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Living Large: From SUVs to Double Ds---Why Going Bigger Isn't Going Better
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Living Large: From SUVs to Double Ds---Why Going Bigger Isn't Going Better

3.28 of 5 stars 3.28  ·  rating details  ·  109 ratings  ·  30 reviews

Supersizing has become an American way of life. We have XXL cars, homes, and waistlines. We built the world’s tallest monument. We get the largest breast implants. We’re home to the world’s largest retailer, sports stadiums, and office building. But with a deep recession and our nation’s leaders urging us to reassess the impact of our daily lives, it has become impossibl

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ebook, 240 pages
Published October 26th 2010 by St. Martin's Press (first published October 15th 2010)
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Kathleen
i thought that i would really like this book, since i believe in living simply and find the american obsession with bigness, newness, and plenty pretty disturbing. however, i did not like this book. mostly because i did not like the lady writing it. throughout the book she talks about how she was raised by hippies who purchased things responsibly--but then she and the rest of her family started conspicuously consuming. they eat meat now, drive SUVs now, glorify convenience now, throw massive amo ...more
Amy
I enjoyed this one & learned a lot.
I found it interesting that she used people she knows as examples. I wonder if her friendships with her friend that owns the McMansion & the friend that owns an obnoxiously large diamond engagement ring lasted after the book was released & they read her opinions of their choices of going bigger.

Her friend with the huge diamond ring talks about how uncomfortable it is when someone stares at her ring or makes comments about how big it is. She finds i
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Corinna
A first-hand examination of some of the largeness of our culture, this book definitely hits close to home - mainly because Minnesota gets a double whammy in this book - both the biggest ball of twine and 24 hours in the Mall of America are scrutinized.

The thing I liked about this book was that the author not only shares the history of such large manifestations of our culture as McMansions, Megachurches, breast implants, Hummers, the Mega Mall, Big box stores and giant roadside attractions, she a
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Deah
I really hesitated between a 3 and a 4 star rating for this book. I liked the book a lot, and I thought it had an interesting premise, and it was something that I felt we can learn a lot from. I did not, however, think the author has the best writing style, so I ultimately went with 3 star. As long as you have a brain, can make your own connections, and question a few of her premises, this is a good read.
Lisa Kranz
So much to think about...McMansions are bad....Hummers are bad...Walmart is bad...debt is bad..... and it all seems so....interrelated and it seems to collectively add to the problems in our country...plus she throws in breast implants...megachurches, landfills/freegans/malls...Vegas...and it all seems to go together...greed, dissatisfaction, discontent, the American way? Good read, lots to think about.
Heaether
a fun read. this book is pure observation and facts, do not expect to find new life plan in it's contents.
Miss Leacock
Really enjoying this book so far. The author enhances her credibility by creating experiences relevant to her various topics (McMansions, megachurches, breast implants, etc.). Love the chapter on implants--at first, she thinks they're ridiculous, but after she's "tried them on," she's ready for surgery. I appreciate her honesty and humility, as she allows us to see that once she sees what they look like, she's practically sold.

I didn't finish this book -- I read part of it in NYC when I was sta
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Grace
Wexler's "Living Large: From SUVs to Double Ds, Why Going Bigger Isn't Going Better" is a thoroughly engaging read that will entertain and educate you all at the same time. It will make you rethink your notions on the size of your car, house, church, debt, mall, garbage, engagement ring, and big box store.

Wexler takes a hands on approach to research and test drives a Hummer, tours her friend's McMansion in the suburbs, attends a megachurch, spends 24 hours at the Mall of America, visits a landf
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Linda
An easy read.

A modern social history/opinion piece about largeness in the US (from McMansions, Breast Implants, Hummers and Shopping Malls).

Not as cerebral or encompassing as In Cheap We Trust (by another author, which outlined the history of frugality in the US), but never-the-less, an interesting, but light read.

Naomi
I was really enjoying this book and thought the author was really touching on very important issues that we as a nation need to address, in a non-partisan manner. She has,since, though, started pop in partisan based tangents, which really do nothing for the book and omit other facts, which don't fit into her view points. There are writer's that must do this because they really lack a writing skill, this is not the case with this author. For all it is worth, I am disappointed that she felt she ne ...more
Elizabeth
This was a really quick read, I read it in a few hours. It was a little too self-conscious for me. The author goes on and on about how she was raised to live small and green, but that she left her parents house and went bigger, particularly with an SUV, and she feels guilty about it. She brings this up several times throughout the book, and it was a little much for me. I wanted to hear less about her thoughts and opinions and more about the situations or things she was writing about. When she di ...more
Kate
I enjoyed this funny and at times scary book about America's quest to go big. This books covers big houses, breast implants,big cars, big churches, big malls, etc. I erally like the personal experiences the author shares such as the breast implant consulations and the hummer test drive. The hardest section for me to read was about the how immense our landfills are in the US and all the trash we create. Yet, i appreciate how the author was honest about how she couldn't quite embrace the freegan l ...more
Margaret Sankey
Reject from the Food class list--the message is so simple as to be obnoxious--excessive consumerism is gross. I get it. A few entertaining anecdotes: how the Mall of America regulates what music is played by each store, the AV needs of megachurches, trying on gigantic prosthetic breast implants, the sales pitches of Humvee dealerships and the unanticipated problem of hopelessly lost tourists at a huge Vegas hotel.
Mary M
I found this interesting, but I knew going into it that it aligned with some of my own values. I found Wexler's work to be filled with interesting anecdotes and facts. There were the odd times when I found it to be a bit too much about her and her reactions but it was overall well written and well balanced.
Desiree
I enjoyed this book about living large that covers all sorts of topics, from breast enlargements, mega-churches, large diamond engagement rings, SUV's, landfills and the Mall of America. Would recommend to anyone interested in our way of life and what has become of it in the recent past!
Beth
Quick read about different "large" aspects of American culture including McMansions, cars, breast implants, malls and megachurches. Some chapters dealt with the topics too superficially, others were really entertaining and interesting. Really deserves 3.5 stars.
Lori
Only got halfway through it before it was due back to the library ... the title sums it up though and it's a depressing confirmation of what we see all around us -- supersize everything we own, drive, live in, eat, etc. Ugh.
Sara
Probably would have been better with actual solutions that we could put into place. Wasn't preachy but the cold facts seem to point toward a need for the damn solution. Why can't America see we need to "right-size"?
Christina
Interesting look at some of the excesses of our society, from McMansions to SUVs to plastic surgery. It makes you cringe to think of how frivolous and wasteful we are as a culture.
Cari
Sep 02, 2011 Cari rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
This book got better as it went on. The last chapters were quite good and thought-provoking, address a wide array of issues such as trash production and recycling, freegans, and more.
Jeanette
Some chapters were better than others. I enjoyed the one on trash/landfills, breast implants, engagement rings and Mcmansions but the Hummer chapter was just obnoxious.
Kelly
Interesting to read...some chapters were more relevant and engrossing to me than others, but I guess that's to be expected.
Alison
Fascinating read, but filled with some pretty frightening facts and statistics
Nicole Diekow
A funny, quick read that will also make you furious at American excess.
Robin Rockman
must reading for everyone. funny, interesting, yet also scary.
Cindy Handelsman
Interesting but didn't provide a lot of useful information.
Deborah Joyner
w/ ASJ

A bit strident, but funny in its own way.
Ruth
A book on waste and excess.
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