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Book Discussions

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. —Joseph Addison


Past Book Discussion:

"We are the Luckiest: The Surprising Magic of a Sober Life" by Laura McKowen


This is Sarah’s favorite “quit lit” book and was pivotal in helping Sarah on her own journey to living an alcohol free life.


Many readers found that this book can be helpful for anyone who struggles with any type of addiction - relationships, sex, love, food, shopping, etc. Really, if there is something in your life you want to stop and you try but you can't, this book is for you.

What could possibly be “lucky” about addiction? Absolutely nothing, thought Laura McKowen when drinking brought her “to her knees.” As she puts it, she “kicked and screamed . . . wishing for something — anything — else” to be her issue. The people who got to drink normally, she thought, were so damn lucky. 


But in the midst of early sobriety, when no longer able to anesthetize her pain and anxiety, she realized, with more than a bit of amazement, that she was actually the lucky one. Lucky to feel her feelings, live honestly, really be with her daughter, change her legacy. She recognized that “those of us who answer the invitation to wake up, whatever our invitation, are really the luckiest of all.” 


Here, in straight-talking chapters filled with personal stories, McKowen addresses issues such as facing facts, the question of AA, and other people’s drinking. Without sugarcoating the struggles of recovery, she relentlessly emphasizes the many blessings of an honest life, one without secrets and debilitating guilt. 


McKowen flips the script on how we talk about sobriety and shows readers that the question we should be asking in our lives is not, “Is this bad enough that I have to change?” but rather, “Is this good enough to stay the same?”


Past Book Discussion:

"How to be an Antiracist" by Ibram X. Kendi


Mental Health America (MHA) tells us that “social injustice and racism are a mental health issue because they cause trauma. And trauma paints a direct line to mental illnesses, which need to be taken seriously”. We believe antiracism work is mental health work and look forward to learning and listening along with you.

Ibram X. Kendi's concept of antiracism reenergizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America--but even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. Instead of working with the policies and system we have in place, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it. 


In his memoir, Kendi weaves together an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science--including the story of his own awakening to antiracism--bringing it all together in a cogent, accessible form. He begins by helping us rethink our most deeply held, if implicit, beliefs and our most intimate personal relationships (including beliefs about race and IQ and interracial social relations) and reexamines the policies and larger social arrangements we support. How to Be an Antiracist promises to become an essential book for anyone who wants to go beyond an awareness of racism to the next step of contributing to the formation of a truly just and equitable society.


Past Book Discussion:

"White Fragility" by Robin Diangelo 


We believe anti-racism work is mental health work, so we've been listening, learning and examining our own beliefs. We know this is tough work. We encourage you to read the book with an open mind, open heart, and a willingness to be vulnerable.

The New York Times best-selling book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality. 


In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people’ (Claudia Rankine). Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.

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