PIRATES OF FINANCIAL FREEDOM

Shiver me timbers! The nominal exploits of an anachronistic group of 17th century buccaneers becomes the vehicle for better understanding personal financing 101.

Nobody excels in the “misappropriation” of funds like a bona fide band of treasure-hungry pirates. However, the rum-swilling, cutlass-wielding band of scalawags cruising through Fehrman’s novel have their very own financial planner aboard in the person of Capt. Dailey’s estranged son, Giuseppe, aka, Joey. The captain’s obsession with finding the legendary lost treasure of Duarte created a rift between absentee father and resentful son. But the wily ol’ sea dog insists that he has changed his ways, given up chasing the ever-elusive trove and decided to embrace his son’s prudent financial philosophies. It’s a timely epiphany; Capt. Dailey’s seagoing enterprises have hit a reef, and the entire crew’s finances have sunk deeper than Davy Jones’ locker. Like a lot of people today, this motley band of freewheeling pirates don’t have a clue about how to manage their doubloons. Thanks to the always earnest Joey, however, the crew not only learns that the exchange rate between dollars and doubloons is one for one, they also come to understand the importance of maintaining a budget, saving, spending within one’s means and increasing income. A quick trip to the hat factory even introduces the hapless crew to the wonderful world of stocks and bonds: “ ‘You said if I own stock, then I be an owner of the company. Since I be an owner, can I make whatever rules me want?’ ” More lessons in money management follow, including how to buy a home, as the captain and his crew set out on their high seas adventure, and it becomes clear that Joey’s erstwhile dad hasn’t exactly given up on locating Duarte’s treasure. Wrapping the fundamentals of money management in cannon fodder and gunpowder is a lot like wrapping your dog’s medicine in a strip of bacon. The treat may be short-lived, but the tonic is long-lasting. A novel way to explore the fundamentals of sound financial planning.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2014

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Dog Ear Publisher

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2014

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.

ECONOMIC DIGNITY

Noted number cruncher Sperling delivers an economist’s rejoinder to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Former director of the National Economic Council in the administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, the author has long taken a view of the dismal science that takes economic justice fully into account. Alongside all the metrics and estimates and reckonings of GDP, inflation, and the supply curve, he holds the great goal of economic policy to be the advancement of human dignity, a concept intangible enough to chase the econometricians away. Growth, the sacred mantra of most economic policy, “should never be considered an appropriate ultimate end goal” for it, he counsels. Though 4% is the magic number for annual growth to be considered healthy, it is healthy only if everyone is getting the benefits and not just the ultrawealthy who are making away with the spoils today. Defining dignity, admits Sperling, can be a kind of “I know it when I see it” problem, but it does not exist where people are a paycheck away from homelessness; the fact, however, that people widely share a view of indignity suggests the “intuitive universality” of its opposite. That said, the author identifies three qualifications, one of them the “ability to meaningfully participate in the economy with respect, not domination and humiliation.” Though these latter terms are also essentially unquantifiable, Sperling holds that this respect—lack of abuse, in another phrasing—can be obtained through a tight labor market and monetary and fiscal policy that pushes for full employment. In other words, where management needs to come looking for workers, workers are likely to be better treated than when the opposite holds. In still other words, writes the author, dignity is in part a function of “ ‘take this job and shove it’ power,” which is a power worth fighting for.

A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-7987-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Penguin Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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