Tag Archives: Addiction

Qualification: A Graphic Memoir in Twelve Steps by David Heatley

Qualification - A Graphic Memoir in 12-Steps by David Heatley Title: Qualification: A Graphic Memoir in 12 Steps
Author: David Heatley
Publisher: Pantheon Books, Knopf
ISBN: 978-0375425400
Genre: Graphic Memoir
Pages: 416
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5 stars

Whenever I read a graphic memoir, a thought comes to mind: Does the nature of the memoir in graphic form take something away from the experience of the author? Or does the reader feel more involved in the author’s life because the story is being told in pictures as well? Does it matter at all? Or do you feel like a voyeur stepping into someone else’s life (if only for a short while) and perhaps even judging them for their choices and how it all panned out for them?

Qualification: A Graphic Memoir in Twelve Steps is a memoir of addiction to 12-Step programs. I had never heard of something like this before, and this is what attracted me to this memoir. Heatley has issues and attends 12-Step programs for those. Till he also has some issues which he doesn’t and attends twelve-step programs for those too.

It all begins with his parents (as it always does?). Their troubled marriage, and seeking counseling, attending programs, and then some more. The book brims with black humour, at every stage, perhaps trying to reduce the impact of the not-so-pretty-picture painted by Heatley (which of course is nothing but the truth).

Qualification traces the journey of the author through the various programs – and I was surprised at how many were there in the US of A. I don’t know if we have so many in India, given how we only seem to know majorly about Alcoholic Anonymous and that’s that. We see Heatley’s life up close and personal and maybe that’s why it is also a little too much at times – from all the addiction to what went on in his head and his perception of others around him only gives rise to empathy, compassion, and love.

What comes out of this memoir is David’s relationships with the people around him and how they impact his relationship with addiction. Heatley tells it like it happened. The quirks, the eccentricities, the highs, and the lows as they took place, and where he is today as a person (well, some glimpse of it).

Qualification is a read that makes you look at your addictions that perhaps you haven’t faced or known of yet. It is a book that helped me for sure to understand my demons when it comes to book-hoarding, buying, and more. Now to only do something about it.

Having said all of this, Qualification is a memoir that stays and makes its presence felt in the most unassuming manner. I caught myself thinking about what happens to me when I am faced with the catalysts of my addictions and how I react thereof. Qualification will maybe also help you see yourself. Read it. It is completely worth it.


A Bunch of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy by Sarah Lazarovic

A Bunch of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy by Sarah Lazarovic Title: A Bunch of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy
Author: Sarah Lazarovic
Publisher: Penguin Books
ISBN: 9780143124719
Genre: Non-Fiction
Pages: 175
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5/5

Things are always at the crux of it all, sometimes what we really want and sometimes what we do not want at all and yet covet all of it, especially all of it. Some people want clothes. Some lust after antiques. Some after some other things. The point is that we all want more than what we can handle and perhaps afford. Sarah Lazarovic went through the same. She would buy, and buy and buy some more. There was always either an excuse round the corner or just another whim and fancy that needed to be pandered to. This visual book, “A Bunch of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy” is a result of the essay written on minimalism and collecting and perhaps buying smart.

The Buyerarchy of Needs

The Buyerarchy of Needs

The book is funny and profound at so many levels. It speaks of what to buy, how to buy and also how not to buy. It is divided into three sections and each section leaves a very deep thought with the reader. I would not classify this book to be a serious read and at the same time it is not a fluffy read either. Sarah’s voice is casual which every reader can relate to. We all have gone down the road the purchase which ends in guilt and sometimes a colossal waste (actually most of the time).

Do the Right Things

Do the Right Things

“A Bunch of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy” is a book which talks about shopping, consumerism, anti-consumerism and how to curb the urge to shop for everything in sight. It speaks of online shopping and how sometimes we get ahead of ourselves when it comes to buying what we maybe do not even need. The illustrations are magnificently done and weave in seamlessly with the content. I would recommend you read this book, if you, just like me have a problem with buying what you really do not need.

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