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

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4.30  ·  Rating details ·  329 ratings  ·  92 reviews
The founder of a female-focused recovery program offers 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
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Hardcover, 304 pages
Published December 31st 2019 by Dial Press
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Kirstin AA has been around for a long, long, long time. It works for many. It doesn't work for all. If it worked for you, kudos. Some women use pads, some use…moreAA has been around for a long, long, long time. It works for many. It doesn't work for all. If it worked for you, kudos. Some women use pads, some use tampons, some use a menstrual cup. There's no reason not to explore all your options, and no need to be critical of someone who has discovered another way.(less)

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Holly Whitaker
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
It's my book so I definitely, definitely recommend it. xo
Valentine
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I feel like I'm reading HUNGER GAMES 4. I'm eating this sh** up and bookmarking every f***ing page. This FEMINIST MANIFESTO takes down the patriarchy of the alcohol industry and current recovery models. It's STUFFED with WISDOM & TOOLS. So much f***ing RESEARCH went into this book. I feel like I'm being deprogrammed from old a** oppressive beliefs about recovery and alcohol that have been drilled into me by society and the alcohol industry since I was a child. This sh** is fresh, fresh, ...more
Lara Frazier
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I want to gift this book to everyone I know, but really I just want to tell everyone to read this book. QLAW is for anyone who drinks alcohol (in any amount) AND those who are sober already.

Holly breaks down the lie we have been sold about alcohol, how it keeps us from our power, how it is a feminist issue, and how alcohol is having a cigarette moment (which was one of my favorite chapters in the book). It’s packed full of research & data & statistics & QLAW allows us to wake up and
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Michelle
Jan 05, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
A lot of the information and ideas presented here are beneficial. It’s important to examine the way our culture normalizes alcohol, a literal poison, and then demonizes people who become addicted. I love the idea of ditching the terms alcoholism and alcoholic. However, as I read this book, something kept telling me in the back of mind that this is not for me. Similar to the way that the author knew AA wasn’t for her. It took a while to determine the reason, money. This is a book for people who ...more
Albert Pura
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
QLAW is not the type of book that I would normally read, but I consider myself fortunate enough to have been able to so, and loved it. The book is a combination of the history and workings of Big Alcohol and the impacts it has, Holly’s personal journey through her struggles with alcohol and getting sober, and how others can find a path to sobriety. It is beautifully written and conveys a true sense of the author. For anyone thinking about reading this book, I would recommend, even if you don’t ...more
Toni Smith
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My only critique is the title! There's so much great information in here for everyone. Gents, don't be deterred; everyone should read, learn, and self-examine.
Trish
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
At once a beautifully written memoir and a meticulously researched examination of the insidious role alcohol plays in our lives. There are so many ah-ha moments in the book that will forever change the way you think about drinking, along with solutions for cutting it out of your life entirely. A truly revolutionary read...
Kris Patrick
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Choosing not to drink to fight the patriarchy. Yes please.
Kelly Gardiner
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book changed my life. Uncovering the true nature of the way alcohol keeps us small and oppresses us will forever change your view on how we are told we need to make alcohol work.
Becca
Dec 23, 2019 added it
This book is so important, I joined good reads to rate it. I feel I (at least) owe that to Holly Whitaker for writing this. This book presents a new way to think about drinking (and not drinking). It blows up the myth that there is something wrong with you if alcohol isn't working for you (instead the problem is alcohol itself!) and that you don't have to "hit rock bottom" to want to, and decide to quit drinking. It explains how alcohol is having "a cigarette moment," and how the alcohol ...more
Lo
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My first book finished in 2020.

I preordered this in August or September and then forgot about it. In the meantime I had stopped drinking. This showed up on my doorstep yesterday, the last day of the (my drunkest) decade.

My story closely parallels the authors (especially through high school and college) except for the fact that I actually used to work in the alcoholic beverage industry for several years, I even went back to school for it. I lived and breathed and ate and slept alcohol for
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Moryah
Nov 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book in a goodreads giveaway.
I enjoyed parts of this book and really disliked parts of this book. Some of what the author says seems to be unneeded and a little rambling. Some parts though made me really stop and think. I don't know that it will help someone stop drinking. It will make you question some of your motives behind your habits though. Overall, it made me stop and reevaluate somethings so it was worth the read.
Darling Nay
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
On February 26, 2018 I woke up with what would be my last hangover. They were getting worse and worse over the last couple of months. And no matter how little I drank I would wake up feeling like shit. Shortly after making the decision, I knew I needed support. AA never seemed like it would be a place for me. I’m not religious and I have never really been one to follow prescribed rules. So I did what anyone with a cell phone would do in my situation and I googled “how to quit drinking without AA ...more
Victoria Doyle
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sorry this is a long review but this book really changed my life at 90 days sober. it was exactly what I needed to hear at the exact time in my life.

If you are a firm believer in AA and its practices - you may not like this book but it can certainly give you a different perspective. If you are offended by feminist views- you will probably not like this book. I hope you will read it anyway and with an open mind.

