Book List

Here’s a list of my favorite dharma and recovery books. You can purchase them from Amazon through the links.


These two books are the foundations texts of all Twelve Step programs. My book, One Breath at a Time is something of a response to and commentary on these books.

  • Alcoholics Anonymous – Big Book 4th Edition, the so-called “Big Book.” Anyone who is exploring recovery should read this book. Written in 1935, it still is the best description of the disease of addiction and the most successful program to deal with it.
  • Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, a commentary on the Steps and Traditions written by the founder of AA, Bill Wilson.
  • The Big Book Reference Manual” by Bill B. This defines key words in the Big Book and gives page references. A useful reference guide. Bill sells it for $4.50 to 12 Step members. Just email him at

Recovery and Buddhism

These are the only other books (besides mine) I know of that directly address the connection between Buddhism and Recovery:

  • The Zen of Recovery, by Mel Ash.
  • Cool Water : Alcholism, Mindfulness, and Ordinary Recovery, by William Alexander, published by Shambhala. (Now called “Ordinary Recovery.”)
  • 12 Steps on Buddha’s Path: Bill, Buddha, and We by “Laura S.” Published anonymously.
  • Dharma Punx, by Noah Levine.
  • Refuge Recovery, by Noah Levine. After accusations of sexual misconduct against Noah arose, the program he started has been riven with controversy. The book itself is still useful. The situations brings up one of the thorniest issues in spiritual circles: How much can we separate the teachings from the teacher?
  • Eight Step Recovery, by Vimalasara (Valerie Mason-John) and Paramabandhu Grove. This is not 12 Step oriented, a different set of Steps. Supports a harm-reduction model and Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention.
  • Recovery Dharma, published anonymously. This is the book written by some folks who left Refuge Recovery. They wanted to use a lot of the same principles, but divorce themselves from association Noah Levine’s work.

If you know of any other related books, let me know.


Here are a few of my favorite Buddhist books:

Diversity in the Dharma

Issues around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) are increasingly being highlighted in the Buddhist world. This is hopefully an corrective to the limits of what has been a largely white, middle-class community.

If you’re interested in studying the original Buddhist teachings, look at books by Bhikkhu Bodhi, a great contemporary translator and commentator. I find the most accessible one to be In the Buddha’s Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon (Teachings of the Buddha)

The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Majjhima Nikaya (Teachings of the Buddha Considered by many the most useful of the classic texts.

Also recommended by visitors to this site:

Buddhadasa Bhikkhu’s Handbook for Mankind, also available free on the web at