Fire & Finance Blog

Fire & Finance Blog

Black Friday Recommendations For The Whole Family

The late fall is a glorious time to read. Publishers release a ton of books, often from big-name authors, in the hopes of grabbing holiday shoppers’ attention.  Rather than run a traditional book review this month, we’ve got a few books to get your personal and financial life in order so it’s suitable for everyone on your list.

For Mom:  31 Days of Spending Zero: Freeze Your Spending. Change Your Life.  by Ruth Soukup.

At this time last year, Ruth Soukup’s Living Well, Spending Less was the book on everyone’s list of the best personal finance books of the year.  This fall, Soukup’s follow up effort, 31 Days of Spending Zero: Freeze Your Spending. Change Your Life. is the book we’ve all been waiting to get.  Illustrating her ideas in easy-to-follow steps and bite-size approaches, simplicity is finally made, well … simple.  Bonus points if mom missed last year’s book, which is now available in paperback and makes a nice bundle with this year’s version.  For further reading, check the author’s website for a variety of journals, workbooks and notebooks.

For Dad:  Extreme Ownership:  How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win, by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

It’s sometimes hard to find a book for Dad, especially if he’s already read whichever biography of whichever president is popular right now (If you’re curious, Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Reagan, Jon Meachem’s Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush, or Brian Kilmeade’s Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates will fill that void).  It can be especially hard to get Dad to read a book that smells like self-help or financial advice.  Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win, by Jock Willink and Leif Babin, can help to solve that problem.  By combining lessons on leadership and self-improvement with a gripping first-hand account of Navy SEALs securing Ramadi, the most dangerous battlefield in Iraq, dad can learn without even realizing it.  He’ll be too captivated by the combat sequences.

For the Twenty-Something:  Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg

Aziz Ansari, the comedian who played Tom Haverford on NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” and stars in the new Netflix comedy “Master of None,” has long married thoughtful ruminations on single life in the twenty-first century with wry observations and a cracked world-view.  In Modern Romance, he’s teamed up with sociologist, Eric Klinenberg, to put his observations to the test.  They interview some of the world’s leading experts on human behavior and interaction to understand why people act the way they do, filtering it through some very funny writing from Ansari.  Just wait until you get to the part where human decency is explained through the music of Flo Rida.

For the teen who can’t stay focused:  Hands Free Life:  Nine Habits for Overcoming Distraction, Living Better, and Loving More by  Rachel Macy Stafford

In a world of text messaging, social media, and video games, the young people of today often find it very hard to stay focused.  Hands Free Life: Nine Habits for Overcoming Distraction, Living Better, and Loving More by Rachel Macy Stafford offers young people a look into what it takes to put distraction aside and try to be their best selves.  The book doesn’t condescend or make excuses, and it offers the kind of coping mechanisms most adults that deal with distraction have had to create for themselves.  A must read for anyone trying to balance too much, but especially young people who are being asked to find a job, get an education, meet the man or woman of their dreams and do their own laundry all at the same time.

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