Item description for Give It Up!: My Year of Learning to Live Better with Less by Mary Carlomagno...
Overview An eye-opening journey of one woman's quest to rid herself of material and emotional excess shares her monthly account of taking control, breaking free of needless possessions, and simplifying her stressful life. Reprint. 25,000 first printing.
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Studio: Harper Paperbacks
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 6.9" Width: 4.9" Height: 0.6" Weight: 0.3 lbs.
Release Date Jan 1, 2007
Publisher Harper Collins Publishers
ISBN 0060789824 ISBN13 9780060789824
Availability 0 units.
More About Mary Carlomagno
Mary Carlomagno is the founder of Order, a company that specializes in clutter control, urban apartment solutions, office spaces, and life transitions. Before founding Order, she worked in book publishing and retail. She and her husband live in Hoboken, New Jersey.
Reviews - What do customers think about Give It Up!: My Year of Learning to Live Better with Less?
sorry I bought it Mar 16, 2007
The author (who apparently drinks tooooo much) seemed to be giving up things for fun, learning hardly nothing from the process. She chose special months to give up certain things to fit her schedule - that's not real strugle. Give up this book and save a tree.
SHE'S THE NEXT ANNE FRANK! Jan 19, 2007
The author means well, but her definition of "sacrifice" is questionable. She's not giving up food or running water or her ability to flush the toilet after 8 PM...she's giving up chocolate and elevators and curse words. CURSE WORDS! Her intention is commendable, but to call these acts 'sacrifice" just reminds us how excessive our society really is.
But let me be clear: I'm not saying that suffering=sacrifice; her attempt to say no to things like excessive shopping and television is a good start. But like an actress rehearsing a role, she only skims the surface, only visits the new lifestyle without any real attempt to make a permanent change in her life. When she talks about her month without alcohol, for example, she goes on about what it felt like being LEFT OUT of her drinking circle and less about her new found self-awareness. It had the "whoa is me" tone that you'd expect from a rich girl on her 16th birthday when she expects a brand new BMW but gets a Toyota Camry instead. The idea is a good one, but it gets lost in the message of "this is how upper-middle class Americans define sacrifice". And that, if only accidentally, becomes the book's theme.
Or the other classic--when she gives up her cell phone for a month. Her CELL phone! She can use all other phones, the phone at home, phones at work. This becomes more about being inconvenienced and less about 'giving something up'. To add insult to injury, she even excuses herself enough to borrow her HUSBAND'S cell phone...an item that many of us didn't even HAVE ten years ago. And again, she writes a whole chapter where she feels great pride about her new found self-control. How did she DO it?
I go back to the actress analogy--she wants to visit change without really changing. I would have been impressed if she had discovered more, if her experiment had opened more doors of self-awareness than it did. By the end I thought she might give away half her things to the poor and find herself a lot happier, etc, etc. But it came off more like an essay of "what I did this summer". The book's title sounded like it brought more to the table than that.
It's like the guy sitting at a cafe in downtown Paris--he may feel like a traveler, but he's definitely a tourist.
By April - I wanted to 'give it up'. Dec 22, 2006
The idea is a great one - give up a vice a month for a year and see how all of this vice 'lent' changed your life. However, the execution left much to be desired. The author simply reports her findings in an almost clinical but certainly uninteresting way.
For instance. The writer gives up drinking for a month, starts to realize that she has MANY drinking buddies and MANY drinking dates spread over the month, and starts to wonder what her relationship with alcohold is. Instead of delving deep, wondering why she associates herself with people who need to get hammered to open up she rests her observations at the superficial. Peer pressure made me drink in college and if I just don't give in to peer pressure I will be a better person. What I, as a reader, was screaming for was deep introspection, witty insites, self depricating humor, anything but what seems like a laundry list of superficial obsevations.
The writer seemed like a nice person, I love the idea of her project, but I don't think this genre of writing is good for her. Thus, the book falls very flat.
Utter waste of time . . . Dec 19, 2006
She's giving things up that the majority of Americans don't even have the monies to buy and patting herself on the back. What I found more interesting were the number of 5-starred reviews HERE that all tend to read the same. Checking each of them, the majority of the 5-starred reviews are - guess what? - the ONLY review by that reader. It looks like the author has gone from cluttering her life to cluttering this site with falsified reviews.
Months have new meaning... Dec 15, 2006
Thoroughly enjoyed reading this funny, insightful book. It's particularly relevant for anyone who gets anxiety attacks worrying about keeping their New Year's resolutions. Mary's ideas about tackling one "sacrifice" per month makes so much sense! Thanks for a great read, and hilarious comments on growing up Italian.