A straightforward guide to the fundamentals of personal finance.
In this debut work, Harper presents sound guidance to readers looking for basic information about establishing credit, working with a budget, compounding interest, and balancing a checking account. Drawing on decades of experience in business and finance, she clearly presents advice on other topics as well, such as car loans, insurance, retirement savings options, and common financial scams. The book never assumes that readers already have extensive financial knowledge, so it thoroughly explains the mechanics of banking, lending, investing, and taxation at the most fundamental level (“An overdraft occurs when you don’t have enough money in your account to cover transactions you have made”). It escorts readers through various standards and procedures by using fictional case studies as well as stories that draw on Harper’s own experiences or those of her family members. She’s consistently strong when presenting complex topics, but she does especially well when detailing the many factors that shape one’s credit history and credit score; specifically, she shows how readers can make standard practices work to their advantage (“Late payments hurt a good credit score more than they do a bad credit score”). Because of the book’s focus on practical aspects of personal finance, it largely stays away from questions of consumer protection and reform. Instead, it acknowledges the power imbalance between consumers and banks, credit agencies, and insurance companies by using cautionary tales and strategic advice. With its emphasis on personal responsibility and sound decision-making, the book specifically addresses itself to the concerns of consumers who are looking to survive the current financial system.
A solid, informative, and practical advice manual, appropriate for readers who want to know the basics.
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").
Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)