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Unwasted: My Lush Sobriety

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The single glass of wine with dinner. . .the cold beer on a hot day. . .the champagne flute raised in a toast. . . what I'd drink if Hunter S. Thompson wanted to get wasted with me. . .these are my fantasies lately. Too bad I've gone sober. When Sacha Z. Scoblic was drinking, she was a rock star; the days were rough and the nights filled with laughter and blackouts. Then s The single glass of wine with dinner. . .the cold beer on a hot day. . .the champagne flute raised in a toast. . . what I'd drink if Hunter S. Thompson wanted to get wasted with me. . .these are my fantasies lately. Too bad I've gone sober. When Sacha Z. Scoblic was drinking, she was a rock star; the days were rough and the nights filled with laughter and blackouts. Then she gave it up. She had to. Here are her adventures in an utterly and maddeningly sober world. . .and how she discovered that nothing is as odd and fantastic as life without a drink in hand. . . "Wildly entertaining. . .An unabashed account of getting clean and getting a life." --Steve Geng Sacha Z. Scoblic is a writer living in Washington, D.C. A former editor at The New Republic and Reader's Digest, she has written about everything from space camp to pulp fiction and was a contributor to The New York Times's online series "Proof: Alcohol and American Life." She currently blogs about addiction at TheFasterTimes.com. Her sobriety date is June 15, 2005.


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The single glass of wine with dinner. . .the cold beer on a hot day. . .the champagne flute raised in a toast. . . what I'd drink if Hunter S. Thompson wanted to get wasted with me. . .these are my fantasies lately. Too bad I've gone sober. When Sacha Z. Scoblic was drinking, she was a rock star; the days were rough and the nights filled with laughter and blackouts. Then s The single glass of wine with dinner. . .the cold beer on a hot day. . .the champagne flute raised in a toast. . . what I'd drink if Hunter S. Thompson wanted to get wasted with me. . .these are my fantasies lately. Too bad I've gone sober. When Sacha Z. Scoblic was drinking, she was a rock star; the days were rough and the nights filled with laughter and blackouts. Then she gave it up. She had to. Here are her adventures in an utterly and maddeningly sober world. . .and how she discovered that nothing is as odd and fantastic as life without a drink in hand. . . "Wildly entertaining. . .An unabashed account of getting clean and getting a life." --Steve Geng Sacha Z. Scoblic is a writer living in Washington, D.C. A former editor at The New Republic and Reader's Digest, she has written about everything from space camp to pulp fiction and was a contributor to The New York Times's online series "Proof: Alcohol and American Life." She currently blogs about addiction at TheFasterTimes.com. Her sobriety date is June 15, 2005.

30 review for Unwasted: My Lush Sobriety

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jenn(ifer)

    Alcohol and I broke up in December of last year. Don’t get me wrong, we’re still friends. We even hook up every now and again, but we are no longer in a Serious Relationship. She was a kind of a flighty bitch. Sure, we had a lot of fun when we went out, but she always lured me into doing and saying really stupid things. And she was never nice to me in the morning. We didn’t speak at all during the month of January. In February we hung out a few times, but she kept me up all night and, damn it gi Alcohol and I broke up in December of last year. Don’t get me wrong, we’re still friends. We even hook up every now and again, but we are no longer in a Serious Relationship. She was a kind of a flighty bitch. Sure, we had a lot of fun when we went out, but she always lured me into doing and saying really stupid things. And she was never nice to me in the morning. We didn’t speak at all during the month of January. In February we hung out a few times, but she kept me up all night and, damn it girl, I need my sleep! Now we’re trying to ease into being friends, but I gotta keep her at a distance. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me eight thousand times, shame on me. ******* As fate or luck or coincidence would have it, not long after my decision to end my Serious Relationship with alcohol, I was listening to NPR at work as I am wont to do, and I got to hear an interview with the author of this book. I was interested enough in her story to walk over to the B&N on my lunch break and pick up her memoir. It was a really quick read; I finished it in one sitting. But I have to say, I found myself wanting more from her. You know how it is when you go through a difficult break up, right? You find yourself wanting to hear the horror stories of others; you want to hear how they hit rock bottom, but then managed to pull up their boot straps and walk bravely forward. But she didn’t hit rock bottom. And good for her! It’s awesome that she was able to realize she had a problem and fix it before losing everything. It just doesn’t necessarily make for a great story. A decent story, yes; an entertaining story even. But not a great story.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lynne Spreen

