Recommended Reading: Give It Up! My Year of Learning to Live Better with Less By Mary Carlomagno (New York: Harper Collins, 2006)

Each month, for a year, Carlomagno chose to do without one of her favorite things: alcohol one month, shopping another, cell phones, dining out, elevators, multi-tasking, television, taxis, coffee, chocolate. Her discoveries and observations, which she shares in an easy, anecdotal style, confirm her book’s title: we can indeed live better by living with less. Without newspapers, Carlomagno discovered poetry, without television she eased into nightly walks. What are initially renunciations turn out to be doorways, happy and unexpected re-entrances to a world whose familiar pleasures are now deepened and renewed, even as they are given broader perspective by new experiences. Give It Up! may inspire you to do what Carlomagno did, to see yourself more clearly in the center of your life by stripping away, at least for a meditative month at a time, one attachment after another.

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