The book Alcoholics Anonymous is the primary text of AA. It is often referred to as the Big Book by AA members. It is one of the best-selling books of all times with over 30 million copies sold. The book contains all the information necessary to fully understand the nature of alcoholism as an illness and how the AA programme works. It explains the spiritual nature of the AA programme and how this becomes an essential element of recovery, regardless of faith or belief and how the medical profession has seen AA as an effective recovery method where other treatments have failed. The current edition (Fourth Edition 2001) features forty-two personal stories of recovery including those of the founders.
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS
Twelve steps and Twelve Traditions is a book by AA co-founder Bill W. written 15 years after the Alcoholics Anonymous book. It provides deeper insight into the twelve-step recovery programme with a chapter devoted to each step. The Twelve Traditions are the principles under which AA operates giving detailed guidance to AA groups and the wider AA service structure on how to conduct themselves and protect the future of AA. There is chapter for each tradition that describes how it applies to AA groups and the story of how the tradition developed.
AS BILL SEES IT
As Bill Sees It is a collection of writings by AA co-founder Bill W. taken from the books he wrote or contributed to (Alcoholics Anonymous and Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions), his many articles for the AA magazine Grapevine and his personal letters. It is full of Bill’s wisdom and wonderfully reflects his experience of recovery and his humility.
Living Sober is a practical handbook for living without alcohol. It is particularly well suited to the newcomer and is often a book given to new members by AA groups. It deals with how to cope with the inevitable change in a person’s metabolism when alcohol is taken out of the mix, how to avoid situations where peer pressure to drink might be intense and references the value of sponsorship and progressing “one day at a time”. Although the twelve steps are mentioned, this book does not give a detailed introduction to the AA programme of recovery.