    I am always curious about what it's like being inside another person's head, and Sacha does a first-class job of showing you what it feels like to be inside the head of a bona fide young adult alcoholic. Although she sometimes goes off on thinking-tangents (Sacha is a very smart girl) that require you to really pay attention, her riffs are the stuff of which rich discussions over dinner are made. For example, as she fights to learn sobriety, she muses at length as to whether there really is an H I am always curious about what it's like being inside another person's head, and Sacha does a first-class job of showing you what it feels like to be inside the head of a bona fide young adult alcoholic. Although she sometimes goes off on thinking-tangents (Sacha is a very smart girl) that require you to really pay attention, her riffs are the stuff of which rich discussions over dinner are made. For example, as she fights to learn sobriety, she muses at length as to whether there really is an HP (not Hewlett-Packard; Higher Power) and even if there isn't, might you not benefit from acting like you believe there is for all of these reasons, which may or may not be legitimate but nevertheless could have a positive outcome...etc. I'm not finished with this memoir yet but I can't put it down, so I should have the rest of my thoughts in a day or two. Meanwhile: 1. The Sacha Fantasy Relapse Pass chapters are entertaining creative expositions, but I'm sorry, Sasha, I began to skip them. Didn't have the energy. 2. It's a chicken-or-egg problem, but I wonder if/ how much Sacha's alcoholism exacerbated her social dysfunction/immaturity, or if her sd/i added to the likelihood that she'd fire up her genetic receptivity to alcoholism? Anyway, more later. Okay, I’m back. Unwasted is well-written reportage from the front, if the front is the battle to mature and the warrior has been shot in both kneecaps by alcoholism. At times (most of the time) Sacha is cynical, but she is also naïve (e.g. expecting the attendees at AA to be escapees from a noir circus of some sort, and being surprised that many are conservative-looking middle America types. Wow, edge in the form of a pale librarian. Who knew?) She’s introspective to the point of pain – hers, for feeling so apart from the herd, and mine, for being reminded of feeling so apart from people at age twelve that I thought I might have been part space-alien. Through Sacha's writing I really got a sense of how lonely and painful it would be to deal with alcoholism. Here's an example: the torture rendered by friends/coworkers Kate, Nathan and Dina. The first two were well-meaning but thoughtless to the point of cruelty, while Dina was a winged bitch who exploited Sacha's new vulnerability. A couple of little dings: I wonder how Sacha managed to hold down a job? She shares a little about how she skated through at work, able to deliver an insightful, edgy comment at just the right time to impress her bosses, but I wonder how she managed the day-to-day, like getting there on time. Or, given the prodigious drinking, drugging, and lack of healthful sleep and food, at all. Along the same lines, I don’t remember her doing normal daily maintenance things, like paying bills, shopping for groceries, doing laundry, getting a physical. There’s just relentless edge. Also, Sacha’s writing can be complex. If you’re not paying attention, you can lose the context, because some of her chapters are like exceptionally complex compound sentences. Example: describing why she wanted to run in a marathon, in which she moves from present day to a childhood flashback and then back with perhaps too much detail. But she’s very literate and she has a good editor. It’s all there, you just have to pay attention. I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that this is as much a coming-of-age story as a memoir of beating back alcoholism. Sacha's story arcs from youthful delusion to where she suspends her cynicism and tries out the systems other humans have devised for survival. Accomplishing things in a group (The WolfPack, the Sweat Hogs) was a leap of faith for her. When she experiences success, she discovers the comfort of being normal (I'm projecting.) Unanswered but fascinating: why was she desperate to see herself as ultra-cool, so edgy? I’m no shrink, but I wonder if this is an extreme variation on the need of young adults to differentiate. She was narcissistic but young people often are in their twenties, and then life kicks them around a bit and they become more aware. But maybe it’s not about maturity. I have a really screwed-up friend (I say that with love) who’s almost sixty, and she has always rejected self-help books or counseling because she doesn’t like to think she’s so easily figured out. No, I'm not projecting. She said it. She’s averse to seeing herself or having others see her as normal or average. A couple of life strategies that anyone can take away from Unwasted: 1. Act like you believe it and see what happens (i.e. suspend your cynicism and see what the world might offer you). And related but different: 2. It doesn’t have to be true if it somehow works (e.g. prayer, release to a higher power, giving established systems a chance). The last thing I want to say to Sacha is this: you may know it by now, but if you haven’t yet discovered it, be comforted by the knowledge that you are surrounded by people just like you who have labored mightily, perhaps in silence, to achieve that most Olympian of awards: a peaceful, normal, satisfying life. I wish that for you.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Kramer Bussel

