A solid, informative, and practical advice manual, appropriate for readers who want to know the basics.

FINANCIAL FREEDOM

A GUIDE FOR PERSONAL FINANCES

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.

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4834-3455-1

Page Count: 152

Publisher: Lulu

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2016

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NUTCRACKER

This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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