Sacha Z. Scoblic, the author of Unwasted: My Lush Sobriety (Citadel, July 26, 2011), is a contributing editor at the New Republic and has written for a variety of publications, including Reader's Digest and the Guardian. She has written about everything from space camp to pulp fiction, and was a contributor to the New York Time's online series "Proof: Alcohol and American Life." Her sobriety date is June 15, 2005.
On your nightstand now:
Mockingjay by Susan Collins; I am obsessed with The Hunger Games trilogy. I also have Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart, Room by Emma Donoghue and The Ask by Sam Lipsyte--all of which I really liked. But my true favorite on the nightstand right now is Faithful Place by Tana French, who creates incredible, complex relationships and dark plots. I'm a big fan. Of course, my nightstand also includes a raft of books I pretend I am going to read but never do--from An Introduction to Zen Buddhism by D.T. Suzuki to The Time Paradox by Philip Zimbardo and John Boyd. Also I have a journal on the nightstand that I don't write in nearly as often as I swear I am going to.
Favorite book when you were a child:
This is a no-brainer: Where the Wild Things Are. I also loved any book that started with the words "Choose Your Own Adventure," which in retrospect seems like an early indication of the alcoholic inside me.
Your top five authors:
Margaret Atwood, for blending science fiction with top-flight literature; Stephen King, who is a master storyteller and under-respected by many (admittedly, in a prolific career, he has had his share of clunkers), but read Duma Key and tell me he doesn't write about pain, addiction and terror to perfection; Hunter S. Thompson, for exciting language that blows the top off American culture both humorously and profoundly and still manages to sound like a tone poem; S.E. Hinton, for treating teenagers with respect and urging every wayward kid out there to "stay gold"; Edgar Allan Poe, for every story and every poem written for those of us who aren't scared of the dark.
Book you've faked reading:
What to Expect When You're Expecting (after the first trimester, I gave up and just took a Darwinian approach to childbirth).
Book you're an evangelist for:
The two books I haven't stopped talking up the last couple years are: Beautiful Children by Charles Bock, which is a series of amazing portraits coming into a whole at the end--it's mesmerizing; and Home Land by Sam Lipsyte, which literally made me laugh out loud on every page, has the best recovery humor I've ever read, and has the greatest first-page line ever: "I did not pan out."
Book you've bought for the cover:
Geek Love by Katherine Dunn. From the cover, with its techno font, I thought it might be a romance about computer nerds. It wasn't. But what a ride! The deviant and peculiar family in a traveling circus was way more up my alley anyway.
Book that changed your life:
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream by Hunter S. Thompson made me want to be a writer.
Favorite line from a book:
"Keep passing the open windows." --The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving; it's an incredible description of perseverance in the face of depression, and a great motto.
Book you most want to read again for the first time:
Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole and Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl. I am always jealous when I hear that someone is reading one of those gems for the first time.
Living writer I'd most like to be friends with:
David Sedaris, for many obvious reasons, one of which is this: "...I discovered both crystal methamphetamine and conceptual art. Either one of these things are dangerous, but in combination they have the potential to destroy entire civilizations." --from Me Talk Pretty One Day.