    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 mos 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. And, as I looked toward the blank sober slate before me in the mirror, a thousand discarded personas on the floor, I began to sense that this one last transformation—that is, become myself, which is what everyone tells you to be from the start—was going to be an awful lot of fun. I was going to reinvent myself as me." By the actual end, as she writes about training for a marathon, a lifelong goal, I will admit that I cried. Scoblic does not pretend to have all the answers, but her vision of community, of strength and support, for running and sobriety, is an antidote to the loneliness she explores in the rest of the book, the loneliness and fear that alcohol momentarily removed from her. Her journey in exploring those dark spaces and discovering how to fill the gaps left by alcohol is touching, and should help give insight into alcoholism from a very poignant, personal perspective.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mark Matthews

    Unwasted is an incredible, entertaining, and illuminating book that simply made me 'happy' to have read it. It reads like a witty conversation, with amazing perceptions, and hidden truths revealed about the freshly sober thoughts of a great and fun writer. As a recovering individual, I was constantly thinking "I did that!" or "Oh my gosh, someone else thinks that too?" So many experiences mirrored my own as well as others I know in recovery, and the way they are presented is fresh, clever, and wi Unwasted is an incredible, entertaining, and illuminating book that simply made me 'happy' to have read it. It reads like a witty conversation, with amazing perceptions, and hidden truths revealed about the freshly sober thoughts of a great and fun writer. As a recovering individual, I was constantly thinking "I did that!" or "Oh my gosh, someone else thinks that too?" So many experiences mirrored my own as well as others I know in recovery, and the way they are presented is fresh, clever, and with a near dark humor where the author never takes herself too seriously, yet never lets the stakes of sobriety be dismissed. The novel didn’t have the oozing sentimentality most writers treat their addiction, and had just the right dash of AA program to make it a deep, honest, and fun reflection on sobriety. The marathon section that related running to sobriety worked perfect for me. I will never forget her dreams of wearing the post-marathon 'space blanket.' Unwasted is great book for anyone in recovery or interested in the mental workings of an addict who has always had 'the hunger.' Read it with Led Zeppelin playing softly in the background, because we all know you just can't dance to Led Zeppelin

  5. 4 out of 5

    Libby

    I would have given this book 5 stars for the author's sharp, smart, honest, interesting, funny at times, well-written, from-the-heart-and-gut account of her alcoholism and recovery. But the star rating and more importantly the book itself is dragged down by silly "relapse fantasies" after each chapter, several pages long, in italics, in which the author imagines wild and fanciful instances where she might hoist a drink again. Like for instance if she buys a magic lamp and a genie grants her supe I would have given this book 5 stars for the author's sharp, smart, honest, interesting, funny at times, well-written, from-the-heart-and-gut account of her alcoholism and recovery. But the star rating and more importantly the book itself is dragged down by silly "relapse fantasies" after each chapter, several pages long, in italics, in which the author imagines wild and fanciful instances where she might hoist a drink again. Like for instance if she buys a magic lamp and a genie grants her superpowers...oh dear. That isn't a terrible thing to include perhaps as a sentence. But as whole chapters! The silly "and then...what if..." goes on for pages, completely interrupting her very honest story. These italicized daydreams are overly long, inane and they interrupt her momentum and relationship with the reader. An editor really led her astray on this. Skip the mini chapters in italics and DO read this book. She writes her a-- off, and her honest, fumbling journey towards sober wholeness is something we can all identify with, and be inspired by. I thoroughly enjoyed it (except for the fantasy italics).

