How I hate to miss a goal.
I set a goal to read 80 books this year. Actually, in my first flush of enthusiasm, I set it at 100, but then when my mad maths skillz kicked in and I realised that was 2 books a week, I brought it down. Once I’m retired I could do that no worries, but nowadays with the job and the commute and life itself, I thought 80 might be more manageable.
But clearly not.
Ryan24 said to me, “Why don’t you just read some Dr Suess books? You’d reach 80 by lunchtime!”
I have 2 books on the go, but I think I’ll leave them to start off 2019’s reading target with a (slight) headstart.
I read mainly novels, with the bulk of the non-fiction books being about North Korea. I did my research both before and after I went there earlier this year. (Links to my posts about North Korea are at the end, for those who are interested in peeking inside the bubble.)
But seeing as this is the FI/RE blog and not the personal blog, which ‘Money’ books did I read this year and what did I think of them?
- The Quest of the Simple Life – Dawson
I heard about this one from The Simple Dollar. This book was written over a century ago and is the autobiography of a man who was living, working and raising a family in the middle of London and his realisation that he wants something more out of life – something simpler. It’s not a ‘personal finance’ book as such, but it’s interesting to peek back into the past. All those tiny house/homesteading/frugal living blogs being written at the moment aren’t coming up with new ideas! Here’s a link to Project Gutenberg for a free pdf. Never say that Frogdancer Jones hasn’t given you anything!
- First-Time Investor: Grow and Protect Your Money – Merriman
Honestly, I don’t even remember this one. I gave it a one-star rating on Goodreads so there’s clearly a reason why it’s slipped from my mind. No linky-love for this one.
- The Next Millionaire Next Door – Stanley and Fallaw
I’m sure I wasn’t the only person to preorder this one! I love the original ‘Millionaire Next Door’, so I was very keen to read the update. I liked that the FIRE movement was mentioned quite a bit and it was pleasing to see that the tried-and-true ideas fleshed out in the original still hold true today. Seiko watches rule!
- Make Money Simple Again – Kingsley and Holdaway
This was one of the books I bought to research which book I was going to give my sons and nieces for Christmas this year. These guys have a podcast on property investing, but this book is primarily about budgeting and keeping track of your money.
It wasn’t really what I was looking for. Their tracking system was great if that’s what you’re looking for, but it was so involved to set up that I knew that it would turn the kids off ever getting a plan for their money. This book is more for people who are already self-motivated to do something about their finances, not someone who’s just dipping their big toe into the water.
I’d recommend this book to someone who doesn’t mind the initial slog of setting up a system that will clearly be very beneficial as time goes on. Will I do it? Nah. Too many numerals for me…
- The Beginner’s Guide to Wealth – Whittacker and Whittacker
This is the book I ended up buying for the 19 – 26-year-old sons and nieces. I wrote a review here.
- The Groovy Guide to Financial Independence – Mr Groovy
Many people are familiar with the blog Freedom is Groovy, written by Mr and Mrs Groovy. I love this blog, as they’re people in the same age bracket as myself, who also started late and who have really made things move and shake as they’ve gone along the path to FI.
This is a good book to read, particularly if you live in the US. The writing style is clear and conversational, so the information gets absorbed easily.
- The Mandibles : A Family 2029 – 2047 – Shriver
I read this novel when I was in North Korea. This is a fascinating look at the breakdown of society when the US has borrowed so much money that it defaults on its loans. If you know even a smattering of how the financial system works, this is a gripping read. Even though I read it back in April, I still think about incidents and characters. It’s worth the time to read this.
I wrote a review here. It’s rare for a novel to have this much financial information in it.
- The Land Before Avocado – Glover
Oh, how I loved this book! After I read it I bought another one to give to my brother-in-law for Christmas. It’s all about growing up in Australia in the 1960s and ’70s. I’ll be writing a ‘Lessons from Literature’ post about it soon, because there are so many observations he makes about money, finances and how things were different back then.
It’s his memoir. It brought back so many wonderful memories, but also brought up things I had never heard before. I had no idea, for example, that Australian women had to get their husbands’ written permission to get a passport right up until 1982…
Again, it’s not a finance book as such, but there’s a lot about money woven in.
That’s it for 2018 ‘Finance’ books.
I’m looking forward to reading ‘Atomic Habits’ by Clear early next year. I got the school library to order it in, so with a bit of luck, it should be available when I get back. There are a few bloggers releasing books next year too, so I look forward to reading them. Of course, I’ll be reading with an eye towards which book should be the next one I purchase for the kids’ Christmas presents.
I’m setting my next Goodreads target at 80 books again. Why not? Though seriously, if I stopped reading blogs, Facebook and Twitter I’d probably be able to get 150 books under my belt!
Oh! Nearly forgot. Here are the links to the North Korea posts I did, with all the photos and info of what we did when we were away.
Dancing With Frogs. This is my personal blog, where I write about anything and everything, including travel. I wrote exclusively about my China and North Korea trip in the entries from April 2018 – September 2018. Just look at the drop-down menu at the side and you’ll be able to find them. Lots of photos and stories.
On this blog, I wrote 4 pieces, summarising the more ‘finance/advertising’ type of things that I saw.
Happy New Year everyone! Let’s all make 2019 a year to remember, for all the right reasons!