Sunday, September 01, 2013

Books I Read in August (#15-19)

I must be getting past my reading rut because I read FIVE books in August.

First up was a short book composed of 3 essays called Nikola Tesla: Imagination and the Man That Invented the 20th Century by Sean Patrick. The first essay reiterated some content from Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers. The second essay gave a very brief overview of Tesla's contributions to inventing; and the third essay gave a preview to Patrick's next book, Awakening Your Inner Genius.

I really enjoyed the chapter about Tesla, but I thought it was too concise. Tesla was a really amazing man and inventor and I would like to read more about his works. I love to read about history and how inventors paved the way for our lives today. The first chapter was just rehashing things I had read in other books and the third chapter was too much a promotion for the next book. I gave the book 3 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.


Next up was Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail by Cheryl Strayed. This is the second memoir I have read about hiking the PCT. These type of books make me want to pack up my life and go on a through hike somewhere. A girl can dream, right?

Wild is a memoir recounting Strayed's experience of tragic loss, a divorce and finally finding herself on the PCT. Overall I really liked the book. While I can't identify with the loss she experienced or many of her personal choices, I could identify with the desire to get on a trail and find yourself. I think there is something profound about leaving everything you have and doing something really hard. Especially if you can do it in a setting as beautiful as a mountainous wilderness.

The book also reminded me of the trip that Daniel and I took to Oregon many years ago. We drove all over the state and saw many of the sites that Cheryl saw on foot. We visited Crater Lake (which is one of the most awe-inspiring places I have been to), we also climbed South Sister and camped at the base of Mount Hood. This memoir reminded me of what I have seen and all of the places I still want to visit.

Cheryl is one tough lady. While she didn't hike the full length of the trail, she did a lot of it and she did it alone. I love backpacking, but I don't think I could do something like that by myself. I understand why she felt the need to do it though. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.


I read Healthy Finances by


The fourth book this month was The Price of Politics by Bob Woodward. I started this several week ago, but finally had the opportunity to wrap it up while on vacation. I realize that this is not typical a typical "beach read" –  it covers the White House negotiations of the 2011 debt ceiling and subsequent sequestration. It was boring at times, but overall I found it to be fascinating. Like most books that I read about politics, this confirmed the frustrations I have already felt toward our government. It also gave me a clearer picture of who is in control and a peek at how negotiations happen at the White House. If you are interested in politics and history, I would definitely recommend this book. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.


Finally, while driving to and from the beach, Daniel and I listened to Who Took My Money? This was a much more informative book than Healthy Finances and followed in the same vein as Rich Dad, Poor Dad – which I read years ago. 

The main takeaways I got from this book are: 
You should be investing your money in as many ways as possible, specifically in 1) a business; 2) real estate and 3) paper assets (i.e. stocks, mutual fonds, bonds, etc.).

You should use other people's money to invest. For example, real estate requires you to put a percentage down (20% down) and the bank fronts the rest (80%). As soon as you can get your money back, you should repay yourself and let the bank's money earn you more money.

The best way to learn is to lose some. You have to get your feet wet in order to get good at the game.

You need to do a lot of research before investing. You need to find the right investments to fit you. You need to make your money work for you. This will look different for everyone.
Kiyosaki does not offer any kind of specific plan that will guarantee success, which is a bit frustrating when you are wanting to start, but it is also understandable. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to finances. You have to find what works for you and then jump in. I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.


  1. The Kitchen Counter Cooking School, by Kathleen Flinn... So good! Even though I consider myself a fairly "from scratch" cook, she made a few things more understandable and helped me feel that it is worth it to cook as much from scratch as possible. It's a light, fun read, but I'd recommend it to anyone.

  2. That sounds like a good one - l'll have to check it out. Thanks Wanda!


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