  6. 4 out of 5

    April Forker

    I have read a lot of books on addiction/alcoholism as I am a recovering alcoholic myself. Some of them I like more than others and this one is close to the top of my list. I could relate to SO much of this book - in how she felt while still drinking, her behaviors related to her alcoholism, as well as her feelings in recovery. Although alcoholism is a serious disease, she had a way of making me laugh out loud throughout the book. Probably because it seems that sometimes only other alcoholics can I have read a lot of books on addiction/alcoholism as I am a recovering alcoholic myself. Some of them I like more than others and this one is close to the top of my list. I could relate to SO much of this book - in how she felt while still drinking, her behaviors related to her alcoholism, as well as her feelings in recovery. Although alcoholism is a serious disease, she had a way of making me laugh out loud throughout the book. Probably because it seems that sometimes only other alcoholics can laugh at the shenanigans and thoughts of other alcoholics because, well, we "get it". I will definitely be recommending this one to my friends!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    There are two themes I find hard to resist in books, people disappearing and people quitting drinking. I know; Hello Freud! This was an enjoyable short read about a young, hard partier, who decides to quit before she loses everything. Scoblic is a funny, honest writer and her story is thought provoking.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Merrill Frazier

    What started as an interesting relatively linear story of sobriety devolved into a fair amount of vaguely coherent rambling. It tried to come back together at the end but by then I didn't really care.

  9. 4 out of 5

    John

    I truly appreciated the author's decision to stop drinking, and her portrayal of the difficulties associated with that. So, why not a higher rating? I deducted a star for the sometimes whiny self-pity - at some points she seems to feel that there's a specific conspiracy against non-drinkers, using a dinner with her at a friend's place, where coq au vin is served for dinner and "No Bake" amaretto cheesecake for dessert, as an example. Later, she attends parties where they don't circulate non-alco I truly appreciated the author's decision to stop drinking, and her portrayal of the difficulties associated with that. So, why not a higher rating? I deducted a star for the sometimes whiny self-pity - at some points she seems to feel that there's a specific conspiracy against non-drinkers, using a dinner with her at a friend's place, where coq au vin is served for dinner and "No Bake" amaretto cheesecake for dessert, as an example. Later, she attends parties where they don't circulate non-alcoholic beverages (just wine). More than that, I was put off by her complaints of feeling "on display" at social gatherings - it says something about her choice of friends that they'd make a deal about her opting for a non-alcoholic drink, rather than that everyone's friends would necessarily do so. That having been said, I do recommend reading this one. Sasha has a message for folks having similar issues (she touches on compulsive shopping at one point), not just substance abuse.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sacha

    A very funny but revelatory exercise.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Peyton Van amburgh

    This is a little more on the self-deprecating and sarcastic side, which was refreshing. It spends more time on her sober experiences than drunk experiences, which I liked a lot. Also has some powerful thoughts and feelings on secular higher power and viewing sobriety has a choice, rather than a burden one has to accept, which I found very moving.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

    This was solid. I am making my way through this sort of memoir right now, and some of this resonated with me. She is funny and relatable and makes the process of recovery seem arduous but worth it, although the story is not especially ... deep? The prose does not reach out and grab you. It reads like a magazine columnist's thoughts turned into a book, which is what it is. I think it's a good balance of talking about the way things were while she was drinking and how they are now. Her explanation This was solid. I am making my way through this sort of memoir right now, and some of this resonated with me. She is funny and relatable and makes the process of recovery seem arduous but worth it, although the story is not especially ... deep? The prose does not reach out and grab you. It reads like a magazine columnist's thoughts turned into a book, which is what it is. I think it's a good balance of talking about the way things were while she was drinking and how they are now. Her explanation of what it's like to go from being a Party Girl to being a Sober Person was pretty on the money. I laughed at a scene where she met someone new and said "I don't drink. But I'm still fun!" I ... have definitely said that exact thing. She makes a good case for the joys of sobriety, although doesn't sugarcoat the fact that this stuff is hard and things are never going to be remotely the same. The relapse fantasies were kind of silly and skippable, but I understood why she wanted to explain that there is some part of your brain that is always scheming for some magical way you can wake up from this and not have to do it anymore. I also appreciated her discussion of trying to figure out this Higher Power thing (a bit more so than Mary Karr's, who went from arch atheist to full-on Catholic with a nun for a personal counselor). Scoblic comes at this from about the same place that I do, which is thinking about science and life and the Big Bang and consciousness and the mystery of existence and trying to figure out if you can piece together some semblance of spirituality out of that. And, she does, without preaching any sentiments that particularly made me gag. Her take is about like this: "And I have faith that every scientific explanation will be matched by a new mystery of the universe that needs unraveling. And I have faith that the more science reveals, the more in awe of the world I will be . . . I don't have God, but I have awe." I can probably hang with that. Probably don't recommend to anyone who doesn't have a personal interest in this stuff right now, but I'm glad I read it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jared

