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A Reading List from Myers the 12-Step Cowboy


Myers Raymer, Alumni Specialist

Most of us love our Big Books, and there is a time in everybody’s recovery when this book is enough; but I think there is also a time when other books that speak to the history of how we got here will start being of some interest.


These books marked a big turning point when I started to take some ownership in this grand Fellowship. I was recently with some folks at a conference and was caught off guard by how few of them knew about the “other” cool books out there in Recovery Book Land. With that in mind, let me give you a fast list of some great books to give or get.


The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions 

Bill Wilson’s grand collection of essays that gave us more understanding of the steps and traditions. Written shortly after the Traditions were adopted, they did a fine job in helping us understand these new guidelines for living and growing as a group.


Language of the Heart 

A fine collection of Bill Wilson’s writings. (Available in Kindle too!).


Pass It On 

The story of Bill Wilson and how the AA message reached the world.


Slaying the Dragon by William White

The history of addiction treatment and recovery in America. This book made me more grateful for my membership in the Fellowship than most anything I have ever read. Most of us don’t even begin to realize how horrible it was to be addicted before the Big Book came along.


Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers 

A recollection of the beginnings of AA in the Midwest by some early members. This book will make you long for those days when most folks were giddy with gratitude as they forged what was to become our Program of Recovery.


AA Comes of Age

Another good history book of how we got where we are.


Came to Believe 

A collection of stories, mostly from early editions of the Big Book. Really nice accounts of how folks found God in their walk toward recovery.


A New Pair of Glasses by Chuck C. 

Not sure why this one really stuck with me – perhaps because I was running a business like he was. But, for whatever reason, this book was a must read. The idea of using the Program to help in other areas of my life (especially business) was profound beyond words.


That’s enough to get started with! There are also a good bunch of meditation and reflection books, too.


Lastly, Chris reminded me of the fact that in the earlier years of our Fellowship we used to really encourage folks to read these books. They became the fabric of who we were and who we would become. Hope y’all will dig ’em as much as I did. Look for them at the GSO in NYC or local intergroup offices or believe it or not – Amazon!!!

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