A charming, easy-to-read fable providing useful pointers on personal finance management.

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THE MONEY FOUNTAIN

CREATING WEALTH, GROWING WEALTH MADE SIMPLE

In this finance-focused tale, a South African ex-athlete is led on a journey to uncover the secrets to achieving lasting wealth.

Growing up in rural South Africa, Ash has the good fortune of being skilled at sports and securing the heart of local girl Suraya. He becomes a rugby star in the big city and lives a high-spending lifestyle, dropping his hometown sweetheart. Then disaster strikes: Ash’s hamstrings go out and he’s forced out of the game. In debt and despair on a plane returning home, he meets the mysterious TK, who tells him about the “money fountain” and how there are core principles through which one can achieve and sustain financial security. Destiny intervenes once again, however, with Ash losing TK’s contact information while leaving the plane. Ash returns home, reunites with Suraya and begins to raise a family, but he soon falls prey to debilitating financial schemes. That’s all apparently part of the plan, however, with TK eventually reappearing in Ash’s life, leading him to a series of mentors who reveal the key tips—e.g., routinely save 10 percent of your income, invest in an account that compounds and rewards you with either interest or a dividend—that put Ash on track to “conscious wealth” and help him “pay it forward” to become a successful TK-like guide himself. Authors Van Eyden, an economics professor, and Wells, a South African business entrepreneur, have written a gently humorous tale that outlines rather obvious but important aspects of fiscal responsibility. Their money examples are based on South African currency, however, which may confuse some readers. Also, some of their suggestions may cause skepticism: Surely it is not so easy, for example, to find “a stock that earns 15 percent or more.” The authors’ use of fate and “Destiny” (as an actual character) also seem at odds with their philosophy that one can and should try to control the financial forces in one’s life. Still, the smooth-flowing narrative may be an effective way to present dry economic topics to general audiences.

A charming, easy-to-read fable providing useful pointers on personal finance management. 

Pub Date: Dec. 29, 2013

ISBN: 978-1492812098

Page Count: 160

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: March 10, 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 Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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Readers unfamiliar with the anecdotal material Greene presents may find interesting avenues to pursue, but they should...

MASTERY

Greene (The 33 Strategies of War, 2007, etc.) believes that genius can be learned if we pay attention and reject social conformity.

The author suggests that our emergence as a species with stereoscopic, frontal vision and sophisticated hand-eye coordination gave us an advantage over earlier humans and primates because it allowed us to contemplate a situation and ponder alternatives for action. This, along with the advantages conferred by mirror neurons, which allow us to intuit what others may be thinking, contributed to our ability to learn, pass on inventions to future generations and improve our problem-solving ability. Throughout most of human history, we were hunter-gatherers, and our brains are engineered accordingly. The author has a jaundiced view of our modern technological society, which, he writes, encourages quick, rash judgments. We fail to spend the time needed to develop thorough mastery of a subject. Greene writes that every human is “born unique,” with specific potential that we can develop if we listen to our inner voice. He offers many interesting but tendentious examples to illustrate his theory, including Einstein, Darwin, Mozart and Temple Grandin. In the case of Darwin, Greene ignores the formative intellectual influences that shaped his thought, including the discovery of geological evolution with which he was familiar before his famous voyage. The author uses Grandin's struggle to overcome autistic social handicaps as a model for the necessity for everyone to create a deceptive social mask.

Readers unfamiliar with the anecdotal material Greene presents may find interesting avenues to pursue, but they should beware of the author's quirky, sometimes misleading brush-stroke characterizations.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-670-02496-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Sept. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2012

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