Full Disclosure: I am a loyal and sappy fan of John Grisham's book, Skipping Christmas, published in 2001.
Here are four books for your consideration for your December reading offered by Green LA Girl. And, oh yes, support your local library as a part of your holiday season.
Scroogenomics: Why You Shouldn’t Buy Presents for the Holidays by Joel Waldfogel.
In Salon, Mary Elizabeth Williams writes you shouldn’t be put off by the title:
The book is no polemic; it’s a study in retail trends, spending and debt habits, and a simple call for a better use of our money than Itty Bitty Book Lights for people we barely know…. I’m not at all against the kind of giving that’s organic…. I think people should go on giving to the people they know well. Sometimes givers find transcendent, wondrous things. It’s the obligatory I’m opposed to.Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture by Ellen Ruppel Shell.
In Salon, David Sirota uses Ellen’s book to help him rail against vanity gadgets — that break easily and contribute to environmental ills:
As Shell’s book subtitle rightly suggests, there is indeed a “high cost of discount culture” beyond the soul-crushing pain of customer-service purgatory and weekends ruined by big-box stores. It is the high cost of cheap we don’t think much about — a cost that increasingly eliminates any benefits of low price.**Kudos to all of you who boycotted retail stores like K-Mart that chose to open on Thanksgiving Day eliminating another opportunity for low wage employees to have time off from retail hell.
At its core, The Price of a Bargain is about sustainability. Our modern economic practices have created massive amounts of waste—both human and environmental—by externalizing the true costs of things. As the U.S. economy shifted from manufacturing to consumption, the quantity of things around us grew dramatically, but our wages began to fall. Bargains provided an illusion that our standard of living was keeping pace. Laird makes a strong case that illusion is over for good.Tinsel:A Search for America’s Christmas Present by Hank Stuever.
According a Salon review by Laura Miller:
Tinsel explores the considerable gap between the Christmases most Americans have and the ecstatic holiday nirvana they long for…. Stuever gently unveils a place where, in celebrating their most iconic holiday, people long for a past that never existed, beguile each other with bogus sentimental yarns, scare themselves with the imaginary menaces lurking “outside” their sanctuary and try to retreat further into a safety that actually bores them stiff.”What will you be reading over the holidays?