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Best Books on Addiction and Recovery


I was asked to list my five top picks for the Shepherd series of "The Best Books on Addiction and Recovery." Just click on the image of The Los Angeles Diaries and it'll take you to the website with the rankings.

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Writing Your Way to Recovery: How Stories Can Save Our Lives

This book combines personal stories of hope and renewal with the art of creative writing.  Relapse.  Acceptance.  Forgiveness.  Each chapter is designed to generate an honest dialogue on the real life issues confronting those searching for the strength and courage to turn their lives around.  


"Whether you want to write to understand and make peace with yourself or start on the road to becoming a published writer, this book is for you.  Written by two published writers who were massive junkies, this is the no-bullshit manual to finding insight and forgiveness in your writing and recovery."

          - Amy Dresner, author of My Fair Junkie: A Memoir of Getting Dirty and Staying Clean


 "James Brown and Patrick O'Neil are the epitome of "been there, done that." Thankfully they've not only survived their addiction but have also gone on to write extensively about their journey to recovery.  If you want to take a good hard look at yourself and your addiction while learning the craft of writing from two highly accomplished authors and creative writing instructors, then O'Neil and Brown are here for you."

          - Anna David, New York Times bestselling author of Party Girl and Make Your Mess Your Memoir


"In Writing Your Way to Recovery: How Stories Can Save Our Lives, James Brown and Patrick O'Neil have really struck on something of great importance.  The age old discipline of putting "pen to paper" receives guidance and practical application from two veterans.  Their understanding of the revelations discovered and ultimate catharsis that accompanies writing may help many suffering addicts as they walk through their own darkness and back into the light."     

           -  Chet Hower, Owner/President of Hower Lodge Detox and Residential Treatment Facility


"Celebrated memoirists James Brown and Patrick O'Neil's new collaboration, Writing Your Way to Recovery: How Stories Can Save Our Lives, asks us to consider what might happen if we harness the tools of creative writing to rethink, and, ultimately, rewrite, our stories of addiction and recovery.  Comprised of craft lessons, recovery insights, and writing exercises, the book is a thoughtfully articulated new take on how addiction and recovery writing can move from catharsis to craft."

         - Timothy J. Hillegonds, author of The Distance Between: A Memoir   

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