Book Review: Shiny Objects


**This Giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Bonnie!! And a big thanks to everyone who entered.

When the people at TLC Book Tours contacted me with an offer to review a copy of Shiny Objects: Why We Spend Money We Don’t Have in Search of Happiness We Can’t Buy, I thought it sounded like something right up my alley. After all, I am always trying to convince people to live on less!

If you are one of those kinds of people who has trouble saying “no” to the latest and greatest of everything… you’d better grab a copy of this book and have a seat.

Author James A. Roberts has written an incredibly thorough account of just why we have become a nation of unbridled consumerism. His book touches on topics such as materialism and “keeping up with the Joneses”, out of control credit card spending, compulsive shopping, how our spending affects our relationships, how money relates to our happiness, and self control.

If the study of why we are the way we are as consumers today interests you, I dare say you will not find a more well researched, thought provoking book as this. Each chapter is jam packed with staggering statistics, and appalling examples of the outrageous purchases that Americans are making every year. I found myself gaping, and laughing out loud in disbelief on several occasions.

I have to be honest, though, and say that I found myself hop-scotching through the chapters and skimming over a lot of the dates and statistics. There’s definitely a lot of information to take in. However, the overall message of the book is very interesting.

All throughout the book, Roberts has sprinkled self-assessment quizzes to help his readers figure out exactly where they are on the materialism and self control scales. After taking the tests myself, I wasn’t too surprised to find that I scored in the bottom 25% for being materialistic (meaning that I am definitely in the minority of those polled, being the least materialistic of the group). And I scored a top 50% for self control- meaning I’m pretty darn good at keeping myself in check! Good to know.

And I was glad that Roberts gave some rays of hope toward the end of the book with the last chapter dedicated to giving some great tips on how to break bad spending habits.

If you have an out of control spending problem… if you feel like more stuff will make you happier… if you judge success by material things, Shiny Objects just might help you understand why you think the way you do, and how you can change it for the better.


19 thoughts on “Book Review: Shiny Objects”

  1. Thanks so much! The book will be wonderful to have and to read!
    Have a lovely Thanksgiving I feel we have already been blessed!
    Bonnie

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  2. I would love to read this book so much. I grew up with my mother being very materialistic. As much as I try to live differently than my mother, I find myself slipping down the same path. I think it would be a tremendous benefit to me and my son to read this book.,

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  3. My daughter would benefit from this book. She is struggling with the concept of “spend less” and is always after instant gratification by shopping.

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  4. I’m intrigued by this book because I buy too much. I know I do, yet I keep doing it. I think that each purchase will make me happy. And then it doesn’t. I need to stop that cycle.

    Thank you for hosting this giveaway!

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  5. Sounds intriguing – I’m actually writing my dissertation on consumption and some of the motivations underlying it, so this is an incredibly interesting topic for me.

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  6. This would be a lovley adition to our home. I have never owned anything encouraging about living on less, not being materialist! Keeping away from debt or anything else on this topic! We here in our home need to stop spending and we need advice! Thanks for the chance to win!

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  7. I would love to win this book,My friends all think I’m crazy maybe with this book they could see theres more people out there who don’t believe in dropping a credit card for eveything that sparks there interest.

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  8. I would say that I am not very materialistic at all, but I have a spouse who (how can I put this gently) has a strong affinity towards purchasing things to increase his happiness. I’d love to read this book and share it with him as well. 🙂

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  9. This books sounds fascinating. I am doing my best to live on less, recycle more, and get by with what we have and teach the same to my children. I am always in need of encouragement in this matter becasue this is not the way our society is set up so I am constantly feeling like the salmon swimming upstream!

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  10. Sounds like a great read! I have trouble telling if I’m materialistic sometimes. I THINK I’m not, but then, every closet in my house is packed…

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  11. I’m glad you liked the book! I was recently in Hawaii, and I was pleasantly surprised to find myself not even a tad envious of the beach house that our hosts live in. I’m always trying to be less materialistic, so I was happy to see SOMETHING must be working!

    Thanks for being on the tour and writing such a thoughtful review.

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  12. I’m interested because this sounds like what I’ve been preaching for years! It would be nice to see it backed up with something besides my gut feeling that something is wrong around here.

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  13. I am quite interested in this because I’ve never quite understood materialism and my husband’s family, especially his mother, is terrible about it. They’re always getting our kids many and large extravagant presents for holidays when we have asked repeatedly that it be kept modest and simple.

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