Saturday, July 18, 2009

Bringing Home the Birkin by Michael Tonello

I heard about this book on Bookish NYC during one of her weekly features, Seen on the Subway, where she discusses different books she sees people reading on the subway and adds her comments. She mentioned she read Bringing Home the Birkin and really enjoyed it, and it sounded like something that would break up my usual suspense reads, so I placed it on hold from my library. It was a great read and I give it an A-.

Back cover:
For more than twenty years, the Hermes Birkin bag has been the iconic symbol of fashion, luxury, and wealth. Though the bag is often seen dangling from the arms of celebrities, there is a fabled waiting list of more than two years to buy one from Hermes, and the average fashionista has a better chance of climbing Mount Everest in Prada pumps than of possessing one of these coveted carryalls. Unless, of course, she happens to know Michael Tonello...
Michael's newfound career started with an impulsive move to Barcelona, a vanished job assignment, no work visa, and an Hermes scarf sold on eBay to generate some quick cash. But soon the resourceful Michael discovered the truth about the waiting list and figured out the secret to getting Hermes to part with one of these precious bags. Millions of dollars work of Birkins later, Michael had become one of eBay's most successful entrepreneurs- and a Robin Hood to thousands of desperate rich women.

Bringing Home the Birkin was filled with chuckles and smiles, including one brilliant reference to the Brady Bunch. Michael does a fantastic job explaining how his extremely successful business begins and then, years later, ends. We get to learn the secret on how to buy a Birkin and the real reason why there is a so-called 2 year waiting list. As Michael travels Europe, and later the world, looking for the latest Birkin and other Hermes products, he describes these locations in great details where I can picture myself right there beside him. By reading this fantastic book, I got to travel to Tokyo, France, Capri, and Greece and was even able to "sample" some of the local cuisine. The author also does a fantastic job of accounting for how outrageous these prices are, and how he can't understand how people spend this crazy amount of money ($37,000 for a purse anyone?!?). Bringing Home the Birkin was such a fun read and a great way to spend a dreary, cold Saturday afternoon.

I am not sure what I am going to read next, which seems to be a common theme with me. I do have the latest Lisa Gardiner book to read from the library so it may be that one. I think I am going to run up to the grocery store real quickly but then probably jump into another book. Happy Reading everyone!


Literary Feline said...

A new blog to check out! Thanks for the link, Kristie. I like the idea of the feature you mention. It sounds fun.

I am glad you enjoyed Bringing Home the Birkin. It does sound like a funny book. I remember once buying a purse that I considered high end for $60. I felt so guilty spending that kind of money on a purse.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Kristie. Hubby and I are hoping to see Harry Potter tomorrow. Hopefully it won't be too crowded.

MJT said...

Yay, A- ! That's better than any grade I ever got when I was in school. Thanks for reading my book and taking the time and effort to post about it. So pleased that you enjoyed it. Be well,
michael tonello~

Kristie said...

Wendy- I know what you mean about purses. My mom has gotten me a few Coach purses, but always from the outlet malls and always during a great sale. And I like the purse because I think it is cute, not because it is Coach.

Michael- thanks so much for commenting on my little blog! You are hilarious and I had such a wonderful time reading your book! Anymore in the future?

Staci said...

I think she sounds pretty cool. I tend to be rather nosy and am always checking out what other people are reading in the doctor's office, at the bookstore, library...etc!!

Booklogged said...

Whew! That's amazing that people spend that much money on a purse, isn't it?!

Kristie said...

Staci- I agree with you. I love seeing what others are reading, though of course I have to bite my tongue from commenting. However, all bets are off whenever I am at book store or book sale at the library for recommendations, etc.

Booklogged- Tell me about it! The books I could buy with just the cost of one Birkin bag!

MJT said...

I'm working on a 2nd book now.
Also working on a series of kids books based on my two cats, Gala and Dali. Film rights for Bringing Home the Birkin have been optioned and the producer is having a screenplay written now.