Wednesday, February 09, 2011

January Books

This post is a bit of a cheat because I wrote it before I decided that my posts for the month would be luuuuuuuuuv-themed. But I think it works because I am a bibliophile and that essentially means book luuuuuuuuuuuver.

Last year a blogging friend of mine read over 50 books and she has 2 small children. I was duly inspired to set some reading goals for myself this year. My goal isn't 50, but I'm hoping to read maybe 1-2 per month. We're also starting a book club at my church and I joined a book club in my neighborhood so that I can meet more moms in the area.

So, I've got a lot of books to read! I'm hoping to write reviews each month. Here are my January books:

1. Humility: True Greatness by C.J. Mahaney

This was the January read for the church book club. This is a short book with a lot of food for thought. I loved it and would highly recommend it. I hesitate to write too much because many of the concepts in the book were so simple yet so challenging. He gave a lot of practical suggestions for cultivating humility. And he also spoke about why humility is important: it is at the heart of the gospel. The ultimate example being Christ who died for a stubborn, ungrateful and rebellious people. Definitely worth reading especially since it is short.

2. Treasuring God in our Traditions by Noel Piper

I luuuuuuuuuuuuuuv this book! I want everyone to read it! It is also very short. I have been looking forward to reading this for a long time. It is about family traditions (as you may have guessed). Growing up, my family really didn't have many customs specific to us. But I am so excited about forming traditions with Peter and our child(ren). I think there are so many opportunities to develop creative traditions that make life fun, remind us and teach our children where our hope lies. Noel Piper has a lot of inspiring ideas along those lines. I would highly recommend this book, it made me so happy!

3. Bringing Home the Birkin: My Life in Hot Pursuit of the World's Most Coveted Handbag by Michael Tonello

This is the February book for my neighborhood book club. I think a book discussion group is a great way to make friends. You can get to know people really well because the literature introduces many topics that otherwise might never come up in conversation. The downside is that you're reading other people's book picks which are sometimes books that you would never choose. This can be a good way to branch out of a literature rut. But sometimes it ends up being just that: a book you would never choose. This book, is a memoir that I would not recommend.

It wasn't terrible. It was a decently fun and quick read. The writing was entertaining enough. But I feel that it added very little of value to my life.

It did provide a glimpse into a world that I will NEVER be apart of. The Birkin, for those of you who are not in the luxury goods market, is a high-end handbag that costs upwards of $10,000. Now, I might one day spend $10,000 on a handbag. But that will only be if it doubles as a bomb shelter, a babysitter, does my grocery shopping, cleans my house and allows me to eat handfuls of frosting without gaining a calorie.

The author of the book found a way to buy these handbags all over Europe and resell them on ebay, mostly to customers in the U.S. where they're more difficult to get. There were some funny encounters; like when the author had to hire a body guard to rescue a bag of his that was being "held hostage". But mostly it was a lot of him recounting his travels to exotic locales and what he ate and drank there. It became repetitive.

The one redeeming part of the book came towards the end when, after a family tragedy, he realized how empty are the excesses and extravagances of the luxury goods world. So he got out of the business. And then the book ended rather abruptly.

I have to admit, part of me wished I could have his job. He basically went shopping in exotic cities, posted things on eBay, and then made thousands of dollars (usually enough to cover his travel and then profit on top of that). That doesn't sound so bad! But I don't really think I'd fit into the luxury brands world. Somehow I don't think they'd take me seriously in my thrift shop couture.


Rachel said...

Three books is an awesome start! I agree, I love Treasuring God in Our Traditions so much that for a short era, I gave it as a gift to every new wife, mom, etc. that I needed a gift to give. I did it so often that I once gave one of my friends the book twice. Oops. I toned it down after that.

Peter and Leslie said...


That is too funny! I've also sent a copy to one friend and loaned my copy to another... great book!