This book was profiled during Oprah’s Debt Diet series, so we decided to read it. Judith Levine is a writer, living with her “partner” Paul in New York City — they have no kids. The book was written to chronicle her year without buying anything (except food and other necessities). Whether through poor editing or her own inability to stay focused, the book rambles from disdain for consumerism, to hatred for President Bush and his economic policies and finally to frustration with the sacrifices she has to make to live within her means. This is not a “how to” book, it’s more of an insiders look at one person’s struggle with financial limits and her desire to become part of the simplicity movement.
If you read the reviews on Amazon.com, most people found her writing to be confusing and off topic. There is much to be said for the voluntary simplicity movement and conserving natural resources, but most people grow into it gradually and don’t complain about it so much. Annette found the author’s constant grumbling about her inability to enjoy her normal lifestyle, such as; buying gourmet food, having tickets to the hottest theater productions or replacing her specialty ski socks, to be disheartening — she couldn’t finish the book. Life is full of sacrifices. If you’re heading toward a goal of eliminating debt – embrace the pain and enjoy the journey, you’ll be better for it. We’d love to hear if any of you read the book and what you thought of it.