An unread book goes back to the library

I was too slow. One of my book box books has a hold placed on it, so back it went… I meant to post this on Saturday but forgot; since then I managed to finish a few more!

Finished this week:

Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping by Judith Levine – I came across this book while browsing in the non-fiction aisle and was immediately intrigued. Steve and I participated in the “30 Days of Nothing” last fall — an experiment where for 30 days you only spend money on “necessities” (to be defined by you). Before this, we’ve both had many talks and attempts at living more simply. The participants in 30DoN were mainly Christian bloggers, so it was very interesting to see a non-organized-religion-associated author write about her whole year of only purchasing necessities.

The book is written in diary format with dated entries, although various consumer-related facts are scattered throughout. I laughed at some of the first entries, because they were such perfect echoes of conversations Steve and I had during the 30DoN. In the first few months, Judith and her boyfriend/partner, Paul, try to figure out what is a “necessity” and what isn’t. Paul tries to claim that since he is Italian, “good wine is like milk.” One short entry talks about how she runs out of Q-tips. “Is perfect ear hygiene a necessity?”

The book honestly chronicles her [few] failures, her struggle to not have a condescending attitude towards others. She seems to make, at least for her own life, a correlation between becoming freer from consumption and becoming more involved with her community and politics.

I definitely recommend this book (not to my nieces and nephews yet, however, because of some inappropriate language), as it’s an engaging way to start or continue thinking about personal consumerism and materialism.

The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp – I was excited about this book initially but my enthusiasm waned… not sure why. One thing I did like about the book is that each chapter ends with some suggested “exercises.” I’ve renewed this book for another few weeks to try doing some of the exercises.

Spell of the Tiger by Sy Montgomery – This book is all about the “man-eating tigers of Sundarbans.” Apparently, among the dwindling species of tigers in Asia, man-eating tigers are few and far between; usually the tigers are ones who are old or who have been wounded by hunters, and they cannot get “normal” prey so start hunting humans. In Sundarbans (a marshy delta area in India), however, tigers hunting men are a regular occurrence. In one village of 125 people, the author writes, every single woman had lost a husband, son, or brother to a tiger. Although the presence of tigers shows in the villager’s recountings of tiger attacks, the folktales, religious rites, and the scars carried by a local priest, the author herself only gets one glimpse of a tiger in her several visits to the area.

I loved the last acknowledgment to her husband, who “found out she didn’t have life insurance after four trips to India. Sorry about that.”

The Hive by Bee Wilson – I picked this one up partly because I couldn’t believe that someone named “Bee” could be writing about bees. As it turns out, her name is Beatrice, but her nickname has always been “Bee.” The Hive is about bees, but mostly about the history of humans and bees. Learn about the shocking reproductive habits of bees (paraphrased, “the queen bee copulates so ferociously with the drones that sometimes the male genitalia get torn off and stuck onto the queen bee, with the drones left to die a horrible death” — goodness!), the history of man’s attempts to moralize from bees (when it was believed that the queen bee was male, the beehive was a reason for why males should be in charge; bees have been representative of communistic societies, Mormons, democratic republics, monarchies, and more), and how people make “bee beards” or “tame bees” as circus-type acts. Absolutely fascinating. I found it quite appropriate to be reading this book as I watched Steve’s double-header in the midst of a clover field with bees collecting nectar all around me.

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer (picked up last week). Marketed as young-adult fiction. High school girl meets fascinating boy, who turns out to be a vampire. Reminded me of Sunshine, which is also a vampire-meets-human book by one of my favorite authors, Robin McKinley. Both have suspenseful storylines that enthralled me, with plenty of romantic tension. I’m glad I saved this for the weekend because I wouldn’t have gotten any work done if I had started it during the week.

With a bookmark:

(Books I just started reading, or books I’ve been “reading” for ages. Most recent first.)

  • The Wild Out Your Window by Sy Montomery
  • Search for the Golden Moon Bear by Sy Montgomery
  • The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst
  • Transcending CSS by Andy Clarke
  • Wild at Heart by John Eldredge
  • A Long Obedience in the Same Direction by Eugene Peterson

Library book box:

  • See Jane Lead by Lois P. Frankel – I started this one and decided not to read it. Although about “women and leadership,” it didn’t seem overly applicable, and not interesting enough to just read for the heck of it.
  • Murder By the Book by Rex Stout – Someone placed a hold on this. I’ll have to read this some other time.😦
  • Getting Things Done by David Allen (picked up last week)

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