The Me, Without: A Year Exploring Habit, Healing, and Happiness

Jacqueline Raposo. Ixia, $26.95 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-0-486-82688-2
Raposo, cohost of the podcast Love Bites, opens up about her need to disengage in her eloquent debut, a memoir and meditation on living with less. After contracting Lyme disease and become very sick, Raposo realizes she isn’t handling her own problems well enough to be giving advice to listeners and starts looking into her own unhealthy habits. She wondered whether her lifestyle of cycling between excess (eating, drinking, and socializing) and introversion was worsening her Lyme disease, stalling her career as a food writer, and making her less lovable. So she dropped one habit per month in an attempt at self-betterment. She cut out, among other things, social media, shopping, and sugar. She spent Christmas with her family without giving or receiving gifts and attempted to slash all negative thinking. These changes were not easy, and she didn’t always succeed (TV was particularly hard for her to give up). Along with her experiences, Raposo presents research and her own interviews with relevant experts, among them Andrea Sanders, director of Be Zero, who speaks of the merits of recycling, and science journalist Gary Taubes, who alleviated some of Raposo’s concerns about sugar. By the end, Raposo writes that eliminating bad habits helped her find happiness by realizing “I am enough the way I am.” She concludes with suggestions for readers to explore doing without for themselves. Raposo’s engaging report on stripping life down will inspire readers looking for manageable tweaks to hectic living. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/12/2018
Release date: 01/01/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
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