A deep dive into nonfiction books on addiction

A few weeks ago I hit a wall in the novel I’m writing. I needed a little distance. I like to think of that time as me sending it to camp—look, I love you, but you need to go away from me for me to like you again. Or maybe to some intensive therapy, where someone else could say, mm-hmm, things here are looking maybe promising, but have you considered trying this? In other words, I sent it to my agent. But I couldn’t just sit around not writing something, so I started a new novel, which is the one I’m currently giving my attention to. I know. That other novel came back from camp and I was like, oh, hey, I guess I’m glad to see you, but I’m kind of giving all of my attention to this novel now. Catch you in a few months! (It’s probably a good thing I only have one child, huh?)


This new thing has no real title, but I’m calling it Teenage Mutant Nightmare Friendships. It’s about disintegrating friendships, porcupines, meth, and a water park.


While I’ve been writing this, I’ve been thinking a lot about these quotes/lyrics:

Just the old blood
Rising up through the wooden floor again
Just the old love
Asking for more again.
Minnesota, The Mountain Goats


“The past is never where you think you left it.”—Katherine Anne Porter


And I’ve been listening to this song a ton:


Anyway, here are some of the books I’ve been reading as research. I know a lot now about dopamine and addiction. I also desperately, desperately wish more people understood that addiction is a chronic disease and not a choice/behavior/moral failing. What a different world we would live in if people could understand that and if more people could get effective medical treatment for intervention and recovery. 

Actually, first, before I show you the books, please observe how useful dachshunds can be. Look at them research for me!