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Book Shelf

My Latest Reads

For folks that are curious what I normally read (and no it is not personal finance books, and I rarely read, I am a fan of audiobooks) here is a short list of what I have read lately.

  • World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks
    The audiobook dramatization is wonderful to listen to on those long commutes. Chilling story of a global pandemic and how it leaves the earth. (Amazon Link) (Ottawa Library Link)
  • Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
    A very interesting recount of how women and women of colour were treated by the US Government and the US in general. It has a special place for me, as my mother graduated with a Statistics degree in 1952 but was never allowed to work as one. ( Amazon Link ) ( Ottawa Public Library Link ).
  • The Civil War (Volumes 1-3) by Shelby Foote
    On my bucket list of books to finish, and it was a marathon, but well worth reading. Much more in depth descriptions of the character, issues and battles of the US Civil War. ( Amazon Link ) ( Ottawa Public Library )
  • Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff
    An interesting book. Is it fiction, or non-fiction? I don’t really know, but it is a thought-provoking read. The problem I have is that listening to the book, there was nothing that I heard that made me think, “That would never happen”, and that is wild. The stories are wild, but not outside of the realm of possibility. ( Amazon Link ) ( Ottawa Public Library )
  • The Godfather by Mario Puzo
    Odd that I had not read this book until now, but well worth reading on many levels. The story itself is an excellent intertwining of family, crime and life in one. The basic concepts espoused is actually an excellent leadership manual: how to keep employees loyal, the importance of showing respect and earning respect. Not sure why I waited so long to read this gem. (Amazon Link) (Ottawa Public Library)
  • The Game by Ken Dryden
    This book is an excellent narration of the 1977 Stanley Cup run for the Canadiens as told by their goalie Ken Dryden. It has many insights that would normally not be brought forward, but for me, it was even more intimate, because it spoke of the events of my teenage years in Montreal. Another book, I wonder why I have not read it before now, but am glad I did.
    (Amazon Link) (Ottawa Public Library)
Rakuten Kobo Canada

Personal Finance Reads

Given the number of books I have been sent or read about finance and such I am creating a book shelf of the books I have reviewed or think are useful resources for Personal Finance.

Straight Talk on Your Money by Doug Hoyes

An excellent read, for folks who want to really see what can happen even if you have a plan. Straight Talk on Your Money explains how life can take weird curves and you sometimes cannot plan for everything. The fact that it is also available as an Audiobook from Amazon or at Audible is an added plus for non-readers such as myself.
(Amazon Link) (Ottawa Public Library)

Overall Review

The book is an excellent read and the audio book is really great to listen to while commuting or on long car trips too. Mr. Hoyes’ delivery on the audiobook is top rate (and his son engineered the book as well, and the sound balance was very good). This is not a classic How To financial book but it gives concrete examples about how life is variable and things can go wrong.

If You Can: How Millenials Can Get Rich Slowly by William F. Bernstein

This booklet was reviewed on July 17th, 2014 click on the date for the full review. It is a cheap excellent read and should be on your book shelf.

Read this booklet, it would be the best $0.99 (US) you have spent this year. I have bought copies and sent them to my kids to read, with a few comments added to it, and you should read it as well. This is a well written, concise and to the point explanation on how to retire with money, and how to save, just read it, it will take a 1/2 an hour tops (if you do the homework, it will take a lot longer, but that would even be better).

Amazon Link

Complete Idiot’s Guide to Getting Out of Debt by Ken Clark CFP

I reviewed this book on April 2nd 2009 and you can read that review by clicking on the date link.

All in all a very fun read for me, and an excellent refresher on the tools and tactics for debt reduction.  It is well written and the topics flow in a good order and I enjoyed Mr. Clark’s attempts at personalizing the issue of debt (with his own experiences and other folks). I would strongly suggest folks read this book if they are in debt, and feel like there is nothing they can do about it, this book will help get them moving forward.Thanks to Penguin publishing for sending me this informative and helpful book.

Amazon Link

Video Review: Maddoff and the Scamming of America

Originally posted on May 27th 2010, this video is an interesting overview of the victims of Mr. Maddoff and what came of it.

The video’s content is no more in depth than most of the Magazine articles I have seen on this topic, however, it does do a very good job of putting a face on the victims of this crime, and that is what makes this video intriguing to me.

Recommendation:Watch it if it comes on TV, I wouldn’t buy it.

Book Review: Tackling the Tax Man by Alex Doulis

Originally posted on June 3rd 2010, an interesting set of stories about the power of the Canadian Tax Man (the CRA).

All in all a scary, but fun read as well. The author’s writing style is quite good for me, very direct, and does not get lost in the nomenclature of the tax act, and tries to give readers a more tangible understanding of what can and cannot (or should not) happen if you are investigated or audited by the CRA. I enjoyed reading this book, but I didn’t buy it, I only borrowed it from the Library.

Amazon Link

Recommendation:A fun read, but maybe take it out of your library.

Book Review: Smoke and Mirrors (2008)

Originally posted on July 15, 2008, a very good book about retirement saving.

Excellent book, while I don’t necessarily agree with all of Mr. Trahair’s statements, I feel his arguments are very compelling to me, and he does not waiver on his message of “Pay off Your Debt FIRST!!!!”, and for that I am impressed.

Recommendation: This is highly recommended read by me.

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