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Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Tightwad Gazette

The Tightwad Gazette is an old and out of print book.  The Gazette was originally a newsletter and the book is compiled of articles from the newsletter.
It was originally published in 1991 in the midst of the early 90s housing correction and recession and the Author was a fairly popular guest on game shows, news shows and the like.

Now that economy is back in style I thought I'd give it a read.  The main thing that's up to date is the philosophy, economy is a way of life, not because you are forced into it but because you want to live more financialy free.  Also economy is good for the environment.  Learning to use things creatively and wisely saves energy and materials.

Much of the information is out of date, several of the articles are how to write to companies to get information on products or services that can help you spend less.  Now that the Internet is everywhere it would be easy to find things like bulk pasta and lists of child safety recalls.

I got the book used on Amazon for less than three dollars so the author should be proud of the method.  I also saw that it had a thrift store sticker on it for $2.25 so maybe someone bought it and sold it to me at a quarter or so profit?  I would recommend the book, it's good to touch base with a philosophy that owning a bunch of crap that you work 60 hours a week for isn't the only way to live and it gives me some ideas of things I can do to live better for less money.  If you see it in your local used bookstore or in a thrift shop pick it up!  Now that I've read it I may be donating it so keep your eyes open for it.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Innovation and Entrepreneurship By Peter Drucker

Amazon suggested this book to me because I had purchased a couple of books on management.  This is the first Peter Drucker book I've read and according to his bio on the back cover he is quite a management guru.

Two things tipped me off about this baby though, the first was that all the quotes of praise on the covers are about Peter as an author, not one of them mentioned this book.  That's usually a tip off that the book you are about to read is a sub par knock off from an otherwise decent author.  The Second tip off was that in the introduction he states "this is not a how to book".  Why am I reading this again?  That's right because I want to learn how to be more entrepreneurial.  The fact that this isn't a how to means that I've got the wrong book.

I did pay my money and I'm was too lazy to return it to Amazon so I did the only practical thing and read it.  The first parts where the history of entrepreneurship in the world and in American culture.  It was a fascinating read to an extent but still it was like reading a business class textbook.  That is if your business class textbooks ranted on about tax policy, preached woe to those who disagree with your ideas for business and also didn't go in depth enough with the case studies to allow you to try to duplicate them in a real business.

The most value I got from this book was the last chapter titled Conclusion.   This was an essay that had some suggestions for government that I agree with (get rid of irrelevant agencies), a suggestion for tax policy that I disagree with (stop taxing people), and career advice for professionals to stay educated and stay flexible that by now should be self evident.

So Amazon, thanks for the suggestion but I'm picking my own books from now on.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Catcher in the Rye

I don't know how I missed this for so many years.  My parents even had a copy floating around when I was little but I ignored it like all the other books they had sitting around from when they went to college.

I really did enjoy this one.  The tone was fantastic and the first person viewpoint is hard to pull off for most writers.  The dismissive attitude of the protagonist could have easily been overdone but it was just the perfect amount.  In chapter 14 when I just started to notice it Holden has his meltdown and everything starts to come together.

So yes I am glad I read this book and look forward to more, it was nice to sit in Starbucks on Sunday afternoon and have a nice Venti Drip and listen to my iPod.  The tables turned over 3 times during the hour I was there so I'm hopeful that the economic end of society isn't here yet.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

52 Books in 52 Weeks

This will be where I post about my 52 books in 52 weeks.  There are a few others from www.quartertothree.com who will be participating, the official thread is in the books, comics, TV and Music Forum.

My first book is Catcher in the Rye and I'm halfway finished with it so I'm actually on pace with a resolution!

If you want to join in  just message me on Facebook, Q23 or comment here and I'll add your blog to my Bloglines page.