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Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice to Not Drink in a Culture Obsessed with Alcohol

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Holly Whitaker

10 Hours 9 Minutes

Random House (Audio)

December 2019

Audio Book Summary

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The founder of the first female-focused recovery program offers a groundbreaking look at alcohol and a radical new path to sobriety.

“You don’t know how much you need this book, or maybe you do. Either way, it will save your life.”—Melissa Hartwig Urban, Whole30 co-founder and CEO

We live in a world obsessed with drinking. We drink at baby showers and work events, brunch and book club, graduations and funerals. Yet no one ever questions alcohol’s ubiquity—in fact, the only thing ever questioned is why someone doesn’t drink. It is a qualifier for belonging and if you don’t imbibe, you are considered an anomaly. As a society, we are obsessed with health and wellness, yet we uphold alcohol as some kind of magic elixir, though it is anything but.

When Holly Whitaker decided to seek help after one too many benders, she embarked on a journey that led not only to her own sobriety, but revealed the insidious role alcohol plays in our society and in the lives of women in particular. What’s more, she could not ignore the ways that alcohol companies were targeting women, just as the tobacco industry had successfully done generations before. Fueled by her own emerging feminism, she also realized that the predominant systems of recovery are archaic, patriarchal, and ineffective for the unique needs of women and other historically oppressed people—who don’t need to lose their egos and surrender to a male concept of God, as the tenets of Alcoholics Anonymous state, but who need to cultivate a deeper understanding of their own identities and take control of their lives. When Holly found an alternate way out of her own addiction, she felt a calling to create a sober community with resources for anyone questioning their relationship with drinking, so that they might find their way as well. Her resultant feminine-centric recovery program focuses on getting at the root causes that lead people to overindulge and provides the tools necessary to break the cycle of addiction, showing us what is possible when we remove alcohol and destroy our belief system around it.

Written in a relatable voice that is honest and witty, Quit Like a Woman is at once a groundbreaking look at drinking culture and a road map to cutting out alcohol in order to live our best lives without the crutch of intoxication. You will never look at drinking the same way again.

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  • Anonymous

    I’ve read many informative books that help to guide you into Self realization,evaluation and tools to understand and implement love and change However, this book is a life changer .. a little slow at first for me but then hooked into my soul and it felt like opening every gift I’ve ever wanted on Christmas morning . I’m listening for a second time with my notebook!!!!! What a gift this woman has given me ! Non-preachy , or judgy ,completely relatable ,realistic and relevant , funny and sooo many ahaaaa moments ! Love love love

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  • Caprice M.

    I didn’t know I needed this. She’s realistic and I connected with her on most things. I’m walking away with some small steps to begin to learn a life without booze.

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  • Lisa M.

    I’ve read a lot of quit lit and this is the most disappointing book I’ve encountered. As a liberal, sober feminist, I greatly looked forward to reading this. Holly speaks about AA as if to say you can’t be feminist and in AA. She makes a lot of claims that she couches as facts, which are really her opinions. I’m fine with her history of AA, but who the heck cares how someone gets sober...only that they do. I feel like many quit lit books have the capacity to save lives and get people sober. I fear Holly’s book may do the opposite. Additionally, (and much less important) the vocal with which she narrates the book is incredibly grating.

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  • Anonymous

    no good for its purpose. Too much one world view the reader must agree with or lose interest. I lost interest.

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  • Anonymous

    If I have to hear the words Kundalini in a valley-girl accent one more time I'm going to lose it. As other people have brought up, no one has the expenses for yoga, regular massages, etc. At one point she mentions ignoring all responsibilities (including taking care of your kids) to have "me" time. Sure that sounds nice, but is it realistic? This may have all worked for her, but I doubt she's going to reach a very broad audience. I also don't know who edited this book, as it JUMPS from topic to topic to topic that don't relate in any way. It feels like she's taking a mash-up of every self-help alcohol book out there and retelling it for profit. I will say I found it interesting to hear about the history of cigarettes and alcohol and the roll that women played... but I found for most of the book, she talks about herself and her meditation practices. I'm fascinated with everyone's journey and recovery with alcohol, but there's only so much you can repeat about yourself and your different morning routines. If you're really looking for a book with helpful guides and life-changing knowledge, I'd recommend This Naked Mind. There were some good points made in QLAW, but nothing groundbreaking that you can't read somewhere else.

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