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  • Review & Giveaway: Shiny Objects by James Roberts

    In his new book Shiny Objects: Why We Spend Money We Don’t Have in Search of Happiness We Can’t Buy, James A. Roberts, a leading researcher and expert on consumer behavior, exposes the hidden motivations and erroneous assumptions behind bad spending habits, and shares the key to reversing the devastating and ever-increasing effects of materialism in modern culture.

    When I was asked to review Shiny Objects, I wasn’t expecting a history lesson, but that’s what I got. The book starts with a look back at how Americans, in general, have moved away from our Puritan work ethic heritage, towards a “must have” consumption attitude.

    The history is interesting, and I can see the validity of the theory. But I have to admit that the look back got too long for me and I stopped reading about halfway through. Of course, I feel that my yearning for “shiny objects” is firmly under control. I don’t spend excessively and in fact, we’re debt-free except for the mortgage and have established financial priorities that we are striving to achieve.

    Ten years ago, when I first started learning about becoming debt-free and building wealth, I would have found Shiny Objects a lot more interesting than I do now. It’s about getting the “gotta have it” feeling under control, and for someone who has difficulty with that, I think this book could be a valuable resource – in a sense, it validates those feelings by explaining where they come from. There’s no cold message of “you shouldn’t feel that way” and “you’re a bad person because of it.” At the same time, it explains why those feelings need to be moderated, and gives tips on how to do that.

    WIN IT!

    One lucky CFO reader will win a copy of Shiny Objects. To enter this giveaway, simply fill out the form below. Email, RSS and mobile readers may need to click through to the blog in order to see the form. If you’re having trouble with your entry, you can go directly to the published form. This entry must be completed in order for your subsequent entries to be counted.

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    You can enter up to five times (one for each type), and you must complete the form once per entry. (To see the form again once you’ve completed it, just refresh the page.) Only one entry of each type per email address will be counted. I’ll select the winner using Random.org and announce them here on CFO as well as contact them by email. Winner must respond within 24 hours, otherwise their prize will be forfeited and a new winner will be selected. Additionally, these guidelines apply to all giveaways here at CFO.

    The giveaway ends at 9 p.m. PST on Friday, December 2, 2011, and is open to U.S. residents. Good luck!

    Disclosure: I received a copy of Shiny Objects to facilitate this review, and the prize is being provided by a PR firm. All opinions are my own. Read the full CFO disclosure policy here.


    1. I think you’re the exception, particularly with your relationship to money. When I tell people that we don’t have any debt except for our mortgage, they’re surprised!

      Thanks for being on the tour!

    2. Thanks for featuring SHINY OBJECTS for the tour. I’m sorry the beginning dragged for you but I think you’re right that a lot of people will find this to be a valuable resource.