24 June 2007 by Published in: book list No comments yet

Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping by Judith Levine. (22) [non-fiction, memoir]. I checked this out of the library, after having heard Levine interviewed on NPR (twice?). I was fascinated by the whole concept, and I loved the book which was engaging, well-written and funny. Still, I wished it had been less about the emotional trauma of alienation from consumer culture (I’m much less conflicted about not buying things from an identity viewpoint than most people, I guess) and more about the nuts and bolts of accomplishing it. In particular, she was fuzzy on the rules they followed. Only “necessities”, but those were vague and seemed to shift. The election derail, in particular, was irritating (giving money to Move On was a necessity? WTF?). Some fascinating stuff, though. Glad I read it. This would probably be impossible to do with kids, unless you could sew, and were willing to make clothes for them out of your own clothes. Oh, and were a cobbler. But then your kids would be barefoot, right? Don’t the cobbler’s kids…? Never mind. Finished 06/21/07.

Orsinian Tales by Ursula K. Le Guin. (23) [mainstream fiction]. Borrowed from Chris Goodwin. Did you know this was mainstream fiction? Man, I was totally fooled by the Earthsea-like cover, though it tells you right there on the back that it’s not spec fic. This book was hard to get sucked into, but it had some amazing moments and was well worth reading. She writes so beautifully. I want to be Ursula K. Le Guin when I grow up. The tone, that sort of Dostoevsky hopelesness and hardship and beauty Eastern European tone, was perfect. I was blown away by that, by how she could duplicate that tone, even without being a native. It didn’t ever feel like appropriation when she did it. Finished 06/22/07.


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