage son, Jon, and delves into the horror that was her life to that point. Due to a home life fraught with substance and emotional abuse, Barb found herself bottomed out more than once, and homeless along the way.

"When asked in early recovery if I knew any prayers, the one I could think of was the child's nighttime prayer, 'Now I lay me down to sleep.' As I thought of it, I recalled the long nights when I simply wanted to go to sleep and never wake up."

Barb learned most of her life lessons through pain, tragedy, and addiction. This is not a glamorous book, it is real and it is raw. It is not about survival of the fittest, but the weak, the hopeless, the helpless, the truly addicted, not only to substances, but to drama, anger, excuses, and justifications.

She describes how she got to her lowest point, just what it was, and how and why she finally reached out to a 12step program for help. She shows the reader what it's really like to survive, to stay clean and sober, and find a way to the other side. Recovery was one of the most difficult things she ever did, but "worth every effort I put out."

Barb Rogers would be the first to tell you she's not specialshe's led a hard life, and she tells her story well and with humorreadersaddicts or not, but especially addictsare going to find the kind of gritty inspiration, that if Barb can do it so can they, that will inspire life changes.

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12 Steps That Can Save Your Life

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A Different Approach to the Twelve Step Program That is Neither Cult, Cure, nor Curse

Whether you’re new to the road of recovery or not so new, sobriety isn’t easy. This guide combines real-life stories and sensible advice to help you stay on the road of self-improvement.

Clean and sober twenty days or twenty years─it makes no difference. We all need a little help every once in a while. With it comes a journey that has a message─one of hope, motivation, and healing. Through the avant-garde combination of heartfelt stories from real people and an attainable 12 step program, you’ll connect with this guide and understand that you aren’t in this alone.

There is no perfection, there is no goal, there is only walking the talk one day at a time. Author Barb Rogers has been sober for a long time. And she knows that doesn’t make a difference─what makes a difference is that she’s clean and sober today. Rogers' book offers true stories from an array of perspectives. Learn the secret to staying on track through:

  • Understanding how to connect with your innermost being
  • Real tales from people who overcame addition
  • Achievable advice every step of your journey

12 Steps That Can Save Your Life reminds you that the most important thing is that no matter what difficulties you have, remember to keep working the steps as many times as it takes.

If you enjoyed books like Twelve Steps and Twelve TraditionsCodependents' Guide to the Twelve Steps, or A Gentle Path through the Twelve Steps, then you’ll love 12 Steps That Can Save Your Life.

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Where Would I Be Without You?

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Women Learning from Women

Here comes advice, inspiration, and fun from bestselling author BJ Gallagher. From Katherine Hepburn to her friend Suzanne, Where Would I Be Without You? brings the experiences and life lessons of women from all walks of life.

When women choose wisdom over wiles. True wisdom is the ability to learn from other people's experiences, and although we learn from books, movies, and preachers, women also learn from other women. With inspiring stories, funny words of wisdom, and positive affirmations for women, Where Would I Be Without You? brings female empowerment to all generations of strong women.

Where would we be without women? Where Would I Be Without You? is all about being thankful for the women in your life (and their wit). Whether our mothers or sisters, writers or inventors, sometimes we have to celebrate the women and girls around us. In this colorful book, Gallagher has collected pages of advice on love, work, growing older, and staying young; making readers ask what is wisdom, what does wisdom mean to these women, and most importantly, where would I be without you?

If you’re thankful and grateful for the women around you, and enjoyed books like Badass AffirmationsIn Praise of Difficult Women, or The Shared Wisdom of Mothers and Daughters, then you’ll love Where Would I Be Without You.

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Mommy Doesn't Drink Here Anymore

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A Mother Shares the Story of Her First Year of Sobriety

A real woman’s memoir and her story of recovery in hopes that she inspires other mothers to maintain sobriety.

A mom who turned to alcohol. With three children under five, a set of twins and a newborn, Rachell Brownell wanted to feel like an adult again. So she turned to three bottles of white wine a night.

The good, the bad, and the ugly of getting clean. Through wit and honesty, Brownell lets readers into her world of addiction, but also towards hope. Through examples of community, wisdom, and support, this book provides a map for anyone trying to get through the early stages of recovery.

