A real eye-opener, especially for first-time mortgage loan applicants.



A mortgage broker exposes and explains the inner workings of mortgage loans.

One of the more frustrating and sometimes perplexing financial experiences is applying for a mortgage loan. It is often a painful rite of passage for many homeowners and a typically unpleasant chore for those who wish to refinance their mortgages. While Rudie’s debut can’t promise to make getting a mortgage loan any easier, it does the next best thing: It thoroughly explains the process so an applicant can be forearmed with authoritative information as well as expert guidance. As an experienced mortgage loan professional (she worked for large firms before starting her own business), Rudie is exceptionally qualified to discuss the process. In addition, Rudie is a licensed real estate broker, so she can give the perspectives of both provider and applicant. At first, this book may appear intimidating, with its 37 chapters and more than 300 pages, but Rudie manages to dress up a topic she readily admits can be boring by adding plenty of humor and interesting anecdotes. The opening chapter, which offers a solid overview of the entire mortgage loan process, is written as if the reader were one of Rudie’s clients. This serves to establish a personal, me-to-you relationship with the reader. Still, it is a comprehensive walk-through of the various loan application requirements with helpful caveats, such as: “Please include all pages, even if the last one is blank…the lender’s auditor will hold up funding on this.” Subsequent chapters go into considerable but useful detail.

Rudie covers the individuals and institutions typically involved in preparing, approving, and executing mortgage loans—useful in making sense of the bewildering number of players in mortgage transactions. Types of loans, lines of credit, and credit scores are discussed, as are such real estate activities as appraisals, home inspections, and title insurance. Readers who consider mortgaging a mobile/manufactured home will find authoritative advice, such as how to evaluate the best home/land loan and private financing options. A chapter on deals that “blow up” details six client stories illustrating some intriguing reasons why mortgage loans fall through. Rudie also includes mention of the potential effect of the coronavirus pandemic on the mortgage market. This handbook is likely to be as comprehensive a resource on mortgage loans as any. It covers the basics with flair and provides sensible advice along the way. Rudie’s conversational writing style and jocularity are engaging enough to ward off dullness and boredom; for example, “Yep, you guessed it! That last magic person in the loan process is actually the county clerk.” Perhaps one of the strongest aspects of the work is the author’s ability to weave in relevant client stories, some of which are very amusing while others are sad and even tragic. Rudie’s candor in selecting stories that reflect on her own errors is particularly refreshing. Most of the stories demonstrate that the process must be followed, no matter how absurd it may seem, and no mortgage loan is guaranteed until the final approval is granted.

A real eye-opener, especially for first-time mortgage loan applicants. (appendix)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-09831-239-8

Page Count: 342

Publisher: Self

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2020

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...


A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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Gucci demonstrates all the bravado and ferocious self-confidence that he counsels—and the photos are a nice bonus.


A hip-hop star who went on his first international tour wearing an ankle monitor explains how to succeed.

“The words you are about to read can help you,” writes Gucci. “That’s because there is truth in them. These are words of wisdom, like the Bible and its proverbs.” Unquestionably, Gucci likes to aim high, as many of his proverbs attest: “Stop Underestimating Yourself”; “Whatever You’re Thinking, Think Bigger”; “Nobody Cares. Work Harder”; “When They Sleep, I’m Grinding”; “Do More, Get More.” And never forget, “Women Are Brilliant.” Gucci not only shares his recipes for success. As in a cookbook that shows pictures of the end result, the author includes dozens of dazzling photos of himself and his beautiful wife, among them a series on his surprise wedding proposal at an Atlanta Hawks game. After the success of his bestselling debut, The Autobiography of Gucci Mane, Gucci has realized there is money to be made in the book business. In addition to the Bible, he has his eye on Malcolm Gladwell and his reported $5 million advances. While he is “cool with Malcolm Gladwell being more celebrated than me as an author…the difference between Malcolm Gladwell and me is that I’m going to make more money because I’m going to make so many books for my following….You can enjoy this book or not, but I’m going to make my fifty-second book, my hundred and eighth book.” Many readers will hope that one of them will be a diet book, as the 100-plus pounds Gucci has lost and kept off are a frequent topic—alas, he doesn’t reveal his weight loss secrets here. Until the next book, try to live the Gucci Mane way. “Avoid lazy and miserable people,” and “Find something to be excited about every day.”

Gucci demonstrates all the bravado and ferocious self-confidence that he counsels—and the photos are a nice bonus.

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-982146-78-8

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2020

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