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The Year without a Purchase: One Family's…
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The Year without a Purchase: One Family's Quest to Stop Shopping and Start…

by Scott Dannemiller

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This family of 4 tries to not purchase anything new for a year, but the two young children don't know about the plan. They do wind up purchasing 4-5 items, aside from 3 gifts each for the kids at Christmas, but by then, they've learned much and endeavor to make these "experience" gifts, not just mindless purchases. I like the book from the learning standpoint. America is a nation of consumers to the point of excess. While that drives the economy, it's also often ridiculous and that's why storage units thrive.

The book is full of humor, which makes it more readable. It's an easy, delightful read with some serious lessons for us all. This family is involved in their religion, which enriches the story. The lessons are for all, religion aside, especially now while everyone has their nose stuck in a screen. Connecting with other people in meaningful, personal ways is getting lost.

I consider this light reading, but there's nothing light about the points in the book. Do something that matters. Wrap your mind around what really does matter, if you've lost track.

This would make a nice gift for people you care about.
( )
  Rascalstar | Jan 21, 2017 |
Interesting idea, but not carried out as I had expected. Since food can be purchased it seems that dining out and fast food are okay purchases. Candy and fast food gift cards become the gifts of choice for the children. This book is clearly written for Christians. I'm afraid it will lose a lot of people with this bias. It is not so much an indictment of consumerism as a call to spend more time with family and friends and to be more aware of our prosperity and privilege as Americans.

As a Christian book advocating more awareness of our buying habits it works quite well. Each chapter starts with a bible verse and the chapters tell stories of the Dannemiller family's triumphs and failures as they proceed through the year. Scott is very self deprecating and acknowledges the problems I mentioned before. I had thought it might be more like Barbara Kingsolver's book where she pledges to eat locally for a year. My husband and I are not typical consumers. We don't buy very much and so some of the problems the Dannemillers faced didn't seem like a big deal to me. I'm sure such a challenge would be more difficult with children and the peer pressure they face. But again my parents taught us, "Not to follow the common herd." I appreciated the summing up at the end and the several appendices that offered suggestions on how to become more mindful consumers ourselves. ( )
  njcur | Nov 25, 2015 |
Title: A Year Without A Purchase
Author: Scott Dannemiller
Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: 5
Review:

"A Year Without A Purchase: One Family's Quest to Stop Shopping and Start Connecting" by Scott Dannemiller

What I enjoyed from this read.....

I found this novel very interesting...something to really think on long after the read. There were several ideas presented that did give me reasons to think upon from this author. With all of the consumerism that goes on just in the United States one will be able to look on quite a bit of it as something to definitely be concerned about. It was a interesting read of how this author shared his feeling 'surrounding the sacrifices made by he and his wife to connect more with others about what was essential to living.' Now, that was a read! I found Mr. Dannemiller was some what humorous as he delivered some of his experiences with the reader. I will say by the time I reach the end of the novel I did find myself saying..do I really need some of the items I have? So, maybe after reading this book... I was now seeing this read in a different light...exploring the relationship that I have with all of my stuff...saying...is this stuff really making me happy or preventing me from achieving my ultimate goal?

Along with the humor the reader will receive 'Biblical passages, personal anecdotes, research, tools for individuals/couples/families to evaluate their own relationship to their material things.'

In the end this read of these short chapters...will gives the reader a great challenge and that is knowing what is important to you ...evaluation your wants/needs. Which is important? Learning to make everyday count and not worry about all that stuff you want but may not need was one thing I got out of this read. I thought this novel was a very important that can help anyone who wants change in their spending and consuming in their everyday life. This was definitely a inspiriting read.

Would I recommend? YES!

I received a copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  arlenadean | Aug 22, 2015 |
A lighthearted, Christian-oriented memoir of one family's attempt to go an entire year without making any purchases beyond food, repairs, and a few exceptions. While others have written similar memoirs, the tensions of Christian family living without consumerism give this version a novel edge. Prepublication copy received from the publisher via NetGalley.com. (192) ( )
  activelearning | Aug 22, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0664260683, Paperback)

The Year without a Purchase is the story of one family's quest to stop shopping and start connecting. Scott Dannemiller and his wife, Gabby, are former missionaries who served in Guatemala. Ten years removed from their vow of simple living, they found themselves on a never-ending treadmill of consumption where each purchase created a desire for more and never led to true satisfaction. The difference between needs and wants had grown very fuzzy, and making that distinction clear again would require drastic action: no nonessential purchases for a whole year. No clothes, no books, no new toys for the kids. If they couldn't eat it or use it up within a year (toilet paper and shampoo, for example), they wouldn't buy it.

Filled with humorous wit, curious statistics, and poignant conclusions, the book examines modern America's spending habits and chronicles the highs and lows of dropping out of our consumer culture. As the family bypasses the checkout line to wrestle with the challenges of gift giving, child rearing, and keeping up with the Joneses, they discover important truths about human nature and the secret to finding true joy. The Year without a Purchase offers valuable food for thought for anyone who has ever wanted to reduce stress by shopping less and living more.

(retrieved from Amazon Sat, 22 Aug 2015 19:44:40 -0400)

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