Inspiration for the first year of recovery. Learn how a couple of glasses of wine lead to a big problem. Understand how mommy cocktail groups and the desire to feel like “more than a mommy” can lead to addiction. In Mommy Doesn’t Drink Here Anymore you will find:

  • The good, the bad, and the ugly of parenting
  • The truth about the first year of recovery
  • Hope for a light at the end of the tunnel

Mommy Doesn’t Drink Here Anymore is one woman’s recollection of the pressures of motherhood, addiction, and the first year of sobriety. Without preaching, Brownell lets you into her heart-wrenching and inspiring story. If you learned from books like The Happier HourDrunk Hour, or Quit Like a Woman, then you’ll want to read Mommy Doesn’t Drink Here Anymore.

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Easy Does It, Mom

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Every mom wants to succeed. Every child also wants to succeed. In Easy Does It Mom, Barbara Joy provides moms with positive encouragement, knowledge, and tools they can begin using immediately as they continue their recovery and move toward being the best moms they can be. Joy relies on experts with degrees and experts with "mom" behind their name. For more than ten years, Barbara Joy has worked with moms in recovery from alcoholism and other addictions. She knows what works. Plus she includes reallife stories and strategies from the moms and children she works with. The reader is guided by a professional and encouraged and inspired by moms who have "been there, done that." Because moms in recovery feel more safe and secure in a familiar and consistent environment, each chapter begins with an encouraging saying and ends with a writing activity plus between four to eight clear and concise keys are presented in the chapter -- an ataglance tools reference section. For moms in recovery, Barbara says, " Other than your recovery, I believe that parenting is the most important job you'll ever do. It may also very well be the hardest job you'll ever do. And, for sure, the most rewarding "

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Keep It Simple & Sane

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Inspired by the 12step saying, "Life is simple, it's people who are complicated," Barb Rogers points out in Keep It Simple and Sane that it's pretty easy to tell ourselves lie upon lie as we explain away bad behavior associated with drugs, alcohol, food, sex, work...whatever, in an attempt to feel better about our complicated lies. And of course, we can't do anything to simplify our lives because we're too busy keeping up with our complicated lives, so we drink, smoke, or shoot, to seek release in inappropriate ways to relieve the complications. But we never do. Through the telling of her own story and those of fellow travelers, Rogers encourages readers to wait, stop, and hold the phone Start with Mentally Simple (the opposite of Stinking Thinking) and just do it. Start small. "Grab a mental flashlight" and follow her lead to discover what you were thinking and how you might think differently. Offering 24 simple ideas in four sections (mind, emotions, spirituality, physicality), along with strategies and exercises to introduce them into your daily life, this book is for people on the simple path to wellness, for people who simply want to take charge -- to change the things they can change, accept the things they cannot change, and learn to know the difference without an operatic, addictive song and dance.
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Get Up

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A (Former) Skeptic’s Guide to the 12-Step Program

Knowledge from a personal journey. Experiences with addiction vastly differ, but something can be learned from everyone’s journey—especially those who achieve sobriety. Author Bucky Sinister penned this book because he had something to share from his own journey, a realization that completely changed his outlook on recovery. This smart and snide book is his testament to the effectiveness of the 12-Step Program, a path to recovery that he never expected to go down (and work).

A tough-love approach to recovery. As a poet, author, and comedian, Sinister doesn’t hold back from speaking the truth in this book. He speaks bluntly about addiction and his own struggles with it. Sinister appeals to those who are turned off by the usual recovery self-helps. He talks straight to readers who struggle to buy into the effectiveness of the 12-Step Program—particularly those like Sinister, an atheist, who have problems with the “higher power” concept intertwined with the program.

A different kind of “self-help”. Sinister’s book presents itself as self-help, but don’t expect it to have the same tone as others you’ve read. The book is full of Sinister’s comedic touch, colorful language, and stories from “scumbags” that contain life-saving wisdom. An unabashed testimony to Sinister’s personal journey to sobriety and those of others, this recovery book is sure to educate, entertain, and inspire.

Read Bucky Sinister’s Get Up: A 12-Step Guide to Recovery for Misfits, Freaks, and Weirdos and find…

  • A different outlook on the 12-Step Program
  • Raw and honest stories of addiction and staying sober
  • A source of both light laughter and cutting wisdom for those on the path to recovery

Readers of books such as The Unexpected Joy of Being SoberRecovery: Freedom from Our Addictions; and Staying Sober Without God will find further guidance and inspiration in Get Up, which should be the next book for you.

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