Thursday, January 20, 2011

Book Review: Manual Creation

I haven't had a lot to say the last little while, as you may have noticed. But I did recently buy a book, and it occurred to me that I could blog about that.

I might review a few books in future; I buy a lot of books. I enjoy owning books (and the sorts of books I want to read I can't find in the library anyway), I enjoy being able to lend books to friends, and I enjoy reading books. I dream of having a little library of alt sex books to be able to lend to friends as I feel so inclined. Non-fiction is where my interests lie at present, and probably will for a while to come. Fiction doesn't really hold my interest these days.

Anyway, onto the book.

Manual Creation: Defining the Structure of an M/s Household is a book by Machele Kindle, aka Master Fire. It looks at M/s household manuals, yes, but also contracts and to a lesser degree, protocols and rituals. Its form is very similar to that of a educational textbook, with each chapter beginning with theory, followed by an exercise, and completed with an example.

The first thing I noticed about the book is that it is very casual in tone, which is fantastic because the subject matter could easily be boring and difficult to read. Machele's authorial tone is light hearted and friendly, which makes the book easy reading. It very much feels like having a conversation.

There is a heavy emphasis on introspection, which I thought was wonderful. Rather than trying to tell you how to do things, the author gently coaxes you into finding out how you want to do things yourself. This is excellent teaching and guidance.

Some parts of the book I found repetitive, but your mileage may vary on that one. It may be that what I find repetitive, you find simply a reinforcement.

My one big problem with the book is that while Machele never hides the fact her spirituality is an important part of this lifestyle for her, she was clearly trying to write this book for the everyperson... and fails, a little, there, as I felt that the constant discussion of spiritual matters made me feel a bit like I was being preached at. But, I am also a spiritual person, albeit differently from the author, and honestly I can only imagine how infuriating an atheist might find some parts of this book. The spiritual aspects - particularly the author's spiritual aspects - need to be cut down a little in this book for it to be easier for people to consume, I feel.

Normally I buy my books from The Book Depository, as their prices are good and they have free delivery worldwide (which is a big deal, when you live in Australia). However, I couldn't find the book there, so I had to order it from, which once you include shipping, doubled the price for me.

I do feel that it's a good book, and one I'm happy to have on my bookshelf... but I don't know that I'd necessarily recommend it to others to buy. To borrow? Absolutely. It is definitely worth a read if you are in or are considering M/s relationships. Perhaps if you live in the USA and getting it isn't much of a hassle, then it's probably worth the investment. But for those of us for whom shipping costs are a problem, I wouldn't encourage people to rush to get it. Focus on other books in a similar vein first.

No comments:

Post a Comment