Clothes are great, but it’s safe to say I’ve accumulated more than enough. I’m fortunate to get nearly two weeks off of work around Christmas time, so I’m always looking for games, books, and other activities to enjoy as I savor long stretches of free time. In light of that, I thought I’d share a Gift Guide that meets those needs. Of course, this is an ethical living blog, so the items I share are either useful for the ethical journey or ethically sourced.
- Fugitive Denim by Rachel Louise Snyder
- Snyder follows the intricate life of a pair of denim across the world, exploring the politics of cotton farming, design, chemical dyes, and trends. A great way to learn about the clothing manufacturing process without getting totally overwhelmed.
- A Consumer’s Republic by Lizabeth Cohen
- A scholarly piece about the rise and politics of the consumer economy. A good reminder that ideology informs our attitudes toward economic decisions and the economy can change our ideology.
Society and Culture (Fiction)
- Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- Adichie artfully and poignantly explores race, love, and growing up across three countries: Nigeria, the United States, and England.
- Brick Lane by Monica Ali
- Brick Lane follows the life of a Bangladeshi immigrant to London and the parralel life of her sister, who remains behind in Bangladesh and works for some time in sweatshops. An intimate look into the culture, struggles, and triumphs of women who have to make hard choices in order to survive and thrive.
- The Road to Wellville by T. C. Boyle
- A fictionalized account of John Harvey Kellogg’s sanitorium and the clean eating craze of turn-of-the-century America. It’s at once laugh-out-loud funny and horrifying. People – and diet fads – never change.
Christian Spiritual Exploration
- Wearing God by Lauren Winner
- Winner explores the more obscure metaphors for God. A meditative book you will want to read slowly and savor.
- Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans
- Evans works through her loss of faith in the Evangelical Church by practicing and learning from the Sacraments. It’s a story very similar to my own. I found it cathartic.
Music & Art
- African Rhythm Thumb Piano
- If you’ve got a family band, this might be a nice touch.
- Fair Trade Soft Cloth Notebook
- For poems and rants, or journaling.
- Indian Elephant Block Printing Set
- A versatile block printing set for use in paper and textile crafts.
- Global Music Gift Basket
- This just looks incredibly fun, particularly if there are kids in the family.