A long, encouraging discussion about laying the groundwork early for a triumphant retirement.

Preparing for a Happy and Comfortable Life in Retirement

A book offers a point-by-point, step-by-step blueprint for long-term financial security.

In giving readers a guide to planning for their retirements, Suleiman Mnim (Investment Success, 2015) concentrates on long-term preparation rather than specific financial strategies. There’s very little actual discussion of money matters in these pages; rather, the author spends most of his time aiming arguments at readers who are perusing the book well before their retirement years, urging them to adopt the frame of mind and personal practices that will guarantee their comfort and security years and even decades down the line. Suleiman Mnim urges those readers to take serious, clear-eyed stock of their financial situations: view their incomes as the valuable commodities they are, save large portions of them in sensible retirement accounts, avoid extravagances, and learn from their mistakes. They should also be wary of the “comfort zone,” the pattern of familiar thinking and safe expectations that can tempt people in their prime working years into thinking they have all the time in the world to start planning for their retirements. The author consistently rails against such feelings of complacency, stressing throughout the book that entrepreneurial optimism in the prime of life is the key to security later on; readers are encouraged to pattern their paths to success after magnates who’ve achieved great wealth while still young, famous figures like Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the founders of Google. (A second edition of the volume should update this section: Brin and Page are now in their early 40s, not their early 30s.) The work’s writing can be a bit on the pompous side at times (lines like there is no point “in the lives of most men wherein they dislike the need to have additional money” crop up often), and some of the author’s points share the same kind of bloated generality common to self-help business books (“Every failure comes with hidden opportunities that only the persistent soul could unveil,” etc.). But the larger arguments—that healthy young employees should be responsible for carefully preparing for their own distant retirements—are well targeted to today’s overworked middle class.

A long, encouraging discussion about laying the groundwork early for a triumphant retirement.

Pub Date: July 31, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4828-0876-6

Page Count: 166

Publisher: PartridgeAfrica

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2016

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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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