Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping by Judith Levine

This book has been creeping into review publications and book catalogs for its interesting premise...Levine is fed up with all the money she spends at Christmas, on useless items, and the stranglehold shopping has on our culture. Instead, she and her partner Paul vow to spend a year not buying anything that isn't "essential".

This book is a combination of things - part diary of their arguments about buying things (are Q-tips essential?), part discussion about sustainable living and society's fascination with shopping, and part political commentary (this was written during Kerry and Bush's election). Each chapter is a month, with new challenges and perspectives on the experiment. In all, Levine saved over $8000, and gained a new respect for what she buys, and why.

Though I got a bit bogged down in the extraneous conversations (politics, economy, etc) because it interrupted the flow of the "story", I enjoyed this nonfiction read.