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Unwasted: My Lush Sobriety Paperback – August 1, 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Citadel; 1 edition (August 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080653429X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806534299
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,092 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Scoblic's testament to life on the wagon is pertinent and raffish, marked by considerable candor and humor. A dryly witty, spirited memoir."
--Kirkus Reviews

"A gripping, inspiring tale that picks up where most sobriety memoirs leave off. ... This is a story for anyone trying to enact meaningful change in their lives." --Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus, co-authors, The Nanny Diaries

"Hilarious and heartbreaking, Unwasted is a traveler's guide to the perilous, wondrous land of sobriety. Scoblic's scorched, sweet prose is the work of a writer at the top of her form." --Jennifer Finney Boylan, author of She's Not There

"As someone who's been drunk with Sacha Scoblic, I can attest that she's even smarter, sweeter and funnier when sober. This book is all of those things, one of the best memoirs I've read in a long time." --Tucker Carlson

"Sacha Z. Scoblic's often funny, always honest, and wholly unflinching look at her sobriety is not to be missed. As Sacha chooses her life, you'll choose this author: she's a revelation." --Megan Crane, author of I Love the 80s

More About the Author

Sacha Z. Scoblic's work has appeared in The New Republic, The Fix, The Huffington Post, The Guardian, Reader's Digest, and The New York Times, where she penned essays for the Times blog "PROOF: Alcohol and American Life." Sacha is currently a contributing editor at The New Republic. Her new book is UNWASTED: MY LUSH SOBRIETY (Citadel, 2011). Sacha lives with her husband, Peter; son, Theodore; and terrier, SciFi, in Washington, DC. www.sachaZscoblic.com

Customer Reviews

Very well written!
Sacha Z. Scoblic's book is terrifically honest, raw, and very, very funny.
Jane Grey
I feel like starting it over again right now (with a highlighter!).

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Claire on September 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
I bought this book off the title alone. So many times, people struggling with sobriety look at a sober life as "boring". Sacha Scoblic takes us on the journey of discovering that its not. Whether you are currently a lush or have "no problem", this book is a wonderful read. It is about discovering who you are, why you do things, what you are telling yourself you deserve, and figuring out how to be true to yourself and real in every moment. Sacha shares it all from the nitty-gritty dark side of addiction to the sober observations of the crazy world around her. I laughed out loud at her no-holds-barred wit, and her tell-it-like-it-is candor. But what lingers me with today is how brutally honest Sacha has gotten with herself, about everything. My life may not outwardly resemble hers, but I want to live in such honesty. And after you read her story, you will as well. I recommend this book to anyone. But if you are by chance someone who occasionally asks, "do I have a problem?", buy it and read it now.
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Format: Paperback
It would be almost impossible to tell her story of the first year without alcohol without sharing what alcohol meant in her life, and Scoblic manages to weave the two together beautifully in this moving, sometimes funny, sometimes sobering (pun intended) memoir. She writes about how she relied on alcohol in multiple ways, and that when she took that crutch away, she was left with a lot of assumptions, about 12-step programs, about faith, about relapsing, that she had to reexamine. One of the most crucial parts, one that I related to, was the idea that faith and prayer are not just for believers. She writes about praying even though she doesn't actual believe, or isn't sure that she does, and that is a concept that was utterly new for me. From Unwasted: "I have found moments of prayer, as I snuggle into my white bed in my deep blue bedroom--like a woman floating on her own moon--when I get grateful about the man next to me, my little pooch, my groovy neighborhood, and our good health and lives, in which I can rediscover a sense of adventure about life and I can touch a small and wonder-filled current inside of me." This concept permeates the book.

She includes extended fantasies about alternate worlds, from aliens to celebrities, where she might be "required" to drink, and these relapse fantasies, while fantastical, lend an important reality to the book. Scoblic did not simply hop, skip and jump into sobriety. She does not make it sound simple or easy, and doesn't gloss over the challenges of being at a heavy-drinking company retreat or at a party where her old ways can no longer guide her. Toward the end of the book, Scoblic writes, "Until sobriety, the idea that I was someone worthwhile and unique a priori had not occurred to me.
Read more ›
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jooley Ann on April 3, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was a very early, extraordinarily helpful step on my path to sobriety. I heard an interview with Sacha Scoblic on Radio Times, and I immediately connected with her. I ordered the book on Kindle, and it became my nightly respite from the difficult days of being newly sober. It was as though the author was inside my head -- so much of what she shares is universally true, and yet so personal and relatable.

I would put this title first on the reading list for any recovery group. By telling of her experiences, Scoblic gives an almost step-by-step how-to guide for the early, frightening days of sobriety. I also highly recommend it for any friends or family members who have a loved who's going through this, or recently has. It will give you insight, but also a sense of humor about it all.

That last point is key. This book is not a downer -- rather, it is inspiring! One of the key elements of staying sober, for me, has been the desire to not disappoint my loved ones and my peers. Scoblic's story is so easy to relate to that although I don't know her, she's on the list of people who I don't want to let down.

This is a book that I'll re-read many times; of that I'm sure. Pick it up. You won't be disappointed.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A. R. on July 26, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a funny, insightful book -- more than just "a drunk's story"...the story of a woman going from adolescence (at 30!) to adulthood. The stories are so human: imperfect, selfish, eye-opening...and I'm sorry, if you ain't a drunk, you really can't talk about being one. Sacha Scoblic can. As I read, I found myself rounding little corners in my mind where I knew what the next word was going to be. Having always felt SO alone (either better than you, or on the bottom of the pile) this kind of raw, modern memoir makes my little heart sing. Can't wait to hear about motherhood in sobriety!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By BP on September 21, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although I know Sacha personally, I was nonetheless blown away by reading her book. Unwasted is not simply an addiction memoir, with the usual plot of hitting rock bottom, finding redemption, and returning to the light. It's a meditation -- frequently hilarious, always insightful -- on the difficulty and absolute necessity of personal growth, and a thoughtful look at how the personalities we create for ourselves can be entrapping and even deadly dangerous. Sacha's younger days as a black-out-drunk party girl are related with wry humor (the Jammin' Java guy deserves his own sitcom) and remarkable honesty; her time at the New Republic, where she covered up her anxiety with blustering tough-girl attitude, will be familiar to anyone who's ever felt like an imposter in a new job; and the story of her relationship with Peter is simply very sweet and true. Highly recommended to anyone with a sense of humor about life's darker moments.
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