The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey offers readers a straightforward step-by-step guide for developing a responsible relationship with money and finances. The book is useful for both people who are already on the right track and people who might be rebuilding after a financial / credit stumble. The book offers prudent advice about achieving financial independence by living debt free and within your means. Ramsey backs up claims with facts and statistics but makes the subject relatable by telling his own story of financial redemption while also sharing the stories of people that have found success with his methods.
In Your Money and Your Man, financial writer and television show host Michelle Singletary offers women financial advice for dating / courtship, marriage, and raising kids. Singletary’s relaxed and folksy writing style makes the book engaging. The book mostly covers the basics of financial responsibility but I was still able to learn a few new things. The advice offered won’t apply to everyone but it’s helpful to know what the different options are and how to select the right one(s) for you.
Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets chronicles the year David Simon spent shadowing a shift of the Baltimore Police Department’s homicide unit. Covering 1988, the book was written after Simon had spent four years as a journalist covering the local crime beat for The Baltimore Sun.
I’d set aside time and made plans to write this review on several occasions but could never quite get my thoughts and words together. To be honest, I had a feeling of ambivalence towards saying that Homicide is a good book. Homicide is pretty much about the investigation of deaths, murders, assaults, and other serious acts of violence over the course of a year. The factual accounting of crimes combined with dark humor and good storytelling made it very easy to lose myself in the story. And then I’d remember that these weren’t just creative stories that a gifted writer had simply made up. These stories that I found entertaining were actually real accounts of the violent end of a human being’s life.
One of the most frustratingly saddening and equally inspiring books I’ve ever read is “The Corner” by David Simon and Edward Burns. The non-fiction book follows the lives of residents near the corner of West Fayette and Monroe Streets in West Baltimore over the course of a year in the early 90’s. The authors lay bare how a history of poverty, crime, and drug addiction has torn apart the neighborhood, families, and individuals.
“The Corner” was adapted into a television miniseries for HBO. I watched the series before reading the book and it was actually very good. I’d recommend checking out the series but would also recommend reading the book for more depth and detailed explanations about the neighborhood and Baltimore’s history.
“Misery” by Stephen King is a fictional thriller about a famous author who is severely injured in a car accident that results in him writing for his life. I highly recommend “Misery” if you’re a fan of thrillers that keep you on the edge of your seat. If you’re feeling extra brave, read the book when you’re home alone, especially at night.