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High Sobriety
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This lively memoir charts Jill's tumultuous year on the wagon, as she copes with stress sober, dates on soda water, watches the footy minus beer, and deals with censure from friends who tell her a year without booze is 'a year with no mates'.

About the Author

Jill Stark is a senior writer with The Sunday Age. Raised in Edinburgh, Jill began her journalism career in Scotland in the 1990s. She worked for newspapers such as the Daily Record, The Scotsman, and the Evening Times, before she moved to Melbourne, where she currently lives, in 2001.

Reviews

'A sobering, and distinctly inspiring, glimpse of what Australia might look like without a hangover ... Stark writes with honesty and unnerving clarity. Over its pages, the reader gradually comes to understand not just that Aussies don't like to give up the drink, but that we don't like it when our mates do, either.'

-- Annabel Crabb

'I loved the hell out of it'

-- Tim Rogers

'I was completely engaged ... Her approach is fresh and funny, artlessly open, and most importantly, accessible. She's not interested in preaching to the masses but rather is on a mission to decipher her own complicated feelings ... It is this candidness that makes her book so enjoyable.' Book of the Week

* Readings *

'High Sobriety is a book so thought-provoking that it may well do for drinking what Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals did for eating meat ... This honest and well-researched account makes it easy - even imperative - for a reader to consider her own drinking life.'

* 3000 Books *

'In High Sobriety, Ms Stark takes the reader on a journey that opens her eyes to herself, finding without alcohol, she was forced to examine her emotions, motivations and confidence with a raw, unforgiving clarity.'

-- Krysten Manuel * Albury-Wodonga News Weekly *

'An important book'

* ABC's The Book Show *

'A genuinely thought-provoking read with something worth contemplating for everyone' Four-and-a-half Stars

* Adelaide Advertiser *

'A fun, fresh look at one woman's battle to commiserate, celebrate, relax and party without the help of one of the last legal recreational drugs ... Jill Stark is a cool sober chick and it's a joy to go along for the dry ride'

-- Leila McKinnon * Australian Women's Weekly *

'insightful, funny, challenging and interesting ... I highly recommend this for a book club. It's a subject that would get people talking.'

* Berkelouw Books *

'Stark is wise in how she tells her story ... I had a eureka moment with this book.'

* Bookbag (UK) *

'Why does drinking and getting drunk underpin every personal and professional activity from cradle to grave? Stark tells her story with courage, honesty, and humour, while making an important contribution to the debate about alcohol's place in society.' Four Stars

* Bookseller+Publisher *

'A brave and lively memoir ... Stark writes powerfully, and with absorbing and intricate detail, about her alcohol-free odyssey ... [she is] a feisty, richly talented writer.'

-- Ross Fitzgerald * Canberra Times *

'Courageous, extremely honest, reflective and funny ... Punctuated by professional insights and interesting commentary on how we view alcohol as a nation, this is a book that covers off on all the aspects of addiction and binge drinking. It provides real insight into the factors behind, and consequences of, Australians' worryingly high levels of alcohol consumption.'

-- Chris Tanti * CEO of headspace *

'We all have something to gain from reading this book ... Jill describes this year where her "outer and inner worlds" collide in intimate detail, with total honesty and with courage.'

-- John Rogerson * CEO of the Australian Drug Foundation *

'The misguided assumption that heavy drinking embodies our heritage, the near-insanity of a sporting industry financially supported by alcohol brands, and the hard-drinking reporters of the 1970s and 1980s are covered ably ... but the peak insights in these pages are personal. Stark questions booze culture of her old and new homelands, Scotland and Australia, and finds herself wanting. She also takes a raw, honest look at the role alcohol has played in her love life.'

* Courier Mail *

'Jill Stark certainly believed in immersing herself in her work ... Stark stuck with her sobriety plan, concluding "I know now that alcohol does not define me".'

-- Martin Stevenson * Daily Advertiser, Launceston Examiner *

'A beautifully written book, immensely readable from start to finish, as profound as it is honest. Jill Stark spares nobody, least of all herself, as she weaves an account of her journeys with and from alcohol into discussion of broader issues around the role of alcohol in our society. While a deeply personal story, the lessons for society and decision-makers are there for all to see ... This should be on any reading lists for health professionals and students: it will teach them more than any number of textbooks.'

-- Professor Mike Daube, Director, McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth

'If the line for a signed copy is anything to go by then Stark will have a hit on her hands.'

-- Rebecca Cook * InPress, review of the launch *

'It's not an all out straight-edge revolution by any means, nor is it the Gen-Y revitalisation of the temperance movement, but High Sobriety was clearly commissioned at an opportune time, as attitudes are beginning to shift ... The final message appeals to my carpe diem desires; I don't want to waste the day getting wasted.'

* Liticism *

'Stark made me think about the cultural role of alcohol, and the things we take for granted that are actually a bit messed up.'

* Little Girl With a Big Pen *

'This book should be a game-changer ... its contents are powerful enough to change someone's life for the better.'

* North Melbourne Books *

'A wonderful and disarmingly honest insight into the personal, societal and global challenges that handling our booze presents to us. An essential read for anyone interested in alcohol - whether you think it is the divine elixir or the demon drink. But it can be read without moderation. The new Bridget Jones.'

-- Rob Moodie, Professor of Public Health at the School of Population Health, University of Melbourne

'What gives this book resonance is Stark's ability to balance a serious agenda, backed by her interviews, statistics and the inside information to which a health reporter has access, with a personal narrative that is equally earnest in its intent but lighter in its execution ... High Sobriety is an entertaining and informative read about one woman's year of online dating, family reunions and beer gardens without a drink, and her account of the nation's attitude towards the thing she denies herself.'

* The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald *

'It's hard not to recommend this book: from teenagers experimenting with their first taste to those who've been imbibing for decades, many will find Stark's story illuminating, touching, and memorable.'

* The Australian *

'An important and timely conversation starter'

* The Big Issue *

'This is a very entertaining book about facing every day without a hangover and the pressures and traditions that drinkers face today.'

* Toowoomba Chronicle *

'A thirsty Scot's attempt to stay off the sauce for a year'

-- Ian Rankin

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