A few books to dive into this summer

Raghu Manavalan Jul 18, 2013

A few books to dive into this summer

Raghu Manavalan Jul 18, 2013

If you’re looking for a good book this summer, we asked a few financial experts around the country what books they’d recommend:  

Kristin Wong, writer for Get Rich Slowly, recommends:

  • Secrets of Six-Figure Women” by Barbara Stanny: “I feel like it should come with a disclaimer though, because one of her first chapters, ‘Nine Traits of Under-Earners,’ can make you a little uncomfortable. Basically, in this chapter she outlines what traits hold us back from becoming high-earners, and unfortunately, I found myself able to relate many of these traits,” Wong says. “But progress isn’t possible without change, and this book really took me out of my comfort zone. [The book] is geared towards women, but I think men would find her research every bit as helpful.”

Chris Farrell, economics editor for Marketplace and author of “The New Frugality,” suggests:

  • Katherine Boo’s “Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity” “‘Beautiful Forevers’ reads like a novel, a compelling page-turner. It’s the true, moving story about slum-dwellers in Mumbai, India. The main characters are waste-pickers, they scavenge for scrap metal, plastic and other materials to sell to local recycling plants. Hard, dangerous work. These slum dwellers nevertheless struggle to create better lives for themselves and their children. ‘Beautiful Forevers’ is a deep study into the dynamics of economics and globalization, personal finance and entrepreneurship. We live far from the slum dwellers of Mumbai — physically and financially — yet there’s much to learn from them.”

Farrell also gave us a few more picks to satiate your reading craving:


  • Master of the Mountain,” by Henry Wiencek: “…a scathing bio of Thomas Jefferson, much about the economics of slavery.”
  • Kirsten Grind’s “Lost Bank”: “…the story of the rise and fall of Washington Mutual, the biggest bank failure in U.S. history.”
  • Life,” the autobiography of Keith Richards: “He has a great story about entrepreneurship that I think is very important. So much of our discussion about entrepreneuship is about marginal tax rates and the like, it misses that most entrepreneurs are passionate about what they do.”

Richard Eisenberg, editor of the Money and Work channels at NextAvenue.org, PBS’s website for people 50 and older, reads a lot of books on retirement and planning, but he looks to the ‘happy’ side of money for his picks:

  • “How to Retire Happy” by Stan Hinden: Eisenberg reads a lot of books on retirement and planning, which can sometimes be a scary subject, but his pick is a ‘happy’ one. Some of Richard’s favorite parts of the book are when Hinden reflects on the mistakes he made in financial planning, since he’s now retired and speaking from experience. “Stan and his wife expected to follow the rule that financial advisors use and live on 80% of their pre-retirement income when they retired. Turns out, they spent more than 80%, because they loved to travel, eat out more, and go to the theater,” but Hinden outlines how they were able to get back on track.

Eisenberg also gave us a few more ‘happy’ books on finance:

  • Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending, by professors Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton, “offers the four keys to spending your money in ways that are likelier to make you happy,” Eisenberg says. “It’s actually a lot of fun to read.”
  • Save Wisely, Spend Happily, by CPA Sharon L. Lechter and 125 other CPAs, “is a terrific, comprehensive personal finance guide covering everything from risk to Roth IRAs,” Eisenberg says. “If you need one soup-to-nuts personal finance book, I think this is an excellent one.”

Want more? Here are some picks from the past and our Facebook followers:

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