    2.5/5 This book is heavy with so much moralistic, middlebrow prose, it's no wonder the author was once a writer at "Reader's Digest." Scoblic's most thoughtful passages (a late reconsideration of Hunter S. Thompson and her wrestling with what and who she would be willing to lose for an alcoholic relapse leap to mind) are outweighed by shallow (Scoblic's sober friends are her "wolfpack." Despite the success of a certain movie franchise, I'm still not sure why anyone would compare his or her close f 2.5/5 This book is heavy with so much moralistic, middlebrow prose, it's no wonder the author was once a writer at "Reader's Digest." Scoblic's most thoughtful passages (a late reconsideration of Hunter S. Thompson and her wrestling with what and who she would be willing to lose for an alcoholic relapse leap to mind) are outweighed by shallow (Scoblic's sober friends are her "wolfpack." Despite the success of a certain movie franchise, I'm still not sure why anyone would compare his or her close friends to wolves, which stalk and kill brutally.), judgmental ones (I don't drink, but there is nothing in the author's writing here that suggests even mildly drunk people aren't always terrible. An early, somewhat-related passage, in which she blames herself for being alone at night on a subway-as if anyone who might attack her wouldn't be at fault for an attack-showed me how unnecessarily preachy the author could be.).

  14. 5 out of 5

    Megan Richardson

    I wish we could give things half stars. I actually wanted to rate this as 3.5 stars. It was good and interesting, but I wanted it to get a little deeper. It focused more about her transition from partier to sober girl than I was expecting. I was hoping that it would give a little insight into what makes her life now so great, rather than.... well, I remember things now.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Dana

    Easy read. Just okay.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Flightless

    A quick read, straightforwardly a sobriety memoir -- this one is roughly equal parts "drunkalogue" and post-sobriety (I appreciated her description of being an unbeliever in AA) though her timeline jumps around enough that I occasionally felt ungrounded in the narrative. Relatively few unearned "you" generalizations, and she's unflinchingly honest about, among other things, her reflexive tendency to lie. (She didn't have any hobbies, so she lied on a grad school questionnaire and pretended she w A quick read, straightforwardly a sobriety memoir -- this one is roughly equal parts "drunkalogue" and post-sobriety (I appreciated her description of being an unbeliever in AA) though her timeline jumps around enough that I occasionally felt ungrounded in the narrative. Relatively few unearned "you" generalizations, and she's unflinchingly honest about, among other things, her reflexive tendency to lie. (She didn't have any hobbies, so she lied on a grad school questionnaire and pretended she was into skeet shooting!) She uses real names, which may be why she is pretty circumspect about her husband and their hinted-at pre-sobriety conflicts. I often wished for more concrete details, more vivid grounding (it's set in DC, but cursorily).

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

    0.5 stars. I found this book incredibly dull (not the author's own struggles – I feel for anyone who has an addiction). Of the myriad stories that could be told about giving up drink and the mass of advice and reflections that could have been conveyed through a book, this book managed to be devoid of anything moving, in any direction. It was one dimensional. She should have gone with the alcohol-free drink recipe book she suggested to her publisher. She can write — the book isn't badly written g 0.5 stars. I found this book incredibly dull (not the author's own struggles – I feel for anyone who has an addiction). Of the myriad stories that could be told about giving up drink and the mass of advice and reflections that could have been conveyed through a book, this book managed to be devoid of anything moving, in any direction. It was one dimensional. She should have gone with the alcohol-free drink recipe book she suggested to her publisher. She can write — the book isn't badly written grammar-wise etc. — but she can't write with originality, wit, insight or style, nor convey emotion. The big ideas weren't very big and the jokes were a bit cringey. I find it odd how self-congratulatory it is too (wow, how enlightened a person who went to gay bars and was straight! What an exotic creature!). I was really glad to finish it. [And reviewing your own book with 5 stars is a bit cringey too].

