Staying sober: A BOOK REVIEW to motivate your own addiction recovery

A personal story of an alcoholic who relapsed many times, but now manages to walk in sober shoes. Check out this book review for renewed hope in addiction recovery.

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Someone who’s been there!

One great way to understand an addiction is to read a real story from someone who’s been there. Some of the best stories are told by those who hit rock bottom and get sober in spite of themselves. And if you’re dealing with repeat relapse, inspiration may not come often. Sometimes, a book can help!

In fact, “Last Call” is that kind of book.

Continue reading our book review to see how alcoholism can destroy someone’s life over and over again, and how the hope and willingness to change can overcome. Finally, we invite you to share your thoughts and questions in the comments section below.

The dead end road of alcoholism

Last Call is a personal story written by Lisa Golan. The story is about a Philadelphia hair dresser Lisa/Lulu a professional “hair doctor” (as everybody calls her). Lulu moved to New York City to fulfill her dream of becoming a famous hair doctor, but that dream ended in the circle of addiction.

Living a double life – hair dresser by day, vodka ninja by night – Lulu wakes up 10 years later on her bathroom floor covered in her own vomit not recognizing her own reflection in the mirror. That was the wake-up call every addict is afraid of… Lulu had a hard choice to make from two possible options:

  1. To continue the road of alcoholic destruction, or
  2. To start walking the unfamiliar road to addiction recovery

Experiencing hard times with her friends and family, this cat lover faced many relapses, but at the end, she manages to find her way of sobriety with the help of maintenance program.

Learning to be sober: A.A. is not the only way

“If you don’t like the way your Lasagna tastes, then change your recipe.”

Sobriety is a tricky, confusing path. It was not easy for the author to stay sober. She fought addiction day by day telling herself reasons why NOT to drink.

According to the author, you can each yourself how to be sober! If A.A. doesn’t work for you, then you should find your own way to become and stay sober. This road is different for each individual, but here are some general tips that you may find useful:

  1. Get reacquainted with yourself, learn your sober self.
  2. Learn what you like, what you don’t like.
  3. Learn your triggers, your routines.
  4. Keep in mind that no one could change or rearrange your life but you.

Lulu also lists her own 12 step tips that can help you stay sober:

  1. Be aware of the disease
  2. Have faith
  3. Live one day at a time
  4. Take counseling sessions
  5. Use meds (if necessary)
  6. Protect yourself
  7. Set limits for yourself
  8. Set limits for people invading our boundaries
  9. Find yourself
  10. Be nice to yourself
  11. Stay focused
  12. Accept yourself

Why “Last Call”?

Give this book a try. This is not a guidebook, this is just a memoir, a story of a though life struggling with alcohol addiction. It’s hard core honest, personal story that will not take you a long time to read. Who’s it for?

If you are an addict in recovery, it will give you hope to fight your addiction. If you have a loved one that needs help to say sober, Last Call will inspire you to give them your best support.

Pros and cons

Why I like Last Call:

1. Hard-core honest

The book covers many events and tragic situations (even a murder!) that are hard to bear. However, the heroine always finds a time to put a smile, and move on. While reading this book, I constantly wondered, “Could this have really happened?” and “How can someone stay on solid ground after everything she’s been through?”

2. Style

The book is written in everyday speech and tone. This brings the author more close to the audience. It’s like speaking with somebody you know or like chatting with a friend.

3. Diary Entries

Each chapter holds a page of the author’s diary at the end. Showing her more personal thoughts, and building a connection with the reader. Also, the book holds some personal pictures of the author’s alcoholic life.

Why I don’t like Last Call:

1. Way too many situations

Written on only 100 pages, this book covers too many events, things, people…

2. Train of thoughts

While reading Last Call, you may easily get confused. At moments, it gets hard to follow because there are way too many information. You might get the feelings that some of the events are only mentioned to fill out the pages.

In one chapter, Lulu manages to cover close friend’s death and a battle over her estate with a family member, then she started living with that family member, who staged a fight with her, and Lulu ended in handcuffs, murder, theft by deception…I won’t tell more of the story but there are many tremendous events covered in one chapter, alone!

How do we believe this book can be improved?

I believe that the author, Lulu, has more to say. My recommendation to her is to step aside for a moment, think about her past and concentrate only on one event at a time. Then, re-share all situations more thoroughly, elaborate in more details by expressing how she felt at that moment, and what lesson she learned.

Focusing on telling a situation in details would help readers get more connected to the story, while sharing some tips or lessons learned from each situation would only increase the real value readers can get out of the book. These are ideas for future books that I’m willing to read immediately!

Do You Have Any Questions?

If you would like to find out how Lulu’s story ends, you can download her book here:

NOTE: First this book was published under the name ‘Split Ends: Beyond The Hair‘, then the author republished it under the name ‘Last Call’.

We also encourage you to post your comments and questions in the section below and we’ll try to answer in a personal and prompt manner.

About the Authors: Lisa Golan (a.k.a. Lulu) was born in Philadelphia in the 1960’s. She spent many years as a big socialite in the Philadelphia party scene battling alcoholism and making her way as a hairdresser. Now 6 years sober, she resides in NYC, works as a hairdresser, and is still advocating for addiction awareness.
You may listen Lisa Golan’s interview about her life and her book here:
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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