A starry-eyed but not entirely convincing guide to real-estate deal-making.

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5 Easy Steps to Financial Freedom

DO WHAT YOU LOVE & GET RICH DOING IT

Surefire riches await those who dare to seize them, argues this brash debut primer on real-estate investing.

  Harden, who owns rental properties and is involved with the music, publishing and restaurant industries, subscribes to the theory of cash-flow propounded by investment guru Robert Kiyosaki in his Rich Dad, Poor Dad motivational book series—the idea that wealth comes from owning assets that generate “passive income” without much labor or risk. Harden says he spends just one hour a day managing his holdings and insists that readers can “take any idea and turn it into a cash cow for yourself.” In this book, he focuses on his own version of Kiyosaki’s real-estate doctrine. His lucid, engaging outline covers the basics of finding and buying properties that will generate a positive net rent after expenses, tax breaks and appreciation; assembling a team to manage the properties; leveraging equity in one property into a down payment for the next; and vacationing in Tahiti while the income rolls in. The author provides useful insights about vetting and overseeing rental properties, along with examples that lay out the financials. He also throws in miscellaneous money advice—for example, to pay off high-rate credit cards first—as well as nebulous management theory. (The ideal executive team, he writes, should include an “integrator” who “develops an organic consciousness by affirming core values and establishing a shared sense of purpose.”) Unfortunately, Harden’s treatment is simply too cursory to convey the nuts and bolts of the complex, risky real-estate plays he envisions. Glib allusions to “creative” financing with “other people’s money” and tax-dispelling “phantom depreciation expenses” may make some readers nervous. Neophytes may consider the author’s 12-week schedule for business incorporation and closing on properties to be impossibly ambitious, and his injunctions to avoid “analysis paralysis” and “never let [lack of] money stop you from acquiring an asset” more reckless than reassuring. Indeed, Harden devotes much of the book to strident motivational speeches that demand that readers get over their anxieties, embrace exotic business opportunities, tune out naysayers and practice “mind-training exercises.” He even asks readers to recite a mantra, “I am empowered with financial freedom in all areas of my life,” 10 times before reading the book. Although Harden’s entrepreneurial ebullience feels inspiring, readers may wonder what devils lurk in the details.

A starry-eyed but not entirely convincing guide to real-estate deal-making.

Pub Date: April 11, 2012

ISBN: 978-0984822706

Page Count: 216

Publisher: CEOeBooks

Review Posted Online: Feb. 8, 2013

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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