  18. 5 out of 5

    Anthea

    An insightful and interesting read. It is a memoir on alcoholism, however, along the way, the author also talks about other aspects of life and ponders deep into the spiritual existence. I loved it. I like how honest she was in expressing herself and the feelings she's having. It was an easy read as well, enjoyable for the reader. She also talks about the relationships she'd established along the way and many of her adventures when she was facing her addictions. In addition to that, she mentioned An insightful and interesting read. It is a memoir on alcoholism, however, along the way, the author also talks about other aspects of life and ponders deep into the spiritual existence. I loved it. I like how honest she was in expressing herself and the feelings she's having. It was an easy read as well, enjoyable for the reader. She also talks about the relationships she'd established along the way and many of her adventures when she was facing her addictions. In addition to that, she mentioned several situations which she'd encountered during her recovery process. It's not a smooth-sailing journey for her and she was honest about it. I really liked this book, despite not being a (former) alcoholic myself. This is definitely a book to read whether you're an addict or not. Very enlightening and uplifting. 10/10 would recommend.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Regina

    This memoir is, all at once, beautiful, painful, funny, and inspirational. Sacha speaks with a natural voice that makes you feel as if you know her and she is pouring her own heart out to you and only you. You feel her pain, you struggle through her trials, and you make it through day by day. There were ah-ha moments of "Wow, that's me" that I think MANY will experience, regardless of their alcohol consumption and life choices. This book really made me take a good hard look into my own past, my This memoir is, all at once, beautiful, painful, funny, and inspirational. Sacha speaks with a natural voice that makes you feel as if you know her and she is pouring her own heart out to you and only you. You feel her pain, you struggle through her trials, and you make it through day by day. There were ah-ha moments of "Wow, that's me" that I think MANY will experience, regardless of their alcohol consumption and life choices. This book really made me take a good hard look into my own past, my present, my lifestyle choices, and my own beliefs about everything from spirituality to weekend drinks with friends. I can honestly say that I am a better person for reading this book, and that I haven't been touched so deeply by a memoir in a very long time, if ever.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tammy Annichiarico

    My review is mixed - I didn't care for the 'relapse fantasies' that filled this book- quite distracted so I need up skipping those few pages. Also, lots of times I find the other close minded and putting alot of pl down- 'finding God' didn't work for her but that doesn't mean it doesn't help alot of drug addicts stay sober.. Same with 12 step programs- not for everyone but yet it does help alot of pl. On the other hand, I did 'enjoy' (not the right word here) the authors discription of what goin My review is mixed - I didn't care for the 'relapse fantasies' that filled this book- quite distracted so I need up skipping those few pages. Also, lots of times I find the other close minded and putting alot of pl down- 'finding God' didn't work for her but that doesn't mean it doesn't help alot of drug addicts stay sober.. Same with 12 step programs- not for everyone but yet it does help alot of pl. On the other hand, I did 'enjoy' (not the right word here) the authors discription of what going to parties, or holidays are like without being to drink - I did laugh at her admitting to be a chain smoking soda addict :). Overall, I like memoirs but most are downers- bc those sell more than a happy life story would

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    I enjoyed hearing the author's perspective about her post-drinking life. It was pretty inspiring to hear her story and how she totally turned her life around. Some parts were a bit slow,and she did come off as a big arrogant to me (but then again, I think that about the author of every memoir I read...I mean, you must think you're something special if you're writing a book about events in your life), but all in all I thought it was well written (the author is a big fan of the word "eschew" which I enjoyed hearing the author's perspective about her post-drinking life. It was pretty inspiring to hear her story and how she totally turned her life around. Some parts were a bit slow,and she did come off as a big arrogant to me (but then again, I think that about the author of every memoir I read...I mean, you must think you're something special if you're writing a book about events in your life), but all in all I thought it was well written (the author is a big fan of the word "eschew" which I dug, and I learned the word "solipsism" as well, which I had seen, but didn't really understand). I'd recommend it if you're looking for a somewhat cheeky, somewhat uplifting story of making a new beginning.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    After reading the book "Smashed" by Koren Zailckas a few years back I've been on the hunt for something to measure up to it but alas this book was not it. It was more of a self help book for someone who has recently given up alcohol or is searching for a way to live life sans the substance. For someone who enjoys a drink or two possibly even more depending on the occasion so reading accounts of days turning into nights merely makes me reflect upon my youth for lack of a better description - when After reading the book "Smashed" by Koren Zailckas a few years back I've been on the hunt for something to measure up to it but alas this book was not it. It was more of a self help book for someone who has recently given up alcohol or is searching for a way to live life sans the substance. For someone who enjoys a drink or two possibly even more depending on the occasion so reading accounts of days turning into nights merely makes me reflect upon my youth for lack of a better description - when long nights didn't have a stronghold or bearing on my life as a whole. Overall an easy read - found myself skipping over the italicized fantasy parts though.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

