Tag Archives: Judith Levine

March Recap

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Books Read / Reviewed in March

I’ve been really good about reading books off my bookshelf. So far, I’ve only strayed a little bit to read The Girl in the Green Raincoat, but I think I’ve earned it. I did buy some new books adding to my book pile already reaching epic proportions in my tiny apartment. I also brought home a sizable stack of books I had left at my mom’s house. Luckily, those books are read, so now I just need to find a place to store them. =/

1. A soft place to land

2. French kissing

3. Old school : a novel

4. Not buying it : my year without shopping
5. A reliable wife : a novel

1. A Soft Place to Land – Susan Rebecca White

2. French Kissing – Catherine Sanderson

3. Old School – Tobias Wolff

4. Not Buying It – Judith Levine

5. A Reliable Wife – Robert Goolrick

Knitting has been slow for me this month. I spent a lot of time working on a puppy sweater for my friend’s little girl, Penny. This was my first ever dog sweater and it really gave me some trouble. I haven’t bought any new yarn since the Knitting Convention in Feb, but I haven’t really used any of my current yarn either.

My other crafting sessions have been making buttons. Thanks to the wonderful Chronicle Books, I won the Button Factory from a giveaway on their blog last week.

<——– The Button Factory

Comes with buttons, fabric, and the handle button presser.

The buttons! This is a great way to use up scrap fabrics (or fat quarter pieces). I plan on adding these buttons to my knitting projects. My favorite button is the baseball one. I think it deserves its own close-up. =)

How perfect is that?

You can find The Button Factory available on The Chronicle Books site, at Urban Outfitters, and at Barnes & Noble,

Not Buying It – Review

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Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping by Judith Levine
Age: Adult

In an experiment sparked by a particularly arduous Black Friday shopping trip, author Judith Levine and her husband Paul impose a year-long moratorium on extraneous shopping and try to live off just the basic necessities.

I have so many issues with this book, I don’t even know how to articulate them. I will use bullet points to illustrate what I did and did not like about this book.

  • During this year of “no-shopping” Levine and her husband underwent $25,000.oo in renovations to one of their 2 houses. (One in Vermont, and an apartment in New York.)
  • $7.oo per pound of coffee is a necessity, yet socks and q-tips are not?
  • Written as a diary, with each chapter dedicated to a month: Levine’s rants were boring, long-winded and particularly whiny. Why impose such strict sanctions if you’re going to complain about the entire ordeal or look for loopholes by mooching off of generous friends?
  • There were many, many filler entries about local and nationwide politics that felt unnecessary and took away from the consumerism aspects of the book. I would have preferred a shorter book without the political preaching.
  • Levine spent more time discussing economic policy and consumerism’s effects on society than she did discussing her own experiences with the no-shopping experiments. I still have no idea what she considers a basic necessity and what is a luxury. All I gathered is that she hated every minute of her experiment.

Although I appreciate the concept of the experiment, and think its always good for everyone to be more conscientious of what they are buying and whether or not it is a needed purchase, Levine’s writing really turned me off. I found myself skimming through a majority of the book. I didn’t connect to her as a reader, and I certainly didn’t feel any pity for her plight at being unable to go to the movies or the theater.

Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping
by Judith Levine
Free Press (imprint of Simon & Schuster), 2006
ISBN 0743269365
257 pages
Book 15 of 2011
Find this book at your local library
Not buying it : my year without shopping