If however, you are a female or person of color and you understand the feeling of
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Rachel
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is life-changing. Balanced with research and personal experience, Holly Whitaker reveals all the truths about alcohol, the perceptions in modern society and her struggles with choosing to become sober. You don't have to be an alcoholic to choose recovery. And even if you have no intention or quitting, I recommend this book as it is incredibly eye-opening about the way we treat anyone who chooses not to drink. Strongly recommend!
Alina Switaj
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Like she says in the book, this is a love story. A love story of self and the path path home to that. This is not just a book about recovery or how to quit substances, it’s a book about being human, continually growing up, finding boundaries, searching for worth and navigating toxicity. A book about peeling back the layers to uncover who you’ve always been or what you’ve always known. Well written, smart, brave honest and backed with facts. I loved this book, this woman and her journey.
Veronica
Jan 05, 2020 rated it did not like it
The passion here is definitely encouraging for a mind set on the better life of a non-drinker. First, I want to say that AA changed my life. For years I struggled. I didn't want to do the steps. For 1.5 years I didn't even want to go to meetings sober. My sponsor was religious and it felt like pulling teeth to ask her not to use her Christian workbook to guide me. Every tool I learned through my sobriety process has fueled my growth. I learned patience, integrity, compassion, and plenty of other ...more
Charly
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Women lead lives of quiet desperation. This book helped me validate my decision to eliminate alcohol from my life after a decade-long off-on relationship with it. As Holly predicts, it has also led me to examine a lot of my other behaviors — as of press time, I left my iPhone on airplane mode at home, read a book on the bus, and generally feel calmer, happier, and more in control of my own thoughts.

Part of the rise in drinking among Millennials I'd attribute to our being constantly bombarded
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Erica Gahrmann
Jan 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Eh. Just OK. Wish I hadn't spent money on it.
Kerry Weinstein
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This well-researched memoir/self-help/call to arms hybrid was an incredible read. I had never thought about how alcohol marketing is similar to cigarette marketing. Holly Whitaker has a unique and passionate voice that draws in the reader with her honest experiences and how they shaped her point of view. This book will stick with me for a long time.
Katia
Jan 16, 2020 rated it liked it
I liked many parts of this book, which is a compelling combination of autobiographical experience, history, little known fact, and light feminist theory. In many ways, Whitaker makes some great points. She explores the origins of AA, created in the 1930s by and for white Protestant men, and discusses how its history has shaped it into an organization whose tenants are not always helpful or inclusive to women in recovery. Her writing is persuasive, and it is obvious that she has done extensive ...more
Bailey
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
Listen to the audiobook - trust me. Holly has this comforting, no-BS voice that will put you right at ease. I’ve always enjoyed her ability to speak to those of us that find life too complex for a single solution. The advice and concepts she raises apply whether you don’t drink, don’t want to drink, or plan to drink indefinitely.

Towards the end, Holly quotes Jen Sincero saying, “It never ceases to amaze me the precious time we spend chasing the squirrels around our brains, playing out our
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Laura
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I found Holly and Laura McKowen’s podcast HOME when I had just begun therapy for childhood sexual abuse. I couldn’t stop listening and likewise couldn’t understand why their words were like oxygen to me...I wasn’t a heavy drinker, had never struggled with alcohol abuse (although I did quit drinking entirely early on...I was working too damn hard to lose even a smidge of contact with my body who was my ticket through this). It took years to understand that what they were showing me was how to ...more
Elizabeth
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have never felt so seen by a self-help book before. This has put words to a lot of what’s been simmering underneath the surface of me; and also directly addressed a lot of my own internal conflict. I’d recommend this for absolutely any woman in my life who questions any part of her relationship with alcohol.
Ashley Sullivan
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This is exactly what I needed at my stage in sobriety (13 months). Just that extra push to remind me why I chose to go this path. This book makes me feel confident in my views on the mission to be sober and be a better me . Highly recommended ...more
Erin Ranta
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Having followed the author’s writing on other platforms, I was thrilled to receive a copy of her book. It was an absolute groundbreaking powerhouse of a book...packed with need to know knowledge sewn together with honest personal stories. I wish this was out when I was trying to quit drinking, but it’s here for everyone now which is what matters. QLAW looks at the role big alcohol has in keeping us sick and points out so many correlations to big tobacco. The book really made me think deeply ...more
Courtney Kenney
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent

Loved this book. It changed my views on alcohol. Highly recommended. If you are questioning your relationship with alcohol, you need to read this book
Michelle
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent content. SUPER helpful to anyone who has ever questioned their relationship with alcohol.
Emily
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is fantastic. Truly game-changing. If you've ever been interested in understanding why drinking is a feminist issue-- read this book.
Sarah
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to The Dial Press and Random House for generously providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Quit Like a Woman has been one of my most anticipated reads since Holly announced she was working on a book last year.

I listened to Holly and Laura McKowen on their HOME Podcast weekly for over three years (and therefore feel like we are on a first name basis). I loved their friendship, conversations, and interviews with key players in the recovery space. I loved how
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“at first, it was the sotry of a dead woman walking, of all the women in this world who try to conform to a life they are told they should want- one that looks good on paper. I drank green juice and I made the right sounds when I fucked men I didn't really like and I crushed it in the boardroom and traveled to Central America all by myself and my ass was yoga tight. I did all the right things until all the right things became so suffocating I would up prostrate, drunk, on the floor of my apartment. It then became the journey of a woman waking up to the world and all its possibilities and wonder, her own power and voice and unique identity, the bigness that a life can be when we center it on ourtrue desires, compared to the smallness of one we accept when we center it on the desires we're supposed to have.” 0 likes
“at first, it was the story of a dead woman walking, of all the women in this world who try to conform to a life they are told they should want- one that looks good on paper. I drank green juice and I made the right sounds when I fucked men I didn't really like and I crushed it in the boardroom and traveled to Central America all by myself and my ass was yoga tight. I did all the right things until all the right things became so suffocating I would up prostrate, drunk, on the floor of my apartment. It then became the journey of a woman waking up to the world and all its possibilities and wonder, her own power and voice and unique identity, the bigness that a life can be when we center it on our true desires, compared to the smallness of one we accept when we center it on the desires we're supposed to have.” 0 likes
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