    I can't recommend this book enough. Funny, poignant and hopeful, it truly captured for me the feelings and trials of figuring out who you are and learning to shed self-delusionary and dishonest behavior and thinking long after you've shed alcohol from your life. Getting rid of alcohol is only the beginning of the journey in dealing with alcoholism. I was happy to read this entertaining and inspired story. Memoirs are tricky because where some thoughts resonate with readers so completely, others I can't recommend this book enough. Funny, poignant and hopeful, it truly captured for me the feelings and trials of figuring out who you are and learning to shed self-delusionary and dishonest behavior and thinking long after you've shed alcohol from your life. Getting rid of alcohol is only the beginning of the journey in dealing with alcoholism. I was happy to read this entertaining and inspired story. Memoirs are tricky because where some thoughts resonate with readers so completely, others can seem so foreign. So I recommend those readers who found sections so far away from their own reality to remember that this is a personal account and not a prescription on living.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    I am not an alcoholic (reading this book very clearly put that family history fear to rest). As such, I am not the target audience for this book and you should take that into consideration for my review. It is well-written and engaging. My desire was for a book that talked about, having given up a central part of your self-identification, how do you redefine yourself? Unfortunately for me, there was more about the time before sobriety (a.k.a. "Why did I stop?") and the struggle against the lurki I am not an alcoholic (reading this book very clearly put that family history fear to rest). As such, I am not the target audience for this book and you should take that into consideration for my review. It is well-written and engaging. My desire was for a book that talked about, having given up a central part of your self-identification, how do you redefine yourself? Unfortunately for me, there was more about the time before sobriety (a.k.a. "Why did I stop?") and the struggle against the lurking desire than about the redefinition, until the very end. As such, for me it was good - but not great.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Daily

    Read this more to explore work life balance and coping mechanisms of those under a lot of pressure than for the alcoholic plot line, but the two obviously are one in the same here. In this case, hers was the political landscape of DC that ran her ragged during the day leading her to numb herself for hours in the evening - only to repeat the cycle the next day. It definitely helps give clarity to the suspicions of sleepwalking through ones stress and waking up one day to discover that by numbing Read this more to explore work life balance and coping mechanisms of those under a lot of pressure than for the alcoholic plot line, but the two obviously are one in the same here. In this case, hers was the political landscape of DC that ran her ragged during the day leading her to numb herself for hours in the evening - only to repeat the cycle the next day. It definitely helps give clarity to the suspicions of sleepwalking through ones stress and waking up one day to discover that by numbing your life you missed out on giant chunks of it entirely.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    2.5 stars. There were some good insights into the mind of an alcoholic, but not as many as I'd hoped. I thought the ending where she used her marathon as a metaphor for her recovery was probably the best part of the book. The parts that were rather trying to read were her "fantasy relapse pass" sections at the end of each chapter. This would have been a better book without them. A person recovering from an addiction may get more out of this book than I did.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas Primm

    I really, really enjoyed this book. It's a very humorous book (she can't believe there are people in the world who actually depart from their restaurant table and leave an unfinished glass of wine, and after she's sober, nothing pisses her off more). I'm not nearly as big a drunk as this chick, but there's a lot of wisdom in here that has nothing to do with alcohol. I already look forward to reading it again.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Edmund Davis-Quinn

    This took me a while to read as I was distracted by library books. I really enjoy the author's voice and honesty. I enjoy alcohol myself but rarely to get drunk. Sobriety isn't easy. I liked how she talked about how she had to get away from people. How drunks would seem like lizard people to her. And how sobriety allowed for deeper connections and a better life. Also, how having friends and people help you get your through it all is so important.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Garey

    As far as memoirs go (I normally hate them), I really enjoyed this one and it's not just because I'm clumsily stumbling through early recovery myself. This book fields questions and crises from both non-alcoholics and those in recovery without being preachy or condescending. Her humor was also very refreshing.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    Regardless of your relationship with alcohol, this book is a must read for anyone seeking to make a change in their life. Scoblic tells her story is full color - the good, bad and ugly. And doesn't apologize for it. What I loved about this book is that she is so genuine and honest about her struggles, as well as her desires for change. She also doesn't give any bs on how hard it is to change.

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